Written to the congregation in Corinth, Greece for the Apostle Paul (possibly by Sylvanus and possibly in Aramaic) within months after writing 1 Corinthians.

Chapter 1

1 Paul, who by the Will of God is an Apostle of the Anointed Jesus, and our brother Timothy, to the called ones of God in Corinth, as well as to all the Holy Ones throughout Achaia; 2 May you receive peace and loving care from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus the Anointed.

3 May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed One Š the Father of mercy and the God of all comfort Š be praised. 4 For [HeÕs] the One who comforts us during all our trials and enables us to comfort others who are undergoing trials through the comfort that we receive from Him. 5 And since we have received plenty of suffering because of the Anointed One, weÕve also received plenty of comfort through the Anointed OneÉ may it ever be so!

6 [We want you to know that] when we are being tried, itÕs on behalf of your comfort and salvation. And we are comforted by the fact that the comfort [you receive] is helping you to endure the trials that we [all] share in suffering. 7 So our hope for you is firm, because we know that since youÕre sharing in the suffering, youÕll also share in the comfort.

8 Brothers, we wanted to tell you of the trials that we had to endure while we were in [the province of] Asia. For we were under so much pressure that we thought there was no way out and we feared for our livesÉ 9 in fact, we believed that we had been condemned to death. But this taught us not to trust in ourselves, but in The God who raises the dead, 10 because He rescued us and has continued to rescue us from such a great thing as deathÉ and we hope that HeÕll keep on rescuing us. 11 You can help in this matter by praying for us, so that many faces will give thanks for the gifts that we are so kindly being given.

12 Yes, this is something about which we can boast and to which our consciences can testify: It wasnÕt with fleshly wisdom, but through GodÕs loving care that weÕve been conducting ourselves in holy ways and in godly sincerity toward this system of things, and especially toward you.

13 Now, weÕre really writing to you concerning things about which you already know and understand, and which I hope that you will keep on recognizing to the end: 14 That we are something about which you can boast, just as youÕll be for us in the Day of our Lord Jesus.

15 So, itÕs with this type of confidence that I had planned to come to youÉ to give you another reason for joy. 16 I wanted to come there on my way to Macedonia and to stop over on my way back, then to have you escort me part of the way to Judea. 17 And when I hoped to do this, donÕt think that I did so lightly. Rather, believe that what I had planned to do in the flesh is what I really planned to do, so that my yes would mean yes and my no would mean no.

18 You can trust in God that when we tell you yes, we donÕt mean no, 19 because the Son of The God (the Anointed Jesus) about whom Silvanus, Timothy, and I have preached to you didnÕt become yes, but really no; for his yes really meant yes! 20 So all the promises of God Š as many as there are Š have become yes through him, and in him is the ŌMay it be so,Õ [which we say] to the glory of The God.

21 And indeed, the One who confirmed us into the Anointed One among you, and the One who anointed us, is God. 22 So He is the One who sealed us and gave us the pledge of [His] Spirit that we now have in our hearts.

23 Therefore, I call God as a witness against myself, that the reason why I havenÕt come to you in Corinth yet is to spare you. 24 For we arenÕt the masters of your faith, weÕre just co-workers for your joy, since your faith is what has enabled you to stand firm.

Chapter 2

1 IÕve decided not to come to you again as long as IÕm feeling sad about you. 2 For if IÕve made you sad, then whom do I have to cheer me up other than those whoÕve been saddened by me? 3 As the result, IÕm writing this so that when I do get there, those over whom I should be rejoicing wonÕt sadden me, since IÕm confident that I have reasons to be joyful over them. 4 And IÕm writing with great difficulty, pain of heart, and with tears, not to make you sadder, but to let you know of the special love that I have for you.

5 So if someone else has saddened you, he hasnÕt saddened meÉ therefore I wonÕt be laying any further burdens on you, 6 since the discipline that the majority of you gave this man was sufficient. 7 You can kindly forgive him and comfort him now, so that he wonÕt somehow be swallowed up by his deep sadnessÉ 8 yes, IÕm telling you to let him know that you love him!

9 The reason why I wrote you [before] was to prove that youÕre obedient in everything, 10 and that if you forgive anyone for anything, I do too. For when I forgive someone on your behalf before the Anointed One (that is, if I should ever have anything to forgive), 11 itÕs so that none are lost to the Opposer, since we know how he operates.

12 I wanted to tell you that when I got to Troas to preach the good news about the Anointed One and found that a doorway of the Lord had been opened to me there, 13 I was deeply disturbed by the fact that I couldnÕt find my brother Titus. So I left the others and traveled on to Macedonia. 14 And thanks to God, who (through the Anointed One) always leads us triumphantly and uses us to make the [sweet] smell of knowledge about Him known everywhere; 15 for [He has made us] the sweet smell of God and the Anointed One to those who are perishing and to those who are being savedÉ 16 yes, the smell of death to the dying and of life to the living!

So, who is qualified to do this work? 17 We arenÕt like others who are peddlers of the word of God. Rather, we speak sincerely from God and before God, through the Anointed One.

Chapter 3

1 So now, do we have to introduce ourselves to you again, or do we (as do some men) need introductory letters either to you or from you? 2 For you are our letters that are written in our hearts, which are recognized and being read by all men, 3 since youÕve proven to be a letter of the Anointed One whom we are serving. And you arenÕt written in ink, but in the Breath of the living GodÉ not on tablets made of stone, but on tablets made of fleshÉ on hearts! 4 We are now even more confident of this, through the Anointed One and by The God.

5 No, we should never start thinking that any of this comes from ourselves, because all of our qualifications come from The God. 6 For HeÕs the One who qualifies us to be the ministers of a New Sacred Agreement, which isnÕt something thatÕs written but comes from the Breath [of God], since the thing thatÕs written brings death, while the Breath [of God] gives life!

7 So if service to the written letters (which were engraved in stone and bring death) came with so much glory that the sons of IsraEl couldnÕt even look at MosesÕ face because of the shine (that was to pass away); 8 why shouldnÕt becoming servants to [something from] His Breath bring even greater glory? 9 Yes, if service to something that condemns brought glory, how much more should serving something [that leads to] righteousness bring glory, 10 since that which was once so glorious has now lost its glory because of this more glorious thing? 11 And if the thing that was to pass away came in great glory, then how much more will this new thing be glorified?

12 So, since we now have such a hope, we can speak out clearly. 13 We donÕt have to do the same as Moses did, for he had to put a veil over his face so the sons of IsraEl wouldnÕt see something that was to be done away with in the end. 14 And this [veil] has hardened their minds down to this day, for the veil still hangs there as a covering whenever the Old Sacred Agreement is being read, though it has already been done away with by means of the Anointed One.

15 Yes, whenever Moses is read today, they still have a veil over their hearts, 16 which is removed when they turn to the Lord. 17 For the Lord is [now a] spirit, and wherever the spirit of the Lord is, thereÕs freedom! 18 Therefore, when we uncover our faces, each of us have the glory of the LordÉ we reflect his glory like mirrors, and we are transformed from [the old] glory to [a new] glory that comes from the spirit of the Lord.

Chapter 4

1 So, because of this service to which weÕve been so mercifully assigned, we havenÕt given up. 2 Rather, what we have given up is those things that lead to shame! No, we arenÕt sneaking around and changing the Word of God; rather, weÕre making the truth known! And before God, weÕre proving ourselves worthy to the consciences of all men. 3 So if the good news that we bring is hidden in any way, itÕs only hidden to those who are dyingÉ 4 to 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.

5 We arenÕt preaching about ourselves, but about the Anointed Jesus, our Lord! And weÕve become your slaves for JesusÕ sake, 6 because God said, ŌLight will shine from the darkness.Õ And He has caused this light of knowledge about the glory of God to shine into our hearts through the face of Jesus the Anointed. 7 Yes, weÕre storing this treasure within [these] clay pots, so that the power may prove to be GodÕs and not our own.

8 Therefore, although weÕve been under pressure in every conceivable way, weÕve never been cornered; although [there were times when] we didnÕt know a way out, weÕve never been left without a way; 9 although weÕve been persecuted, weÕve never been let down; and though weÕve been knocked down, weÕve never been destroyed. 10 For we always bear the death of JesusÕ body so that the life of Jesus can be seen in our bodies. 11 [And thatÕs why] those of us who are [still] living are always being handed over to death for JesusÕ sakeÉ so that the life of Jesus can be seen in our dying flesh. 12 As the result, death is at work in us, while life [is at work] in you.

13 So, we share the same spirit of faith; for itÕs written: ŌBecause I had faith, I spoke.Õ And this is why weÕre speaking about the things in which we believe! 14 For we know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us to be with JesusÉ and when that happens, weÕll be standing there beside you! 15 Yes, everything is being done through you, so that this loving care can grow as [you] continue to grow, and there will be even more giving of thanks to GodÕs glory.

16 No, we arenÕt behaving badly. And though the man [you see] on the outside is wasting away, the man on the inside is being renewed day by day. 17 For the difficulties that [we currently have to endure] are far less than what the age-long glory is producing in us. 18 So you should just disregard the things that you can see and notice the things that you canÕt see. For the things that you can see are temporary, while the things you canÕt see will last through the ages.

Chapter 5

1 Here is one thing that we know [for sure]: If our earthly house (this temporary dwelling) is destroyed, we still have a dwelling from God that lasts through the agesÉ a house in the heavens that isnÕt made with hands 2 and about which we groan, because we long to be clothed in that house from heaven 3 so that we arenÕt found to be stripped naked. 5 Yes, while we are still in this temporary dwelling, weÕre groaning and under pressure, because we donÕt really want to take it off and put on the other so as to allow that which is dying to be swallowed by life.

5 Now, the One who prepared us for this purpose is God, and He has given us an advance paymentÉ His Breath. 6 Therefore, we can be courageous, because we know that as long as we are at home in this body, we arenÕt at home with the LordÉ 7 so weÕre walking by faith, not by something we can see.

8 Yes, we can be courageous, for weÕll be happy to leave this body so we can be at home with the Lord. 9 And we love the fact that whether we are in this home or we leave it, he is still pleased with us. 10 However, everything about us must be revealed when we stand before the judgment seat of the Anointed One; for what we will each receive will be based on the things that we did while we were in this body, whether itÕs good or foul.

11 So, since we have come to know the fear of the Lord, we continue to persuade men [to turn toward] God. And I hope that we have shown your consciences what we really are, 12 so we wonÕt have to prove ourselves to you againÉ and then youÕll reasons to boast about us and have something to offer to those who are more influenced by what we look like on the outside than by what is really in [our] hearts.

13 So if we seem to be crazy to you, [weÕre crazy] to God, while weÕre sound in mind when it comes to you.

14 Indeed, weÕre all bound together by the love of the Anointed One; for we have concluded that he died for us all, because we are all dying. 15 Yes, he died for all of us so that none of the living might live for themselves anymore, but for the one who died for them and was raised.

16 So from now on, we donÕt know anyone by the flesh. And even if we knew the Anointed One in the flesh; we certainly donÕt know him that way anymore. 17 For all who are in the Anointed One are a new creation! Yes, the old things have passed awayÉ but {Look!} now theyÕve been made new! 18 And it all comes from The God who has restored us to a good relationship with Himself through the Anointed One.

Therefore, [God] has assigned us to be the servants of a restored relationship with Him! 19 For through the Anointed One, God is bringing the world back into a good relationship with Himself by no longer holding their sins against them. And because He has put the message of this reconciliation within us, 20 weÕve become the ambassadors of the Anointed One, and God is calling [people] through us. Yes, we are begging them through the Anointed One to come back to a [good] relationship with God, 21 since He made this one who didnÕt know sin to be sin for us, so that we could become the righteousness of God through him.

Chapter 6

1 Moreover, since we are your fellow workers, we urge you not to waste the loving care of God that youÕve received. 2 For He says:
ŌIn a season of favor, I heard you,
And in a day of salvation, I came to your aid.Õ

So look! This is the season of favor! And look! This is the day of salvation!Õ

3 Therefore, we arenÕt doing anything that might offend anyone, so that our service might remain spotless. 4 And weÕre taking our stand as GodÕs servants in everythingÉ by enduring many difficulties, by shortages of necessities, 5 by beatings, by imprisonment, by mobs, by hard work, by sleepless nights, by hunger, 6 by holiness, by knowledge, by patience, by loving care (through the Holy Breath), and by love that isnÕt judgmental.

7 WeÕre 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) 8 through glory and dishonor, through bad reputations and good reputations, as ŌdeceiversÕ who tell the truth, 9 as unknown but recognized among the dying (and yet, lookÉ weÕre alive!), as those who were disciplined but not yet condemned to death, 10 as sad but always rejoicing, as poor but making many rich, and as having nothing while owning it all!

11 Therefore, our mouths and our hearts have been spread wide open to you Corinthians! 12 So, you arenÕt having a hard time finding room in us; youÕre having a hard time making room [for us] in yourselves. 13 Just be fair with us! IÕm telling you as [my] children: Make room for us!

14 You 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? 15 Yes, what harmony is there between the Anointed One and [the demon] BeliEl, or what can a faithful person share with an unbelieverÉ 16 how can a holy dwelling of God [make room for] idols?

Yes, you must recognize that we are in fact the living and holy dwellings of The God. As God Himself said: ŌI will live and walk among themÉ IÕll be their God and theyÕll be My people.Õ 17 And, ŌCome out from among them and separate yourselvesÉ Stop touching unclean things, and IÕll take you in, says JehovahŌ É 18 ŌThen IÕll be your Father, and youÕll be My sons and My daughters, says Jehovah, the Almighty.Õ

Chapter 7

1 So, since weÕve been given these promises, loved ones; letÕs wash off all the filth of the flesh and the person weÕve been on the inside, and become perfectly holy in our fear of The God.

2 Also, make room for us, because we havenÕt wronged anyone, corrupted anyone, or taken advantage of anyone. 3 IÕm not saying this to condemn you, because, as I told you before, youÕre in our heartsÉ so weÕll live together and die together! 4 And this why I feel so perfectly free to speak to you. Yes, IÕm 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 weÕve shared together!

5 [I want you to understand that] since weÕve arrived in here Macedonia, our bodies havenÕt had any relief, for there have been problems over everything. On the outside there are conflicts, and on the inside there are fears. 6 However, The God who gives comfort to the lowly has provided comfort to us through the presence of Titus. 7 And it wasnÕt just his presence alone that brought us comfortÉ 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.

8 So if what I wrote in my [first] letter made you sad, I donÕt regret it. And even if I did regret it [at first], I see that my letter only saddened you for a little while. 9 So now IÕm rejoicingÉ 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 didnÕt damage you. 10 For being sad in a Godly way brings a repentance that results in salvation (and thereÕs nothing to regret about that), while the sadness of this world brings death.

11 And look at what this sadness in a Godly way has accomplishedÉ see how it speeded things up and gave us answersÉ how it caused indignation, fear, desire, zeal, and vengeance! Because after that, you proved yourselves pure in every way in this matter!

12 Now, I didnÕt 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, 13 and this is what has 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 that he is within has been refreshed by all of you.

14 Therefore, if I have boasted to him about you, IÕve had no reason to be ashamed of it, because everything that I said about you is trueÉ yes, after we bragged about you to Titus, it has all proven to be true! 15 And he cares for you even more deeply now, as he remembers how well youÕve obeyed, and how all of you received him with fear and trembling. 16 So IÕm rejoicing and IÕm encouraged in every way because of you!

Chapter 8

1 Brothers, we want to tell you about how GodÕs loving care has been shown toward the congregations in Macedonia. 2 Although they are undergoing many trials and difficulties, their great joy and deep poverty brought out the richness of their generosity. 3 For as they were able (and I testify that it was more than they were able to do) 4 and of their own accord, they kept begging us to [allow them to] have a share in contributing to the collection for the Holy Ones. 5 And it wasnÕt just as we had hoped they would do; first they gave to the Lord, and then they gave to us (as it was GodÕs Will). 6 So this led us to encourage Titus (since he was the one who initiated it) to complete the collection among you also.

7 Therefore, because youÕre prospering in everything Š in your faith, words, knowledge, eagerness, and in our love for you Š may you share your prosperity through similar [acts of] loving kindness.

8 IÕm not saying this to pressure you; [IÕm saying this] because these others have been so eager, and because I want to prove the genuineness of your love.

9 Of course, you know of the loving care that was shown by our Lord Jesus the Anointed One; for though he was rich, he became poor for your sakes in order to make you rich through his poverty.

10 This 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. 11 So now, finish what you started, and bring all of that eagerness and willingness to a climax. Just give from whatever you have on hand; 12 for when [people] are already willing, itÕs best to accept what they have rather than what they donÕt have.

13 Understand that IÕm not trying to make it harder on you than for the others, 14 because everything balances out. If you can give more right now, it will make up for those who can give less. And if others can give more than you, it will make up for those who can give less. So everything balances out. 15 As it is written: ŌThose who gathered more didnÕt have too much, and the rest who gathered little didnÕt lack.Õ

16 Now, thanks to God that He has put the same earnestness [that I have] for you into the heart of Titus, 17 for he has responded to your encouragement and heÕs decided to return to you quickly.

18 WeÕre also sending a brother along with him whose praise in the good news has spread throughout all the congregations. 19 HeÕs the one that was appointed by the congregations to be our traveling companion, and who will actually distribute the gifts that are so willingly being donated for the glory of the Lord. 20 That way, we can avoid having anyone complain about us over the generous contributions that are being handled by us. 21 For we are planning ahead to do good things not just in the sight of the Lord, but also from the viewpoint of men.

22 And of course; weÕre sending along our brother who has proven to be zealous so many times and in so many ways, but who is now even more eager because of his greater confidence in you.

23 If there are any questions about Titus; heÕs my partner and co-worker for your interests. Or if [there are any questions] about [the rest of] our brothers; they are apostles to the congregations and a glory to the Anointed One. 24 So now, prove your love for them that weÕve been boasting about to the congregations.

Chapter 9

1 Regarding the collections for the Holy Ones; I really donÕt have to write anything about this to you, 2 for I know how eager youÕve been. IÕve 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. 3 So at this time, IÕm sending the brothers [to you] to prove that our boasting about you hasnÕt been in vainÉ and I hope that youÕre ready, as I said youÕd be. 4 Otherwise, if the Macedonians should come with me and find that you arenÕt ready, weÕd be shamed by the assurances we gave them. 5

So, I thought it would 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 is given will for a fact be a generous gift and not something that weÕve extorted from you.

6 Remember that those who plant little will harvest little, while those who plant much will harvest much. 7 So, may each of you do whatever youÕve resolved in your heartsÉ but not grudgingly or because you feel pressured, since God loves a cheerful giver.

8 Moreover, God is able to show all of His loving kindness toward you, so that you can have more than enough of everything and an abundance of good deeds! 9 As it is written:
ŌThey contribute to those who are needy,
And through the ages, they prove themselves just.Õ

10 Therefore, 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, 11 so that you will be made rich because of your generosityÉ yes, thank God for that!

12 For the purpose of this community service isnÕt just to supply the needs of the Holy Ones abundantly, but also to [make you] rich through their many words of thanks to God. 13 Realize that the proof of the value of the service [that you are performing] is when others glorify God because of you over your generous contributions to them and to everyone else, as you continue to obey and preach the good news about the Anointed One. 14 And this is why theyÕre praying for you and longing [to see] youÉ because of the tremendous loving care that God has shown to them through you. 15 Yes, thanks to God for His indescribable gifts!

Chapter 10

1 Now, I Paul Š whose appearance is considered lowly among you Š am pleading with you [in the same] mild and obedient ways as did the Anointed One. And though IÕm not there, I hope that I can be so bold as to say this to you: 2 I 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. 3 For although we are in fact just flesh, we donÕt fight in fleshly ways, 4 because the weapons that we use arenÕt fleshlyÉ they come from the power of God and they can tear down mighty fortifications!

5 So, this is what we will use to tear down their ideas and all the high-minded things that they are raising against the knowledge of God. Yes, we can capture all their thoughts and then force them to obey the Anointed One! 6 We are also ready to avenge any disobedience (whenever there is disobedience) 7 of 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! 8 And 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), 9 IÕm not ashamed if I also give you the impression that I want to terrify you with my letters. 10 For itÕs a fact that some of you are saying, ŌHis letters are heavy and forceful, but when heÕs here, he looks weak and what he says has little value.Õ 11 So, may they be reminded that what we write about in letters when weÕre away, is what weÕre going to do when we get there!

12 Notice that we donÕt dare to make any comparisonsÉ we arenÕt comparing ourselves with those who think too much of themselves, because when they measure themselves (when they compare themselves against themselves), they arenÕt reaching the right conclusions. 13 However, we donÕt have to brag about how we measure up, for we gauge everything by the yard stick that God gave usÉ and that stick reaches as far as you!

14 So, we arenÕt stretching ourselves out so far that we canÕt 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. 15 Therefore, those braggarts canÕt really measure [themselves against] the efforts of others.

What we are hoping is that as your faith grows, we will be recognized as great among you when you measure us by this same ruler; for then we will [see more results] 16 as we go out preaching the good news to regions that are far beyond you, and there will be no more boasting over how we measure up to someone elseÕs stick. 17 [As the Prophet said,] ŌLet those who boast, boast in Jehovah

18 So understand that those who think of themselves as being important arenÕt necessarily the ones that will be approvedÉ just those who are recommended by our Lord!

Chapter 11

1 I wish that youÕd bear with me in my foolishnessÉ but then, you are bearing with me. 2 For IÕm jealous over you with a Godly zeal, since I personally promised you in marriage as chaste virgins to a husbandÉ yes, to stand beside the Anointed One. 3 However, IÕm 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. 4 For [I know that] if [someone] should come preaching about a Jesus other than the one that we preached to you, or if you should receive a spirit other than the one youÕve already received, or if [you should hear] good news other than what youÕve [already] accepted, you would likely tolerate it too well.

5 Now, I donÕt think that IÕve done anything to prove myself inferior to your super-fine Ōapostles.Õ 6 And even if I am an unskilled speaker, IÕm certainly not [inferior] when it comes to knowledge, for IÕve shown this to you in everything and in every way!

7 Did 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? 8 If so, then I must have robbed other congregations by accepting their provisions in order to serve you! 9 For when I was with you and I needed something, I didnÕt make myself a burden to anyoneÉ and then the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed more than adequately.

Yes, IÕve kept myself from being a burden to you in every way, and I will keep on doing so! 10 By the Anointed One; itÕs a fact that I wonÕt allow anyone to end to this reason for my boasting in the area of Achaia. 11 Why not? Is it because I donÕt love you? God knows [that I do].

12 So, what IÕm doing is what I will continue to do in order to cut off the attacks from those who wish to attack [me]É those who want to be proclaimed our equals in this thing about which theyÕre bragging. 13 For they are false apostlesÉ deceivers who are trying to turn themselves into the Apostles of the Anointed One. 14 And this shouldnÕt come as [a great] surprise to you, since the Opposer keeps turning himself into a messenger of light. 15 Therefore, it should be expected that those who serve him would also turn themselves into servants of righteousness. However, their end will show up what theyÕre doing.

16 Allow me to say this once again: DonÕt let anyone think that IÕm foolish! But even if you should choose to accept me while you believe that IÕm foolish, that gives me a bit more reason to boast.

17 Now, IÕm not saying this to follow the LordÕs example, but foolishly as a braggartÉ 18 yes, since many [of you] are bragging as humans do, IÕll boast also. 19 It seems that youÕre just too happy to put up with foolish people, because youÕre all so reasonable. 20 In fact, you put up with anyone who enslaves, or eats, or takes, or who elevates himself, or slaps you on the face! 21 Therefore in dishonor, I will speak as though we had all been weakÉ and if anyone is daring, IÕll foolishly say that IÕm daring also!

22 Are they Hebrews? IÕm one also! Are they IsraElites? Me too! Are they AbraHamÕs seed? So am I! 23 Are they servants of the Anointed One? I reply like a crazy manÉ IÕm even more so! For [IÕve] worked harder, been in prison more times, been beaten more that anyone else, and have often been near death! 24 Why, five times I received forty strokes less one from the Judeans, 25 I was beaten with rods three times, I was stoned once, IÕve been shipwrecked three times, and IÕve spent a night and a day in the sea!

26 In my travels, IÕve often been in danger from rivers, from robbers, from those of [my own] race, and from gentiles. [IÕve been] in danger in cities, in deserts, at seaÉ and IÕve been in danger from false brothers! 27 [Yet through all of this, IÕve continued to] work and labor hard.

IÕve often been sleepless, hungry, thirsty, and starvingÉ and many times [IÕve even been] cold and naked! 28 Then in addition to all these external things, there are the anxieties [that I feel] for the congregations that flood over me each day. 29 For, who is weak that doesnÕt make me weak, and who stumbles into a trap that doesnÕt set me on fire? 30 So if there has to be bragging; then IÕll boast about the things that show how weak I am!

31 Before the God and Father of the Lord Jesus (the One who is to be praised through the ages), [I can swear that] IÕm not lying about these things. 32 For in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas posted guards around the city to arrest me; 33 and as the 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!

Chapter 12

1 Yes, although it isnÕt good, I have to bragÉ please allow me to pass along some supernatural visions and revelations from [the] Lord:

2 I know of a man in the Anointed One who was caught away some fourteen years ago (whether [it happened] in the body or out of the body Š only God knows) into the third heaven. 3 Yes, I know such a man (whether [it happened] in the body or apart from the body Š only God knows) 4 who was caught away into a paradise where he heard unspeakable things that are illegal for a man to discuss.

5 Yes, I will boast about a man like that, but I wonÕt boast about myself, other than about my own weaknesses. 6 Also, as IÕm boasting, I wonÕt do it foolishlyÉ IÕll just tell the truth. IÕll hold myself back lest anyone should give me more credit than what they see in me or what they hear anyone say about me 7 when it comes to the surpassing types of revelations that IÕve shown to you.

And so that I wouldnÕt become too conceited, I was given a thorn in my fleshÉ a messenger from the Opposer that keeps slapping me so I donÕt get too impressed with myself. 8 IÕve begged the Lord three times to remove it from me, 9 and He really answered me and said, ŌMy loving kindness is enough for you, for [your] strength is being perfected [by your] weaknesses!Õ

Therefore IÕll gladly boast of my weaknesses so that the power of the Anointed One will cover me like a tent! 10 Yes, I [actually] appreciate the weaknesses, the insults, the [times] that IÕve done without, and the persecutions and difficulties that IÕve experienced on behalf of the Anointed One, because when IÕm weak, thatÕs when IÕm [the most] powerful!

11 So now IÕve become foolishÉ and youÕre the ones whoÕve made me that way, because I should have been recommended by you! But even if I were nothing, I wouldnÕt be less than those super-fine ŌapostlesÕ in any way.

12 Indeed, it was the proofs of [my Apostleship] that produced endurance in you by means of signs, omens, and powerful works. 13 So, in what way have you received less than the rest of the congregationsÉ other than the fact that I wasnÕt a burden to you? Kindly forgive me for this wrong!

14 {Look!} This is the third time that IÕve gotten ready to come to you, and [once again], I wonÕt be coming as a burden to you, because IÕm not looking for the things you have, but for you! For the children shouldnÕt be setting things aside for their parents; parents [should be setting things aside] for their children! 15 And as for me; I will happily spend and be spent for your lives!

Therefore, if I love you the most, why am I the one that is loved the least?

16 May that be as it isÉ but IÕve never been a burden to you.

Was I sneaky and did I try to capture you through trickery, 17 or did I try to take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18 When I urged Titus [to come to you] and I sent a brother along with him; did Titus take advantage of you in any wayÉ donÕt we in fact both act the same way and follow in the same footsteps?

19 [I hope that] youÕve been thinking about all of this as weÕve been defending ourselves to you, for we are speaking [to you] before God [and] the Anointed One!

Loved ones; everything [weÕve done is] to build you up! 20 Yet IÕm afraid that when I arrive, I may not find you to be as I wishÉ for then I might not be something that youÕd wish for either.

I donÕt want to find divisions, jealousy, anger, arguing, backbiting, whispering, pride, or disorder; 21 for if that happens, perhaps the next time I come IÕll be humiliated by my God over you and then IÕll have to mourn for the many who have sinned and not repented their uncleanness, immorality, and the dirty things that theyÕre doing.

Chapter 13

1 Now, this is the third time that IÕll 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); though IÕm not there now, IÕm 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 wonÕt put up with it!

3 Yet, here you are searching for the proofs that the Anointed One is speaking through me!

Realize that [Jesus] isnÕt weak toward youÉ [in fact], heÕs very powerful among you! 4 For though he was hung on a pole in weakness, heÕs now alive through the power of God! And likewise, although we are weak in him, we are alive in him through the power of The God thatÕs within you.

5 So, keep testing yourselves to make sure that youÕre really in the faithÉ yes, prove what you are! For you must understand that Jesus the Anointed One is within youÉ that is, as long as you have his approval. 6 And I truly hope you know that we havenÕt been disapproved!

7 Now, we keep praying to God that you donÕt do anything wrong. And we arenÕt doing this to make ourselves look like weÕre approved, but so that you may be doing whatÕs better even if that makes us look disapproved. 8 For we are unable to do anything against the truth; only for the truth.

9 Therefore, we rejoice whenever we are weak and you are strong, because thatÕs what weÕre praying forÉ for you to be restored! 10 This is why IÕm writing these things while IÕm awayÉ so that when I get there, I wonÕt have to cut anyone off. And then [I can] use the authority IÕve received from the Lord to build you up, not to tear you down!

11 Finally 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. 12 Keep on greeting each other with a holy kiss.

13 All the Holy Ones send you their greetings.

14 May 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.

Home Page

 statistics