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    2 Corinthians

    Aramaic update planned: This book will soon be updated to reflect all the differences found in the Aramaic manuscripts, since this book may have been originally written in Aramaic. They will be marked with this symbol: [Syr] Our translation is created by volunteers, and we are always correcting and refining the text. Learn what [brackets] and other insertions mean.

    About this book A letter from the Apostle Paul and Timothy to the congregation in Corinth, Greece.It was probably written through a secretary (possibly Timothy), perhaps originally in Aramaic, and likely in within months after the writing of 1 Corinthians – so around 48 or 49 CE.

    1

    1Paul, an Apostle of the Anointed Jesus (by God’s Will), and our brother Timothy, to God’s congregation in Corinth (and to all the Holy Ones throughout Achaia):2May loving care and peace from God (our Father) and from our Lord Jesus (the Anointed One), be with you!3May God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed One be praised! Yes, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort!4[Yes, He] comforts us during all our troubles, so we, in turn, can use that same comfort from God to comfort others.5For just as we [experience] plenty of suffering [because] of the Anointed One, we also [experience] plenty of comfort through the Anointed One.6But if we’re suffering, then [it just means that] we’re suffering for your [eventual] comfort and salvation.[Syr] And if we’re comforted, it’s so you’re comforted too – so you can have the endurance [needed] to put up with the same trials that we suffer.7So we have great confidence in you, because we know that if you share in the suffering, you’ll also share in the comfort.8Brothers, I want to tell you about the trouble we experienced[Syr] in [the province of] Asia. We were under enormous pressure, far beyond our ability to cope, to the point where we actually thought that we were going to die. 9In fact, we [decided that] our lives were over, so we [resolved] not to trust in ourselves, but rather in The God who raises the dead, 10who, [in the end] did rescue us from certain death[Syr]... And we hope, will rescue us again [in the future]!11You can help us out [in this matter] by praying for us – [because then,] His gift to us can be a kindness performed for many people, and [also] many people will thank Him for us.12We can take pride in what our consciences testify – that thanks to God’s loving care, we’ve conducted ourselves in this system of things decently and with sincerity (especially towards you) and not with human wisdom.13Now, we’re not writing to you about anything that you don’t already know about and understand... And I hope that you’ll keep on recognizing right up until the end 14that, just as you’ve (partially) acknowledged that we’re something you can boast about – well, [you’ll be something to boast about] for us too, in the Day of our Lord Jesus.15So it’s with this confidence that I wanted to come to you… Doubling the benefit that you’d receive. 16[The plan was] to go past you on my way to Macedonia, and then to visit you on my way back from Macedonia – then have you escort me to Judea.17So, when I considered doing this, was I being rash? On the contrary, I’m considering these fleshly things because it’s [right and] proper[Syr] – so that ‘yes’ [means] ‘yes,’ and ‘no’ [means] ‘no!’ 18Yes, you can trust God that we don’t say ‘yes’ and [then say] ‘no.’19After all, the Son of The God, the Anointed Jesus, about whom we (Silvanus, Timothy, and I) preached to you, wasn’t a ‘yes but no’ person – his ‘yes’ [always] meant ‘yes!’20Indeed, all of God’s promises regarding him, the Anointed One,[Syr] are ‘yes!’ That’s why we give our ‘May it be so’ through him – to God’s praise.21But it’s God Himself who establishes us (and you also) in the Anointed One, and who anointed us, 22sealed us, and gave the guarantee [that we’d receive His] Spirit in our hearts.23But I swear on my life to God, that [the reason] I haven’t come to [you in] Corinth yet is to spare you [the experience]... 24Not that we’re the masters of your faith – rather, we’re [just] your cheerful helpers[Syr]. Indeed, you stand upon [your own] faith.

    2

    1I’ve decided not to come to you again as long as I’m feeling sad [about you]. 2For if I’ve made you sad, then who’ll [be there to] cheer me up, other than those I’ve saddened?3As a result, I’m writing this [letter], so that when I do come [to visit you], those who should be making me happy won’t sadden me [instead]; But I’m confident in all of you – you’re all my joy!4[The previous time] I wrote you was with great difficulty, pain of heart, and with tears. It wasn’t to make you sad, but rather to let you know what great love I have for you.5But if any man has saddened [others], then he hasn’t [just] saddened me, but more-or-less all of you! Therefore, the message [I have] won’t be too harsh. 6Yes, the rebuke [he’s had] from most of you is enough. 7Therefore, it’s now proper for you to instead forgive him and comfort him, so that such a man won’t be swallowed up by his deep sadness…8Yes, I’m telling you to let him know that you love him!9This is also why I’ve written to you, to test and find out whether you’d listen[Syr] to everything. 10But whomever you forgive, I’ll do too!For when I forgive someone on your behalf before the Anointed One (that is, if I should ever have anything to forgive), 11it’s so that the Opposer won’t take advantage of us, since we know his schemes.12[Anyway, I wish to tell you that] when I arrived in Troas to preach the good news about the Anointed One, Jehovah had opened a door [of opportunity] for me there. 13However, I was deeply disturbed by the fact that I couldn’t find my brother Titus, so I left the others and traveled on to Macedonia.14But, thanks to God, He makes us a [public] spectacle the entire time, so, through us, the Anointed One can reveal the [pleasant] perfume of the knowledge of Him everywhere!15Indeed, to God, we’re a pleasant perfume in the Anointed One. As for those being saved and those who are dying, 16to these [latter ones], we’re the smell of death [leading] to death, while to those [former ones], the smell of life [leading] to life!Who else is qualified to do this [work]?17Well, we aren’t like the rest who dilute and weaken[Syr] God’s words[Syr] [like a dishonest merchant does to wine]. No, instead we speak the actual truth[Syr] from God in God’s sight (through the Anointed One).

    3

    1So, do we now have to introduce ourselves to you again, or do we (like some men do) need letters of recommendation written to you, or [perhaps] you could write [a letter of] recommendation for us?2But you are our letters – written on our hearts, recognized and read by everyone, 3since you’ve proven to be a ‘letter’ [from] the Anointed One whom we serve. And it’s not written in ink – but in the Living God’s Breath. [Further], it’s not [written] on tablets of stone, but rather on ‘tablets’ of human hearts!4Indeed, that’s how much confidence we have – thanks to the Anointed One and to God.5No, we should never think that we’re so good that any of this comes from ourselves! Rather, our ability is from God – 6who made us equal [to the challenge] of being ministers of the New Sacred Agreement which isn’t [made] in writing, but is [made] in [God’s] Breath... Indeed, the writing [of the Jewish Law] kills, while the [God’s] Breath saves!7So if the ‘ministry of death’ ([which is dedicated] to the writing [of the Jewish Law] engraved in stone), was so glorious that the IsraElites couldn’t even look at Moses because of [God’s] glory [shining] on his face (which stopped)... 8Then how could the ‘ministry of [God’s] Breath’ not be exceptionally glorious?9Yes, if the ‘ministry of condemnation’ [founded by Moses] was glorious, then how much more should the ‘ministry of righteousness’ excel in glory? 10Since what was glorified [back in Moses’ day] isn’t even [particularly] glorious [when] compared to this exceptional glory.11So if the thing that’s now abolished was glorious, then what’s still here will be exceptionally glorious!12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we can go around with exceptional confidence,[Syr] 13and not like Moses who had a veil over his face so the IsraElites couldn’t take a good look at what would [only] be abolished in the end. 14Instead, they were blinded in their understanding.And right up until today, whenever the Old Sacred Agreement is read [in the scriptures], that same veil rises up over them – and [the fact that] the Anointed One abolished it isn’t revealed to them. 15Yes, whenever Moses is read today, a veil rises up over their hearts, 16but whenever one of them turns to Jehovah, the veil is taken away...17But Jehovah is spirit, and wherever Jehovah’s spirit is, there’s freedom...18Therefore, with uncovered faces, we see Jehovah’s glory like it’s in a mirror, in order to thoroughly transform into [reflecting] his likeness – yes, [transforming] from [a human] glory, to a glory like [the glory coming] from Jehovah’s Breath.

    4

    1So, because of this ministry (that we’ve been so mercifully assigned to), we haven’t given up. 2Instead, we’ve given up the things that lead to shame!No, we aren’t sneaking around, twisting God’s Word! Rather, we’re making the truth known! And in God’s sight, we’re proving ourselves worthy to the minds of all men.3So, if the Good News that we bring is hidden in any way, it’s only hidden to those who are dying – 4to the unbelievers – whose minds have been blinded by the god of this age, so that the light of the glorious Good News about the Anointed One (who is the image of The God) is unable to shine through.5And we aren’t preaching about ourselves, but about the Anointed Jesus our Lord, but as for us, we’ve become your slaves for Jesus’ sake... 6Because God (who commanded the light to appear out of the darkness), caused this light of knowledge about the glory of God to shine into our hearts, via the person of Jesus the Anointed.7Therefore, we have this treasure stored in ‘clay pottery,’ so that exceptional power may be [shown to come] from God, and not from us.8Therefore:Although we’re under pressure in every way, we’re not suffocated.[Syr]Although we’re beaten up, we’re not conquered.[Syr]9Although we’re persecuted, we’re not abandoned.Although we’re knocked down, we don’t die!10For we always bear the death of Jesus in our bodies, so that Jesus’ life can also be seen in our bodies. 11So if we, the living, are handed over to death for Jesus’ sake… Then the life of Jesus can be seen in our dying flesh too!12As a result, death is at work in us, while life [is at work] in you.13Nevertheless, we share the same spirit of faith.For it’s written:Because I had faith, I spoke. [Psalm 116:10, LXX]Well, we also believe, so we’re speaking too!14Indeed, we know that the One who raised our[Syr] Lord Jesus [from death], will also, through Jesus, raise us [from death]... And [when that happens], we’ll be standing there beside you with him![Syr]15Yes, everything is [being done] for you... And when [God’s] loving care grows enormously, by means of many [persons] there’ll be an even greater praise to God’s glory.16That’s why we haven’t worn out!Even if the man [you see] on the outside is wasting away, the man on the inside is renewed day-by-day. 17While our troubles [during] this time are pretty minor and short,[Syr] a great and unending glory is ready for us – [from] age to ages!18So, we shouldn’t enjoy the visible things, but rather, the invisible things! Indeed, you would only see them for a time, but things you can’t see are eternal!

    5

    1[Here’s one thing] we know [for sure]:If our earthly ‘home’ (this body[Syr]) would be destroyed, we’d still have a ‘house’ from God (not made by hands) that lasts throughout the ages2Also, we sigh over this because we yearn to be clothed in that ‘house’ from heaven 3(besides, even when clothed, we exist ‘naked’).[Syr] 4While we’re [still] in this ‘house’,[Syr] we sigh from the weight of it... Yet we don’t really want to take it off, instead, we keep wearing it, swallowing down its death in [one’s] life.5Now, God has prepared us for this, and He’s given us a down payment… His Breath... 6So thanks to this, we know and are convinced[Syr] that as long as we’re at home in the body, we aren’t with our[Syr] Lord.7Yes, we walk by faith, not by what we can see... 8So because of this we’re trusting[Syr] and are happy to leave this body and be with[Syr] our[Syr] Lord. 9And we love the fact that whether we’re in this home or we leave it, we still please him!10For we’ll all stand before the Anointed One’s judgment seat, and a man is rewarded in the body [based on] whatever he did, whether good or foul.11So, since we know the fear of our[Syr] Lord, we’re persuading people [to turn to him]. We’re then revealing to God, I think,[Syr] [what sort of people we are] and also to you, too, 12so we won’t have to prove ourselves to you [again]… And then you’ll have reasons to boast about us, and [you’ll also have something to offer] those who are more influenced by what we look like, and not by [what’s really in the] heart.13So we’ll either be crazy for God, or sensible for you.14The Anointed One’s love urges us to consider this: that one person died on everyone else’s behalf, therefore, all of us have ‘died’ 15and he died for all of us. So the living shouldn’t live for themselves [anymore],[Syr] but for him – yes, [the one] who died for them and stood up [again].16So from now on, we don’t recognize anybody in a human way (even if we knew the Anointed One in a human way, we certainly don’t know him that way anymore) 17because, whoever is in the Anointed One is a new creation! Yes, the old things have passed away, and they’ve all been renewed 18by God, who’s restored us to a good relationship with Himself through the Anointed One.So now, [God] has assigned us to a ministry [dedicated to] this restored relationship with Him!19Yes – God, through the Anointed One, has brought[Syr] the world back into a good relationship with Himself and his majesty,[Syr] by no longer holding their sins against them, and He’s put the message of this reconciliation within us.20We are, therefore, ambassadors for the Anointed One – yes, as if God was calling [people] through us. Yes, we’re begging them to come back to a [good] relationship with God on the Anointed One’s behalf. 21He made the one who didn’t know sin [to become] ‘sin,’ so that we can become God’s ‘righteousness’ along with him.

    6

    1Moreover, since we’re your helpers[Syr], we urge you not to waste the loving care of God that you’ve received. 2For He says:In an acceptable time, I heard you,And in a day of salvation, I came to your aid.[Isaiah 49:8]So look! This is the acceptable time!
    And look! This is the day of salvation!3Therefore, we aren’t doing anything that might offend anyone, so that our ministry might remain spotless. 4And we’re taking our stand as God’s servants in everything… By enduring many difficulties, by shortages of necessities, 5by beatings, by imprisonment, by mobs, by hard work, by sleepless nights, by hunger, 6by holiness, by knowledge, by patience, by loving care (through the Holy Breath), and by love that isn’t judgmental.7We’re also doing this by telling the truth (through the power of God) by [using] the weapons of righteousness (the right-handed ones and the left-handed ones)… 8Through glory and dishonor, through bad reputations and good reputations, as ‘deceivers’ who tell the truth, 9as unknown but recognized among the dying (and yet, look… We’re alive!), as those who were disciplined but not yet condemned to death, 10as sad but always rejoicing, as poor but making many rich, and as having nothing while owning it all!11Therefore, our mouths and our hearts have been spread wide open to you Corinthians!12So, you aren’t having a hard time finding room in us; you’re having a hard time making room [for us] in yourselves!13Just be fair with us!I’m telling you this as [my] children:Make room for us!14You must stop joining yourselves unevenly with unbelievers like different types of animals under the same yoke... For what connection is there between righteousness and law-breaking?Or what does light have in common with darkness?15Yes, what harmony is there between the Anointed One and [the demon] BeliEl?Or what can a faithful person share with an unbeliever?16And how can a holy dwelling of God [make room for] idols?Recognize this as a fact:We are the living and holy dwellings of God!As God Himself said:I’ll live and walk among them… I’ll be their God and they’ll be My people. [Leviticus 26:12]17[And:]‘Come out from among them and separate yourselves…Stop touching unclean things, and I’ll take you in,’ says Jehovah.[Isaiah 52:11]18And:‘Then I’ll be your Father,And you’ll be My sons and My daughters’ says Jehovah, the Almighty.[unknown quote, or a paraphrase amalgamation of 2 Samuel 7:14, Isaiah 43:6, and 2 Samuel 7:8]

    7

    1So since we’ve been given these promises, loved ones; Let’s wash off all the filth of the flesh and the person we’ve been on the inside, and become perfectly holy in our fear of The God.2Also, make room for us, because we haven’t wronged anyone, corrupted anyone, or taken advantage of anyone!3I’m not saying this to condemn you, because, as I told you before, you’re in our hearts… So we’ll live together and die together!4And this is why I feel so perfectly free to speak to you... Yes, I’m very comfortable [with you], and I have many reasons to boast about you. In fact, I overflow with joy over you because of all the difficulties that we’ve shared together!5[I want you to understand that] since we’ve arrived here in Macedonia, our bodies haven’t had any relief, for there have been problems over everything. On the outside there are conflicts, and on the inside there are fears.6However, The God who gives comfort to the lowly has provided comfort to us through the presence of Titus. 7And it wasn’t just his presence alone that brought us comfort… It was also because of the comfort that he felt over you, since he again brought us word of your longing, mourning, and zeal for me.And that made me very happy.8So if what I wrote in my [first] letter made you sad, I don’t regret it!And even if I did regret it [at first], I see that my letter only saddened you for a little while. 9Therefore, I’m rejoicing now… Not because you were saddened, but because you were saddened into repenting!And because you were saddened in a Godly way, we know that we didn’t damage you.10For being sad in a Godly way brings a repentance that results in salvation (and there’s nothing to regret about that), while the sadness of this world brings death.11And look at what this sadness in a Godly way has accomplished… See how it speeded things up and gave us answers… How it caused indignation, fear, desire, zeal, and vengeance!Because after that, you proved yourselves to be pure in every way in this matter!12Now, I didn’t write [that letter to] you because of the one who was acting unrighteously or because of the one who was being treated unrighteously. Rather, [I wrote it] to prove how earnestly you obey us in the sight of God, 13and this is what’s brought us so much comfort!For we now have even more reasons to be joyful, because of the joy that this has brought to Titus, since the man he is within has been refreshed by all of you.14Therefore, if I’ve boasted to him about you, I’ve had no reason to be ashamed of it, because everything that I said about you is true…Yes, after we bragged about you to Titus, it has all proven to be true!15And he cares for you even more deeply now, as he remembers how well you’ve obeyed, and how all of you received him with fear and trembling. 16So I’m rejoicing and I’m encouraged in every way because of you!

    8

    1Brothers, we want to tell you about how God’s loving care has been shown towards the congregations in Macedonia. 2Although they’re undergoing many trials and difficulties, their great joy and deep poverty brought out the richness of their generosity.3For as they were able (and I testify that it was more than they were able to do) 4and of their own accord, they kept begging us to [allow them to] share in donating to the fund for the Holy Ones. 5And it wasn’t just as we had hoped they would do; first they gave to the Lord, and then they gave to us (as it was God’s Will).6So this led us to encourage Titus (since he was the one who initiated it) to complete the collection among you also.7Therefore, because you’re prospering in everything – in your faith, words, knowledge, eagerness, and in our love for you – may you share your prosperity through similar [acts of] loving kindness.8I’m not saying this to pressure you; [I’m saying this] because these others have been so eager, and because I want to prove the genuineness of your love.9Of course, you know of the loving care that was shown by our Lord Jesus the Anointed One... Even though he was rich, he became poor for your sakes in order to make you rich through his poverty.10This is my opinion on the best way to handle it:Last year, you were the first ones who wanted to give, and you even started contributing. 11So now, finish what you started, and bring all of that eagerness and willingness to a climax. Just give from whatever you have on hand; 12for when [people] are already willing, it’s best to accept what they have rather than what they don’t have.13Understand that I’m not trying to make it harder on you than for the others, 14because everything balances out. If you can give more right now, it’ll make up for those who can give less. And if others can give more than you, it’ll make up for those who can give less.So, everything balances out.15As it’s written:Those who gathered more didn’t have too much, and the rest that gathered little didn’t lack. [Exodus 16:18]16Now, thanks to God that He’s put the same earnestness [that I have] for you into the heart of Titus, 17for he’s responded to your encouragement and he’s decided to return to you quickly.18We’re also sending a brother along with him whose praise in the good news has spread throughout all the congregations. 19He’s the one who was appointed by the congregations to be our traveling companion, and who’ll actually distribute the gifts that are so willingly being donated for the glory of the Lord.20That way, we can avoid having anyone complain about us over the generous contributions that are being handled by us. 21For we’re planning ahead to do good things – not just in the sight of the Lord, but also from the viewpoint of men.22And of course:We’re sending along our brother who’s proven to be zealous so many times and in so many ways, but who’s now even more eager because of his greater confidence in you. 23Now, if there are any questions about Titus, [let me say that] he’s my partner and co-worker for your interests.Or if [there are any questions] about [the rest of] our brothers, [let me say that] they’re apostles to the congregations and a glory to the Anointed One. 24So now, prove your love for them – [the love] that we’ve been boasting about to the congregations.

    9

    1Regarding the collections for the Holy Ones:I really don’t have to write anything about this to you, 2for I know how eager you’ve been. I’ve even bragged to the Macedonians about you, telling them that Achaia has been ready for a year now, and your zeal has been an incentive to most of them.3So at this time, I’m sending the brothers [to you] to prove that our boasting about you hasn’t been in vain… And I hope that you’re ready, as I said you’d be. 4Otherwise, if the Macedonians should come with me and find that you aren’t ready, we’d be shamed by the assurances we gave them.5So, I thought it’d be best to encourage the brothers to come to you ahead of time in order for you to start collecting the generous gift that you promised. That way, what’s given will, in fact, be a generous gift and not something that we’ve extorted from you!6Remember that those who plant little will harvest little, while those who plant much will harvest much. 7So, may each of you do whatever you’ve resolved in your hearts… But not grudgingly or because you feel pressured, since...God loves a cheerful giver. [Proverbs 22:8, LXX]8Moreover, God is able to show all of His loving kindness towards you, so that you can have more than enough of everything and an abundance of good deeds!9As it is written:They contribute to those who are needy,And throughout the ages, they prove themselves just.[Psalm 112:9]10Therefore, may the One who supplies an abundance of seeds to the farmers and plenty of bread to the hungry, supply (and even multiply) the seeds that you need for planting, and may He increase your harvests because of your righteousness, 11so that you’ll be made rich because of your generosity…Yes, thank God for that!12For the purpose of this community service isn’t just to supply the [physical] needs of the Holy Ones abundantly, but also to [make you] rich through their many words of thanks to God.13Realize that the proof of the value of the service [you’re performing] is when others glorify God because of your generous contributions to them and to everyone else, as you continue to obey and preach the good news about the Anointed One.14And this is why they’re praying for you and are longing [to see] you… Because of the tremendous loving care that God has shown to them through you.15Yes, thanks to God for His indescribable gifts!

    10

    1Now, I Paul (whose appearance is considered lowly among you) am pleading with you [in the same] mild and obedient ways as did the Anointed One. And although I’m not there, I hope that I can be so bold as to say this to you:2I beg that in my absence, I can unflinchingly dare to take on some among you who think of us as just walking in the flesh! 3For even though we’re only, in fact, flesh, we don’t fight in fleshly ways, 4because the weapons that we use aren’t fleshly… They come from the power of God and they can tear down mighty fortifications!5So, this is what we’ll use to tear down their ideas and all the high-minded things that they’re raising against the knowledge of God... Yes, we can capture all of their thoughts and then force them to obey the Anointed One!6We’re also ready to avenge any disobedience (whenever there’s disobedience) 7of those who are just looking at our faces!Therefore, let those who are trusting that they belong to the Anointed One remember this:As they belong to the Anointed One, so do we!8And even if I do boast a little too much about the power that the Lord gave me to build you up (not to tear you down), 9I won’t be ashamed if I also give you the impression that I want to terrify you with my letters.10For it’s a fact that some of you are saying:‘His letters are heavy and forceful, but when he’s here, he looks weak and what he says has little value!’11So, may they be reminded that what we write about in letters when we’re away, is what we’re going to do when we get there!12Notice that we don’t dare to make any comparisons…We aren’t comparing ourselves with those who think too much of themselves, because when they measure themselves (when they compare themselves against themselves), they aren’t reaching the right conclusions.13However, we don’t have to brag about how we measure up, for we gauge everything by the yard stick that God gave us… And that stick reaches as far as you!14Therefore, we aren’t just stretching ourselves out far enough that we can’t reach you, because we were the first to come all the way to you [when we] preached the good news to you about the Anointed One. 15And those braggarts can’t really measure [themselves against] the efforts of others.What we’re hoping is that as your faith grows, we’ll be recognized as great among you when you measure us by this same ruler; For then we’ll [see more results] 16as we go out preaching the good news to regions that are far beyond you, and there’ll be no more boasting over how we measure up by someone else’s stick.17Let those who boast, boast in Jehovah. [Jeremiah 9:23]18So understand that those who think of themselves as being important aren’t necessarily the ones who’ll be approved…Just those who are recommended by our Lord!

    11

    1I wish that you’d bear with me in my foolishness… But then, you are bearing with me. 2For I’m jealous over you with a Godly zeal, since I personally promised you in marriage as chaste virgins to a husband…Yes, to stand beside the Anointed One!3However, I’m afraid that somehow, in the same way that the snake cunningly seduced Eve, your minds might be corrupted away from the sincerity and chastity that we owe to the Anointed One.4For [I know that] if [someone] should come preaching about a Jesus other than the one whom we preached to you, or if you should receive a spirit other than the one you’ve already received, or if [you should hear] good news other than what you’ve [already] accepted, you’d likely tolerate it too well.5Now, I don’t think that I’ve done anything to prove myself inferior to your super-fine ‘apostles.’ 6And even if I’m an unskilled speaker, I’m certainly not [inferior] when it comes to knowledge, for I’ve shown this to you in everything and in every way!7Did I commit some sin by humbling myself so as to make you greater when I gladly preached the good news of God to you free of charge?8If so, then I must have robbed other congregations by accepting their provisions in order to serve you! 9For when I was with you and I needed something, I didn’t make myself a burden to anyone…And then the brothers that came from Macedonia supplied what I needed more than adequately.Yes, I’ve kept myself from being a burden to you in every way, and I’ll keep on doing so! 10As the truth of Anointed One is in me, nobody will stop me boasting about this in the regions of Achaia.11Why not? Is it because I don’t love you?God knows [that I do].12So what I’m doing is what I’ll continue to do in order to cut off the attacks from those who wish to attack me… Those who want to be proclaimed our equals in this thing they’re bragging about.13For they’re false apostles… Deceivers who are trying to turn themselves into the Apostles of the Anointed One. 14And this shouldn’t come as [a great] surprise to you, since the Opposer keeps turning himself into a messenger of light.15Therefore, it should be expected that those who serve him would also turn themselves into servants of righteousness. However, their end will show up what they’re doing.16Allow me to say this once again:Don’t let anyone think that I’m foolish!But even if you should choose to accept me while you believe that I’m foolish, that gives me a bit more reason to boast.17Now, I’m not saying this to follow the Lord’s example, but foolishly as a braggart… 18Yes, since many [of you] are bragging as humans do, I’ll boast also.19It seems that you’re just too happy to put up with foolish people, because you’re all so ‘reasonable.’ 20In fact, you put up with anyone that enslaves, or eats, or takes, or that elevates himself, or slaps you on the face!21Therefore, in dishonor, I’ll speak as though we had all been weak… And if anyone is daring, I’ll foolishly say that I’m daring also!22Are they Hebrews? Well I’m one!
    Are they IsraElites? Me too!
    Are they a descendant of AbraHam? So am I!
    23Are they servants of the Anointed One? I reply like a crazy man… I’m even more so!For [I’ve] worked harder, been in prison more times, been beaten more that anyone else, and have often been near death!24Why, five times I received 40 strokes less one from the Judeans, 25I was beaten with rods three times, I was stoned once, I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and I’ve spent a night and a day in the sea!26In my travels, I’ve often been in danger from rivers, from robbers, from those of [my own] race, and from gentiles. [I’ve been] in danger in cities, in deserts, at sea… And I’ve been in danger from false brothers!27[Yet through all of this, I’ve continued to] work and labor hard!I’ve often been sleepless, hungry, thirsty, and starving… And many times [I’ve even been] cold and naked!28Then in addition to all of these external things, there are the anxieties [that I feel] for the congregations that flood over me each day. 29For who is weak who doesn’t make me ‘weak?’ And who stumbles into a trap who doesn’t set me ‘on fire?’30So if there has to be bragging, well then – I’ll boast about the things that show how ‘weak’ I am!31Before the God and Father of the Lord Jesus (the One who is to be praised throughout the ages), [I can swear that] I’m not lying about these things.32For in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas posted guards around the city to arrest me. 33And as a result, [the brothers] had to lower me on a wicker basket through a window in the [city] wall to help me escape from his hands!

    12

    1Yes, although it isn’t good, I have to brag…Please allow me to pass along some supernatural visions and revelations from [the] Lord:2I know of a man in the Anointed One who was caught away some 14 years ago (whether [it happened] in the body or out of the body – only God knows) into the third heaven. 3Yes, I know such a man (whether [it happened] in the body or apart from the body – only God knows) 4that was caught away into a paradise where he heard unspeakable things that are illegal for a man to discuss.5Yes, I’ll boast about a man like that, but I won’t boast about myself, other than about my own weaknesses.6Also, as I’m boasting, I won’t do it foolishly… I’ll just tell the truth.I’ll hold myself back lest anyone should give me more credit than what they see in me or what they hear anyone say about me 7when it comes to the surpassing types of revelations that I’ve shown to you.And so that I wouldn’t become too conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh… A messenger from the Opposer that keeps slapping me so I don’t get too impressed with myself!8I’ve begged the Lord three times to remove it from me, 9and he really answered me and said:‘My loving kindness is enough for you, since [your] strength is being perfected [by your] weaknesses!’Therefore, I’ll gladly boast of my weaknesses so that the power of the Anointed One will cover me like a tent!10Yes, I [actually] appreciate the weaknesses, the insults, the [times] that I’ve done without, and the persecutions and difficulties that I’ve experienced on behalf of the Anointed One... Because, when I’m weak, that’s when I’m [the most] powerful!11So now I’ve become foolish… And you’re the ones who’ve made me that way, because I should have been recommended by you! But even if I [really] were nothing, I [still] wouldn’t be less than those super-fine ‘apostles’ in any way.12Indeed, it was the proofs of [my Apostleship] that produced endurance in you by means of signs, omens, and powerful works. 13So, in what way have you received less than the rest of the congregations… Other than the fact that I wasn’t a burden to you?Kindly forgive me for this ‘wrong!’14{Look!} This is the third time that I’ve gotten ready to come to you, and [once again], I won’t be coming as a burden to you, because I’m not looking for the things you have, but for you!For the children shouldn’t be setting things aside for their parents; parents [should be setting things aside] for their children!15And as for me, I’ll happily spend and be spent for your lives!Therefore, if I love you the most, why am I the one who’s loved the least? 16May that be as it is… But I’ve never been a burden to you.Was I sneaky and did I try to capture you through trickery? 17Or did I try to take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you?18When I urged Titus [to come to you] and I sent a brother along with him... Did Titus take advantage of you in any way? Don’t we in fact both act the same way and follow in the same footsteps?19[I hope that] you’ve been thinking about all of this as we’ve been defending ourselves to you, for we’re speaking [to you] before God [and] the Anointed One.Loved ones, everything [we’ve done is] to build you up!20Yet I’m afraid that when I arrive, I might not find you to be as I wish… For then I might not be something that you’d wish for either.I don’t want to find divisions, jealousy, anger, arguing, backbiting, whispering, pride, or disorder.21For if that happens, perhaps the next time that I come, I’ll be humiliated by my God over you; and then I’ll have to mourn for the many who’ve sinned and not repented their uncleanness, immorality, and the dirty things that they’re doing.

    13

    1Now, this is the third time that I’ll be coming to you.And since from the mouths of two or three witnesses everything is proven 2(as I told you before in my second visit), although I’m not there now, I’m giving this warning once again to those of you whom [I found] sinning the last time (and to all the rest of you):When I come there the next time, I won’t put up with it!3Yet, here you are, searching for the proofs that the Anointed One is speaking through me!Realize that [Jesus] isn’t weak towards you… [in fact], he’s very powerful among you!4For although he was lifted up [to execution][Syr] in weakness, he’s now alive through the power of God! And likewise, although we’re weak in him, we are alive in him through the power of The God who’s within you.5So, keep testing yourselves to make sure that you’re really in the faith… Yes, prove what you are! For you must understand that Jesus the Anointed One is within you… That is, as long as you have his approval. 6And I truly hope you know that we haven’t been disapproved!7Now, we keep praying to God that you don’t do anything wrong.And we aren’t doing this to make ourselves look like we’re approved, but so that you may be doing what’s better even if that makes us look disapproved.8For we’re unable to do anything against the truth – only for the truth.9Therefore, we rejoice whenever we’re weak and you’re strong, because that’s what we’re praying for… For you to be restored! 10This is why I’m writing these things while I’m away… So that when I get there, I won’t have to cut anyone off.And then [I can] use the authority I’ve received from the Lord to build you up, not to tear you down!11Finally, brothers:Keep on rejoicing, growing to perfection, and being courageous.Also, be of the same mind and live peaceably, so that the God of love and peace will always be with you.12Keep on greeting each other with a holy kiss.13All the Holy Ones send you their greetings.14May the loving care of the Lord Jesus the Anointed One, the love of God, and a sharing in the Holy Breath be with all of you.May it be so!


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