2 Corinthians 11

Paul and the False Apostles

1 I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since n I betrothed you to one husband, o to present you p as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that q as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts r will be led astray from a s sincere and t pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and u proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept v a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 5 Indeed, I consider that w I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. 6 x Even if I am unskilled in speaking, y I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way z we have made this plain to you in all things.

7 Or a did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because b I preached God's gospel to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and was c in need, d I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia e supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain f from burdening you in any way. 10 g As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine h will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 And why? i Because I do not love you? j God knows I do!

12 And what I do I will continue to do, k in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are l false apostles, m deceitful workmen, n disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as o an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as p servants of righteousness. q Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Paul's Sufferings as an Apostle

16 I repeat, r let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17 What I am saying s with this boastful confidence, t I say not with the Lord's authority but as a fool. 18 Since u many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19 For you gladly bear with fools, v being wise yourselves! 20 For you bear it if someone w makes slaves of you, or x devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or y strikes you in the face.

21 To my shame, I must say, z we were too weak for that! But whatever anyone else dares to boast of - I am speaking as a fool - I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? a So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they b servants of Christ? c I am a better one - I am talking like a madman - with far greater labors, d far more imprisonments, e with countless beatings, and f often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the g forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was h beaten with rods. i Once I was stoned. Three times I j was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, k danger from my own people, l danger from Gentiles, m danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 n in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, o in hunger and thirst, often without food, 1 in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for p all the churches. 29 q Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

30 r If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 s The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, t he who is blessed forever, u knows that I am not lying. 32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas v was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 w but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.

  1. Cross References
    Hosea 2:19 - 20
    And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.
  2. Cross References
    Colossians 1:22
    He has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.
    Colossians 1:28
    Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
  3. Cross References
    Ephesians 5:27
    So that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
    Revelation 14:4
    It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb.
  4. Cross References
    Genesis 3:4
    But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.
    1 Timothy 2:14
    And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
    John 8:44
    You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
    1 Thessalonians 3:5
    For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.
  5. Cross References
    Colossians 2:4
    I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.
    Colossians 2:8
    See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
  6. Cross References
    Ephesians 6:5
    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ.
  7. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 6:6
    By purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love.
  8. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 3:11
    For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
  9. Cross References
    Galatians 1:6
    I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -
  10. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 12:11
    I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing.
    Galatians 2:6
    And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) - those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.
  11. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 1:17
    For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
  12. Cross References
    Ephesians 3:4
    When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ.
  13. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 4:2
    But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.
    2 Corinthians 5:11
    Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.
    2 Corinthians 12:12
    The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.
  14. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 12:13
    For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!
  15. Cross References
    Acts 18:3
    And because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.
  16. Cross References
    Philippians 4:12
    I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
  17. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 12:13 - 14
    For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!
  18. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 16:17
    I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence.
    Philippians 4:15 - 16
    And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.
  19. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 12:16
    But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit.
    1 Thessalonians 2:6
    Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.
  20. Cross References
    Romans 1:9
    For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you
    Romans 9:1
    I am speaking the truth in Christ - I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit -
  21. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 9:15
    But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting.
  22. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 6:11
    We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open.
  23. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 11:31
    The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
    2 Corinthians 12:2 - 3
    I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven - whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.
  24. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 9:12
    If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
  25. Cross References
    Revelation 2:2
    'I know your works, your toil and your patient ...
    Galatians 1:7
    Not that there is another one, but there are so...
    Galatians 2:4
    Yet because of false brothers secretly brought ...
    Galatians 6:12
    It is those who want to make a good showing in ...
    Philippians 1:15
    Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry...
    Philippians 3:18
    For many, of whom I have often told you and now...
    Titus 1:10
    For there are many who are insubordinate, empty...
    Titus 1:12
    One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, sai...
    2 Peter 2:1
    But false prophets also arose among the people,...
    1 John 4:1
    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test ...
  26. Cross References
    Philippians 3:2
    Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.
  27. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 11:14 - 15
    And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
  28. Cross References
    Galatians 1:8
    But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
  29. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 3:9
    For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.
  30. Cross References
    Philippians 3:19
    Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
  31. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 12:6
    Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.
  32. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 9:4
    Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated - to say nothing of you - for being so confident.
  33. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 7:12
    To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.
  34. Cross References
    Philippians 3:3 - 4
    For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh -
  35. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 4:10
    We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.
  36. Cross References
    Galatians 2:4
    Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in - who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery -
    Galatians 4:3
    In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.
    Galatians 4:9
    But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?
    Galatians 5:1
    For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
  37. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 7:2
    Make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one.
  38. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 4:11
    To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless.
  39. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 10:10
    For they say, "His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.
  40. Cross References
    Romans 11:1
    I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.
    Philippians 3:5
    Circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee.
  41. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 3:6
    Who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
    2 Corinthians 10:7
    Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ's, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ's, so also are we.
  42. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 15:10
    But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
  43. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 6:5
    Beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger.
  44. Cross References
    Acts 16:23
    And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely.
  45. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 1:9 - 10
    Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
    2 Corinthians 4:11
    For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
    2 Corinthians 6:9
    As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed.
    Romans 8:36
    As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
    1 Corinthians 15:30 - 32
    Why are we in danger every hour?
  46. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 25:3
    Forty stripes may be given him, but not more, lest, if one should go on to beat him with more stripes than these, your brother be degraded in your sight.
  47. Cross References
    Acts 16:22
    The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods.
  48. Cross References
    Acts 14:19
    But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.
  49. Cross References
    Acts 27:41
    But striking a reef, they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf.
  50. Cross References
    Acts 9:23
    When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to ...
    Acts 13:50
    But the Jews incited the devout women of high s...
    Acts 14:5
    When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and J...
    Acts 17:5
    But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wick...
    1 Thessalonians 2:15
    Who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets...
    Acts 18:12
    But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Je...
    Acts 20:3
    There he spent three months, and when a plot wa...
    Acts 20:19
    Serving the Lord with all humility and with tea...
    Acts 21:27
    When the seven days were almost completed, the ...
    Acts 23:10
    And when the dissension became violent, the tri...
    Acts 23:12
    When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound...
    Acts 25:3
    Asking as a favor against Paul that he summon h...
  51. Cross References
    Acts 14:5
    When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them.
    Acts 19:23
    About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way.
    Acts 27:42
    The soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape.
  52. Cross References
    Acts 21:31
    And as they were seeking to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion.
  53. Cross References
    1 Thessalonians 2:9
    For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
    2 Thessalonians 3:8
    Nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.
  54. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 4:11
    To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless.
    Philippians 4:12
    I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
  55. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 7:17
    Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
  56. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 8:13
    Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
    1 Corinthians 9:22
    To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
  57. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 10:10
    For they say, "His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.
    2 Corinthians 12:5
    On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses.
    2 Corinthians 12:9
    But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
    1 Corinthians 2:3
    And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling.
  58. Cross References
    Romans 15:6
    That together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  59. Cross References
    Romans 9:5
    To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
  60. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 11:11
    And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
  61. Cross References
    Acts 9:24
    But their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night in order to kill him.
  62. Cross References
    Acts 9:25
    But his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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