Greetings from Paul
1This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.
I am writing to God’s church in Corinth and to all of his holy people throughout Greece.[a]
2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
God Offers Comfort to All
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters,[b] 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. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
Paul’s Change of Plans
12 We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness[c] and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you. 13 Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can’t understand. I hope someday you will fully understand us, 14 even if you don’t understand us now. Then on the day when the Lord Jesus[d] returns, you will be proud of us in the same way we are proud of you.
15 Since I was so sure of your understanding and trust, I wanted to give you a double blessing by visiting you twice— 16 first on my way to Macedonia and again when I returned from Macedonia.[e] Then you could send me on my way to Judea.
17 You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? 18 As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” 19 For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas,[f] Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. 20 For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.
21 It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, 22 and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.
23 Now I call upon God as my witness that I am telling the truth. The reason I didn’t return to Corinth was to spare you from a severe rebuke. 24 But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.
3 我們主耶穌基督的父上帝當受讚美！祂是仁慈的父和賜一切安慰的上帝。 4 我們遭遇任何患難，祂都安慰我們，使我們能夠用祂給我們的安慰去安慰那些在各樣患難中的人。 5 正如我們多受基督所受的苦楚，也靠基督多得安慰。 6 我們遭受患難，是為了使你們得到安慰和拯救；我們得到安慰，也是為了使你們得到安慰，以便你們能忍受像我們所遭遇的諸般苦難。 7 我們對你們堅信不移，因為知道你們既和我們同受患難，也必和我們同得安慰。
8 弟兄姊妹，希望你們知道我們在亞細亞所遭遇的苦難。那時我們承受極大的壓力，超過了我們的極限，甚至連活命的指望都沒了。 9 我們心裡覺得必死無疑，這使我們不倚靠自己，只倚靠使死人復活的上帝。 10 祂曾救我們脫離死亡的威脅，將來還要救我們。我們深信祂必繼續救我們。 11 你們也要用祈禱幫助我們，使恩典藉著許多人的禱告臨到我們，眾人便因此而為我們感恩。
12 我們感到自豪的是：我們本著上帝所賜的聖潔和誠實為人處世，倚靠祂的恩典，不倚靠人的聰明才智，對待你們更是這樣。這一點，我們的良心可以作證。 13-14 我們不寫任何你們讀不懂、不明白的內容。你們現在對我們有幾分認識，但我盼望你們最終完全認識到：當主耶穌再來的日子，你們將以我們為榮，正如我們將以你們為榮一樣。
15 我有這樣的把握，所以早就計劃去你們那裡，使你們有兩次蒙福的機會。 16 我打算從你們那裡去馬其頓，再從馬其頓回到你們那裡，然後你們為我送行前往猶太。 17 我定了這計劃，難道會反覆無常嗎？難道我是意氣用事，出爾反爾嗎？ 18 我在信實的上帝面前保證：我們對你們說的話絕不會忽是忽非！ 19 我和西拉、提摩太在你們當中所傳揚的那位上帝的兒子耶穌基督絕不會忽是忽非，在祂只有「是」。 20 因為上帝的一切應許在基督裡都是確實的，所以我們也是藉著基督說「阿們[a]」，將榮耀歸於上帝。 21 是上帝使我們和你們一同在基督裡信心堅固。祂差遣[b]了我們， 22 在我們身上蓋了祂自己的印記，並讓聖靈住在我們心中作擔保。
23 我求上帝為我作證：我沒有去哥林多，是為了寬容你們。 24 我們並不是要操縱你們的信仰，而是要幫助你們，使你們喜樂，因為你們在信仰上已經站穩了。