2 Corinthians 5:8
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) We are confident, I say.—The sentence begun in 2Corinthians 5:6 and half broken off is resumed. The apparent sense is that he prefers death to life, because it brings him to the presence of his Lord. At first, this seems at variance with what he had said in 2Corinthians 5:4, as to his not wishing to put off the garment of the present body. Here, however, the expression is not so strong. “We are content,” he says, “if death comes before the Coming of the Lord, to accept death; for even though it does not bring with it the glory of the resurrection body, it does make us at home with Christ among the souls who wait for the resurrection.” If there still seems to us some shadow of inconsistency, we may look upon it as the all but inevitable outcome of the state which he describes in Philippians 1:21-25, as “in a strait between two,” and of the form of life in which he now finds himself. The whole passage presents a striking parallelism, and should be compared with this. This is, it is believed, an adequate explanation. Another may, however, be suggested. We find the Apostle speaking of certain “visions and revelations of the Lord,” of which he says he knows not whether they are “in the body or out of the body” (2Corinthians 12:1). May we not think of him as referring here also to a like experience? “We take pleasure,” he says, if we adopt this interpretation, wholly or in part, “even here, in that state which takes us, as it were, out of the body, or seems to do so, because it is in that state that our eyes are open to gaze more clearly on the unseen glories of the eternal world.” The fact that both verbs are in the tense which indicates a single act, and not a continuous state, is, as far as it goes, in favour of this explanation.

2 Corinthians

THE OLD HOUSE AND THE NEW

2 Corinthians 5:8
.

There lie in the words of my text simply these two things; the Christian view of what death is, and the Christian temper in which to anticipate it.

I. First, the Christian view of what death is.

Now it is to be observed that, properly speaking, the Apostle is not here referring to the state of the dead, but to the act of dying. The language would more literally and accurately be rendered ‘willing to go from home, from the body, and to go home, to the Lord.’ The moment of transition of course leads to a permanent state, but it is the moment of transition which is in view in the words. I need not remind you, I suppose, that the metaphor of the home is one which has already been dwelt upon in the early part of the chapter, where the contrast is drawn between the transitory house of ‘this tent,’ and the ‘building of God,’ the body of incorruption and glory which the saints at the Resurrection day shall receive. So, then, the Christian view of the act of death is that it is simply a change of abode.

Very clearly and firmly does Paul draw the line between the man and his dwelling-place. Life is more than a result of organisation. Consciousness, thought, feeling, are more than functions of matter. No materialist philosopher has ever been, or ever will be, able to explain within the limits of his system the strange difference between the cause and the effect; how it comes to pass that at the one end of the chain there is an impression upon a nerve, and at the other there is pain; how at the one end there is the throb of an inch of matter in a man’s skull, and at the other end there are thoughts that breathe and words that burn, and that live for ever. That brings us up to the edge of a gulf over which no materialist philosopher has ever been able to cast a bridge. The scalpel cannot cut deep enough to solve this mystery. Conscience as well as instinct cry out against the theory that the worker and the tools are inseparable. For such a theory reduces human actions to mechanical results, and shatters all responsibility. Man is more than his dwelling-place. You crush a shell on the beach with your heel, and you slay its tiny inhabitant. But you can pull down the tent, and pluck up its pegs, and roll up its canvas, and put it away in a dark corner, and the tenant is untouched. The foolish senses crown Death as last, and lord of all. But wisdom says, ‘Life and thought have gone away side by side, leaving doors and windows wide,’ and that is all that has happened.

Still further, my text suggests that to the Christian soul the departure from the one house is the entrance into the other. The home has been the body; the home is now to be Jesus Christ. And very beautiful and significant with meanings, which only experience will fully unfold, is the representation that the Lord Christ Himself assumes the place which the bodily environment has hitherto held.

That teaches us, at all events, that there is a new depth and closeness of union with Jesus waiting the Christian soul, when it lays aside the separating film of flesh. Here the bodily organisation, with its limitations, necessarily shuts us off from the closeness of intercourse which is possible for a naked soul. We know not how much separation may depend upon the immersing of the spirit in the fleshly tabernacle, but this we know, that, though here and now, by faith which dominates sense, souls can live in Christ even whilst they live in the body; yet there shall come a form of union so much more close, intimate, all-pervading, and all-encircling, as that the present union with Him by faith, precious as it is, shall be, as the Apostle calls it in our context, ‘absence from the Lord.’ ‘We have to be discharged,’ says an old thinker, ‘of a great deal of what we call body, and then we shall be more truly ourselves,’ and more truly united to Him who, if we are Christian people at all, is the self of ourselves and the life of our lives. No man knows how close he can nestle to the bosom of Christ when the film of flesh is rent away. Just as when in some crowded street of a great city some grimy building is pulled down, a sudden daylight fills the vacant space, and all the site that had been shut out from the sky for many years is drenched in sunshine, so when ‘the earthly house of this tabernacle’ is ruinated and falls, the light will flood the place where it stood, and to be ‘absent from the body’ shall be to be ‘present with the Lord.’

May we go a step further and suggest that, perhaps, in the bold metaphor of my text, there is an answer to the questions which so often rack loving and parted hearts? ‘Do the dead know aught of what affects us here? and can they do aught but gaze on Him, and love, and rest?’ If it be that there is any such analogy as seems to be dimly shadowed in my text, between the relation of the body on earth to the spirit that inhabits it, and that of Jesus Christ to him who dwells in Him, and is clothed by Him, then it may be that, as the flesh, so the Christ transmits to the spirit that has Him for its home impressions from the outside world, and affords a means of action upon that world. Christ may be, if I might so say, the sensorium of the disembodied spirit; and Christ may be the hand of the man who hath no other instrument by which to express himself. But all that is fancy perhaps, speculation certainly; and yet there seems to be a shadow of a foundation for at least entertaining the possibility of such a thought as that Jesus is the means of knowing and the means of acting to those who rest from their labours in Him, and dwell in peace in His arms. But be that as it may, the reality of a close communion and encircling by the felt presence of Jesus Christ, which, in its blessed closeness, will make the closest communion here seem to be obscure, is certainly declared in the words before us.

Then this transition is regarded in my text as being the work of a moment. It is not a long journey of which the beginning is ‘to go from home, from the body,’ and the end is ‘to go home, to the Lord.’ But it is one and the same motion which, looked at from the one side, is departure, and looked at from the other is arrival. The old saying has it, ‘there is but a step between me and death.’ The truth is, there is but a step between me and life. The mighty angel in the Apocalypse, that stood with one foot on the firm land and the other on the boundless ocean, is but the type of the spirit in the brief moment of transition, when the consciousness of two worlds blends, and it is clothed upon with the house which is from heaven, in the very act of stripping off the earthly house of this tabernacle.

Nor need I remind you, I suppose, in more than a sentence, that this transition obviously leads into a state of conscious communion with Jesus Christ. The dreary figment of an unconscious interval for the disembodied spirit has no foundation, either in what we know of spirit, or in what is revealed to us in Scripture. For the one thing that seems to make it probable-the use of that metaphor of ‘sleeping in Jesus’-is quite sufficiently accounted for by the notions of repose, and cessation of outward activity, and withdrawal of capacity of being influenced by the so-called realities of this lower world, without dragging in the unfounded notion of unconsciousness. My text is incompatible with it, for it is absurd to say of an unconscious spirit, clear of a bodily environment, that it is anywhere; and there is no intelligible sense in which the condition of such a spirit can be called being ‘with the Lord.’

So, then, I think a momentary transition, with uninterrupted consciousness, which leads to a far deeper and more wonderful and blessed sense of unity with Jesus Christ than is possible here on earth, is the true shape in which the act of death presents itself to the Christian thinker.

And remember, dear brethren, that is all we know. Nothing else is certain-nothing but this, ‘with the Lord,’ and the resulting certainty that therefore it is well with them. It is enough for our faith, for our comfort, for our patient waiting. They live in Christ, ‘and there we find them worthier to be loved,’ and certainly lapped in a deeper rest. ‘Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.’

II. In the next place, note the Christian temper in which to anticipate the transition.

‘We are always courageous, and willing rather to leave our home in the body, and to go home to the Lord.’ Now I must briefly remind you of how the Apostle comes to this state of feeling. He has been speaking about the natural shrinking, which belongs to all humanity, from the act of dissolution, considered as being the stripping off of the garment of the flesh. And he has declared, on behalf of himself and the early Christian Church, his own and their personal desire that they might escape from that trial by the path which seemed possible to the early Christians-viz. that of surviving until the return of Jesus Christ from Heaven, when they would be ‘clothed upon with the house which is from Heaven,’ without the necessity of stripping off that with which at present they are invested. Then he says-and this is a very remarkable thought-that just because this instinctive shrinking from death and yearning for the glorified body is so strong in the Christian heart, that is a sign that there is such a glorified body waiting for us. He says, ‘we know that if our house . . . were dissolved, we have a building of God.’ And his reason for knowing it is this, ‘for in this we groan.’ That is a bold position to say that a yearning in the Christian consciousness prophesies its own fulfilment. Our desires are the prophecies of His gifts. Then, on this certainty-which he deduces from the fact of the longing for it-on this certainty of the glorious, ultimate body of the Resurrection he bases his willingness expressed in the text, to go through the unwelcome process of leaving the old house, although he shrinks from it.

So, then, Christian faith does not destroy the natural reluctance to put aside the old companion of our lives. The old house, though it be smoky, dimly lighted, and, by our own careless keeping, sluttish and grimy in many a corner, yet is the only house we have ever known, and to be absent from it is untried and strange. There is nothing wrong in saying ‘we would not be unclothed but clothed upon.’ Nature speaks there. We may reverently entertain the same feelings which our Pattern acknowledged, when He said, ‘I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened until it be accomplished.’ And there would be nothing sinful in repeating His prayer with His conditions, ‘If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.’

But then the text suggests to us the large Christian possessions and hope which counterwork this reluctance, in the measure in which we live lives of faith. There is the assurance of that ultimate home in which all the transiency of the present material organisation is exchanged for the enduring permanence which knows no corruption. The ‘tent’ is swept away to make room for the ‘building.’ The earthly house is dissolved in order that there may be reared round the homeless tenant the house eternal, ‘not made with hands,’ God’s own work, which is waiting in the heavens; because the power that shall frame it is there. Not only that great hope of the ‘body of His glory,’ with which at the last all true souls shall be invested, but furthermore, ‘the earnest of the spirit,’ and the blessed experiences therefrom, resulting even here, ought to make the unwelcome necessity less unwelcome. If the firstfruits be righteousness and peace and joy of the Holy Ghost, what shall the harvest be? If the ‘earnest,’ the shilling given in advance, be so precious, what will the whole wealth of the inheritance which it heralds be when it is received?

For such reasons the transitory passage becomes less painful and unwelcome. Who is there that would hesitate to dip his foot into the ice-cold brook if he knew that it would not reach above his ankles, and that a step would land him in blessedness unimagined till experienced?

Therefore the Christian temper is that of quiet willingness and constant courage. There is nothing hysterical here, nothing morbid, nothing overstrained, nothing artificial. The Apostle says: ‘I would rather not. I should like if I could escape it. It is an unwelcome necessity; but when I see what I do see beyond,’ I am ready. Since so it must be, I will go, not reluctantly, nor dragged away from life, nor clinging desperately to it as it slips from my hands, nor dreading anything that may happen beyond; but always courageous, and prepared to go whithersoever the path may take me, since I am sure that it ends in His bosom. He is willing to go from the home of the body, because to do that is to go home to Christ.

There are other references of our Apostle’s, substantially of the same tone as that of my text, but with very beautiful and encouraging differences. When he was nearer his end, when it seemed to him as if the headsman’s block was not very far off, his willingness had intensified into ‘having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better.’ And when the end was all but reached, and he knew that death was waiting just round the next turn in the road, he said, with the confidence that in the midst of the struggle would have been vainglory, but at the end of it was a foretaste of the calm of Heaven, ‘I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.’ That is our model, dear brethren,-’always courageous,’ afraid of nothing in life, in death, or beyond, and therefore willing to go from home from the body and to go home to the Lord.

Think of this man thus fronting the inevitable, with no excitement and with no delusions. Remember what Paul believed about death, about sin, about his own sin, about judgment, about hell. And then think of how to him death had made its darkness beautiful with the light of Christ’s face, and all the terror was gone out of it. Do you think so about death? Do you shrink from it? Why? Why do you not take Paul’s cure for the shrinking? If you can say, ‘To me to live is Christ,’ you will have no difficulty in saying, ‘and to die is gain.’ That is the only way by which you can come to such a temper, and then you will be willing to move from the cottage to the palace, and to wait in peace till you are shifted again into ‘the building of God, the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.’

5:1-8 The believer not only is well assured by faith that there is another and a happy life after this is ended, but he has good hope, through grace, of heaven as a dwelling-place, a resting-place, a hiding-place. In our Father's house there are many mansions, whose Builder and Maker is God. The happiness of the future state is what God has prepared for those that love him: everlasting habitations, not like the earthly tabernacles, the poor cottages of clay, in which our souls now dwell; that are mouldering and decaying, whose foundations are in the dust. The body of flesh is a heavy burden, the calamities of life are a heavy load. But believers groan, being burdened with a body of sin, and because of the many corruptions remaining and raging within them. Death will strip us of the clothing of flesh, and all the comforts of life, as well as end all our troubles here below. But believing souls shall be clothed with garments of praise, with robes of righteousness and glory. The present graces and comforts of the Spirit are earnests of everlasting grace and comfort. And though God is with us here, by his Spirit, and in his ordinances, yet we are not with him as we hope to be. Faith is for this world, and sight is for the other world. It is our duty, and it will be our interest, to walk by faith, till we live by sight. This shows clearly the happiness to be enjoyed by the souls of believers when absent from the body, and where Jesus makes known his glorious presence. We are related to the body and to the Lord; each claims a part in us. But how much more powerfully the Lord pleads for having the soul of the believer closely united with himself! Thou art one of the souls I have loved and chosen; one of those given to me. What is death, as an object of fear, compared with being absent from the Lord!We are confident - 2 Corinthians 5:6. We are cheerful, and courageous, and ready to bear our trial. Tyndale renders it: "we are of good comfort."

And willing rather to be absent from the body - We would prefer to die. The same idea occurs in Philippians 1:23. "Having a desire to depart and to be with Christ; which is far better." The sense is, that Paul would have preferred to die, and to go to heaven; rather than to remain in a world of sin and trial.

To be present with the Lord - The Lord Jesus; see the note on Acts 1:24; compare Philippians 1:23. The idea of Paul is, that the Lord Jesus would constitute the main glory of heaven, and that to be with him was equivalent to being in a place of perfect bliss. He had no idea of any heaven where the Lord Jesus was not; and to be with him was to be in heaven. That world where the Redeemer is, is heaven. This also proves that the spirits of the saints, when they depart, are with the Redeemer; that is, are at once taken to heaven. It demonstrates:

(1) That they are not annihilated.

(2) that they do not sleep, and remain in an unconscious state, as Dr. Priestley supposes.

(3) that they are not in some intermediate state, either in a state of purgatory, as the Papists suppose, or a state where all the souls of the just and the unjust are assembled in a common abode, as many Protestants have supposed; but,

(4) That they dwell with Christ; they are with the Lord (πρὸς τὸν Κυρίον pros ton Kurion). They abide in his presence; they partake of his joy and his glory; they are permitted to sit with him in his throne; Revelation 3:21.

The same idea the Saviour expressed to the dying thief, when he said, "today shalt thou be with me in paradise;" Luke 23:43.

8. willing—literally, "well content." Translate also, "To go (literally, migrate) from our home in the body, and to come to our home with the Lord." We should prefer to be found alive at the Lord's coming, and to be clothed upon with our heavenly body (2Co 5:2-4). But feeling, as we do, the sojourn in the body to be a separation from our true home "with the Lord," we prefer even dissolution by death, so that in the intermediate disembodied state we may go to be "with the Lord" (Php 1:23). "To be with Christ" (the disembodied state) is distinguished from Christ's coming to take us to be with Him in soul and body (1Th 4:14-17, "with the Lord"). Perhaps the disembodied spirits of believers have fulness of communion with Christ unseen; but not the mutual recognition of one another, until clothed with their visible bodies at the resurrection (compare 1Th 4:13-17), when they shall with joy recognize Christ's image in each other perfect. We are confident of such a blessed state, and this makes us willing to be out of this body, that we might have the glorious presence and enjoyment of God to all eternity.

We are confident, I say, and willing rather,.... We are cheerful in our present state, being assured of future happiness; though we choose rather

to be absent from the body; that is, to die, to depart out of this world. The interval between death, and the resurrection, is a state of absence from the body, during which time the soul is disembodied, and exists in a separate state; not in a state of inactivity and sleep, for that would not be desirable, but of happiness and glory, enjoying the presence of God, and praising of him, believing and waiting for the resurrection of the body, when both will be united together again; and after that there will be no more absence, neither from the body, nor from the Lord:

and to be present with the Lord. This was promised to Christ in the everlasting covenant, that all his spiritual seed and offspring should be with him. This he expected; it was the joy of this which was set before him, that carried him through his sufferings and death with so much cheerfulness; this is the sum of his prayers and intercession, and what all his preparations in heaven are on the account of. It is this which supports and comforts the saints under all their sorrows here, and which makes them meet death with pleasure, which otherwise is formidable and disagreeable to nature; and even desirous of parting with life, to be with Christ, which is far better.

We are {f} confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

(f) And yet we are in such a manner confident and do so pass on our pilgrimage with a valiant and peaceful mind, that yet nonetheless we had rather depart from here to the Lord.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 5:8. But we have good courage and are well pleased, etc. With this Paul resumes the thought of 2 Corinthians 5:6, and carries it on, yet without keeping to the construction there begun. The idea of the θαῤῥοῦμεν must in this resumption be the same as that of the θαῤῥοῦντες in 2 Corinthians 5:6, namely, the idea of confident courage in suffering. This in opposition to Hofmann, who takes θαῤῥοῦντες rightly of courage in suffering, but θαῤῥοῦμεν of courage in death, making the infinitive ἐκδημῆσαι depend also on θαῤῥοῦμεν (see below).

δέ, no doubt, links on again the discourse interrupted by the parenthesis (Hermann, ad Viger. p. 847; Pflugk, ad Eurip. Hec. 1211; Fritzsche, Diss. II. p. 21), which may also happen, where no δέ has preceded (Klotz, ad Devar. p. 377); since, however, θαῤῥοῦντες is not repeated here, we must suppose that Paul has quite dropped the plan of the discourse begun in 2 Corinthians 5:6 and broken off by 2 Corinthians 5:7, and returns by the way of contrast to what was said in 2 Corinthians 5:6. Accordingly there occurs an adversative reference to the previous διὰ πιστ. περιπατοῦμεν, οὐ διὰ εἴδους, in so far as this state of things as to the course of his temporal life does not make the apostle at all discontented and discouraged, but, on the contrary, leaves his θαῤῥεῖν, already expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:6, quite untouched, and makes his desire tend rather towards being from home, etc. Comp. Hartung, I. p. 173. 2; Klotz, l.c. Thus there is a logical reason why Paul has not written οὖν. Comp. on Ephesians 2:4.

εὐδοκεῖν in the sense of being pleased, of placet mihi, comp. 1 Corinthians 1:21; Galatians 1:15; Colossians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 2:8; Fritzsche, ad Rom. II. p. 370.

ἐκδημῆσαι ἐκ τοῦ σώματος] to be-from-home out of the body, is not to be understood of the change at the Parousia (Kaeuffer, ζωὴ αἰών., p. 80 f.), but, in accordance with the context, must be the opposite of ἐνδημοῦντες ἐν τῷ σώματι, 2 Corinthians 5:6; consequently in substance not different from ἐκδύσασθαι, 2 Corinthians 5:4. Hence the only right interpretation is the usual one of dying, in consequence of which we are-from-home out of the body. Comp. Php 1:23; Plato, Phaed. p. 67, B, C. The infinitive is dependent only on εὐδοκοῦμεν, not also on θαῤῥοῦμεν (Hofmann), since θαῤῥεῖν with the infinitive means to venture something, to undertake to do something, which would not suit here (comp. Xen. Cyr. viii. 8. 6; Herodian. ii. 10. 13),—even apart from the fact that this use of θαῤῥεῖν (equivalent to τολμᾶν) is foreign to the N. T. and rare even among Greek writers. The εὐδοκοῦμεν κ.τ.λ. is something greater than the θαῤῥοῦμεν. This passage stands to 2 Corinthians 5:4, where Paul has expressed the desire not to die but to be transformed alive, in the relation not of contradiction, but of climax; the shrinking from the process of dying is, through the consideration contained in 2 Corinthians 5:5 and in the feeling of the courage which it gives (2 Corinthians 5:6), now overcome, and in place of it there has now come the inclination rather (μᾶλλον) to see the present relation of ἐνδημεῖν ἐν τῷ σώματι and ἐκδημεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου (2 Corinthians 5:6) reversed, rather,[218] therefore, ἐκδημῆσαι ἐκ τοῦ σώματος καὶ ἐνδημῆσαι πρὸς τὸν κύριον, which will take place through death, if this should be appointed to him in his apostolic conflicts and sufferings (2 Corinthians 4:7 ff.), for in that case his spirit, having migrated from his body, will not, separated from Christ, come into Hades, but will be at home with the Lord in heaven—a state the blessedness of which will later, at the day of the Parousia, receive the consummation of glory. The certainty of coming by martyrdom into heaven to Christ is consequently not to be regarded as a certainty only apprehended subsequently by Paul. See Php 1:26, Remark.

[218] μᾶλλον therefore belongs neither to εὐδοκοῦμεν nor to θαῤῥ. κ. εὐδοκ., as if Paul would say that he has this courage still more than that meant in ver. 6 (Hofmann), but to ἐκδημῆσαικύριον. We wish that, instead of the present home in the body, etc., there may rather (potius) set in the being-from-home out of the body and the being-at-home with the Lord. This “rather” no more yields an awkward idea here (as Hofmann objects) than it does in all other passages where it is said that one wills, ought to do, or does, instead of one thing rather the other. Comp. e.g. 1 Corinthians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 6:7; Romans 14:13; John 3:19.

2 Corinthians 5:8. θαρροῦμεν δὲ κ.τ.λ.: nay (the δέ is resumptive of the thought in 2 Corinthians 5:6, which has been interrupted by 2 Corinthians 5:7, the grammatical structure involving an anacoluthon), we are of good courage (for this is demanded even of the most faithful by the prospect of death) and are well-pleased (see reff. for cases where εὐδοκεῖν is used of men, not of God) rather to be away from the home of the body and to be at home with the Lord (cf. John 1:1 for such a use of πρός). Even if we must die before the Second Advent, we would say, we are content, for this absence from the body will be presence with Christ (cf Luke 23:43, Php 1:21-23), though the glory of that Presence shall not be fully manifested until the Day of the Parousia.

8. we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord] Our confidence is not even disturbed by death, though it is not (2 Corinthians 5:4) death in itself that we seek. But even in death we ‘sleep in Jesus’ (1 Thessalonians 4:14; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:18), and though removed from our earthly tenement we are still at home with God. Cf. also Luke 23:43. The word translated ‘present’ here is translated ‘at home’ in 2 Corinthians 5:6, a variation which commenced with Tyndale. He returns however to ‘at home’ in the next verse.

2 Corinthians 5:8. Δὲ, indeed) An epitasis [Repetition of a previous enunciation with some strengthening word added; Append.]; comp. 2 Corinthians 5:6, note.—εὐδοκοῦμεν) we have so determined [we regard it as a fixed thing], that it will be well-pleasing to us.—ἐνδημῆσαι, to go home) 2 Corinthians 5:6, note.—πρὸς τὸν Κυρίον, to the Lord) Php 1:23.

Verse 8. - To be absent, etc.; literally, to be away from the home of the body, but to be at home with the Lord. To be present with the Lord. The hope expressed is exactly the same as in Philippians 1:23, except that here (as in ver. 4) he expresses a desire not "to depart," but to be quit of the body without the necessity for death. 2 Corinthians 5:8Are willing (εὐδοκοῦμεν)

The translation might well be made stronger as well as more literal: we are well-pleased.

To be absent - present (ἐκδημῆσαι - ἐνδημῆσαι)

The same verbs as in 2 Corinthians 5:6 : to be from home, at home.

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