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2 Corinthians 1:3-11

Context
Thanksgiving for God’s Comfort

1:3 Blessed is 1  the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 1:4 who comforts us in all our troubles 2  so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble 3  with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 1:5 For just as the sufferings 4  of Christ 5  overflow 6  toward us, so also our comfort through Christ overflows to you. 7  1:6 But if we are afflicted, 8  it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort that you experience in your patient endurance of the same sufferings that we also suffer. 1:7 And our hope for you is steadfast because we know that as you share in 9  our sufferings, so also you will share in 10  our comfort. 1:8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, 11  regarding the affliction that happened to us in the province of Asia, 12  that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of living. 1:9 Indeed we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us, 13  so that we would not trust in ourselves 14  but in God who raises the dead. 1:10 He 15  delivered us from so great a risk of death, and he will deliver us. We have set our hope on him 16  that 17  he will deliver us yet again, 1:11 as you also join in helping us by prayer, so that many people may give thanks to God 18  on our behalf for the gracious gift given to us through the help of many.

1 tn There is no verb in the Greek text; either the optative (“be”) or the indicative (“is”) can be supplied. The meaning of the term εὐλογητός (euloghtos) and the author’s intention at this point in the epistle must both come into play to determine which is the preferred nuance. εὐλογητός as an adjective can mean either that one is praised or that one is blessed, that is, in a place of favor and benefit. The meaning “blessed” would be more naturally paired with an indicative verb and would suggest that blessedness is an intrinsic part of God’s character. The meaning “praised” would be more naturally paired with an optative verb and would suggest that God ought to be praised. Pauline style in the epistles generally moves from statements to obligations, expressing the reality first and then the believer’s necessary response. When considered as a whole, although a decision is difficult, the general Pauline style of beginning with statements and moving to obligations argues for the indicative. Cf. also Eph 1:3; 1 Pet 1:3.

2 tn Or “our trials”; traditionally, “our affliction.” The term θλῖψις (qliyi") refers to trouble (including persecution) that involves direct suffering (L&N 22.2).

3 tn Or “any trials”; traditionally, “any affliction.”

4 tn This Greek word translated “sufferings” here (πάθημα, paqhma) is a different one than the one Paul uses for his own afflictions/persecutions (θλῖψις, qliyi") in v. 4.

5 tn I.e., suffering incurred by Paul as a consequence of his relationship to Christ. The genitive could be considered to have a causative nuance here.

6 tn Traditionally, “abound” (here and throughout this section).

7 tn The words “to you” are not in the Greek text, but are implied by the statements in the following verse.

8 tn Or “are troubled.”

9 tn Grk “as you are sharers in.”

10 tn Grk “will be sharers in.”

11 tn Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” or “fellow Christians” as here (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 1., where considerable nonbiblical evidence for the plural ἀδελφοί [adelfoi] meaning “brothers and sisters” is cited).

12 tn Grk “Asia”; in the NT this always refers to the Roman province of Asia, made up of about one-third of the west and southwest end of modern Asia Minor. Asia lay to the west of the region of Phrygia and Galatia. The words “the province of” are supplied to indicate to the modern reader that this does not refer to the continent of Asia.

13 tn Grk “we ourselves had the sentence of death within ourselves.” Here ἀπόκριμα (apokrima) is being used figuratively; no actual official verdict had been given, but in light of all the difficulties that Paul and his colleagues had suffered, it seemed to them as though such an official verdict had been rendered against them (L&N 56.26).

14 tn Or “might not put confidence in ourselves.”

15 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative clause “who delivered us…” was made a separate sentence in the translation.

16 tn Grk “deliver us, on whom we have set our hope.”

17 tc Several important witnesses, especially Alexandrian (Ì46 B D* 0121 0243 1739 1881 pc Did), lack ὅτι ({oti, “that”) here, while others, most notably Western (D1 F G 104 630 1505 pc ar b syh Or Ambst), lack ἔτι (eti, “yet”). Most mss, including important Alexandrians (א A C D2 Ψ 33 Ï f t vg), have the full expression ὅτι καὶ ἔτι ({oti kai eti). Although the predominantly Alexandrian reading has much to commend it, the fact that either ὅτι or ἔτι has been dropped, while the καί has been retained, suggests that the original wording had ὅτι καὶ ἔτι, and that either particle dropped out intentionally for stylistic reasons. (F and G have the order καί ὅτι, suggesting that in their archetype the ἔτι was unintentionally dropped due to homoioteleuton.) If, however, ὅτι is not authentic, v. 10b should be translated “We have set our hope on him, and he will deliver us again.” Overall, a decision is difficult, but preference should be given to ὅτι καὶ ἔτι.

18 tn Grk “so that thanks may be given by many.” The words “to God” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. The passive construction has been converted to an active one for clarity, in keeping with contemporary English style.



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