1 [This letter is from] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, and Timothy, our brother. [It is being sent] to the church of God at Corinth, with all the saints [i.e., God's holy people] who are in the entire province of Achaia [Note: This was the southern province of Greece]. 2 May [God's] unearned favor be yours, [along with] peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Father of compassionate feelings and the God of all comfort, be praised. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any [kind of] trouble, through the comfort we ourselves have received from Him. 5 For just as we experience an overflow of Christ's sufferings, even so we also experience an overflow of comfort through Christ. 6 But if we experience trouble, it is in order [to provide] for your comfort and salvation. Or, if we are comforted, it is in order [to provide] for your comfort [also], which enables you to endure patiently the same sufferings we experience. 7 And our hope for you is firm, for we know that just as you share our sufferings, so you will also [share] our comfort.
8 For we want you to know, brothers, about the trouble that we experienced in Asia. [See I Cor. 16:19]. We were under a heavy burden [which was] more than we could stand, even to the point of despairing of life. 9 Actually, we felt within us that we had [already] received a death sentence, so that we could [learn] not to trust in ourselves but in God, who raises the dead. 10 He has rescued us from a serious threat of death and He will do it again. We have placed our hope in Him, that He will also continue to rescue us, 11 as you cooperate by praying for us. Then, many people will give thanks [to God] on our behalf for the gift He has given to us through [your] many [prayers].
12 For this is what we boast of: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, in holiness and godly sincerity, not with human wisdom, but with the favor of God. 13 For we are not writing anything to you than what you can read and understand. And I hope that, on the day of our Lord Jesus [i.e., the judgment day], you will understand us fully, 14 as you have understood us partially [or "only a part of you have understood us"], that we are [the occasion of] your boasting, even as you are [the occasion of] our boasting.
15 And because of this confidence [i.e., that you people have such a favorable opinion of me], I had determined to visit you first [i.e., before going to Macedonia. See I Cor. 16:5-7], so that you could have an additional blessing. [Note: The "blessing" here would be Paul getting to minister to them both before and after visiting Macedonia]. 16 [I had planned] to visit you on my way to Macedonia and then again on my way back from there, and to have you help me on my journey to Judea. [See I Cor. 16:6]. 17 So, when I made this decision, was I just vacillating [in uncertainty]? Or, do I make plans in a worldly way [i.e., just to suit my own fancy], so that my "yes" and "no" [do not really mean anything]? 18 But just as certainly as God is dependable, our message to you is not [both] "yes" and "no" [at the same time]. 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed among you by me, [and] Silvanus [i.e., the same as Silas] and Timothy, was not "yes" and "no" [i.e., both our message and Jesus Himself were not contradictory], but with Him, it was "yes" [i.e., Jesus consistently spoke the truth]. 20 For [no matter] how many promises God has made, in Christ [the answer] is "yes" [i.e., Christ has fulfilled all of God's promises to mankind]. Also, through Christ, the "amen" [Note: This word is always translated elsewhere as "May it be so"] can be said by us in order to honor God. 21 Now God is the One who makes us stand firm with you in [fellowship with] Christ. He has anointed us [Note: "Anointed" here probably refers to selecting, appointing and commissioning people for some form of Christian service. See Luke 4:18]; 22 He has placed His seal of ownership upon us by giving us the down payment of the Holy Spirit [to live] in our hearts.
23 But I appeal to God as my witness [i.e., to verify that I am telling the truth]; it was in order to spare you [i.e., from a disciplinary action] that I decided not to return to Corinth. 24 For we do not have [the right to] rule over your faith [i.e., to dictate concerning your personal relationship with God], but we want to work with you for your happiness. For you are [already] standing firm in your faith. [Note: This whole narrative alludes to some unresolved problems still existing there in Corinth].