2 Corinthians 1:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
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.

English Standard Version
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.

New American Standard Bible
For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;

King James Bible
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:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For we don't want you to be unaware, brothers, of our affliction that took place in Asia: we were completely overwhelmed--beyond our strength--so that we even despaired of life.

International Standard Version
For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, about the suffering we experienced in Asia. We were so crushed beyond our ability to endure that we even despaired of living.

NET Bible
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, regarding the affliction that happened to us in the province of Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of living.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But we want you to know, brethren, concerning the affliction that we had in Asia, that we were afflicted greatly beyond our power, until we were close to losing our lives.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Brothers and sisters, we don't want you to be ignorant about the suffering we experienced in the province of Asia. It was so extreme that it was beyond our ability to endure. We even wondered if we could go on living.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Because, brothers, we would not have you ignore our tribulation which was done unto us in Asia, that we were burdened beyond our strength, in such a manner that we despaired even of life:

King James 2000 Bible
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, so that we despaired even of life:

American King James Version
For we would not, brothers, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life:

American Standard Version
For we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning our affliction which befell us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

Douay-Rheims Bible
For we would not have you ignorant,brethren, of our tribulation, which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure above our strength, so that we were weary even of life.

Darby Bible Translation
For we do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, as to our tribulation which happened [to us] in Asia, that we were excessively pressed beyond [our] power, so as to despair even of living.

English Revised Version
For we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning our affliction which befell us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

Webster's Bible Translation
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, so that we despaired even of life:

Weymouth New Testament
For as for our troubles which came upon us in the province of Asia, we would have you know, brethren, that we were exceedingly weighed down, and felt overwhelmed, so that we renounced all hope even of life.

World English Bible
For we don't desire to have you uninformed, brothers, concerning our affliction which happened to us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, so much that we despaired even of life.

Young's Literal Translation
For we do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, of our tribulation that happened to us in Asia, that we were exceedingly burdened above our power, so that we despaired even of life;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:1-11 We are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The Lord is able to give peace to the troubled conscience, and to calm the raging passions of the soul. These blessings are given by him, as the Father of his redeemed family. It is our Saviour who says, Let not your heart be troubled. All comforts come from God, and our sweetest comforts are in him. He speaks peace to souls by granting the free remission of sins; and he comforts them by the enlivening influences of the Holy Spirit, and by the rich mercies of his grace. He is able to bind up the broken-hearted, to heal the most painful wounds, and also to give hope and joy under the heaviest sorrows. The favours God bestows on us, are not only to make us cheerful, but also that we may be useful to others. He sends comforts enough to support such as simply trust in and serve him. If we should be brought so low as to despair even of life, yet we may then trust God, who can bring back even from death. Their hope and trust were not in vain; nor shall any be ashamed who trust in the Lord. Past experiences encourage faith and hope, and lay us under obligation to trust in God for time to come. And it is our duty, not only to help one another with prayer, but in praise and thanksgiving, and thereby to make suitable returns for benefits received. Thus both trials and mercies will end in good to ourselves and others.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 8. - For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant. This is a favourite phrase with St. Paul (Romans 1:13; Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13). Of our trouble; rather, about our affliction. He assumes that they are aware what the trouble was, and he does not specially mention it. What he wants them to know is that, by the help of their prayers and sympathy, God had delivered him out of this affliction, crushing as it was. Which came to us in Asia. Most commentators refer this to the tumult at Ephesus (Acts 19.); and since St. Paul's dangers, sicknesses, and troubles are clearly understated throughout the Acts, it is possible that the perils and personal maltreatment which were liable to occur during such a season of excitement may have brought on some violent illness; or, again, be may have suffered from some plots (1 Corinthians 16:9, 32; Acts 20:19) or shipwreck (2 Corinthians 11:25). In Romans 16:4 he alludes again to some extreme peril. But St. Paul seems systematically to have made light of external dangers and sufferings. All his strongest expressions (see Romans 9:1-3, etc.) are reserved for mental anguish and affliction. What he felt most keenly was the pang of lacerated affections. It is, therefore, possible that he is here alluding to the overpowering tumult of feelings which had been aroused by his anxiety as to the reception likely to be accorded to his first letter. To this and the accompanying circumstances he alludes again and again (2 Corinthians 2:4, 12; 2 Corinthians 7:5, etc.). The sense of "comfort" resulting from the tidings brought by Titus (2 Corinthians 7:6, 7, 13) is as strong as that expressed in these verses, and the allusion to this anguish of heart is specially appropriate here, because he is dwelling on the sympathetic communion between himself and his converts, both in their sorrows and their consolations. That we were pressed cut of measure, above strength; literally, that toe were weighed down exceedingly beyond our power. The trial seemed too heavy for him to bear. The phrase here rendered "out of measure" occurs in 2 Corinthians 4:17; Romans 7:13; 1 Corinthians 12:31; Galatians 1:13; but is only found in this particular group of letters. Insomuch that we despaired even of life. This rendering conveys the meaning. Literally it is, so that we were even in utter perplexity (2 Corinthians 4:8) even about life. "I fell into such agony of mind that I hardly hoped to survive." Generally, although he was often in perplexity, he succeeded in resisting despair (2 Corinthians 4:8).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble,.... The apostle was very desirous that the Corinthians might be thoroughly acquainted with the trouble that had lately befallen them; partly because it would clearly appear from hence what reason he had to give thanks to God as he had done; and partly, that they might be encouraged to trust in God, when in the utmost extremity; but chiefly in order to remove a charge brought against him by the false apostles; who, because he had promised to come to Corinth, and as yet had not come, accused him of lightness and inconstancy, in as much as he had not kept his promise. Now to show that it was not owing to any such temper and disposition of mind in him, he would have them know, that though he sincerely intended a journey to them, yet was hindered from pursuing it, by a very great affliction which befell him: the place where this sore trouble came upon him, is expressed to be in Asia: some have thought it refers to all the troubles he met with in Asia, for the space of three years, whereby he was detained longer than he expected; but it seems as though some single affliction is here particularly designed: many interpreters have been of opinion, that the tumult raised by Demetrius at Ephesus is here meant, when Paul and his companions were in great danger of their lives, Acts 19:21, but this uproar being but for a day, could not be a reason why, as yet, he had not come to Corinth: it seems rather to be some other very sore affliction, and which lasted longer, that is not recorded in the Acts of the Apostles: the greatness of this trouble is set forth in very strong expressions,

as that we were pressed out of measure. The affliction was as an heavy burden upon them, too heavy to bear; it was exceeding heavy, , even to an "hyperbole", beyond expression; and

above strength, that is, above human strength, the strength of nature; and so the Syriac renders it, , "above our strength"; but not above the strength of grace, or that spiritual strength communicated to them, by which they were supported under it: the apostle adds,

insomuch that we despaired even of life; they were at the utmost loss, and in the greatest perplexity how to escape the danger of life; they greatly doubted of it; they saw no probability nor possibility, humanly speaking, of preserving it.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

8, 9. Referring to the imminent risk of life which he ran in Ephesus (Ac 19:23-41) when the whole multitude were wrought up to fury by Demetrius, on the plea of Paul and his associates having assailed the religion of Diana of Ephesus. The words (2Co 1:9), "we had the sentence of death in ourselves," mean, that he looked upon himself as a man condemned to die [Paley]. Alford thinks the danger at Ephesus was comparatively so slight that it cannot be supposed to be the subject of reference here, without exposing the apostle to a charge of cowardice, very unlike his fearless character; hence, he supposes Paul refers to some deadly sickness which he had suffered under (2Co 1:9, 10). But there is little doubt that, had Paul been found by the mob in the excitement, he would have been torn in pieces; and probably, besides what Luke in Acts records, there were other dangers of an equally distressing kind, such as, "lyings in wait of the Jews" (Ac 20:19), his ceaseless foes. They, doubtless, had incited the multitude at Ephesus (Ac 19:9), and were the chief of the "many adversaries" and "[wild] beasts," which he had to fight with there (1Co 15:32; 16:9). His weak state of health at the time combined with all this to make him regard himself as all but dead (2Co 11:29; 12:10). What makes my supposition probable is, that the very cause of his not having visited Corinth directly as he had intended, and for which he proceeds to apologize (2Co 1:15-23), was, that there might be time to see whether the evils arising there not only from Greek, but from Jewish disturbers of the Church (2Co 11:29), would be checked by his first Epistle; there not being fully so was what entailed on him the need of writing this second Epistle. His not specifying this here expressly is just what we might expect in the outset of this letter; towards the close, when he had won their favorable hearing by a kindly and firm tone, he gives a more distinct reference to Jewish agitators (2Co 11:22).

above strength—that is, ordinary, natural powers of endurance.

despaired—as far as human help or hope from man was concerned. But in respect to help from God we were "not in despair" (2Co 4:8).

2 Corinthians 1:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
The God of All Comfort
7and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort. 8For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;…
Cross References
Acts 2:9
Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

Acts 16:6
Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.

Acts 19:23
About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way.

Romans 1:13
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

1 Corinthians 15:32
If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."

2 Corinthians 1:9
Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.

2 Corinthians 4:8
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

2 Corinthians 6:9
known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed;
Treasury of Scripture

For we would not, brothers, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life:

of our.

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency …

Acts 19:23-35 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way…

1 Corinthians 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, …

1 Corinthians 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

insomuch.

1 Corinthians 4:8 Now you are full, now you are rich, you have reigned as kings without …

1 Samuel 20:3 And David swore moreover, and said, Your father certainly knows that …

1 Samuel 27:1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul…

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Alphabetical: ability about affliction Asia be beyond brethren brothers burdened came despaired do endure even excessively far For great hardships in life not of our pressure province so strength suffered that the to unaware under uninformed us want We were which you

NT Letters: 2 Corinthians 1:8 For we don't desire to have you (2 Cor. 2C iiC 2Cor ii cor iicor) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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