3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, 2
5 For as Christ's sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ 3 does our encouragement also overflow.
7 Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement. 4
9 Indeed, we had accepted within ourselves the sentence of death, 6 that we might trust not in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.
12 7 8 For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with the simplicity and sincerity of God, (and) not by human wisdom but by the grace of God.
15 With this confidence I formerly intended to come 9 to you so that you might receive a double favor,
17 So when I intended this, did I act lightly? 10 Or do I make my plans according to human considerations, so that with me it is ＂yes, yes＂ and ＂no, no＂?
18 As God is faithful, 11 our word to you is not ＂yes＂ and ＂no.＂
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us, Silvanus and Timothy and me, was not ＂yes＂ and ＂no,＂ but ＂yes＂ has been in him.
21 12 But the one who gives us security with you in Christ and who anointed us is God;
23 But I call upon God as witness, on my life, that it is to spare you that I have not yet gone to
1 [1-11] The opening follows the usual Pauline form, except that the thanksgiving takes the form of a doxology or glorification of God (2 Cor 1:3). This introduces a meditation on the experience of suffering and encouragement shared by Paul and the Corinthians (2 Cor 1:4-7), drawn, at least in part, from Paul's reflections on a recent affliction (2 Cor 1:8-10). The section ends with a modified and delayed allusion to thanksgiving (2 Cor 1:11).
2  God of all encouragement: Paul expands a standard Jewish blessing so as to state the theme of the paragraph. The theme of ＂encouragement＂ or ＂consolation＂ (paraklesis) occurs ten times in this opening, against a background formed by multiple references to ＂affliction＂ and ＂suffering.＂
3  Through Christ: the Father of compassion is the Father of our Lord Jesus (2 Cor 1:3); Paul's sufferings and encouragement (or ＂consolation＂) are experienced in union with Christ. Cf Luke 2:25: the ＂consolation of Israel＂ is Jesus himself.
4  You also share in the encouragement: the eschatological reversal of affliction and encouragement that Christians expect (cf Matthew 5:4; Luke 6:24) permits some present experience of reversal in the Corinthians' case, as in Paul's.
5  Asia: a Roman province in western Asia Minor, the capital of which was
6 [9-10] The sentence of death: it is unclear whether Paul is alluding to a physical illness or to an external threat to life. The result of the situation was to produce an attitude of faith in God alone. God who raises the dead: rescue is the constant pattern of God's activity; his final act of encouragement is the resurrection.
7 [1:12-2:13] The autobiographical remarks about the crisis in
8 [12-14] Since Paul's own conduct will be under discussion here, he prefaces the section with a statement about his habitual behavior and attitude toward the community. He protests his openness, single-mindedness, and conformity to God's grace; he hopes that his relationship with them will be marked by mutual understanding and pride, which will constantly increase until it reaches its climax at the judgment. Two references to boasting frame this paragraph (2 Cor 1:12, 14), the first appearances of a theme that will be important in the letter, especially in 2 Cor 10-13; the term is used in a positive sense here (cf the note on 1 Cor 1:29-31).
9  I formerly intended to come: this plan reads like a revision of the one mentioned in 1 Cor 16:5. Not until 2 Cor 1:23-2:1 will Paul tell us something his original readers already knew, that he has canceled one or the other of these projected visits.
10  Did I act lightly?: the subsequent change of plans casts suspicion on the original intention, creating the impression that Paul is vacillating and inconsistent or that human considerations keep dictating shifts in his goals and projects (cf the counterclaim of 2 Cor 1:12). ＂Yes, yes＂ and ＂no, no＂: stating something and denying it in the same or the next breath; being of two minds at once, or from one moment to the next.
11 [18-22] As God is faithful: unable to deny the change in plans, Paul nonetheless asserts the firmness of the original plan and claims a profound constancy in his life and work. He grounds his defense in God himself, who is firm and reliable; this quality can also be predicated in various ways of those who are associated with him. Christ, Paul, and the Corinthians all participate in analogous ways in the constancy of God. A number of the terms here, which appear related only conceptually in Greek or English, would be variations of the same root, mn, in a Semitic language, and thus naturally associated in a Semitic mind, such as Paul's. These include the words yes (2 Cor 1:17-20), faithful (2 Cor 1:18), Amen (2 Cor 1:20), gives us security (2 Cor 1:21), faith, stand firm (2 Cor 24).
12 [21-22] The commercial terms gives us security, seal, first installment are here used analogously to refer to the process of initiation into the Christian life, perhaps specifically to baptism. The passage is clearly trinitarian. The Spirit is the first installment or ＂down payment＂ of the full messianic benefits that God guarantees to Christians. Cf Eph 1:13-14.
13 [23-24] I have not yet gone to Corinth: some suppose that Paul received word of some affair in Corinth, which he decided to regulate by letter even before the first of his projected visits (cf 2 Cor 1:16). Others conjecture that he did pay the first visit, was offended there (cf 2 Cor 2:5), returned to