The Gift New Testament

A free online Bible study resource

2 Corinthians

11:1Oh, if only you would put up with just a little crazy talk from me! On second thought— you do have to put up with it!11:2I care deeply for you, and it comes from God. For I had promised you to one husband, as a pure marriageable woman to present to the Anointed.11:3Yet I fear that somehow, just as the serpent thoroughly deluded Eve with his treachery, your minds have been corrupted and turned from the pure simplicity of the Anointed.11:4In fact, if anyone comes proclaiming some other Jesus than the one we proclaimed to you, or you receive a different spirit than the one you had, or you hear a different Gospel than the one you received before, you just take it in stride.

11:5I don’t see how I am in any way inferior to these ultra-Ambassadors.11:6Even if I really am a poor speaker I am not poor in knowledge; we have made that quite clear in every way.11:7Did I do such a terrible thing by humbling myself so you could be exalted? Seeing that I brought the Gospel to you free of charge,11:8surely I must be robbing other Congregations in order to get rations to dispense to you!11:9When I was with you and in need I was not a burden to anyone, because I was replenished by the ones who came from Macedonia. And I will continue to support myself so I will not be a burden to you.

11:10By all that is true of the Anointed, I will not be robbed of this boast I have in all the regions of Achaia.11:11(Do you think I don’t love you? God knows that I do!)11:12Now what I am doing, and will continue doing, is to knock the foundation out from under those who are looking for a reason to brag about you just as we do.11:13For such are fake Ambassadors, fraudulent workers who try to pass themselves off as Ambassadors of the Anointed.11:14And this should come as no surprise; the Adversary presents himself as a messenger of light.11:15So it is to be expected that his servants also present themselves as servants of justice. But in the end they will get what they deserve.

11:16I say again: let no one take me for a fool. But if you must, then just accept me and let me keep on bragging a little more!11:17What I’m saying now is not from the Master, but as a fool and how a fool would go on bragging.11:18So since others are bragging about the flesh, then so will I.11:19After all, you must be putting up with fools because you are so dignified!11:20You let people enslave you; you let them consume you; you let them take you captive; you welcome the conceited; you let them slap you in the face!11:21How we must have humiliated you by being too weak to do any of that!

Now let me continue to compete with the other idiots.11:22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelis? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.11:23Are they servants of the Anointed (I am continuing with this crazy talk!)? I outdo them all— in exhaustion, in imprisonments, in terrible beatings, in facing death many times.11:24Five times I was given the Judeans’ 39 lashes;11:25three times I was flogged with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; I spent a night and a day in the open sea.11:26I have been on many travels; I have been in danger from rivers, robbers, my own people, foreigners, the city, the desert, the sea, and fake believers.11:27I have done hard labor, kept vigils, often gone without food or drink, fasted many times, and went without adequate clothing and shelter.

11:28On top of all that I have the daily responsibility for the Congregations.11:29Who is weak and I do not empathize? Who is caught in a trap and I am not enraged?11:30So if I am to keep bragging then I must surely brag about all this weakness of mine.11:31The God and Father of the Master Jesus— praise him forever!— will vouch for what I am about to say.11:32In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas had the city under surveillance in order to arrest me,11:33but I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and I escaped him.