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. Chapter 1.

Personal religion and the ministry


APOSTLE of Christ Jesus by God's will, and our colleague Timothy,
to the congregation of God's people at Corinth, together with all who are dedicated to him throughout the whole of Achaia.

2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul's Thanksgiving after Affliction

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the all-merciful Father, the God whose consolation never fails us! 4 He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we in turn may be able to comfort others in any trouble of theirs and to share with them 5 the consolation we ourselves receive from God. As Christ's cup of suffering overflows, and we suffer with him, so also through Christ our consolation overflows. 6 If distress be our lot, it is the price we pay for your consolation, for your salvation; if our lot be consolation, it is to help us to bring you comfort, and strength to face with fortitude the same sufferings we now endure. 7 And our hope for you is firmly grounded; [Some witnesses give these clauses: If distress ... firmly grounded. — in different sequence.] for we know that if you have part in the suffering, you have part also in the divine consolation.

8 In saying this, we should like you to know, dear friends, how serious was the trouble that came upon us in the province of Asia. The burden of it was far too heavy for us to bear, so heavy that we even despaired of life. Indeed, we felt in our hearts that we had received a death-sentence. 9 This was meant to teach us not to place reliance on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead. 10 From such mortal peril God delivered us; and he will deliver us again, [Some witnesses read: and he still delivers us.] he on whom our hope is fixed. Yes, he will continue to deliver us, if you will co-operate by praying for us. 11 Then, with so many people praying for our deliverance, there will be many to give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour God has shown towards us.

Postponement of Paul's Visit

12 There is one thing we are proud of: our conscience assures us that in our dealings with our fellow-men, and above all in our dealings with you, our conduct has been governed by a devout and godly sincerity, [Some witnesses read: by sincere and godly singleness of mind.] by the grace of God and not by worldly wisdom. 13 There is nothing in our letters to you but what you can read for yourselves, and understand too. 14 Partial as your present knowledge of us is, you will I hope come to understand fully that you have as much reason to be proud of us, as we of you, on the Day of our Lord Jesus.

15 It was because I felt so confident about all this that I had intended to come first of all to you [Or: had originally intended to come to you ...] and give you the benefit of a double visit: 16 I meant to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and after leaving Macedonia, to return to you, and you would then send me on my way to Judaea. 17 That was my intention; did I lightly change my mind? [Or: In forming the intention, did I act irresponsibly?] Or do I, when I frame my plans, frame them as a worldly man might, so that it should rest with me to say 'yes' and 'yes', or 'no' and 'no'? 18 As God is true, the language in which we address you is not an ambiguous blend of Yes and No. 19 The Son of God, Christ Jesus, proclaimed among you by us (by Silvanus and Timothy, I mean, as well as myself), was never a blend of Yes and No. With him it was, and is, Yes. 20 He is the Yes pronounced upon God's promises, every one of them. That is why, when we give glory to God, it is through Christ Jesus that we say 'Amen'. 21 And if you and we belong to Christ, guaranteed as his and anointed, it is all God's doing; 22 it is God also who has set his seal upon us, and as a pledge of what is to come has given the Spirit to dwell in our hearts.

23 I appeal to God to witness what I am going to say; I stake my life upon it: it was out of consideration for you that I did not after all come to Corinth. 24 Do not think we are dictating the terms of your faith; your hold on the faith is secure enough. We are working with you for your own happiness.

| II Corinthians: 1 | >>

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