Living_Oracles(i) 1 I wish you would bear with me a little in my foolishness: yes, indeed, bear with me: 2 for I am jealous of you with a godly jealousy; because I have espoused you to one husband, that I might present you a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that, by some means, as the serpent beguiled Eve by his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity due to Christ. 4 For, if, indeed, he who has come preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached; or, if you receive another Spirit which you have not received; or another gospel which you have not embraced; you might justly bear with him. 5 For I reckon myself to have come nothing short of the very chief of the Apostles. 6 And even though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge. But upon the whole, we have been made manifest to you in all things. 7 Have I committed an offense in humbling myself that you might be exalted; because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? 8 I robbed other congregations, taking wages of them to do you service; 9 for being present with you, and in want, we were burdensome to no one; but what I wanted, the brethren from Macedonia supplied: and in everything I have kept, and will keep myself from being burdensome to you. 10 Is the truth in me? then this my boasting shall not be prevented in the regions of Achaia. 11 For what reason? because I do not love you? God knows. 12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off opportunity from them who desire opportunity; that in what they boast, they may be found even as we. 13 For such are false Apostles, deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into Apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder; for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore, it is no great wonder if his ministers also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness: whose end shall be according to their works. 16 Moreover, I say, let no one think me a fool; but, if otherwise, at least, as a fool, bear with me, that I also may boast a little. 17 What I speak in this confident boasting, I do not speak according to the Lord; but as in foolishness. 18 Seeing many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast. 19 For, being wise, you bear with fools cheerfully. 20 For if one enslave you, you bear it; if one devour you, if one take your goods, if one exalt himself, if one strike you on the face- 21 I speak of reproach, as, that we are weak. But, in whatever any one is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool,) I am above them: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often; 24 of the Jews, five times I received forty stripes, save one: 25 thrice I was beaten with rods, once I was stone, thrice I was ship-wrecked: I have spent a night and a day in the deep. 26 In journeys often, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from my countrymen, in dangers from the heathens, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers among false brethren. 27 In labor and toil; in watching often; in hunger and thirst; in fastings often; in cold and nakedness. 28 Besides these troubles from without, that which is my daily pressure, the anxious care of all the congregations. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things which relate to my weakness. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for ever, knows that I do not lie. 32 In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas, intending to apprehend me, guarded the city of the Damascenes; 33 but I was let down in a basket, through a window in the wall, and escaped his hands.