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2 Corinthians 1:8

    2 Corinthians 1:8 Translations

    King James Version (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:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    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 (ASV)

    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:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For it is our desire that you may not be without knowledge of our trouble which came on us in Asia, that the weight of it was very great, more than our power, so that it seemed that we had no hope even of life:

    Webster's Revision

    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:

    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.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    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:

    Clarke's Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:8

    Our trouble which came to us in Asia - To what part of his history the apostle refers we know not: some think it is to the Jews lying in wait to kill him, Acts 20:3; others, to the insurrection raised against him by Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen, Acts 19:23; others, to his fighting with beasts at Ephesus, 1 Corinthians 15:32, which they understand literally; and others think that there is a reference here to some persecution which is not recorded in any part of the apostle's history.

    We were pressed out of measure, above strength - The original is exceedingly emphatic: καθ' ὑπερβολην εβαρηθημεν ὑπερ δυναμιν· we were weighed down beyond what is credible, even beyond what any natural strength could support. There is no part of St. Paul's history known to us which can justify these strong expressions, except his being stoned at Lystra; which if not what is here intended, the facts to which he refers are not on record. As Lystra was properly in Asia, unless he mean Asia Minor, and his stoning at Lystra did most evidently destroy his life, so that his being raised was an effect of the miraculous power of God; he might be supposed to refer to this. See the notes on Acts 14:19, etc. But it is very likely that the reference is to some terrible persecution which he had endured some short time before his writing this epistle; and with the outlines of which the Corinthians had been acquainted.

    Barnes' Notes on 2 Corinthians 1:8

    For we would not have you ignorant - We wish you to be fully informed; see the notes, 1 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Corinthians 12:1. The object of Paul here is, to give a full explanation of the nature of his trials, to which he had referred in 2 Corinthians 1:4. He presumed that the Corinthians would feel a deep interest in him and in his trials; that they would sympathize with him, and would pray that those sufferings, and that this deliverance might be attended with a blessing 2 Corinthians 1:11; and perhaps he wished also to conciliate their kindness toward himself by mentioning more at length the nature of the trials which he had been called to endure on account of the Christian religion, of which they were reaping so material benefits.

    Of our trouble which came to us in Asia - The term "Asia" is often used to denote that part of Asia Minor of which Ephesus was the capital; see the note, Acts 2:9. There has been considerable diversity of opinion as to the "troubles" to which Paul here refers. Some have supposed that he refers to the persecutions at Lystra Acts 14:6, Acts 14:19-20, from which he had been recovered as it were by miracle; but as that happened so long before this, it seems improbable that he should here refer to it. There is every mark of freshness and recentness about this event; and Paul evidently referred to some danger from which he had been lately delivered, and which made a deep impression on his mind when he wrote this Epistle. Semler supposes that he refers to the lying in wait of the Jews for him when he was about to go to Macedonia, mentioned in Acts 20:3. Most commentators have supposed that be refers to the disturbances which were made at Ephesus by Demetrius and his friends, mentioned in Acts 19, and by reason of which he was compelled to leave the city.

    The only objection to this is, that which is mentioned by Whitby and Macknight, that as Paul did not go into the theater there Acts 19:31, he incurred no such risk of his life as to justify the strong expressions mentioned in 2 Corinthians 1:9-10. They suppose, therefore, that he refers to the danger to which he was exposed in Ephesus on another occasion, when he was compelled to fight there with wild beasts; see 1 Corinthians 15:32. But nearly all these opinions may be reconciled, perhaps, by supposing that he refers to the group of calamities to which he had been exposed in Asia, and from which he had just escaped by going to Macedonia - referring perhaps more particularly to the conflict which he had been compelled to have with the wild beasts there. There was the riot excited by Demetrius Acts 19, in which his life had been endangered, and from which he had just escaped; and there had been the conflict with the wild beasts at Ephesus (see the note, 1 Corinthians 15:32), which perhaps had occurred but just before; and there were the plots of the Jews against him Acts 20:3, from which, also, he had just been delivered. By these trials, his life had been endangered, perhaps, more than once, and he had been called to look death calmly in the face, and to anticipate the probability that he might soon die. Of these trials; of all these trials, he would not have the Corinthians ignorant; but desired that they should be fully apprized of them, that they might sympathize with him, and that through their prayers they might be turned to his benefit.

    That we were pressed out of measure - see Acts 19. We were borne down, or weighed down by calamity (ἐβαρηθεμεν ebarēthemen) exceedingly καθ ̓ ὑπερβολὴς kath' huperbolēs, supereminently. The expression denotes excess, eminence, or intensity. It is one of Paul's common and very strong expressions to denote anything that is intensive or great; see Romans 7:13; Galatians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 4:17.

    Above strength - Beyond our strength. More than in ourselves we were able to bear.

    Insomuch that we despaired even of life - Either expecting to be destroyed by the wild beasts with which he had to contend, or to be destroyed by the people. This was one of the instances undoubtedly, to which he refers in 2 Corinthians 11:23, where he says he had been "in death oft." And this was one of the many cases in which Paul was called on to contemplate death as near. It was doubtless one cause of his fidelity, and of his great success in his work, that he was thus called to regard death as near at hand, and that, to use the somewhat unpoetical, but deeply affecting lines of Baxter, expressing a sentiment which guided all his ministry, and which was one source of his eminent success,

    He preach'd as though he ne'er would preach again,

    As a dying man to dying men.

    Wesley's Notes on 2 Corinthians 1:8

    1:8 We would not have you ignorant, brethren, of the trouble which befell us in Asia - Probably the same which is described in the nineteenth chapter of the Acts. Acts 19:1 The Corinthians knew before that he had been in trouble: he now declares the greatness and the fruit of it. We were exceedingly pressed, above our strength - Above the ordinary strength even of an apostle.