2 Corinthians 1

[8]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;

Paul who said

And our hope in Christ is steadfast - We have a firm and unshaken hope in Christ; we have a confident expectation that we will be saved. We believe that we will be enabled to bear trials as to show that we are sustained by our hope in Christ and so as to advance our own piety, and confirm our prospect of heaven.

Then how could Paul despair so much as to which to die, was Paul doubting the strength of grace in this situation


The Greek does not literally say "despaired of life" (εξαπορηθηναι ... της ζωης - noun), but rather more like "despaired of living" (εξαπορηθηναι ... του ζην - infinitive). The sense of the phrase is that he had no expectation of continuing to live, not that he had sunk into emotional despair. This comes out in John Chrysostom's (Greek) homily on the related verses:

“That we despaired even of life.”

That is, we had no longer any expectation of living. What David calleth “the gates of hell, the pangs” and “the shadow of death,” this he expresseth by saying, “We endured peril pregnant with certain death.”

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.