¶ Would to God, ye could suffer me a little in my foolishness: yea, and I pray you forbear me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy. For I coupled you to one man, to make you a chaste virgin to Christ: But I fear lest as the serpent beguiled Eve, thorow his subtlety, even so your wits should be corrupt from the singleness that is in Christ. For if he that cometh to you preach another Iesus than him whom we preached: or if ye receive another spirit than that which ye have received: either another gospel than that ye have received, ye might right well have been content.
¶ I suppose that I was not behind the chief apostles. Though I be rude in speaking, yet I am not so in knowledge. How be it among you we are known to the utmost what we are in all things. Did I therein sin, because I submitted myself, that ye might be exalted? and because I preached the gospel to you free? I robbed other congregations, and took wages of them, to do you service withall. And when I was present with you and had need, I was grievous to no man. For that which was lacking unto me, the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I kept myself that I should not be grievous to you: and so will I keep myself.
¶ If the truth of Christ be in me, this rejoicing shall not be taken from me in the regions of Achaia. Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth. Nevertheless what I do, that will I do to cut away occasion from them which desire occasion, that they might be found like unto us in that wherein they rejoice: For these false apostles are deceitful workers, and fashion them selves like unto the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is changed into the fashion of an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing, though his ministers fashion themselves as though they were the ministers of righteousness: whose end shall be according to their deeds.
¶ I say again lest any man think that I am foolish: or else even now take me as a fool, that I may boast myself a little. That I speak, I speak it not after the ways of the Lord: but as it were foolishly, while we are now come to boasting. Seeing that many rejoice after the flesh I will rejoice also. For ye suffer fools gladly because that ye yourselves are wise. For ye suffer even if a man bring you into bondage: if a man devour: if a man take: if a man exalt himself: if a man smite you on the face. I speak as concerning rebuke, as though we had been weak.
¶ Whereinsoever any man dare be bold (I speak foolishly) I dare be bold also. They are Hebrews, so am I: They are Israelites, even so am I: They are the seed of Abraham, even so am I. They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as a fool) I am more: In labors more abundant: In stripes above measure: In prison more plenteously: In death often. Of the Jewes five times received I every time xl. stripes, one except. Thrice was I beaten with rods. I was once stoned. I suffered thrice shipwreck. Night and day have I been in the deep of the sea. In journeying often: In perils of waters In perils of robbers. In jeopardies of mine own nation: In jeopardies among the heathen. I have been in perils in cities, in perils in wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren, in labour and travail, in watching often, in hunger, in thirst, in fastings often, in cold and in nakedness.
¶ Beside the things which outwardly happen unto me, I am cumbered daily and do care for all congregations. Who is sick: and I am not sick? Who is hurt in the faith: and my heart burneth not? If I must needs rejoice, I will rejoice of mine infirmities.
¶ God the father of our Lord Iesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. In the city of Damaschon, the governor of the people under king Aretas, laid watch in the city of the Damascens, and would have caught me, and at a window was I let down in a basket thorow the wall, and so escaped his hands.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526