2 Corinthians 1:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 1:8, NIV: "We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself."

2 Corinthians 1:8, ESV: "For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself."

2 Corinthians 1:8, KJV: "For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:"

2 Corinthians 1:8, NASB: "For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our affliction which occurred in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life."

2 Corinthians 1:8, NLT: "We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it."

2 Corinthians 1:8, CSB: "We don't want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our affliction that took place in Asia. We were completely overwhelmed--beyond our strength--so that we even despaired of life itself."

What does 2 Corinthians 1:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Corinthians may have already heard details about the event Paul introduces in this verse. Perhaps they did not know how completely devastating it was for him. This event is what provoked the previous verses about affliction and God's comfort for those who are experiencing suffering.

We don't know what happened in Asia, exactly, though it likely involved opposition to the gospel of Jesus in some way. Paul spent some time in Ephesus, which was in the region of Asia. It's possible the event happened there. Whatever happened, it brought Paul to his knees. He describes himself and his team as being utterly burdened beyond their strength and sure they would die: they "despaired of life itself."

Though some felt an apostle should not suffer so much if he truly represented Christ, we see here another benefit of Paul's suffering. He understood how deep pain and a sense of loss can go. As he wrote in the previous verses, he had received God's comfort in the worst affliction; as a result, he could understand and offer God's comfort to anyone who was experiencing something similar.