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Paul’s Further Defense
- O, I wish you were bearing with me in a little foolishness; and yet you do bear with me.
- For I’m jealous over you with a Godly Jealousy. For I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to the Anointed.
- But I fear that somehow – just as the serpent in his cunning thoroughly deceived Eve – your minds might be ruinously corrupted away from the simplicity and the purity in the Anointed.
- For indeed, if the man who comes preaches another Jesus who we didn’t preach; or you receive a different spirit which you hadn’t received; or a different gospel which you didn’t accept; you bear it well.
- For I think to have fallen short in nothing compared to these ‘super apostles’.
- But even if I’m unskilled in speech, yet I’m not in knowledge. But we made this clear to you in every way in everything.
- Or did I sin in humbling myself so you might be exalted? (Because I preached the gospel of God to you freely.)
- I robbed other churches, having accepted provisions from them for my service to you.
- And while being present with you and being in need I didn’t burden anyone, for my need was supplied by the brothers who came from Macedonia. And in everything I kept – and will keep – myself not burdensome to you.
- The truth of the Anointed is in me, so this boast of mine won’t be stopped in the regions of Achaia.
- Why? Because I don’t love(1)The Greek word used here is “ἀγαπάω” (agapao), which is the verb form of “ἀγάπη” (agape), typically translated “love”. However, unlike our English word “love” – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agape centers on preference. In the verb form, it literally means “to prefer” or “show preference for”. In the New Testament, that usually means “moral preference”, or “actively preferring what God prefers” in what we do, not just in what we feel. It’s the “love” based on will, choice, decision, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word “φιλέω” (phileó), which properly means “brotherly love/affection”.) you? God *knows I do!
- But what I do – and will do – I do so I might cut off the opportunity of the men who desire an opportunity to be found just as we are in what they boast about.
- For such men are false apostles; treacherous workers disguising themselves as apostles of the Anointed.
- And no wonder, for Satan himself disguises himself as an angel of light.
- Therefore, it’s no great surprise if his servants disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end will be according to their deeds.
Paul’s Sarcastic and “Foolish” Boasting
- Again I say: no one should think me to be foolish. But even if I’m otherwise, receive me like a foolish man so I also might boast a little.
- What I say in this confident boasting I don’t say according to the Lord, but like in foolishness.
- Since many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast.
- For being wise, you gladly tolerate foolish men.
- For you tolerate it if someone enslaves you, if someone devours you, if someone takes from you, if someone exults himself, if someone hits your face.
- I speak in shame because it’s like we have been weak. But in whatever someone might dare (I speak in foolishness) I also dare.
- Are they Hebrews? I am too. Are they Israelites? I am too. Are they descendants of Abraham? I am too.
- Are they servants of the Anointed? I am more so. (I speak like I’m insane) In abundant labors, in abundant imprisonments, in wounds beyond measure, and often in danger of death.
- I received forty lashes minus one from the Jews five times.
- 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 deep sea.
- I’m on frequent journeys, in danger of rivers, in danger of robbers, in danger from my kinsmen, in danger from the gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness, in danger at sea, in danger among false brothers,
- In hard labor and exhausting work, in frequent sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, in frequent fasting; and in the cold and nakedness.
- Apart from external things, there’s the pressure of my daily concern for all the churches.
- Who’s weak and I’m not weak? Who’s ensnared by sin and I don’t burn?
- If I must boast, I will boast of things showing my weakness.
- The God and Father of the Lord Jesus (the One who is blessed through the ages) *knows that I’m not lying.
- In Damascus, the governor under king Aretas was guarding the Damascenes’ city to arrest me.
- And I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.
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