2 Corinthians 5:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 5:1, NIV: "For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."

2 Corinthians 5:1, ESV: "For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

2 Corinthians 5:1, KJV: "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

2 Corinthians 5:1, NASB: "For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

2 Corinthians 5:1, NLT: "For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands."

2 Corinthians 5:1, CSB: "For we know that if our earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens, not made with hands."

What does 2 Corinthians 5:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous chapter ended with references to the great suffering experienced by Paul and those working with him to preach the gospel. Chapter and verse divisions were not part of the original text, so these words are meant as an uninterrupted flow of thought. In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, Paul says he and his fellow workers had been "afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed." In other words, the God who had allowed them to experience the great burden of suffering had also kept them from being physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually destroyed by it.

Paul acknowledges that he may eventually be killed for preaching about Jesus. He is prepared for that. In fact, he longs for what will come after that moment. He describes our bodies in this fallen world as a temporary dwelling place, like a tent. It is not built to last forever. It provides minimal shelter from the elements for a short time. Waiting in eternity, for all who are in Christ, is a dwelling place that will last forever. Paul describes this future of eternity with Christ as something far better than any house on earth. It is not made with human hands. It is provided by the Lord.

Jesus used similar language when telling his disciples what to expect when they go to be with Him, "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 14:1–4).