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2 Corinthians 1:5

ESV For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
NIV For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
NASB For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.
CSB For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
NLT For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.
KJV For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

What does 2 Corinthians 1:5 mean?

Bible scholars offer several different views on what it means to "share…in Christ's sufferings." Christians may suffer persecution for faith in Christ or preaching about Him. Paul certainly experienced heavy consequences from non-believers. Perhaps this verse about abundant suffering and abundant comfort applies only to those kinds of experiences.

Another possible interpretation is that this verse should be translated differently: to read that as Christ suffered abundantly for us, God's comfort to us will be abundant, as well, through Christ.

Other scholars suggest the phrase means Christians will suffer as Christ suffered while on earth, specifically as He did during the crucifixion. This fits with Paul's teaching that every believer is baptized into Christ's death (Romans 6:3) and that we share in Christ's glory by sharing in His sufferings (Romans 8:17).

Of course, a very small percentage of believers will ever be crucified or even killed for faith in Christ. Instead, the idea is that every Christian lives right now "in Christ." When we suffer, we suffer in Christ. When we hurt, we hurt in Christ. We have opportunities to "suffer as He suffered" in the same way we have opportunities to think as He thought, to speak as He spoke, to become more and more like Him.

In that sense, as we endure abundant suffering as Christ did, we have opportunity to be abundantly comforted as He was comforted by God in His suffering. Whatever specific nuance Paul intended here, none of the above views are anti-biblical. All of them are truthful even independently from this verse, and Paul may have meant any one or more of them.
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