I repeat: no one should consider me a fool. But if [you do], at least accept me as a fool, so I too may boast a little.
What I say in this matter of boasting, I don't speak as the Lord would, but foolishly.
Since many boast from a human perspective, I will also boast.
For you gladly put up with fools since you are so smart!
In fact, you put up with it if someone enslaves you, if someone devours you, if someone captures you, if someone dominates you, or if someone hits you in the face.
I say this to [our] shame: we have been weak. But in whatever anyone dares [to boast]-I am talking foolishly-I also dare:
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.
Are they servants of Christ? I'm talking like a madman-I'm a better one: with far more labors, many more imprisonments, far worse beatings, near death many times.
Five times I received from the Jews 40 lashes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the depths of the sea.
On frequent journeys, [I faced] dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the open country, dangers on the sea, and dangers among false brothers;
labor and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and lacking clothing.
Not to mention other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my care for all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weaknesses.
The eternally blessed One, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus, knows I am not lying.
In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas 40), a Nabatean Arab king guarded the city of the Damascenes in order to arrest me,
so I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.