The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Epistle of the Blessed Apostle Paul to the Corinthians
If you would only bear with my vanity for a little! Pray be patient with me;
after all, my jealousy on your behalf is the jealousy of God himself; I have betrothed you to Christ, so that no other but he should claim you, his bride without spot,
and now I am anxious about you. The serpent beguiled Eve with his cunning; what if your minds should be corrupted, and lose that innocence which is yours in Christ?
Some newcomer preaches to you a different Christ, not the one we preached to you; he brings you a spirit other than the spirit you had from us, a gospel other than the gospel you received; you would do well, then, to be patient with me.✻
I claim to have done no less than the very greatest of the apostles.
I may be unexperienced in speaking, but I am not so in my knowledge of the truth; everybody knows what we have been in every way to you.
Unless perhaps you think I did wrong to honour you by abasing myself, since I preached God’s gospel to you at no charge to yourselves?
Why, I impoverished other churches, taking pay from them so as to be at your service.
I was penniless when I visited you, but I would not cripple any of you with expenses; the brethren came from Macedonia to relieve my necessities; I would not, and I will not, put any burden on you.
As the truth of Christ lives in me, no one in all the country of Achaia shall silence this boast of mine.
Why is that? Because I have no love for you? God knows I have.
No, I shall continue to do as I have done, so as to cut away the ground from those who would gladly boast that they are no different from myself.
Such men are false apostles, dishonest workmen, that pass for apostles of Christ.
And no wonder; Satan himself can pass for an angel of light,
and his servants have no difficulty in passing for servants of holiness; but their end will be what their life has deserved.
Once more I appeal to you, let none of you think me vain; or, if it must be so, give me a hearing in spite of my vanity, and let me boast a little in my turn.
When I boast with such confidence, I am not delivering a message to you from God; it is part of my vanity if you will.
If so many others boast of their natural advantages, I must be allowed to boast too.
You find it easy to be patient with the vanity of others, you who are so full of good sense.
Why, you let other people tyrannize over you, prey upon you, take advantage of you, vaunt their power over you, browbeat you!✻
I say this without taking credit to myself, I say it as if we had had no power to play such a part; yet in fact—here my vanity speaks—I can claim all that others claim.
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descended from Abraham? So am I.
Are they Christ’s servants? These are wild words; I am something more. I have toiled harder, spent longer days in prison, been beaten so cruelly, so often looked death in the face.
Five times the Jews scourged me, and spared me but one lash in the forty;
three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned; I have been shipwrecked three times, I have spent a night and a day as a castaway at sea.
What journeys I have undertaken, in danger from rivers, in danger from robbers, in danger from my own people, in danger from the Gentiles; danger in cities; danger in the wilderness, danger in the sea, danger among false brethren!
I have met with toil and weariness, so often been sleepless, hungry and thirsty; so often denied myself food, gone cold and naked.
And all this, over and above something else which I do not count; I mean the burden I carry every day, my anxious care for all the churches;
does anyone feel a scruple? I share it; is anyone’s conscience hurt? I am ablaze with indignation.
If I must needs boast, I will boast of the things which humiliate me;
the God who is Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, blessed be his name for ever, knows that I am telling the truth.
When I was at Damascus, the agent of king Aretas was keeping guard over the city of the Damascenes, intent on seizing me,✻
and to escape from his hands I had to be let down through a window along the wall, in a hamper.
The Holy Bible