The guides in this series by Tom Wright can be used on their own or alongside his New Testament for Everyone commentaries. They are designed to help you understand the Bible in fresh ways under the guidance of one of the world’s leading New Testament scholars. Thoughtful questions, prayer suggestions, and useful background and cultural information all guide you into a deeper understanding of the Christian story and the Christian life.
Illness and suffering in the ancient world were regularly regarded as signs of divine displeasure. Sometimes we think the same thing today. In 2 Corinthians, we see evidence of Paul’s own suffering. The difficulties and pain he endured could be interpreted as God’s punishment. Not so, says Paul. Trials come not because God is angry; rather, he requires us to trust him completely. Paul was breaking new ground here. He wanted the Corinthians to understand the comfort to be found in the suffering, death and resurrection life of Jesus.