Passio Pauli propter Corinthios
Paul’s suffering for the Corinthians
1:6 Sive autem tribulamur pro vestra exhortatione et salute, sive consolamur pro vestra consolatione, sive exhortamur pro vestra exhortatione et salute, quae operatur tolerantiam earumdem passionum, quas et nos patimur: [n. 19]
1:6 Now whether we be in tribulation, it is for your exhortation and salvation: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation: or whether we be exhorted, it is for your exhortation and salvation, which works the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer. [n. 19]
1:7 ut spes nostra firma sit pro vobis: scientes quod sicut socii passionum estis, sic eritis et consolationis. [n. 23]
1:7 That our hope for you may be steadfast: knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation. [n. 23]
1:8 Non enim volumus ignorare vos, fratres, de tribulatione nostra, quae facta est in Asia, quoniam supra modum gravati sumus supra virtutem, ita ut taederet nos etiam vivere. [n. 24]
1:8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our tribulation which came to us in Asia: for we were burdened beyond measure, above our strength, so that we were weary even of life. [n. 24]
1:9 Sed ipsi in nobismetipsis responsum mortis habuimus, ut non simus fidentes in nobis, sed in Deo, qui suscitat mortuos:
1:9 But we had in ourselves the answer of death, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.
1:10 qui de tantis periculis nos eripuit, et eruit: in quem speramus quoniam et adhuc eripiet, [n. 28]
1:10 Who has delivered and does deliver us out of such great dangers: in whom we trust because he will also yet deliver us, [n. 28]
1:11 adjuvantibus et vobis in oratione pro nobis: ut ex multorum personis, ejus quae in nobis est donationis, per multos gratiae agantur pro nobis.
1:11 You helping withal in prayer for us. That for this gift obtained for us, by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many in our behalf.
19. Postquam Apostolus ostendit quod Deus consolatur servos suos in tribulationibus, scilicet ministros fidei et praedicatores, hic consequenter manifestat, quod eorum consolatio cedit ad bonum aliorum.
19. After showing that the Lord comforts his servants in their tribulations, i.e., the ministers of the faith and preachers, the Apostle now shows that their comfort rebounds to the good of others.
Et circa hoc duo facit.
And concerning this he does two things:
Primo manifestat qualiter eorum consolatio sit ad aliorum utilitatem et salutem;
first, he shows that their comfort results in the advantage and salvation of others;
secundo ordinem huius consolationis et salutis insinuat, ibi quae operatur tolerantiam, et cetera.
second, he shows the relation of this comfort to salvation, at which works the enduring.
20. Circa primum advertendum est, quod tria dicit Apostolus se recepisse: tribulationem, cum dicit: in omni tribulatione nostra, consolationem, cum dicit: qui consolatur nos, exhortationem, cum subdit: ut possimus et ipsi, etc. Accipiendo ergo haec tria passive, dicimus, quod apostoli consolantur, tribulantur et exhortantur. Unde et tria ostendit Apostolus cedere ad consolationem aliorum, et hoc in quodam ordine. Et primo eorum tribulationem, cum dicit sive, inquit, tribulamur, et cetera. Quasi dicat: vere quidquid recipimus est in bonum vestrum, quia sive tribulamur, pro vestra exhortatione et salute, quia scilicet nostro exemplo monet vos Deus ad passionum tolerantiam, unde provenit vobis salus aeterna. Unde I Machab. VI, 34 legitur, quod ostenderunt elephantis sanguinem uvae, et mororum, ut acuerent eos ad bellum. Quod fit, quando tepidis et pigris adhibentur passiones sanctorum in exemplum.
20. In regard to the first, it should be noted that the Apostle says that he received three things: afflictions, when he says, in all our tribulation; comfort, when he says, who comforts us; exhortation, when he says, that we also may be able to comfort those who are in all distress. By taking these three things in a passive sense, we say that the apostles are afflicted, comforted and exhorted. Hence, the Apostle also shows that three things result in the comfort of others, and these in a definite order. First, their affliction, when he says, whether we be in tribulation, as if to say that truly whatever we receive is towards your good, because whether we be in tribulation, it is for your exhortation and salvation. For by our example God is telling you to endure suffering, from which eternal salvation will come to you. Hence it is read that they showed the elephants the juice of grapes and mulberries, to arouse them for battle (1 Macc 6:34). This is done when the lukewarm and lazy are shown the sufferings of the saints as an example.
Secundo ostendit, quod eorum consolatio in aliorum utilitatem cedit, cum dicit sive consolamur. Quasi dicat: ipsa nostra consolatio, qua nos spe praemii consolamur, est ad consolationem vestram, inquantum exemplo nostro vos etiam eamdem spem praemii habentes, gaudetis.
Second, he shows that their comfort turns out to the advantage of others, when he says, or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation: as if to say, the very comfort by which we are comforted by the hope of a reward is a comfort to you, for by our example you also rejoice in having the same hope of a reward.
Tertio ostendit quod eorum exhortatio passiva est ad bonum aliorum, dicens sive exhortamur, per internam inspirationem vel per flagella, hoc est pro vestra exhortatione, scilicet ut vos ad maiora animemini, et salutem speretis. Unde dicitur II Mach. ult., quod exhortati sermonibus Iudae, et cetera. Adiuvantibus autem vobis, et cetera.
Third he shows that the exhortation they receive turns out to the benefit of others, saying, whether we be exhorted by an internal inspiration or by scourges, it is for your exhortation, i.e., that you be inspired to greater things and hope for salvation. Hence it is said that, exhorted by the word of Judas, they determined to attack bravely (2 Macc 15:17). You helping withal in prayer, etc.
21. Huius autem consolationis et salutis ordinem insinuat, cum subdit quae operatur tolerantiam, et cetera.
21. He suggests the relationship between this comfort and salvation when he says, which works the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer.
Et circa hoc duo facit.
In regard to this he does two things:
Primo ostendit patientiam habitam in adversis;
first, he shows the patience to be had in adversity;
secundo manifestat fructum, qui ex patientia provenit, ibi ut spes firma, et cetera.
second, the fruit which results from patience, at that our hope.
22. Dicit ergo: dico quod haec ad vestram salutem cedunt, quae salus est vobis in hoc, inquantum exemplo nostri estis fortes ad tolerantiam passionum, et ut patienter sustineatis passiones quas et nos patimur. Lc. XXI, 19: in patientia vestra possidebitis animas vestras. Iac. V, 10: exemplum accipite, fratres mei, et cetera.
22. He says, therefore, I say that these things work for your salvation, inasmuch as by our example you are strong enough to endure sufferings and patiently endure the trials which we also suffer: by your endurance you will gain your lives (Luke 21:19); as an example of suffering and patience, brethren, take the prophets (Jas 5:10).
23. Ex qua quidem patientia provenit vobis fructus, quia ex hoc spes nostra firma est pro vobis, quod vos efficiamini haeredes vitae aeternae. Rom. V, 3 s.: tribulatio patientiam operatur, patientia vero spem. Gregorius: tanto spes in Deum solidior surgit, quanto quis graviora pro nomine eius pertulerit. Nam ex passionibus quas sustinent sancti Dei pro Christo, consurgit eis spes vitae aeternae.
23. You obtain fruit from this patience because from it our hope for you is steadfast by the fact that you are made heirs of eternal life. Suffering produces endurance, and endurance true hope (Rom 5:3ff). Hope in God becomes firmer to the extent that one suffers more difficult things for his name. For as a result of the sufferings the saints endure for Christ, the hope of eternal life rises in them (Gregory).
Et causa spei huius est, quia sumus scientes, quia sicut estis socii nostri in passionibus, eritis socii et consolationis, id est vitae aeternae. II Tim. II, 11: fidelis sermo, nam si commortui sumus, et convivemus, et cetera. I Petr. IV, 13: communicantes Christi passionibus gaudete, et cetera.
And the cause of this hope is knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation, i.e., in eternal life. The saying is sure: if we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him (2 Tim 2:11–12); but rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed (1 Pet 4:13).
24. Consequenter cum dicit non enim volumus vos, captat eorum benevolentiam, recitando quaedam in speciali.
24. Then when he says, for we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, he wins their good will by mentioning certain specific things.
Et circa hoc tria facit.
And he does three things:
Primo enim describit persecutionem quam passus est in Asia;
first, he describes the persecution he suffered in Asia;
secundo specialem ei consolationem collatam, ibi qui de tantis, etc.;
second, the special comfort he received, at who has delivered;
tertio subdit consolationis causam, ibi nam gloria, et cetera.
third, the cause of the comfort, at for our glory.
25. Dicit ergo primum: non solum ea quae dicta sunt de tribulationibus in generali, bonum est vos scire, sed non volumus vos ignorare, quia scire est utile vobis, inquantum exemplo nostri patientiores estis. Nolumus, inquam, vos ignorare de tribulatione nostra, et cetera. Thren. III, 19: recordare paupertatis meae, et cetera.
25. He says first, therefore: it is good for you to know not only what we have said about our afflictions in general, but we do not want you to be ignorant, because it is profitable for you to know them, inasmuch as you are more patient because of our example. We do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of the affliction we experienced. Remember my affliction and my bitterness, the wormwood and the gall (Lam 3:19).
Haec est illa persecutio, de qua legitur Act. XIX, 23 ss., quae facta est apostolo ab Asiano quodam argentario concitante plebem contra eum, quam quidem Apostolus exaggerat a tribus. Ex loco, quia in Asia, et hoc est quod dicit quae, scilicet tribulatio, facta est in Asia, id est, apud Ephesum, quae est in Asia, ubi debuisset magis honorari et consolari. Ex acerbitate, quia supra consuetudinem humanarum passionum, et ideo dicit quoniam supra modum sumus, et cetera. Item supra posse, et ideo dicit supra virtutem.
This is the persecution mentioned in Acts (Acts 19:23ff), which was launched by a certain Asian silversmith, who incited the people against him. The Apostle describes it from three aspects: from the place, because it was in Asia; hence he says, in Asia, i.e., Ephesus, which is in Asia, where he should rather have been honored and comforted; from its bitterness, because it was an extreme suffering; hence he says, for we were burdened beyond measure. Also it was beyond his strength, and so he says, above our strength.
26. Sed contra I Cor. X, 13: fidelis Deus, qui non patietur vos tentari supra, et cetera.
26. But this seems to be contrary to what is said in 1 Corinthians: God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength (1 Cor 10:13).
Respondeo. Dicendum quod pati supra virtutem potest intelligi dupliciter. Vel supra virtutem naturalem, et de hac loquitur hic, supra quam Deus aliquando permittit sanctos tentari; vel supra virtutem gratiae, et de hac intelligitur illud I Cor. X, 13: fidelis Deus, etc., supra quam non permittit aliquem Deus tentari. Et quod Apostolus loquatur hic de virtute naturali, ostendit consequenter cum dicit ita ut taederet nos vivere.
I answer that to suffer beyond one’s strength can be understood in two ways: first, above one’s natural strength, which the Apostle means here, above which God sometimes permits his servants to be tempted; second, above the strength of grace, which the Apostle means here: God is faithful (1 Cor 10:13). That the Apostle is speaking of natural strength is indicated by what he says next, so that we were weary even of life.
Constat enim quod inter alia vivere magis desideratur. Quando ergo est tanta persecutio, ut et ipsa vita reddatur taediosa, manifestum est quod est supra virtutem naturae. Et hoc est quod dicit ita ut, etc.; quasi dicat: sic erat gravis persecutio, ut vita esset nobis taediosa. Iob X, 1: taedet animam meam vitae meae.
For it is evident that among all else, life is most desirable. Therefore when a persecution is so great that life itself becomes wearisome, it is obviously above the strength of our nature. And this is what he says, we were weary even of life, as if to say, this persecution was so cruel that life itself became a burden to us: I loathe my life (Job 10:1).
Contra Iac. I, 2: omne gaudium existimate, fratres mei, et cetera.
But against this it is said: count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials (Jas 1:2).
Respondeo. Dicendum quod tribulatio potest considerari dupliciter. Vel secundum se, et sic est taediosa; vel in comparatione ad finem, et sic est iucunda, inquantum propter Deum et spem vitae aeternae sustinetur.
I answer that affliction can be considered in two ways: either in itself, and then it is wearisome, or in relation to faith, and then it is joyful, inasmuch as it is endured for God and with the hope of eternal life.
Et non solum erat nobis taediosa vita, sed eramus certi de morte. Unde dicit sed ipsi in nobis responsum mortis, id est certitudinem mortis, habuimus; quasi dicat: opinio mea dictabat mihi hoc, quod deberem mori.
We were not only weary of life, but we were certain of death; hence, he says, but we had in ourselves the answer of death, i.e., the certainty of death. As if to say: in my opinion I was about to die.
Vel aliter, responsum mortis, id est ipsa ratio diceret et eligeret mori propter taedium vitae.
Or another way, the answer of death, i.e., reason itself would say to choose death because of the weariness of life.