2 Corinthians 1:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 1:6, NIV: "If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer."

2 Corinthians 1:6, ESV: "If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer."

2 Corinthians 1:6, KJV: "And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation."

2 Corinthians 1:6, NASB: "But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer;"

2 Corinthians 1:6, NLT: "Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer."

2 Corinthians 1:6, CSB: "If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer."

What does 2 Corinthians 1:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Some in Corinth were apparently questioning the effectiveness of Paul's role as an apostle of Jesus. After all, why would someone with such access to God's power experience so much suffering? Shouldn't an apostle experience more victory than defeat? This is a common belief of non-Christian religions: that those truly favored by God are immune to earthly suffering.

Paul seems to be answering such critics here. His view is that the ministry-related suffering of Paul and his companions serves a great purpose. The same thing which brought them many troubles also brought the Corinthians comfort in their troubles. That suffering also enabled preaching the gospel which led to their salvation. The implication is that the Corinthians should be grateful that Paul willingly endured the suffering required to bring the gospel to them.

In addition, Paul has shown that abundant suffering in Christ brings abundant comfort in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:5) and that those who have been comforted by God are able to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:4). Now he adds that his affliction leads to God's comfort, which he is then able to use for comforting the Corinthians when they suffer.

Paul says confidently that the Corinthians will suffer, as well, just as he suffers. They will patiently endure their suffering, as he does, and then they will receive God's strengthening, encouraging comfort. Paul shows that his suffering is not evidence of a lack of power as an apostle. Instead, suffering for others, as Christ did, is in his job description. In truth, every believer will experience suffering.