2 Corinthians 8 Commentary

Click chart to enlarge
Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Another Chart from Charles Swindoll
A Third Chart 
Overview of
Second Corinthians
2Co 1:1-7:16
of Paul
2Co 8:1-9:15
for the Saints
2Co 10:1-12:21
of Paul
Testimonial & Didactic Practical Apologetic
Misunderstanding & Explanation
Practical Project
Apostle's Conciliation, Ministry & Exhortations Apostle's Solicitation for Judean Saints Apostle's Vindication
of Himself
Forgiveness, Reconciliation
Confidence Vindication

Ephesus to Macedonia:
Change of Itinerary

Macedonia: Preparation for Visit to Corinth

To Corinth:
Certainty and Imminence
of the Visit

2Co 1:1-7:16

2Co 8:1-9:15

2Co 10:1-12:21

2Corinthians written ~ 56-57AD - see Chronological Table of Paul's Life and Ministry

Adapted & modified from Jensen's Survey of the New Testament (Highly Recommended Resource) & Wilkinson's Talk Thru the Bible


Ruins of City with Acrocorinth Location of Immoral Temple of Aphrodite

2 Corinthians 8:1  Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia,

  • we: 2Co 8:19 
  • the grace: 2Co 8:2-7 9:12 Ac 11:23 1Co 15:10 Eph 3:8 Col 1:29 
  • churches: 2Co 9:2,4 11:9 Ac 16:9 Ro 15:26 1Th 1:7,8 4:10 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages: 

Acts 11:27-30+ (BACKGROUND ON GIFT TO JERUSALEM CHURCH) Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. 29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.

Galatians 2:10+ (BACKGROUND ON GIFT TO JERUSALEM CHURCH) They only asked us to remember the poor–the very thing I also was eager to do.

1 Corinthians 16:1-4+  (BACKGROUND ON GIFT TO JERUSALEM CHURCH)  Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. 2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. 3 When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem; 4 and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me. 

Romans 15:25-28+  (BACKGROUND ON GIFT TO JERUSALEM CHURCH) But now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain


2 Corinthians 8-9 forms a literary unit describing the contribution of the Corinthians to the poor in Jerusalem 

Nelson's NKJV Study Bible - The most detailed passage on giving in the New Testament is found in Second Corinthians (chs. 8; 9). The primary reason that Paul addressed this topic here was that false teachers in Corinth were questioning Paul's motives for ministry. Evidently they were suggesting that Paul was pocketing contributions earmarked for the poor believers in Jerusalem. Consequently the Corinthians, despite their announced willingness to help, had not donated to the cause.

Now (de) means at the present time, at this point in a series of events (in this letter). Paul has been addressing past misunderstandings with the church at Corinth and there has been "conflict resolution" and reconciliation with his beloved children (1Co 4:14+). Now Paul focuses his attention in 2Co 8-9 on the collection for the poor in Jerusalem which he had been organizing for several years (cf. Gal. 2:10; Ro. 15:25-28).

Brethren (adelphos), we wish to make known (gnorizo) to you the grace (charis) of God - Brethren is a term of affection for the believers in Corinth. The rift has been reconciled. Given is in the perfect tense signifying given at a point in time in the past with the effects and efficacy of grace continuing. Stated another way, Grace has been given in eternity past (2Ti 1:9+), revealed in eternity present (Titus 2:11+) and will be revealed and endure in eternity future, forever and ever amen (1Pe 1:13+, Eph 2:7+). Charis is clearly a key word in 2Co 8-9 the greatest chapters in the Bible on giving, which is apropos in light of God's giving us the great gift of His grace! (2Co. 8:1; 2Co. 8:4; 2Co. 8:6; 2Co. 8:7; 2Co. 8:9; 2Co. 8:16; 2Co. 8:19; 2Co. 9:8; 2Co. 9:14; 2Co 9:15). In the present passage the grace of God was the motivated by God's supernatural grace giving the Macedonian believers the desire to give sacrificially. God was the Source of the grace and the Macedonians were the instruments though which His grace flowed tangibly in the form of financial support. 

Adrian Rogers says the best definition of grace that he has ever heard is that God's grace is "both the desire and the ability to do the will of God." It is striking that almost the same words occur in Php 2:13NLT+ "For (term of explanation - explains how it is possible to Work out our salvation - Php 2:12+) God is working in you, giving you the DESIRE and the POWER to do what pleases Him." When you have a godly desire, that desire is from God, because no good thing can come out of our old vile heart! And only God the Spirit in us can give the supernatural power necessary to accomplish that godly desire! So we could paraphrase Php 2:13, in simple words, by saying that God's Spirit is continually giving us the grace (desire and power) to do what pleases Him! This practical definition of grace ought to free many of us who are "trying to clean ourselves up!" It can't be done! We need His grace to give us the desire to "clean up" and the power to "clean up!" Are you resisting His grace? You can either receive it or resist it! The first way leaves us filled, while the second way leaves us empty, dry, and spiritually barren. O beloved, tell God you desperately need and want Him to pour out His grace on the situation you find yourself entwined. Do you have a root of bitterness? Then confess it (even that act is a reflection of His grace) and cry out for His grace to give you the desire and the ability to eradicate that deadly root and its caustic fruit. And keep crying out until He removes the root, for it is in His will that no child of His should ever have a root of bitterness! And when He removes it, celebrate with a praise and worship service!

Bob Utley Grace (charis) is used over ten times in chapters 8 and 9. It is used in the sense of (1) God's undeserved, unmerited love in Christ, (2Co 8:1,9; 2Co 9:8,14 (2) favor/privilege, (2Co 8:4), (3) the offering to Jerusalem, (2Co 8:1,6,7,19), (4) thanks, (2Co 8:16; 2Co 9:15) Notice that grace is understood as referring to God's undeserved, unmerited love in Christ or as a way of referring to the contribution from Paul's Gentile churches to the mother church in Jerusalem. The Greek term has a wide semantical field.

Which has been given in the churches (ekklesia) of Macedonia - What churchesPhilippi, Thessalonica, and Berea (cf. Acts 16:1-17:13+). They had initially received the grace of God from Paul's proclamation of the Gospel of grace (Acts 20:24+) as he was faithful to fulfill his "stewardship of God's grace which" had been given to him "to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ." (Ep 3:2-7+, Ep 3:8+, Acts 9:15+ recalling that most of the churches in Macedonia were predominantly Gentile). 

Lowery writes of the churches in Macedonia that "The believers in these places suffered because of their faith (Phil. 1:29-30; 1Th 1:6), but they remained steadfast (Phil. 1:5; 1Th 1:7). They even contributed at that early juncture to Paul's material support (Phil. 4:15). (The Bible Knowledge Commentary:)

Brethren (80adelphos from a = denotes unity + delphus = a womb) literally means brother referring to a physical brother or figuratively can refer to a brother in the spiritual sense.  Uses in Corinthians 1 Co. 1:1; 1 Co. 1:10; 1 Co. 1:11; 1 Co. 1:26; 1 Co. 2:1; 1 Co. 3:1; 1 Co. 4:6; 1 Co. 5:11; 1 Co. 6:5; 1 Co. 6:6; 1 Co. 6:8; 1 Co. 7:12; 1 Co. 7:14; 1 Co. 7:15; 1 Co. 7:24; 1 Co. 7:29; 1 Co. 8:11; 1 Co. 8:12; 1 Co. 8:13; 1 Co. 9:5; 1 Co. 10:1; 1 Co. 11:33; 1 Co. 12:1; 1 Co. 14:6; 1 Co. 14:20; 1 Co. 14:26; 1 Co. 14:39; 1 Co. 15:1; 1 Co. 15:6; 1 Co. 15:31; 1 Co. 15:50; 1 Co. 15:58; 1 Co. 16:11; 1 Co. 16:12; 1 Co. 16:15; 1 Co. 16:20; 2 Co. 1:1; 2 Co. 1:8; 2 Co. 2:13; 2 Co. 8:1; 2 Co. 8:18; 2 Co. 8:22; 2 Co. 8:23; 2 Co. 9:3; 2 Co. 9:5; 2 Co. 11:9; 2 Co. 12:18; 2 Co. 13:11

Make known (1107gnorizo from ginosko = acquire information by whatever means but often with the implication of personal involvement or experience) means to cause information to be known by someone (make known, reveal, point out, explain, cause information to be known by someone), communicating things before unknown or reasserting things already known (Jn 15:15, Acts 7:13). To make clear.  Spoken of a teacher who unfolds divine things, to announce, declare, proclaim

Grace (favor) (5485charis from from chairo = to rejoice. English = charity. Beggars need "charity" even as sinners need grace, for we are all spiritual paupers outside of Christ, but "God gives where he finds empty hands"-Augustine [cp Mt 5:3+]) is a word which defies a simple definition but at its core conveys the sense of favor while the specific nuances of charis depend on the context in which it is used. Someone has written that the word grace is probably the greatest word in the Scriptures, even greater even than “love,” because grace is love in action, and therefore includes it. It is hardly too much to say that God has in no word uttered Himself and all that was in His heart more distinctly than in this word grace (charis)! A T Robertson writes that charis has "a variety of applied meanings. They all come from the notion of sweetness, charm, loveliness, joy, delight, like words of grace, Luke 4:22, growing grace, Eph. 4:29, with grace, Col. 4:6. The notion of kindness is in it also, especially of God towards men as here. It is a favorite word for Christianity, the Gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24) in contrast with law or works (John 1:16). Gratitude is expressed also (Luke 6:32), especially to God (Ro 6:17)."

Grace of God - 20v - Lk. 2:40; Acts 11:23; Acts 13:43; Acts 14:26; Acts 20:24; Rom. 5:15; 1 Co. 1:4; 1 Co. 3:10; 1 Co. 15:10; 2 Co. 1:12; 2 Co. 6:1; 2 Co. 8:1; 2 Co. 9:14; Gal. 2:21; Col. 1:6; Tit. 2:11; Heb. 2:9; Heb. 12:15; 1 Pet. 4:10; 1 Pet. 5:12

Churches (1577ekklesia from ek = out + klesis = a calling, verb = kaleo = to call) literally means called out (but see note by Louw-Nida below) and as commonly used in the Greco-Roman vernacular referred to citizens who were called out from their homes to be publicly assembled or gathered to discuss or carry out affairs of state. Uses in Corinthians - 1 Co. 1:2; 1 Co. 4:17; 1 Co. 6:4; 1 Co. 7:17; 1 Co. 10:32; 1 Co. 11:16; 1 Co. 11:18; 1 Co. 11:22; 1 Co. 12:28; 1 Co. 14:4; 1 Co. 14:5; 1 Co. 14:12; 1 Co. 14:19; 1 Co. 14:23; 1 Co. 14:28; 1 Co. 14:33; 1 Co. 14:34; 1 Co. 14:35; 1 Co. 15:9; 1 Co. 16:1; 1 Co. 16:19; 2 Co. 1:1; 2 Co. 8:1; 2 Co. 8:18; 2 Co. 8:19; 2 Co. 8:23; 2 Co. 8:24; 2 Co. 11:8; 2 Co. 11:28; 2 Co. 12:13

Bob Utley - Paul's overall argument concerning Christian giving

1. example of others (Macedonians) 2Co 8:1-5

2. giving is an aspect of spiritual growth, 2Co 8:7-8

3. example of Christ, 2Co 8:9; 9:15

4. their own start, 2Co 8:6,10

5. encouragement to put desire into action, 2Co 8:10

6. motive, not amount, is the key, 2Co 8:12

7. giving equals out, 2Co 8:14

New Testament guidelines for Christian giving based on the model of the churches of Macedonia

1. joyous and genuine, even amidst poverty, 2Co 8:2; 9:7

2. gave to utmost of ability, 2Co 8:3

3. gave sacrificially beyond ability, 2Co 8:3,12

4. gave freely, 2Co 8:3; 9:7

5. gave sincerely, 2Co 8:4

6. gave more than money, 2Co 8:5

2 Corinthians 8:2  that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.

  • in a great ordeal of affliction: 1Th 1:6 1Th 2:14 3:3,4 
  • their abundance of joy : Ne 8:10-12 Ac 2:45-46 
  • and their deep poverty overflowed: Mk 12:42-44 Lu 21:1-4 Jas 2:5 Rev 2:9 
  • in the wealth: 2Co 6:10 9:11,13 De 15:4 Pr 11:25 Isa 32:5-8 
  • of their liberality: 2Co 1:12 Ro 12:8 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

1 Thessalonians 1:6  You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,

1 Thessalonians 2:14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews,

Matthew 5:10-12  (JOY IN AFFLICTION) “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

James 1:2  (JOY IN AFFLICTION) Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

Galatians 5:22 (SOURCE OF SUPERNATURAL JOY) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Romans 5:3 (EXULTATION IN TRIBULATION) And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;


That in a great ordeal (dokimeof affliction (thlipsis) - Their great ordeal or testing was in the crucible of affliction or pressing circumstances. Read Acts 17:1-15+ to get a sense of their affliction. The Greek word for ordeal (dokime) is not testing or trying with a view toward destruction but with a view toward their approval (cf 2Co 8:2, 8, 22, 2Co 9:13). 

Their abundance (perisseia) of joy (chara) - Note the situation of abundance of joy between descriptions of affliction on one hand and deep poverty on the other. There is no clearer evidence that such joy is not naturally possible in such pressing, impoverished circumstances, but is only supernaturally possible. These believers were a living illustration of a Spirit filled church! 

Zahniser wrote, "This region had suffered the ravages of civil war between Caesar and Pompey, between Brutus and Cassius and the triumvirs, and finally between Augustus and Antonius. They actually made a petition for a surcease of their burdens of taxation in the reign of Tiberius and were granted the favor as a depleted area" (The Wesleyan Bible Commentary, 5:298).

And their deep (bathos) poverty (ptocheiaoverflowed (perisseuo) in the wealth (ploutos) of their liberality (haplotes)- Note the striking contrast between their material poverty (deep poverty, the Greek word speaking of absolute destitution!) and their spiritual wealth, this supernatural  effect/fruit clearly being a reflection of God's amazing grace. They had clearly become imitators of Paul (1Cor 11:1, 1Th 1:6) who himself had just written "as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things." (2Co 6:10+). Notice how their abundant joy matched their liberality, their quality of being generous. The Greek word haplotes describes a singleness of purpose, and is the opposite of one who is double minded. The giving of the Macedonians was without guile or hidden agenda, but for the glory of God. And keep in mind that the Macedonians were not giving to missionaries they knew but to a group of believers they did not even know personally and most of whom as Jews had thought lowly of Gentiles prior to their conversion. Again this is clear evidence of the supernatural empowerment of their giving.

MacArthur - The Macedonian believers were rich in their single-minded, selfless generosity to God and to others. (MacArthur Study Bible)

Murray Harris - Their poverty no more impeded their generosity than their tribulation diminished their joy....The apostle was not concerned about the actual size of the gift but about the attitude of the givers ("joy... generosity"; cf. Rom 12:8) and the relation between the size of the gift and the resources of the givers (cf. Mark 12:41-44). (1 and 2 Corinthians The Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Ordeal (1382)(dokime) can describe a trial, test, ordeal or testing process as here in 2Co 8:2. More commonly in the NT it describes the quality of having stood the test. Dokime in secular Greek was used to describe metals that had been tested and been determined to be pure. The idea of dokime is that when you put the metal through a fiery test and if it comes out on the other side "persevering and enduring", you call the metal proven, authentic or genuine. 

Affliction (2347thlipsis from thlibo = to crush, press together, squash, hem in, compress, squeeze in turn derived from thláo = to break) originally expressed sheer, physical pressure on a man. Thlipsis is a strong term which does not refer to minor inconveniences, but to real hardships. It conveys the idea of being squeezed or placed under pressure or crushed beneath a weight. Thlipsis in Corinthian letters - 1 Co. 7:28; 2 Co. 1:4; 2 Co. 1:8; 2 Co. 2:4; 2 Co. 4:17; 2 Co. 6:4; 2 Co. 7:4; 2 Co. 8:2; 2 Co. 8:13

Abundance (4050perisseia from perissós = over and above) is a noun which means abundance/superabundance, overabundance, excess, superfluity, overflow, surplus. Perisseia is that which is over and above, something that is beyond the ordinary or that which is an exceeding measure or greater than expected amount. In Ecclesiastes (see examples below), perisseia conveys the sense of gain or profit. Used only 4x in NT - Rom. 5:17; 2 Co. 8:2; 2 Co. 10:15; Jas. 1:21

Joy (5479chara is a feeling of great pleasure, of inner gladness, or of delight. Joy is an emotion evoked by a sense of well-being. It is a deep feeling of happiness and contentment. Joy in the NT is virtually always used to signify a feeling of "happiness" that is based on spiritual realities (independent of what "happens"). Joy is a depth of assurance and confidence that ignites a cheerful heart. It is a cheerful heart that leads to cheerful behavior.

Deep (899)(bathos) is the noun derived from adjective bathús = deep) literally describes a distance below a surface and to the depth or a deep place.  Figuratively bathos describes a great or extreme degree of anything and as a quality in relation to God it describes His inexhaustibility, His profundity, and His inscrutability (Ro 11:33, 1Cor 2:10). Bathos is "a universal figure for what is immeasurable or incalculable: cf. 1 Corinthians 2:10, Revelation 2:24, Ephesians 3:18

Poverty (4432)(ptocheia) means abject poverty, state of being destitute. It speaks of extreme poverty, as in the life of a beggar.  BDAG says it means a "state of being deficient in means of support." In 2 Co. 8:9 ptocheia describes Christ's poverty for us, so that we might become spiritually rich. In 2 Cor 8:2 ptocheia describes the churches in Macedonia though in deep poverty overflowed in their generous giving for the saints at Jerusalem.

Overflowed (4052perisseuo from perissos = abundant, exceeding some number, measure, rank or need, over and above) means to cause to superabound, to be superfluous, to overflow, to be in affluence, to excel or to be in abundance with the implication of being considerably more than what would be expected or exceeding the requirements. Perisseuo in the Corinthian letters - 1 Co. 8:8; 1 Co. 14:12; 1 Co. 15:58; 2 Co. 1:5; 2 Co. 3:9; 2 Co. 4:15; 2 Co. 8:2; 2 Co. 8:7; 2 Co. 9:8; 2 Co. 9:12; 

Wealth (4149ploutos from pletho = to fill) properly denotes abundance, plentitude, and literally is used to refer to material wealth or prosperity (abundance of earthly, temporal goods) which is the meaning in the parable of the seed and the soils (Mt 13:22, Mk 4:19, Lk 8:14 = Material riches are deceitful and choke out reception of the Word of God. Be careful all you wealthy readers! Contrast spiritual riches - Ep 3:8) Indeed, think of the people who know whose whole lives glow with the glory of God for they are rich in spiritual possessions, albeit often poor in material possessions!

Liberality (572haplotes from a = negation + pleko = twine, braid, weave, knit) means singleness, simplicity, uprightness, mental honesty; the virtue of one who is free from pretence and dissimulation. Haplotes pertains to being motivated by singleness of purpose so as to be open and aboveboard, without guile, and without a hidden agenda. The idea of haplotes is that of personal integrity expressed in word or action. It is the opposite of duplicity. Haplotes - 7v - Rom. 12:8; 2 Co. 8:2; 2 Co. 9:11; 2 Co. 9:13; 2 Co. 11:3; Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22


 When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For wealth certainly makes itself wings
Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens. 
--- Proverbs 23:5 

2 Corinthians 8:3  For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord,

  • For I testify: Ro 10:2 Ga 4:15 Col 4:13 
  • For I testify that according to their ability: 2Co 9:6,7 Mk 14:8 Ac 11:29 1Co 16:2 1Pe 4:11 
  • beyond their ability: 2Co 8:12,16,17 Ex 35:5,21,22,29 1Ch 29:5,6,9,13-17 Ps 110:3 1Co 9:17 Php 2:13 1Th 2:8 Phm 1:14 1Pe 5:2 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Luke 6:38 (PROPORTIONATE GIVING) “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure–pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” 

1 Corinthians 16:2  (PROPORTIONATE GIVING) On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.

Exodus 25:1-2+ (GIVING FROM THE HEART) Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution.

Exodus 35:4-5; 21-22+ (GIVING FROM THE HEART) (Moses spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded, saying, 5 Take from among you a contribution to the LORD; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the LORD’S contribution: gold, silver, and bronze.....21 Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the LORD’S contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments. 22 Then all whose hearts moved them, both men and women, came and brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and bracelets, all articles of gold; so did every man who presented an offering of gold to the LORD.

Exodus 36:5-7 (GIVING FROM THE HEART) and they said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform.” 6 So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. 7 For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.


For I (present tense - continually) testify (martureo) that according to their ability (dunamis), and beyond (para) their ability (dunamis) - Paul now "takes the witness stand" so to speak and testifies to three specific aspects of their generous giving. According to (kata) their ability is in proportion to what they had, not just a portion of what they had. But here Paul says they even went beyond proportional giving, even to the point of giving sacrificIally (see Mk 12:41-44+)! This is amazing for few Christians even give according to their ability! Notice Paul gives no percentage or required amount for their generous giving.  Beyond their ability is "shorthand" for sacrificial giving. 

they gave of their own accord (authairetos) - This describes freewill giving. The idea is that one has a choice and here they gave as a choice of their will, their own initiative. Their giving was voluntary, willing, not coerced, compelled, manipulated or forced. Paul's point is that the churches of Macedonia gave voluntarily to meet the needs of the poor saints in Judea. 

THOUGHT - I recall several church building programs where there was at least of hint of manipulation in the pleas for funds. 

MacArthur points out that "Freewill giving has always been God's plan (cf. 2Co 9:6; Ge 4:2-4; 8:20; Ex 25:1, 2; Ex 35:4, 5, 21, 22; Ex 36:5-7; Nu 18:12; Dt 16:10, 17; 1Ch 29:9; Pr 3:9, 10; 11:24; Lk 19:1-8). Freewill giving is not to be confused with tithing, which related to the national taxation system of Israel (see Lv 27:30-32 [note]) and is paralleled in the NT and the present by paying taxes.  (MacArthur Study Bible)

Testify (witness, gain approval) (3140martureo rom mártus = witness = one who has information or knowledge of something and can bring to light or confirm something. English = martyr) in its most basic sense refers to a legal witness. Thus the verb martureo means to be a witness, to testify, to give evidence, to give testimony, to bear record, to affirm  that one has seen or heard or experienced something. The words testified related to fact, not opinion, as in a courtroom setting. 

Ability (1411dunamis from dunamai = to be able, to have power) power especially achieving power. It refers to intrinsic power or inherent ability, the power or ability to carry out some function, the potential for functioning in some way (power, might, strength, ability, capability), the power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature.

Own accord (830)(authairetos from autos = self + haireo = choose) literally self-chosen describing one who chooses his own course of action, hence of one's own free will, acting spontaneously or voluntarily, self-chosen. It pertains to being. Only used in 2Co 8:3 and 2Co 8:17. Not found in the Septuagint. 

2 Corinthians 8:4  begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints,

  • begging us with much urging for the favor : 2Co 8:18,19 Ge 33:10,11 2Ki 5:15,16 Ac 16:15 1Co 16:3,4 
  • participation in the support of the saints: 2Co 9:1,12-14 Mt 10:42 12:50 25:40,44,45 Mk 14:7 Joh 19:26,27 Ac 6:1-7 9:39-41 11:29 24:17 Ro 15:25,26 1Co 16:1,3,4,15 Ga 2:10 6:10 1Ti 5:10 Phm 1:5,6 Heb 6:10 1Jn 3:16-18
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


(Present tense - continually) begging (deomai) us with much urging (paraklesis) - The Macedonians were "poor as church mice" and yet were continually begging even with a sense of urgency to be allowed to give, which is an amazing testimony to the supernatural work of the Spirit in their hearts, for poor people (poor as beggars) would not beg to give but beg to be given! The "paradoxical" Gospel of the grace of God turns hearts "right side" up! Selfish hearts are made unselfish by the Gospel! 

THOUGHT - Have you ever been in a church where the members pleaded for the privilege of giving others? That is almost a rhetorical question, because likely most (none) of us have had such an experience. Spirit filled churches are radical! 

Although Paul had not yet written Php 4:19 to the saints in Philippi, these Macedonian believers clearly were trusting in the Lord to meet their needs. They were not acting presumptively but prayerfully (in my opinion). 

A T Robertson - Apparently Paul had been reluctant to press the Macedonians because of their manifest poverty. They demanded the right to have a share in it.

For the favor (charis) of participation (koinonia) in the support (diakonia) of the saints (hagios) - Favor (charis) refers to a gracious, friendly act freely granted. Participation describes the saints' active, joint participation in support of the Jerusalem saints. The poor giving to the poor, the paradox and beauty of "Christian commiseration!" To the Macedonians, generous giving was from a sense of privilege not pressure! THOUGHT - Is that how you and I give?

Gilbrant adds that "Paul and Barnabas had already taken a similar offering for needy Christians to Jerusalem (Acts 11:27-30). The money came from the young Gentile church at Antioch of Syria. The Jerusalem church itself had demonstrated generosity toward needy members from the start (Acts 4:34, 35). (Complete Biblical Library - – Romans-Corinthians)

Begging (beseeching) (1189)(deomai from deo = to bind) means to ask for something with the sense of pleading, beseeching or begging. 

Urging (appeal)(3874) paraklesis from parakaléo = beseech <> pará = side of + kaléo = call) has a basic meaning calling someone to oneself (a call for help) and in 2 Corinthians 8 it describes a strong and persistent request, appeal or entreaty. It means to ask for something earnestly and with propriety.

Participation (fellowship, sharing) (2842koinonia from koinos = that which is in common, belonging to several) describes the experience of having something in common and/or of sharing things in common with others. It describes a close association involving mutual interests and communion.

Receive (NOTE: ONLY IN THE KJV - TEXTUS RECEPTUS)(1209dechomai = middle voice of a primary verb) means to accept with a deliberate and ready reception of what is offered, to receive kindly and so to take to oneself what is presented or brought by another. It means to welcome as a teacher, a friend, or a guest into one's house. The word describes accepting persons with open arms, minds, and hearts, even going beyond normally expected gracious hospitality. The term was often used of welcoming honored guests and meeting their needs with special attention and kindness.

Support (relief) (1248diakonia is probably derived from dioko = to pursue, "to be a follower of a person, to attach one's self to him:" - note on origin is from Vincent.) means the rendering or assistance or help by performing certain duties, often of a humble or menial nature serve, including such mundane activities as waiting on tables or caring for household needs—activities without apparent dignity. Diakonia is related to diakonos, a servant, not in his relation (like doulos) but more in regard to his activity. The term covers both slaves and hired servantsThe main idea which lies behind diakonia is that of practical service. Uses in Corinthians -  1 Co. 12:5; 1 Co. 16:15; 2 Co. 3:7; 2 Co. 3:8; 2 Co. 3:9; 2 Co. 4:1; 2 Co. 5:18; 2 Co. 6:3; 2 Co. 8:4; 2 Co. 9:1; 2 Co. 9:12; 2 Co. 9:13; 2 Co. 11:8; 

Saints (40hagios means set apart ones, separated ones, sanctified ones, holy ones) is literally a holy one and properly means different, set apart, distinct, holy. It describes one who is set apart for or by God and can be brought near or into God's holy presence. " Its fundamental idea is separation, consecration, devotion to the service of Deity, sharing in God's purity and abstaining from earth's defilement." (Zodhiates) So depending on the context hagios refers to whoever or whatever is set apart (sanctified) for a special purpose. Hagios in Corinthian letters - 1 Co. 1:2; 1 Co. 3:17; 1 Co. 6:1; 1 Co. 6:2; 1 Co. 6:19; 1 Co. 7:14; 1 Co. 7:34; 1 Co. 12:3; 1 Co. 14:33; 1 Co. 16:1; 1 Co. 16:15; 1 Co. 16:20; 2 Co. 1:1; 2 Co. 6:6; 2 Co. 8:4; 2 Co. 9:1; 2 Co. 9:12; 2 Co. 13:12; 2 Co. 13:13; 2 Co. 13:14

Saints have been supernaturally set apart (sanctified by the Holy Spirit, 1Pe 1:2+; 2Th 2:13, Ro 15:16+, Acts 20:32+, Acts 26:18+, 1 Cor 1:30, 6:11) for a special purpose (cp Ep 2:10+ - see also God's Masterpiece, Mt 5:16+, Php 2:15+), set apart from the world (Gal 6:14+, cp Jas 4:4+, 1 Jn 2:15+, 1 Jn 2:16+, 1 Jn 2:17+), the power of Sin and the fallen flesh (Ro 6:6+, Ro 6:11+, Ro 6:12, 13, 6:14+) and the dominion of the devil (Col 1:13+, Acts 26:18+, Heb 2:14, 15+) and unto God (Ro 14:7, 8, 9+).

Hagios is Paul's favorite description of believers and designates the believer's position in Christ (see discussion of in Christ and in Christ Jesus) as holy or set apart from that which is secular, profane, and evil and dedicated unto God, His worship and His service (note order - worship before service, cp Mary and Martha - Lk 10:38, 39, 40, 41, 42+).

Saints are now to live in this present evil age (Gal 1:4) in a manner which reflects what we were redeemed and "re-created" to be (1Pe 2:24, 25+; cp 2 Cor 7:1+) --- holy ones in character (character is what God knows we are; reputation is who other people think we are) and conduct, set apart by God to be exclusively His possession (1 Cor 6:19, 20+, Titus 2:14+) manifesting holiness of heart. Contrary to some religious teachings, the Bible itself never uses the word hagios or saint to refer to a "special class" of believers who are a "notch above" the rest. We are all equal at the foot of His Cross! (cp 2 Cor 3:5,6+, saints have "a faith of the same kind" as Peter! - 2Pe 1:1+)

2 Corinthians 8:5  and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.

  • they first gave themselves to the Lord: 2Co 5:14,15 1Sa 1:28 2Ch 30:8 Isa 44:3-5 Jer 31:33 Zec 13:9 Ro 6:13 12:1 14:7-9 1Co 6:19,20 
  • and to us by the will of God: 2Co 4:5 1Ch 12:18 2Ch 30:12 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Romans 12:1-2+ (SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES) Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 

1 Peter 2:5+  (SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES) you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.


And this, not (ou - absolute negation) as we had expected (hoped - elpizo), but they first (protos = priority not time) gave themselves to the Lord (kurios) and to us by the will (thelema) of God - Gave is aorist tense (at a point in time in the past), active voice (the choice of their will) means they gave of their own accord, presenting first themselves as a gift to their Master, the Lord Jesus Christ (which reminds us of the presentation in Ro 12:1) They remind me of the response of the little girl as the offering plate was passed. She took the plate, put it down on the floor, and stood in it. When the usher asked her what she was doing, she responded, “In Sunday school I learned that I was supposed to give myself to God.” Point made! Note the order of giving by generous givers. By the will of God or in keeping with the will or desire of God, the Macedonians first presented themselves to their Lord and Master Jesus Christ. They gave the more precious gift first, the gift of themselves. Then they presented themselves (and their offering) to Paul, the designated representative of the Lord. In giving themselves to us (Paul, et al) presumably they offered to be of any assistance to them that they might need. 

Murray Harris comments that "They recognized that dedication to Christ involved dedication to his servants and that dedication to them was in reality service for Christ. All was part of God's will. (1 and 2 Corinthians The Expositor's Bible Commentary)

One could sum up the generous giving of the Macedonians - (1) sacrificially, (2) willingly, (3) eagerly, and (4) spiritually (first gave themselves).

THOUGHT - Beloved we have to go no further than this great passage to discover the secret of generous giving. First we willingly give ourselves to the Lord. Generous giving will be the supernatural outflow from hearts in such communion and fellowship with the Greatest Giver in all eternity! 

Expected  (1679elpizo from elpis = hope) means to look forward with confidence to that which is good and beneficial. To express desire for some good with the expectation of obtaining it.

First (4413)(protos) 1) first in time or place 1a) in any succession of things or persons 2) first in rank 2a) influence, honour 2b) chief 2c) principal 3) first, at the first 

Lord (master, owner)(2962kurios from kuros = might or power, related to kuroo = to give authority) primarily means the possessor (and disposer), owner (one who has control of the person), master, the supreme one, one who is sovereign (e.g., Roman emperors - Acts 25:26+) and possesses absolute authority, absolute ownership rights and uncontested power. Kurios is he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master,  Uses in Corinthians - 1 Co. 1:2; 1 Co. 1:3; 1 Co. 1:7; 1 Co. 1:8; 1 Co. 1:9; 1 Co. 1:10; 1 Co. 1:31; 1 Co. 2:8; 1 Co. 2:16; 1 Co. 3:5; 1 Co. 3:20; 1 Co. 4:4; 1 Co. 4:5; 1 Co. 4:17; 1 Co. 4:19; 1 Co. 5:4; 1 Co. 5:5; 1 Co. 6:11; 1 Co. 6:13; 1 Co. 6:14; 1 Co. 6:17; 1 Co. 7:10; 1 Co. 7:12; 1 Co. 7:17; 1 Co. 7:22; 1 Co. 7:25; 1 Co. 7:32; 1 Co. 7:34; 1 Co. 7:35; 1 Co. 7:39; 1 Co. 8:5; 1 Co. 8:6; 1 Co. 9:1; 1 Co. 9:2; 1 Co. 9:5; 1 Co. 9:14; 1 Co. 10:21; 1 Co. 10:22; 1 Co. 10:26; 1 Co. 10:28; 1 Co. 11:11; 1 Co. 11:23; 1 Co. 11:26; 1 Co. 11:27; 1 Co. 11:29; 1 Co. 11:32; 1 Co. 12:3; 1 Co. 12:5; 1 Co. 14:21; 1 Co. 14:37; 1 Co. 15:31; 1 Co. 15:47; 1 Co. 15:57; 1 Co. 15:58; 1 Co. 16:7; 1 Co. 16:10; 1 Co. 16:19; 1 Co. 16:22; 1 Co. 16:23; 2 Co. 1:2; 2 Co. 1:3; 2 Co. 1:14; 2 Co. 2:12; 2 Co. 3:16; 2 Co. 3:17; 2 Co. 3:18; 2 Co. 4:5; 2 Co. 4:10; 2 Co. 4:14; 2 Co. 5:6; 2 Co. 5:8; 2 Co. 5:11; 2 Co. 6:17; 2 Co. 6:18; 2 Co. 8:5; 2 Co. 8:9; 2 Co. 8:19; 2 Co. 8:21; 2 Co. 10:8; 2 Co. 10:17; 2 Co. 10:18; 2 Co. 11:17; 2 Co. 11:31; 2 Co. 12:1; 2 Co. 12:8; 2 Co. 13:10; 2 Co. 13:14

Will (2307thelema from thelo = to will with the "-ma" suffix indicating the result of the will = "a thing willed") generally speaks of the result of what one has decided.  In its most basic form, thelema refers to a wish, a strong desire, and the willing of some event. In reference to God's will, it signifies His gracious disposition toward something. Used to designate what God Himself does of His own good pleasure. Most of the NT uses of thelema (over 3/4's) refer to God's will and signify His gracious disposition toward something. God's will usually refers to what He has decreed, but occasionally God's will refers to what He desires but has not decreed (Mt 18:14).

2 Corinthians 8:6  So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.

  • So we urged Titus: 2Co 8:16,17 2Co 12:18 
  • complete in you this gracious work 2Co 8:4,19 2Co 9:5 Php 4:18 1Pe 4:10 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


While the Corinthians had been instructed regarding collections (1Co 16:1-3+), their "good intentions" (made a beginning) had not translated into tangible spiritual fruit, so Paul had sent Titus to do a little spiritual motivating, not by coercion but by encouragement. 

David Lowery has an excellent introduction to this section writing "Whenever possible, Paul preferred to motivate and instruct by deed as well as by words. He did not hesitate to urge the Corinthians and others to imitate his manner of life (cf. 1Co 4:16; 2Co 11:1; 1Th 1:6; 2Th 3:7-9). But he was also quick to point to other worthy examples, including Timothy (1Co 4:17; Php 2:19-20), Epaphroditus (Php 2:25), and of course, Christ (Php 2:5; 1Co 11:1b; 1Th 1:6) and God the Father (Ep 5:1). Paul gave the Corinthians two examples of liberality: the Macedonian churches and Christ. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary

So - In light of the example of grace working in the Macedonian believers, Paul now makes arrangements for the Corinthians to finish the gracious work that had begun in them. 

We urged (encouraged - parakaleo) Titus that as he had previously made a beginning (proenarchomai), so he would also complete (bring to completion - epiteleo - same verb 2Co 7:1+) in you this gracious work (charis) as well - The work in them was a manifestation of the supernatural work of God's grace in their heart making them gracious or generous givers. The question arises as to why the beginning (When? This is uncertain but possibly after Titus had taken the either the "severe letter" or the previous letter - cf 1Co 16:1-3+) had not yet been brought to an end? Paul is silent but one consideration is that there were false apostles in Corinth and like modern day prosperity preachers they were spiritual leeches diverting funds from the needy poor to line their greedy pockets. Recall that Paul refused to accept support which was a sore point with the Corinthian church (2Co 11:7-12; 12:13-18).

Urged (3870parakaleo from para = side of, alongside, beside + kaleo = call) means literally to call one alongside, to call someone to oneself, to call for, to summon. Parakaleo can include the idea of giving help or aid but the primary sense in the NT is to urge someone to take some action, especially some ethical course of action. Sometimes the word means convey the idea of comfort, sometimes of exhortation but always at the root there is the idea of enabling a person to meet some difficult situation with confidence and with gallantry. Uses in the Corinthian letters (note 3 uses in 2Co 7) -  1Co. 1:10; 1Co. 4:13; 1Co. 4:16; 1Co. 14:31; 1Co. 16:12; 1Co. 16:15; 2Co. 1:4; 2Co. 1:6; 2Co. 2:7; 2Co. 2:8; 2Co. 5:20; 2Co. 6:1; 2Co. 7:6; 2Co. 7:7; 2Co. 7:13; 2Co. 8:6; 2Co. 9:5; 2Co. 10:1; 2Co. 12:8; 2Co. 12:18; 2Co. 13:11

Previously made a beginning (4278)(proenarchomai from pro = before + enarchomai = to begin, to make a beginning) means to begin beforehand. It refers to beginning at some past time. To begin something previously. Only found in 2Co 8:6 and 2Co 8:10. 

Complete (2005epiteleo from epí = intensifies meaning, in the sense of meaning "fully" + teleo = to complete, bring not just to the end but to the destined goal from télos = end, goal) means to bring something to the place where it is complete.  Epiteleo conveys the intensified meaning to fully reach the intended goal in the sense of successfully completing what has been begun (Gal 3:3, Ro 15:28+, Php 1:6+).

Related Resources:

2 Corinthians 8:7  But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also.

  • But just as you abound in everything: Ro 15:14 1Co 1:5 4:7 12:13 14:12 Rev 3:17 
  • in faith and utterance: 1Co 13:2 
  • and knowledge and in all earnestness: 1Co 8:1,2 13:8 
  • and in the love we inspired in you: 2Co 7:7 
  • see that you abound : 2Co 9:8 Php 1:9,11 1Th 4:9,10 2Th 1:3 1Pe 1:22 2Pe 1:5-8 
  • in this gracious work also: 2Co 8:6 9:14 Eph 4:29 2Ti 2:1 Heb 12:28 2Pe 3:18 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

2 Corinthians 7:4; 16 Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction.....16 I rejoice that in everything I have confidence in you.

2 Corinthians 9:8+ And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

1 Corinthians 1:4-5; 7-8+ (CORINTH A GIFTED CHURCH)   I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech (logosand all knowledge (gnosis) ...7-8 so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 Who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 7:7; 11-12+  (EARNESTNESS OF THE CORINTHIANS) and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal (zelos) for me; so that I rejoiced even more....11-12 For behold what earnestness (spoude)  this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. 12 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the offender nor for the sake of the one offended, but that your earnestness (spoude)  on our behalf might be made known to you in the sight of God.

But just as you (present tense - continually) abound (perisseuo) in everything, in faith (pistis) and utterance (logos) and knowledge (gnosis) and in all earnestness (spoude) and in the love (agape) we inspired in you - Abound (key word - 2Co 8:2, 7, 9:8, 12) in everything indicates the saints at Corinth were not financially strapped like the saints in Macedonia and thus it should make them also willing to contribute. After saying they abound in everything Paul specifies first the spiritual gifts they abounded in - faith...utterance...knowledge. (1Co 1:5, 7-8+). 

See that you (present tense - continually) abound (perisseuo)  in this gracious work ("grace of giving" - charis) also - Note that the very essence of the word grace (charis) is giving! Paul affirms the giftedness of the Corinthians but as he had written earlier he would "show (them) a still more excellent way" (1Co 12:31), the way of love (1Jn 3:16-18+). Paul exhorts them based on all the grace gifts they have been given, that they should likewise overflow with the grace of giving. In short, they should imitate the Macedonians and like them overflow (perisseuo) in the wealth of their liberality (2Co 8:2+). In Romans 12:8+ Paul reaffirmed that the goal of our giving should be generous giving writing "he who gives with liberality (haplotes)." 

THOUGHT- When we give generously, we in effect "imitate" God! John writes "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (NOW HE GIVES A TANGIBLE EXAMPLE OF LAYING DOWN OUR LIVES FOR OTHERS - GENEROUS GIVING) But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (1Jn 3:16-18+). 

Murray Harris - By using the word charis ("grace") of the virtue of giving (NIV, "grace of giving,"), he makes it clear that generosity stands alongside faith, speech, knowledge, and love as an expression of divine grace in man (2Co 8:7). Already excelling in Christian virtues and gifts of the Spirit, the Corinthians were to make sure they exhibited the grace of liberality as well. (1 and 2 Corinthians The Expositor's Bible Commentary)

MacArthur sums up this exhortation - The giving of the Corinthians was to be in harmony with other Christian virtues that Paul already recognized in them: "faith"—sanctifying trust in the Lord; "utterance"—sound doctrine; "knowledge"—the application of doctrine; "earnestness"—eagerness and spiritual passion; and "love"—the love of choice, inspired by their leaders. (MacArthur Study Bible)

Faith (4102pistis is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth of anything, but in Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it. "The term implies both knowledge and action. One may receive knowledge of a certain truth and may even offer verbal agreement, but “trust” or “confidence” is not said to be present until one’s behavior reflects that truth." (Charles Swindoll)

Utterance  (3056logos rom légō = to speak with words; English = logic, logical) means something said and describes a communication whereby the mind finds expression in words.

Knowledge (1108gnosis from ginosko = to know especially experientially)  in simple terms is the possession of information of what is known. Gnosis describes the comprehension or intellectual grasp of something. Gnosis refers to knowledge gained by experience in contrast to intuitive knowledge. Stated another way gnosis is experientially known, functional ("working") knowledge gleaned from first-hand/personal experience which in turn connects theory to application. Gnosis as it applies to one's relationship with Christ is not simply an intellectual (head) knowledge of Him , but includes an intimate, experiential, personal knowledge of Him (cf Php 3:10 = ginosko)

Earnestness (4710spoude from speudo = move quickly, hasten, make haste) refers to eagerness, earnestness, willingness or zeal. It denotes quick movement or haste accompanying the eagerness, etc, in the interest of a person or cause. Thus spoude can refer to swiftness of movement or action and means haste or speed (like our expression "in a hurry"). It can refer to an earnest commitment in discharge of an obligation or experience of a relationship. Spoude implies more than mere earnest desire, but includes action as well as desire. Spoude "never takes 20 minutes to do a 10 minute job." (William Hill) Louw-Nida - Spoudē means "eagerness to do something, with the implication of readiness to expend energy and effort" Spoude was often used in Greek and Roman literature and found on inscriptions in reference to extraordinary commitment to civic and religious responsibilities, which were frequently intertwined, and also of concern for personal moral excellence or optimum devotion to the interests of others. For believers, spoudē ("speedy diligence") means quickly obeying what the Lord reveals is His priority. This elevates the better over the good and the more important over the important – with divinely-inspired swiftness.

Love (26agape is unconditional, sacrificial love and Biblically refers to a love that God is (1Jn 4:8,16), that God shows (Jn 3:16, 1Jn 4:9) and that God enables in His children (fruit of the Spirit - Gal 5:22+).Biblical agape love is the love of choice, the love of serving with humility, the highest kind of love, the noblest kind of devotion, the love of the will (intentional, a conscious choice) and not motivated by superficial appearance, emotional attraction, or sentimental relationship. Agape is not based on pleasant emotions or good feelings that might result from a physical attraction or a familial bond. Agape chooses as an act of self-sacrifice to serve the recipient. From all of the descriptions of agape love, it is clear that true agape love is a sure mark of salvation.

2 Corinthians 8:8  I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.

  • I am not speaking: 2Co 8:10 2Co 9:7 1Co 7:6,12,25 
  • as a command,: 2Co 8:1-3 9:2 Ro 11:12-14 Heb 10:24 
  • but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also: 2Co 8:24 6:6 Jos 24:14 Eze 33:31 Ro 12:9 Eph 4:15 *marg: Eph 6:24 Jas 2:14-16 1Pe 1:22 1Jn 3:17-19 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

Philemon 1:8-9 Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to do what is proper, 9 yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you–since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus–

2 Corinthians 1:24+  (PAUL'S SENSITIVITY NOT TO USE HIS APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY) Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm.


I am not (ou = absolutely not) speaking this as a command (epitage) - Paul could have invoked his apostolic authority (see 2Co 1:24 above, cf 2Co 10:8, 2Co 13:10) but inspired by the Spirit he did not which is similar to his appeal to Philemon (see above). A command places someone under law but graces giving is giving freely of one's own will or choose. In chapter 9 Paul amplifies this principle writing "Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly (lupe) or under compulsion (anagke), for God loves a cheerful (hilaros) giver (dotes)." (2Co 9:7+)

Reformation Study Bible - Paul wants giving to be voluntary. In general, though Paul had great authority, he preferred to ask rather than command (Philem. 14 and note), a good pattern for those in authority (Matt. 20:25, 26).

But as proving (dokimazo) through the earnestness (eagerness - spoude) of others the sincerity (gnesiosof your love (agape) also - NET helps understand this passage = "I am testing the genuineness of your love by comparison with the eagerness of others." NLT has "I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches." He had just described the earnestness (spoude) of the Corinthians (2Co 8:7) and now makes this statement as a challenge to their earnestness. Would they prove to be as earnest in their giving as the Macedonians? Paul wanted the Corinthians' giving to be motivated by their love (grace) not the law (legalism).

Murray Harris explains "Spontaneity and warmth would be absent from the Corinthians' giving if coercion were present. But he did see in the enthusiastic generosity of the Macedonian churches a convenient standard for assessing the genuineness of the Corinthians' professed love for him and for all believers, as well as a compelling incentive to arouse them to action. (1 and 2 Corinthians The Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Command (2003) epitage from epitásso = appoint over, put in charge in turn from epí = upon or over + tasso = arrange, appoint, order, set in place) means literally one appointed over and came to refer to something that is in its proper order or place. Figuratively epitage was used of an authoritative directive, an order, an official command, a directive or an injunction.  The idea is to arrange upon and thus reflects a command imposed upon someone. Epitage stresses the authoritativeness of the command (recall Paul was an apostle and thus could invoke apostolic authority). Epitage denotes especially the direction of those in high office who have something to say. Used only by Paul in the NT - Rom. 16:26; 1 Co. 7:6; 1 Co. 7:25; 2 Co. 8:8; 1 Tim. 1:1; Tit. 1:3; Titus 2:15

Proving (1381dokimazo rom dokimos = tested, proved or approved, tried as metals by fire and thus purified from dechomai = to accept, receive) means to assay, to test, to prove, to put to the test, to make a trial of, to verify, to discern to approve. Dokimazo involves not only testing but determining the genuineness or value of an event or object. That which has been tested is demonstrated to be genuine and trustworthy. Dokimazo in the Corinthian letters - 1 Co. 3:13; 1 Co. 11:28; 1 Co. 16:3; 2 Co. 8:8; 2 Co. 8:22; 2 Co. 13:5; 

Sincerity (1103)(gnesios from ginomai = to become, come into being) means legitimately born, and thus legitimate not spurious. It was used literally, of children legitimate, lawful, born in wedlock; figuratively, of spiritual relationship true, genuine (1Ti 1.2). In 2Co 8:8 the idea is as a commendable quality of integrity and thus genuine, sincere. BDAG - 1. one who is considered a valid member of a family, legitimate, true. In the Hellenic world ancestral connections were highly prized; hence this term referred orig. to having connection with the ge,noj by birth: ‘belonging to the race.’ Hence lit. of children born in wedlock, legitimate; 2. pert. to possession of apparent or reputed good character or quality, genuine of things (of ‘genuine’ writings:Used 4x in NT - sincerity(1), true(3). 2 Co. 8:8; Phil. 4:3 = "true companion"; 1 Ti 1:2 = " my true child in the faith"; Titus 1:4 = "Titus, my true child in a common faith" Not found in the Septuagint. 

2 Corinthians 8:9  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

  • For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,: 2Co 13:14 Joh 1:14,17 Ro 5:8,20,21 1Co 1:4 Eph 1:6-8 2:7 3:8,19 
  • that though He was rich: Ps 102:25-27 Joh 1:1-4,10 16:15 1Co 15:47 Php 2:6 Col 1:16,17 Heb 1:2,6-14 
  • yet for your sake: Isa 62:1 65:8 Joh 12:30 17:19 Col 1:24 
  • He became poor: Isa 53:2 Mt 8:20 17:27 20:28 Mk 6:3 Lu 2:7 8:3 9:58 Php 2:6-8 
  • so that you through His poverty might become rich: 2Co 6:10 Lu 16:11 Ro 8:32 11:12 1Co 3:21,22 Eph 3:8 1Ti 6:18 Jas 2:5 Rev 3:18 21:7 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

2 Timothy 2:1+  You therefore, my son, be strong (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Phil 2:5-11+ Have this attitude (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Matthew 8:20+ (POVERTY OF JESUS) Jesus *said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”


Paul now gives the prime example for generous grace giving.

Lowery writes "Few statements surpass verse 9 as a pithy summary of the gospel (cf. 2Co 5:21). From the splendor of heaven Christ came to the squalor of earth. The Incarnation was an incomprehensible renunciation of spiritual and material glory." (The Bible Knowledge Commentary:)

For (gar) - "The transition from v. 8 to v. 9 (denoted by gar, "for") is illuminating, because it suggests that Paul saw in Christ the finest example of one who showed eagerness and generosity in giving as a demonstration of his love. If the sacrificial giving of the Macedonians did not stimulate emulation, the example of Christ's selflessness certainly would. Such doctrinal buttressing of ethical injunctions is typical of Paul (e.g., Rom 15:2, 3; Eph 5:2; Col 3:9, 10)." (Murray Harris)

you know (ginoskothe grace (charis)  of our Lord (kurios) Jesus Christ (Christos), that though He was rich (plousios, - Don't miss that this teaches the preexistence of Christ (and therefore the Deity of Jesus) for He was rich in eternity past, not while on earth! You know the grace is Paul's way of saying "You know the giving of our Lord Jesus Christ!" Know is ginosko meaning they knew by experience, for they had themselves had experienced the grace of God (cf 1Co 1:4+, Eph 2:8-9+). In 2Co 8:1+ grace of God and here grace of our Lord (kurios) Jesus Christ, so clearly Christ is God. As a manifestation of Christ grace, He gave up His wealth in heaven and became poor on our behalf. While the Macedonians gave when they were extremely poor, Christ gave when His was incomparably rich. 

MacArthur on Jesus Christ as rich - A reference to the eternality and pre-existence of Christ. As the second person of the Trinity, Christ is as rich as God is rich. He owns everything, and possesses all power, authority, sovereignty, glory, honor, and majesty (cf. Isa 9:6; Mic 5:2; Jn 1:1; 8:58; 10:30; 17:5; Col 1:15-18; 2:9; Heb 1:3).  (MacArthur Study Bible)

Henry Morris - He was the Creator of the entire cosmos (Colossians 1:16+), with all its infinite riches, yet He left it all to die a cruel death, utterly impoverished, with even His meager garments stripped away as He was spiked to the Cross. See also the even more graphic testimony in Philippians 2:5-8. This great gift of grace is the standard against which our own practice of the grace of giving must always be compared. (Defender's Study Bible)

Paul presents the premier example of giving in all eternity, the giving of the Savior for the salvation of sinners. Even as Jesus gave us Himself (SACRIFICIALLY), the Corinthians (AND ALL OF US DEARLY BELOVED) should be willing to "walk in His steps" (1Pe 2:21) and give of themselves (SACRIFICIALLY) out of kindness for the sake of others. 

Yet for your sake He became poor (ptocheuo), so that (hina - purpose clause) you through His poverty (ptocheia) might become rich (plouteo) - Note the reason Jesus left eternal riches for temporal poverty - for your (AND OUR) sake! How did Jesus become poor? The answer of course is he became poor at His incarnation. Although "He existed in the form of God, (He) did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men." The Corinthians were spiritual paupers, but Jesus became a "pauper" that they could put on His rich robe of righteousness. Paul's point to the Corinthians is in light of what Jesus did for them, was it too much to ask them to make a generous contribution to the saints at Jerusalem. 

Jesus became a pauper
that we might be made a "prince." 

Pulpit Commentary on became poor. - The aorist implies the concentration of his self-sacrifice in a single act.  (2 Corinthians 8)

David Guzik on became poor...you...might become rich - Just as Jesus added humanity but never lost His deity, so He also “added” poverty but never “lost” His riches. “For He assumed poverty, yet did not lose His riches. Inwardly He was rich (ED: COMPARE "TREASURE" OF HIS FOLLOWERS - 2Co 4:7+), outwardly poor. His deity was hidden in His riches, His manhood apparent in His poverty.” (Hughes)...Because of Jesus’ poverty and all that was related to it, we can become rich. We have a share in Jesus’ eternal, heavenly wealth because He came and had a share in our poverty. (2 Corinthians 8)

MacDonald on He became poor - This refers not only to Bethlehem but to Nazareth, Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha. If this is true, and it certainly is, then it should be our greatest joy to give all that we are and have to Him. No argument could be more forceful than this in the midst of Paul's discussion of Christian giving.

Gilbrant - He experienced that birth in abject poverty. The humble inn in the town of His birth had no room as a decent place for Him to come into the world. His mother bore Him, attended only by Joseph. She lay on a straw-covered dirt floor of a stable. His only crib was the feeding trough for the animals who shared the place of His birth, probably a cave stable in Bethlehem. During His stay of 30 years on earth He never owned a place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20). When He came to the end of His earthly life the only provisions He could offer for the care of His mother came through the kindness He requested of a friend with His dying breath (John 19:26, 27). Before they crucified Him they stripped Him of the meager clothing He wore. Soldiers gambled to see who would get the garments of pitifully small value He left behind (Mark 15:24).In death they buried Him in a borrowed tomb (Matthew 27:60). Others provided the customary burial cloths and spices, and they were relative strangers (John 19:38-42). Thus He lived and died owning nothing of this world's goods. (Complete Biblical Library – Romans-Corinthians)

Moorehead comments "He was rich in possessions, power, homage, fellowship, happiness. He became poor in station, circumstances, in His relations with men. We are urged to give a little money, clothing, food. He gave Himself." 

Constable - Gratitude to Him for His condescending grace should be the supreme motive for Christian giving. Paul frequently used doctrine to appeal for proper conduct (cf. Ro 15:2-3; Eph. 5:2; Col. 3:9-10). The Macedonians gave when they were very poor, but Christ gave when He was immensely rich. The Corinthians fitted between these two extremes. These two examples leave no question that giving is a grace that both the rich and the poor should manifest. (2 Corinthians 8)

Gilbrant - This passage is pivotal for understanding Paul’s (and therefore the Christian’s) rationale for monetary giving. In 2 Corinthians 8–9 Paul was greatly concerned about the poor in the church of Jerusalem, and he asked the Corinthians to contribute to their welfare. His reasoning was twofold: (1) Just as salvation is based on God’s grace which results in good works, so giving is based not on law but on grace; just as Christ freely gave up His riches in heaven, so too should believers be willing with joy (happiness—not grudging) to give up riches for others. (2) Giving to the poor is a way for Christians to show their participation in the body of Christ. Ptōcheuō is used often in patristic literature for poverty, both involuntary as well as voluntary. The term is used for the willing poverty of Christ, as well as the voluntary poverty of Christians.

David Guzik - Why would Jesus need to become poor for your sakes? How does His poverty benefit us?

  • Because it shows us the giving heart of God
  • Because it shows us the relative importance of material things
  • Because it makes Jesus open and accessible to all
  • Because it rebukes the pride that might refuse to come to a poor Savior
  • Because it gave others the privilege of giving to Jesus
  • Because it fulfilled the heart and will and plan of God, making our salvation possible  (2 Corinthians 8)

Wick Broomall - Look at the wonderful truths here:

(1) a knowledge given—ye know;

(2) a state relinquished—though he was rich;

(3) a reason offered—yet for your sakes;

(4) a state assumed—he became poor;

(5) a resource tapped—through his poverty;

(6) an exaltation conferred—ye... might become rich (asv).

Cf. Phil 2:5-10. Give according to the magnitude of your wealth in Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 8 - Wycliffe Bible Commentary - online)

Know (1097)(ginosko) means to acquire information through some modality, as through sense perception (hearing). However ginosko involves experiential knowledge, not merely the accumulation of known facts. Ginosko is one of the major verbs of the Bible and because of its numerous uses, it is not surprising that Greek lexicographers ascribe a number of nuances of meaning including to get to know, come to understand, to ascertain, to have intimate relations with another, etc.  Knowledge possessed through the intellectual process of learning is one thing. Knowledge gained by experience, by an active relationship between the one who knows and the person or thing known, is far superior to the former. Ginosko describes the latter quality of knowledge and is what every Christ follower should desire as their personal, permanent possession regarding the Person of Christ (e.g., see ginosko in Jn 8:32, Jn 17:3, Php 3:10).

Rich (4145plousios from ploutos = wealth, abundance, riches) is an adjective which defines that which exists in a large amount with implication of its being valuable. Literally plousios refers to having an abundance of earthly possessions that exceeds normal experience.  Rich is used most often in the NT in the sense of having abundant possessions and especially material wealth and was a frequent topic addressed by the Lord Jesus. 

Became poor (4433)(ptocheuo from  ptochos - extreme poverty) means to be or become a beggar, be destitute. It means to be or become (extremely) poor, helpless, and therefore to beg. Used figuratively, of Christ's earthly humility and lowly life.  In classical Greek ptōcheuō is used to refer to someone who is a beggar, someone who is as poor as a beggar, or who has the prospect of becoming poor in the future. The beggar was a despised person in ancient Greece, with no status and certainly no spiritual benefits from being poor. Ptōcheuō is used in the Septuagint, (Jdg. 6:6; Jdg. 14:15; Ps. 34:10; Ps. 79:8; Prov. 23:21) always referring to a condition of poverty, but without the emphasis on begging.  Thus, Judges 6:6 notes the impoverished condition of Israel because of Midianite domination. Ptōcheuō denotes the state of poverty in Psalm 79:8 (LXX 78:8). Proverbs 23:21 states that poverty is the fate of drunkards and gluttons.

Poor (4434ptochos from ptosso = crouch, cringe, cower down or hide oneself for fear, a picture of one crouching and cowering like a beggar with a tin cup to receive the pennies dropped in!) is an adjective which describes one who crouches and cowers and is used as a noun to mean beggar. These poor were unable to meet their basic needs and so were forced to depend on others or on society. Classical Greek used the ptochos to refer to a person reduced to total destitution, who crouched in a corner begging. As he held out one hand for alms he often hid his face with the other hand, because he was ashamed of being recognized. 

Become rich (4147plouteo rom ploutos = wealth) means to be or become rich or wealthy (Lk 1:53, 1 Ti 6:9) and is used figuratively of spiritual riches (cp Lk 12:21, Rev 3:18+ and literally in Rev 3:17+!)

2 Corinthians 8:10  I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it.

  • I give my opinion: 1Co 7:25,40 
  • for this is to your advantage: 2Co 12:1 Pr 19:17 Mt 10:42  Joh 11:50 16:7 18:14 1Co 6:12 10:23 Php 4:17 1Ti 6:18,19 Heb 13:16 Jas 2:15,16 
  • who were the first to begin: 2Co 8:8 9:2 
  • not only to do this, but also to desire to do it., 2Co 8:3 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Matthew 6:19-21+ Do not store up (present imperative with a negative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But store up (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (THOUGHT - WHERE IS YOUR TREASURE BELOVED? IS IS ACCRUING INTEREST IN THE BANK OF HEAVEN???)

Revelation 22:12+  “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

1 Corinthians 16:1-3+ (BEGAN A YEAR AGO) Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. 2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. 3 When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem;

2 Corinthians 9:6+ Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

Luke 6:38+ (GENEROUS GIVING IS FOR YOUR ADVANTAGE/PROFITGive (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey), and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure–pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” 

POSB - As mentioned above, the Corinthians had undertaken the mission project of meeting the needs of the poor churches in Judea, but they had backed off the project when divisiveness had reared its ugly head in the church (see 2 Cor. 8:6-7). Now that they had experienced revival, Paul gives his advice: pick up the mission project again. "This is expedient for you": expedient and beneficial for you personally and for your ministry. Recommitting yourselves to missions will stir God to bless the church. (The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible: 1 & 2 Corinthians)

Swindoll - The Corinthians abounded “in everything” (2Co 8:7). They had faith, good teaching, knowledge, sincerity, and love. It seems they also were quite well off financially. Yet in the midst of their surplus, they struggled with focus. They had turned inward, consumed by their own internal problems: factions, false teachers, spiritual gifts, unrepentant sin. These things turned their attention from outward ministry to inward controversy. To realign them with their original God-given mission, Paul pointed to two examples of self-sacrificial giving: the Macedonian Christians who gave abundantly despite hardship and poverty (2Co 8:8) and Jesus Christ, who gave up all his heavenly riches to become poor in order to save us all (2Co 8:9). Now Paul seeks to overcome three common hindrances to giving: procrastination (2Co 8:10-11), hesitation (2Co 8:11-12), and exception (2Co 8:13-15). (Swindoll's Living Insights New Testament Commentary – 1 & 2 Corinthians)

I give my opinion (gnome) in this matter, for this is to your advantage (sumphero) - Give opinion (personal advice) emphasizes Paul was not commanding a specific amount, but that generous giving would be profitable. CSB - "Because it is profitable for you." Paul's point is in light of the examples of the generosity of the Macedonians and Christ, the Corinthians need to finish (v11) what they began that it would be "profit" for them in temporal blessings and best of all eternal blessing when they receive their recompense at the Bema Seat of Christ (2Co 5:10+, cf 1Ti 4:8+ "godliness is profitable for all things  since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come."). Paul offers the same advice to the saints at Philippi writing "Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit (fruit - karpos; NLT -"reward") which increases (abounds - pleonazo) to your account ("HEAVENLY BANK ACCOUNT" ARE YOU STORING UP FOR YOURSELF TREASURE IN HEAVEN BELOVE?)." (Php 4:17+)

Who were the first to begin (proenarchomai - used in verse 6) a year ago not only to do (poieothis, but also to (present tense - continually) desire (thelo) to do it - Paul affirms (always good to give positive affirmation if you can) their good beginning regarding their desire to give. The implication of a year ago is that sufficient time has passed for them to follow through on their desire. Good intentions (desire) is not a substitute for good deeds! (See Jas 2:15-16+) Paul's mention of their continuing desire suggests a foreshadowing of his mention of "a cheerful giver" (2Co 9:7). 

“Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
-- Benjamin Franklin

Broomall quips "Let your performance now catch up with and match your willingness!" (2 Corinthians 8 - Wycliffe Bible Commentary - online)

David Guzik - The Devil will let you resolve as much as you like – the more the better – just as long as you never carry it out. “The tragedy of life so often is, not that we have no high impulses, but that we fail to turn them into actions.” (Barclay)

Colin Kruse on a year ago - a year ago (rendering apo perusi) could be misleading. The same expression is used in the papyri to mean ‘last year’, i.e. some time during the previous calendar year. Thus the time reference could be to a point as recent as one month or as long as twenty-three months. In this context, assuming the Corinthians’ original initiative in the matter was expressed in their letter to which Paul responded when he wrote 1 Corinthians, the point in time to which apo perusi refers will be determined by the period of time we judge to have elapsed between the writing of 1 and 2 Corinthians (see Kruse's note below). (Full text of the Tyndale NT Commentary on 2 Corinthians)

Colin Kruse on date of 2 Corinthians - The historical circumstances in which 2 Corinthians (both chs. 1-9 and 10-13) was written have been discussed at length above (pp. 19-36). It now only remains to try to give actual dates to the writing of these chapters. Assigning dates to the various points in Paul’s career and to the time of writing of his letters is fraught with difficulties. In the case of his relationship with the Corinthians, we do have a couple of possible reference points which may help us. First, Acts 18:2 tells us that when Paul arrived in Corinth on his first visit ‘he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome’. This edict of Claudius is generally held to have been promulgated in a.d. 49. Second, in Acts 18:12-17 we read that during Paul’s first visit to Corinth he was brought before Gallio, the proconsul of Achaia. Fragments of an inscription found during excavations at Delphi contain a reproduction of a letter from the Emperor Claudius. From the contents of this inscription it can be inferred that Gallio held office in Corinth from the spring of a.d. 51 to the spring of a.d. 52. However, a statement made by Seneca, the Stoic philosopher and brother of Gallio, informs us that Gallio did not complete his term of office, and it is therefore impossible to date Paul’s encounter with him in the latter part of his term of office. It must have taken place then between July and October a.d. 51.

Working from these reference points and taking note of the information provided about Paul’s movements in the Acts of the Apostles (and assuming that this is essentially compatible with what may be inferred from Paul’s letters), the following chronology for Paul’s contacts with the Corinthians can be suggested. He arrived in Corinth for his first visit early in a.d. 50. After spending eighteen months there he was arraigned before Gallio (latter half of a.d. 51). He stayed on in Corinth ‘many days longer’ after the arraignment, then sailed for Antioch. After spending ‘some time’ there Paul travelled through Galatia to Ephesus, where he spent two years and three months (a.d. 52-55). After leaving Corinth, and quite possibly during his stay in Ephesus, the apostle wrote the ‘previous’ letter. Towards the end of his time in Ephesus (a.d. 55) he wrote 1 Corinthians, made the ‘painful’ visit, and wrote the ‘severe’ letter. Paul then left Ephesus, travelling via Troas to Macedonia, where he met Titus and from where he wrote 2 Corinthians 1-9, and shortly afterwards 2 Corinthians 10-13 (a.d. 56). He then made his third visit to Corinth and spent three months in Greece before setting out with the collection to Jerusalem, hoping to arrive there in time for Pentecost a.d. 57. (Full text of the Tyndale NT Commentary on 2 Corinthians)

Opinion (consent, judgment, decided)(1106gnome basically refers to the mind as the instrument of knowing; (1) purpose, intention, mind 1 Cor 1:10; Rev 17:13; decision, resolve Acts 20:3; Rev 17:17. (2) opinion, judgment 1 Cor 7:25, 40; 2 Cor 8:10; Acts 4:18 (3) previous knowledge, consent Philemon 1:14. [English = gnome] Friberg - (1) as the direction of one's thinking intention, disposition, will (1Cor  1.10); (2) as the result of one's consideration resolve, decision, purpose (Acts 20.3); (3) as advice, distinct from command counsel, opinion, judgment (1Cor 7.25); (4) as the result of sharing another's consideration consent, previous knowledge, agreement (Philemon 1:14)

Advantage (4851sumphero from sún = together + phéro = bring) means literally to bring together (literally - as in Acts 19:19). Then sumphero comes to mean to confer a benefit, to be profitable, advantageous (Mt. 5:29, 30; 18:6; 19:10; John 11:50; 16:7) or useful. The idea is to bring together for the benefit, profit or advantage of another. And so here in Heb 12:10 sumphero describes the dividends of discipline, the profit of punishment! Matt. 5:29; Matt. 5:30; Matt. 18:6; Matt. 19:10; Jn. 11:50; Jn. 16:7; Jn. 18:14; Acts 19:19; Acts 20:20; 1 Co. 6:12; 1 Co. 10:23; 1 Co. 12:7; 2 Co. 8:10; 2 Co. 12:1; Heb. 12:10

Do (4160poieo means to bring to pass, to carry out, to bring about, to accomplish. Poieo means "to do" which focuses more on the end/achievement of the action.

Desire (2309thelo refers to exercising of one's will with the underlying sense of to be willing, to desire, to want or to wish. Vine says Thelo "expresses not simply a desire, but a determined and constant exercise of the will."

2 Corinthians 8:11  But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.

KJV  2 Corinthians 8:11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.

NET  2 Corinthians 8:11 to finish what you started, so that just as you wanted to do it eagerly, you can also complete it according to your means.

BGT  2 Corinthians 8:11 νυνὶ δὲ καὶ τὸ ποιῆσαι ἐπιτελέσατε, ὅπως καθάπερ ἡ προθυμία τοῦ θέλειν, οὕτως καὶ τὸ ἐπιτελέσαι ἐκ τοῦ ἔχειν.

NLT  2 Corinthians 8:11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have.

ESV  2 Corinthians 8:11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.

NIV  2 Corinthians 8:11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.

YLT  2 Corinthians 8:11 and now also finish doing it, that even as there is the readiness of the will, so also the finishing, out of that which ye have,

ASV  2 Corinthians 8:11 But now complete the doing also; that as there was the readiness to will, so there may be the completion also out of your ability.

CSB  2 Corinthians 8:11 But now finish the task as well, that just as there was eagerness to desire it, so there may also be a completion from what you have.

MIT  2 Corinthians 8:11 Now complete what you also started out to do, so that just as eagerness was there to desire to do it, in the same manner may the decision to follow through with it impel you to use what you have.


One could subtitle this passage "Ready and willing" but Paul will add that they needed to be "willing to finish." This reminds me of the saying "put your money where your mouth is," since Paul is calling on the Corinthians to show the authenticity of the willingness and "the genuineness of their own love (cf 2Co 8:24) by a concrete act of compassion."(Kruse)

Swindoll - Procrastination involves intentionally and habitually putting off something that should be done. It’s not just forgetting; it’s forsaking. It is not merely being accidentally delayed; it is intentionally ignoring. The procrastinator’s favorite word is tomorrow. The Corinthians had fallen into that trap. Tomorrow became next week. Next week became next month. And now, a year later, they still had not followed through on their commitment. The decisive cure to the plague of procrastination is the second word of verse 11: now. (Swindoll's Living Insights New Testament Commentary – 1 & 2 Corinthians)

Paul now gives the only command in the entire section of generous giving in 2Co 8-9 as he expresses his fundamental concern that the Corinthians finish what they had begun. 

But now (nuni) finish (epiteleo) doing (poieo it also, so that (hopos - purpose) just as there was the readiness (prothumia - eagerness cf Acts 17:11+) to desire (thelo) it - But now is more emphatic than just using "now" by itself. Notice Paul says NOW (cf 2Co 6:2+) not later! Don't procrastinate. Don't put it off! Don't make excuses! Just do it! (which is the sense of the aorist imperative) While Paul had backed off of using his authority and was giving his opinion in 2Co 8:10, now the advice becomes a command - now finish (epiteleo in aorist imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) It is great to talk about doing someone good, but it is a entirely different matter to actually do it. There was the readiness indicates the Corinthians were quick to make a pledge. Note the marks of generous givers - readiness (eagerness) and desire ().

Paul frequently uses the phrase but now (several introduce striking changes) -  Ro 3:21; Ro 6:22; Ro 7:6; Ro 11:30; Ro 15:23; Ro 15:25; Ro 16:26; 1Co 7:14; 1Co 12:18; 1Co 12:20; 1Co 13:13; 1Co 14:6; 1Co 15:20; 2Co 8:11; 2Co 8:22; Gal 3:25; Gal 4:9; Ep 2:13; Ep 5:8; Php 2:12; Col 3:8; 1Th. 3:6; 2Ti 1:10; Philemon 1:11

So there may be also the completion (epiteleoof it by your ability (out of what you can give) - ESV = "it may be matched by your completing it." By your ability is more literally "out of what you have," the idea being to give in proportion to what you have.  In 1Co 16:2NET+ Paul had written "set aside some income and save it to the extent that God has blessed you. ("whatever one can afford" - NAB)." 

THOUGHT - Have you had good intentions to do some Christian work, and yet failed to follow through. If the Spirit is leading you to do something, then follow His lead and finish His work. Remember you are working WITH God more than FOR GOD (See note on 2Co 6:1). 

Now (3568) (nuni - strengthened form of nun) is an "adverb of time; an emphatic form of nu/n but not differing from it in meaning; (1) as a point of time not past or future now, at the present time (Acts 24.13), opposite proteros (earlier); (2) as an adjective used with the article and joined to a noun the present (Acts 22.1); (3) non-temporally, as a particle of logical antithesis used to shift from an unreal to a real state of affairs but now; but, as a matter of fact (1Co 5.11); (4) nuni de -  used to introduce a summary of a situation but now, and so (Ro 7.17; 1Co 13.13)

Nuni - 18v - Acts 22:1; Acts 24:13; Rom. 3:21; Rom. 6:22; Rom. 7:6; Rom. 7:17; Rom. 15:23; Rom. 15:25; 1 Co. 13:13; 1 Co. 15:20; 2 Co. 8:11; 2 Co. 8:22; Eph. 2:13; Col. 1:22; Col. 3:8; Phlm. 1:9; Philemon 1:11; Heb. 9:26

Nuni in Septuagint - Ex 32:34; Nu 11:6; Dt. 10:22; Jos. 5:14; Jos. 14:12; 2 Ki. 3:15; Job 6:28; Job 7:21; Job 30:1; Job 30:9; Job 42:5; Ps. 17:11; Ps. 44:9;

Doing (4160)(poieo) is primarily translated with the idea of to DO (to bring to pass, to carry out, to bring about, to accomplish), to MAKE (to construct or fashion something out of existing material) to PERFORMPoieo means "to do" which focuses more on the end/achievement of the action.

Readiness (eagerness) (4288prothumia from prothumos = predisposed, ready, willing, eager, prompt, referring to one's spirit in Mt 26:41 "the spirit is willing"; from pro = before, in front of + thumos = passion) conveys the idea of ready and willing, of readiness for action, or of having the will or purpose to act. This word describes one's exceptional interest in being of service. It is a determined disposition of one's mind. Prohumia depicts someone who is already willing with an eager disposition which is pre-inclined. Prothumia conveys the idea of “rushing forward” and here speaks of their readiness to receive the word.  In Acts 17:11 prothumia refers to the preexisting character of the Bereans, as already willing to know the Lord more. Used 5x in NT - Acts 17:11; 2 Co. 8:11; 2 Co. 8:12; 2 Co. 8:19; 2 Co. 9:2

Rod Mattoon - At this point, let me ask, "Have you completed what you have started, whether it is in the area of business, work, school, your marriage, promises to family or friends, or your promises to God?" By the grace of God, try to finish what you have started. The life of a Christian can be described in one of four ways: as a journey, as a battle, as a pilgrimage, and as a race. Select your own metaphor, but the necessity to finish is always the same. For if life is a journey, it must be completed. If life is a battle, it must be finished. If life is a pilgrimage, it must be concluded, and if it is a race, it must be won.

Derek Redmond, a twenty-six-year-old Briton, was favored to win the four-hundred-meter race in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Halfway into his semifinal heat, a fiery pain seared through his right leg. He crumpled to the track with a torn hamstring. As the medical attendants were approaching, Redmond fought to his feet. "It was animal instinct," he would later say. He set out hopping, pushing away the coaches in a crazed attempt to finish the race.

When he reached the stretch, a big man pushed through the crowd. He was wearing a T-shirt that read "Have you hugged your child today?" and a hat that challenged, "Just Do It." The man was Jim Redmond, Derek's father. "You don't have to do this," he told his weeping son. "Yes, I do," Derek declared. "Well, then," said Jim, "we're going to finish this together." And they did.

Jim wrapped Derek's arm around his shoulder and helped him hobble to the finish line. Fighting off security men, the son's head sometimes buried in the father's shoulder, they stayed in Derek's lane to the end. The crowd clapped, then stood, then cheered, and then wept as the father and the son finished the race.

What made the father do it? What made the father leave the stands to meet his son on the track? Was it the strength of his child? No, it was the pain of his child. His son was hurt and fighting to finish what he had started. So the father came to help him finish. Beloved, God does the same for the Christian. Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble sometimes, but the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not the one who says it. However, our prayers, faith, trust, and obedience do make a difference. All you have to do is be humble enough to turn your cares over to the Lord, be surrendered to Him and His will, and He will help you to finish what you have started. (Treasures From 2 Corinthians, Vol. 2)

2 Corinthians 8:12  For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.

  • For if the readiness is present,: 2Co 9:7 Ex 25:2 35:5,21,22,29 1Ch 29:3-18 2Ch 6:8 Pr 19:22 Mk 12:42-44 14:7,8 Lu 7:44-46 12:47,48 16:10 21:1-4 1Pe 4:10 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Mark 12:42-44+  (EXTREME GIVING AND QUALITY OVER QUANTITY) -A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. 43 Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”

Acts 11:29+ (GIVING ACCORDING TO ONE'S ABILITY) And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.


For (gar - term of explanation). What is Paul explaining? He has just stated "by your ability" or according to your ability and now will elaborate on that statement.

If the readiness (prothumia - eagerness cf Acts 17:11+) is (present tense - continually) present (prokeimai - continually lies before them), it (NET - "the gift itself") is acceptable (euprosdektos) according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have - NIV = "For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have." Readiness speaks of their heart attitude not how large their bank account was. God always looks at the heart (quality), not the amount (quantity)! In context Paul is clearly referring to the collection Titus was to oversee (2Co 8:4–7). Obviously God does not expect one to give what he does not have! Give out of what you have, not out of what you do not have. When a person gives according to what he has, such giving is acceptable or well-pleasing to the Lord.

MacArthur - That is why there are no set amounts or percentages for giving anywhere stated in the NT. The implication is that if one has much, he can give much; if he has little, he can give only little (cf. 2Co 9:6). (MacArthur Study Bible)

Broomall - One's financial response must be according to what a man has (rsv); harsh legalism has no place in Christian giving. (2 Corinthians 8 - Wycliffe Bible Commentary - online)

Pulpit Commentary  -  In other words, God considers not quantum, but ex quanto; not the magnitude of the gift, but the proportion which it bears to the means of the giver. (2 Corinthians 8)

Reformation Study Bible - This is a warning against giving or promising to give an amount that you really do not have, hoping that God will repay it. Doing this forces a test on God (Luke 4:12). People should give as God causes them to prosper (1Cor. 16:2). Even so, the more common offense is failing to give immediately and generously when God brings additional income.

Henry Morris - Although the New Testament does not specify tithing, as the Old Testament does, the principle of proportionate giving is advocated (see also 1 Corinthians 16:2). The key measure is not the proportion given, but the amount retained. (The Defender's Study Bible)

Murray Harris - Provided a gift is willingly given, its acceptability is determined solely on the basis of what a person might possess, not on the basis of what he does not own. God assesses the "value" of a monetary gift not in terms of the actual amount given, but by comparing what is given with the total financial resources of the giver. This is the lesson of Mark 12:41-44 (the widow's offering). No one is expected to give "according to what he does not have."  (1 and 2 Corinthians The Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Swindoll - Paul’s point in 8:12 seems to be along the lines of the old adage “A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.” Paul says to the Corinthians, essentially, “If you’re ready, you can do it. You can complete the project even if you don’t think you have the resources. Do what you can now without hesitation; don’t worry about what you can’t do.” (Swindoll's Living Insights New Testament Commentary – 1 & 2 Corinthians)

Gilbrant - those who have much and offer little find small favor with the Lord. They make the mistake of trying to worship grudgingly with the hand rather than in spirit and in truth. With them God is not well pleased.

God's scales weigh motives, not money.

H A Ironside -- "It was not a question of saying, 'Well, I would do something but am not able,' but a question of doing what they could. If you can give only a little to the Lord, give that, and He will multiply it. If you can give a great deal, give it to Him. He looks into the heart. Many a one puts in a dime, and on the books of heaven it goes down as though it were a dollar, but do not put in a dime if you could give the dollar, for that won't go down at all! (2 Corinthians 8 ).

David Guzik - If our question is, “How little can I give and still be pleasing to God?” our heart isn’t in the right place at all. We should have the attitude of some early Christians, who essentially said: “We’re not under the tithe – we can give more!” Giving and financial management are spiritual issues, not only financial issues (Luke 16:11).

Present (4295prokeimai from pros = in front of + keimai = lie outstretched) means to be set before one or in front of. Prokeimai means to exist openly or in an evident manner. To be placed before the eyes and so to lie in sight or be on public display. For example, in Jude prokeimai refers to destroyed cities exhibited as an example for all to see. In 2Corinthians prokeimai means to lie or be before the mind of someone and so to be present before him.

Acceptable (2144euprosdektos from eu = good + prosdechomai = accept) Acceptable, pleasant, well-received, approved. Pertaining to that which is particularly favorable or propitious—‘truly favorable. . A strong affirmation of acceptability, favorably received. Used 5x - Rom. 15:16; Rom. 15:31; 2 Co. 6:2; 2 Co. 8:12; 1 Pet. 2:5

Related Resources:

2 Corinthians 8:13  For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality--

KJV  2 Corinthians 8:13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:

NET  2 Corinthians 8:13 For I do not say this so there would be relief for others and suffering for you, but as a matter of equality.

BGT  2 Corinthians 8:13 οὐ γὰρ ἵνα ἄλλοις ἄνεσις, ὑμῖν θλῖψις, ἀλλ᾽ ἐξ ἰσότητος·

NLT  2 Corinthians 8:13 Of course, I don't mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality.

ESV  2 Corinthians 8:13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness

NIV  2 Corinthians 8:13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.

  •  For this is not for the ease of others: Ac 4:34 Ro 15:26-27 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Acts 4:34+ For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales

Romans 15:26-27+ For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.

For this is not for the ease (anesis) of others and for your affliction (thlipsis), but by way of equality (isotes) -- NLT = "Of course, I don't mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality." In a word, sacrificial giving must be responsible. One is not to neglect their own families or put themselves in a position of hardship. Paul is not advocating the principle of "robbing Peter to pay Paul.

John Calvin - This teaching is needed to refute fanatics who think that you have done nothing unless you strip yourself completely and put everything into a common fund.

Rod Mattoon - Give until it hurts, but don't give so that it hurts your family and/or relatives who need your financial support.

David Guzik - Some like to say, “Give till it hurts. Then keep giving until it feels better again.” But God’s goal for us isn’t to “Give till it hurts.” The goal is not to afflict those who give, it is to display the giving heart and love of Jesus Christ.

Broomall - Literally: For not that (might become) relief (anesis, as in 2Cor 2:13; 7:5) to others (Jerusalem saints), (but) to you affliction (thlipsis). The Jerusalem saints were not to enjoy plush seats while the Corinthians sat on hard benches. Let there be no "fringe benefits" at your expense! (2 Corinthians 8 - Wycliffe Bible Commentary - online)

Ease (425anesis from aniemi = loose, let up, hold back ~ relaxing or release) refers to relaxing of custodial control and thus giving one some liberty as in the present passage. Anesis can also refer to relief from somethin onerous or troublesome,

Equality (2471)(isotes from isos = equal) (1) of value equality (2Co 8.14); evx ivso,thtoj as a matter of equality, as a question of fairness (2Co 8.13); (2) as due rights and obligations fairness, what is equitable (Col 4.1) Used 3x - 2 Co. 8:13; 2 Co. 8:14; Col. 4:1 Twice in the Septuagint - Job 36:29; Zech. 4:7. BDAG = 1. state of matters being held in proper balance, equality 2. state of being fair, fairness 

2 Corinthians 8:14  at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality;

KJV  2 Corinthians 8:14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:

NET  2 Corinthians 8:14 At the present time, your abundance will meet their need, so that one day their abundance may also meet your need, and thus there may be equality,

BGT  2 Corinthians 8:14 ἐν τῷ νῦν καιρῷ τὸ ὑμῶν περίσσευμα εἰς τὸ ἐκείνων ὑστέρημα, ἵνα καὶ τὸ ἐκείνων περίσσευμα γένηται εἰς τὸ ὑμῶν ὑστέρημα, ὅπως γένηται ἰσότης,

NLT  2 Corinthians 8:14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.

ESV  2 Corinthians 8:14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.

NIV  2 Corinthians 8:14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality,

"Contribution Equilibrium"


This passage reminds me of my old college days in chemistry and the principle of stoichiometry and equilibrium in reversible reactions. Here Paul describes how they were to practice "contribution equilibrium" so to speak. 

At this present (nuntime (kairos) your abundance (perisseuma) being a supply for their need (husterema)- NET = "At the present time, your abundance will meet their need." 

ESV Study Bible At the present time in redemptive history (2Co 6:2; Ro 3:26; 8:18; 11:5; Gal. 1:4) the Gentile believers can contribute financially, while the Jewish believers can contribute spiritually with leadership and the ministry of the gospel (cf. Ro 11:11-12, 25-26, 30-32).

Gilbrant - Abundance refers to the “abundance” of personal resources and wealth. Rather than something to be hoarded or spent selfishly on one’s own desires, in the community of faith there is a responsibility on the part of those who are experiencing material blessing to share what they have with those in need. While it is anachronistic to say that the Early Church practiced communism or that Jesus himself was a communist (Miranda, p.165), it is well to be reminded of the principle seen in 2 Corinthians 8:14, 1.e., from each one according to his resources to each one according to his needs.

So that their abundance (perisseumaalso may become a supply for your need (husterema), that there may be equality (isotes) - NET = "so that one day their abundance may also meet your need, and thus there may be equality." 

Broomall - The desired equality (supplied by Corinthian abundance) will (1) supply their need; (2) make more palatable their supply of your (future) need; (3) produce an ethically satisfactory equality. The present passage gives no support either to communism or to works of supererogation. Not even Rom 15:27 is necessarily involved. Paul is speaking of a temporary disparity in the necessities of life existing at Jerusalem and Corinth. (2 Corinthians 8 - Wycliffe Bible Commentary - online)

Lowery - Paul no doubt approved of the Jerusalem church's early efforts in meeting each others' needs by having everything in common (Acts 2:44). This expressed their mutual concern for all members of the body of Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 12:25). This principle was modeled after a divine pattern. When God gave food to the Israelites in the wilderness He did so equally according to their needs (Ex. 16:16-18 - see verse 15). The church should not do less. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary:)

Murray Harris - Paul here is not predicting economic plenty in Jerusalem and an economic dearth in Corinth that would reverse present roles. But he saw that with the uncertainty of economic conditions in the first century it was not inconceivable for the Jerusalem Christians some day to become the donors of financial aid and the Corinthian Christians the recipients. (1 and 2 Corinthians The Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Charles Hodge refutes this passage as advocating communism writing "the Scriptures avoid, on the one hand, the injustice and destructive evils of agrarian communism, by recognising [sic] the right of property and making all almsgiving optional; and on the other, the heartless disregard of the poor by inculcating the universal brotherhood of believers, and the consequent duty of each to contribute of his abundance to relieve the necessities of the poor. At the same time they inculcate on the poor the duty of self-support to the extent of their ability. They are commanded 'with quietness to work, and to eat their own bread.' Could these principles be carried out there would be among Christians neither idleness nor want." (2 Corinthians Commentary Pdf)

Swindoll - Instead of worrying about keeping everything “fair and equal,” they should simply trust their giving to the providential care of their sovereign God, the great equalizer who has a way of balancing our provisions in the work of His kingdom. When he wrote, the church in Jerusalem needed assistance from the Corinthians. But someday, the burden might shift, and the Corinthians could be the ones in need. Because God alone knows the future, He can be trusted to provide for any need when it arises. We don’t need to excuse ourselves from giving now because of the needs we might have in the future. (Swindoll's Living Insights New Testament Commentary – 1 & 2 Corinthians)

Present (3568)(nun)  at this time, the present, now. Nu is an "adverb of time now; (1) as an adverb; (a) designating a point of time not past or future now, at the present time (Lk 6:21), opposite πρότερος (earlier); following the imperative, to urge immediate compliance now, right now (Mt 27:42); (b) of time immediately before or after the present just now, presently (Jn 11:8; Php 1:20); (c) with other particles to indicate more precise timing: ἀλλὰ ν. but now (Lk 22:36), ν. δέ but now (Jn 16:5), καὶ ν. even now (Jn 11:22), ν. οὖν so now (Acts 16:36), etc.; (2) as a noun used with the article τό: τὰ ν. the present (time) (Acts 4:29); with prepositions: ἀπὸ τοῦ ν. from now on, in the future (Lk 1:48); ἄχρι τοῦ ν. until now (Ro 8:22); ἕως τοῦ ν. until now, up to now (Mt 24:21); (3) as an adjective used with the article and joined to a noun the present (1Ti 6:17); (4) nontemporally; (a) as a connecting particle ἄγε ν. come now (Jas 4:13; 5:1); καὶ ν. and now (Acts 20:22); ν. οὖν now therefore (Acts 10:33); (b) as a particle of logical antithesis used to shift from an unreal to a real state of affairs ν. δέ but now, as it is; but, as a matter of fact (Lk 19:42) Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament

Gilbrant - Classical Greek and Septuagint UsageThe adverb nun, “now,” is a commonly used word with reference to time. It is found throughout classical writers such as Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, and Euripides, as well as in inscriptions, papyri, the Septuagint, Philo, and Josephus (see Bauer for specific examples). In the classical writings a number of nuances are expressed with the use of nun. Not only does it express time in the sense of “this present moment” but also with the sense of “the present time generally” (Liddell-Scott). Additionally, nun is used: (a) to express time in the past; (b) to indicate the immediate sequence of one thing upon another, “then, therefore, thereafter”; (c) to show the sequence of one thing from another, “then, therefore”; (d) to strengthen or precipitate a command or call; (e) to strengthen a question, “what then?” The use of nun in the Septuagint is extensive, and it is used to translate a number of Hebrew words which relate to time.

New Testament Usage In the New Testament a variety of nuances are present, carrying forward the Hebrew concepts of time. Approximately 140 instances of nun can be found, the majority located in the writings of Luke, John, and Paul. Although strictly an adverb, nun is also used as a noun and adjective. Perhaps the greatest use of nun is its literal representation of time in a variety of modes.

Translated “now,” nun is used of the immediate present and to denote both a particular point in time as well as the extent of the time (Bauer). In this sense it occurs with a variety of verb tenses in order to give the constructions different nuances of meaning. In this way the writer could express himself according to his desire, e.g., using nun with the aorist tense to make a contrast with the past, denoting the action or condition as beginning in the present (ibid.; e.g., Romans 5:11, “we have now received the atonement,” “reconciliation,” NIV).

Nun is also used in conjunction with other particles such as de (1156), “but now”; alla (233), “but now”; gar (1056), “for now”; oude eti, “not even now,” and kai (2504), “even now,” as well as others. In addition to the emphasis being placed upon the immediate present, nun is used to direct attention to the situation at a given time, e.g., “For now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 3:8, NASB: also Acts 15:10).

Finally, when nun is found with the article it functions as an adjective or a substantive. Paul used nun adjectivally when he wrote to Timothy and Titus concerning “this present (nun) world” (1 Timothy 6:17, NIV; 2 Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:12). Peter also used nun in this way when he wrote about the “present (nun) heavens and earth” (2 Peter 3:7, NIV). It is seen as a substantive in 2 Corinthians 5:16: “So from now on we regard no one from a wordly point of view” (NIV). The substantival use is also seen in Romans 8:22 where the whole creation is said to be groaning until nun, “now; this present time” (see also Philippians 1:5 where Paul spoke of the believers’ participation in the gospel “from the first day until now [nun]”). (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

Nun -  146x in 138v -  actually(1), just now(1), now(130), present(11), present case(1), since(1), this time(1).  Matt. 24:21; Matt. 26:65; Matt. 27:42; Matt. 27:43; Mk. 10:30; Mk. 13:19; Mk. 15:32; Lk. 1:48; Lk. 2:29; Lk. 5:10; Lk. 6:21; Lk. 6:25; Lk. 11:39; Lk. 12:52; Lk. 16:25; Lk. 19:42; Lk. 22:18; Lk. 22:36; Lk. 22:69; Jn. 2:8; Jn. 4:18; Jn. 4:23; Jn. 5:25; Jn. 6:42; Jn. 8:11; Jn. 8:52; Jn. 9:21; Jn. 9:41; Jn. 11:8; Jn. 11:22; Jn. 12:27; Jn. 12:31; Jn. 13:31; Jn. 13:36; Jn. 14:29; Jn. 15:22; Jn. 15:24; Jn. 16:5; Jn. 16:22; Jn. 16:29; Jn. 16:30; Jn. 17:5; Jn. 17:7; Jn. 17:13; Jn. 21:10; Acts 3:17; Acts 4:29; Acts 5:38; Acts 7:4; Acts 7:34; Acts 7:52; Acts 10:5; Acts 10:33; Acts 12:11; Acts 13:11; Acts 13:31; Acts 15:10; Acts 16:36; Acts 16:37; Acts 17:30; Acts 18:6; Acts 20:22; Acts 20:25; Acts 20:32; Acts 22:16; Acts 23:15; Acts 23:21; Acts 24:25; Acts 26:6; Acts 27:22; Rom. 3:26; Rom. 5:9; Rom. 5:11; Rom. 6:19; Rom. 6:21; Rom. 8:1; Rom. 8:18; Rom. 8:22; Rom. 11:5; Rom. 11:30; Rom. 11:31; Rom. 13:11; Rom. 16:26; 1 Co. 3:2; 1 Co. 5:11; 1 Co. 7:14; 1 Co. 12:18; 1 Co. 12:20; 1 Co. 14:6; 1 Co. 16:12; 2 Co. 5:16; 2 Co. 6:2; 2 Co. 7:9; 2 Co. 8:14; 2 Co. 13:2; Gal. 1:23; Gal. 2:20; Gal. 3:3; Gal. 4:9; Gal. 4:25; Gal. 4:29; Eph. 2:2; Eph. 3:5; Eph. 3:10; Eph. 5:8; Phil. 1:5; Phil. 1:20; Phil. 1:30; Phil. 2:12; Phil. 3:18; Col. 1:24; Col. 1:26; 1 Thess. 3:8; 2 Thess. 2:6; 1 Tim. 4:8; 1 Tim. 6:17; 2 Tim. 1:10; 2 Tim. 4:10; Tit. 2:12; Heb. 2:8; Heb. 8:6; Heb. 9:5; Heb. 9:24; Heb. 12:26; Jas. 4:13; Jas. 5:1; 1 Pet. 1:12; 1 Pet. 2:10; 1 Pet. 2:25; 1 Pet. 3:21; 2 Pet. 3:7; 2 Pet. 3:18; 1 Jn. 2:18; 1 Jn. 2:28; 1 Jn. 3:2; 1 Jn. 4:3; 2 Jn. 1:5; Jude 1:25
Nun in Lxx - over 600x - here is only Genesis - Gen. 2:23; Gen. 3:22; Gen. 4:11; Gen. 11:6; Gen. 12:19; Gen. 13:14; Gen. 15:16; Gen. 18:12; Gen. 18:27; Gen. 19:9; Gen. 20:7; Gen. 21:23; Gen. 22:12; Gen. 24:42; Gen. 26:22; Gen. 26:29; Gen. 27:3; Gen. 27:8; Gen. 27:36; Gen. 27:43; Gen. 29:32; Gen. 29:34; Gen. 29:35; Gen. 30:20; Gen. 30:30; Gen. 31:13; Gen. 31:16; Gen. 31:28; Gen. 31:29; Gen. 31:30; Gen. 31:42; Gen. 31:44; Gen. 32:5; Gen. 32:11; Gen. 37:20; Gen. 41:33; Gen. 43:21; Gen. 44:10; Gen. 44:28; Gen. 44:30; Gen. 44:33; Gen. 45:5; Gen. 45:8; Gen. 46:30; Gen. 46:34; Gen. 47:4; Gen. 48:5; Gen. 50:5; Gen. 50:17

Time (season, opportunity) (2540kairos means a point of time or period of time, time, period, frequently with the implication of being especially fit for something and without emphasis on precise chronology.  It describes the period as especially appropriate and favorable (the right time). Stated another way kairos is distinguished from chronos (time) because kairos views TIME from the aspect of the strategic opportunity it provides, and not simply a change from the past into the present into the future, not mere duration. (Trench)Something that lasts for a season and so is transient, temporary or enduring only for a specific period of time. Kairos is a period which is especially appropriate - a favorable time (at the right time). Kairos in Corinthians  1Co. 4:5; 1Co. 7:5; 1Co. 7:29; 2Co. 6:2; 2Co. 8:14; 

Abundance (4051)(perisseuma from perisseuo - to surpass, abound) superfluity. In Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45. In these passages the term is used of the inner reservoir or storehouse that serves as an abundant source of all an individual’s judgments and spoken words. The point Jesus made is very clear: “Your malicious judgments come from the treasure-house of your malicious nature” Friberg - (1) of things surplus, excess, abundance (Mk 8:8); (2) what is expressed as an overflow from one’s heart abundance, fullness (Mt 12:34)  Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Used 4x in NT - abundance(2), full of what was left over(1), which fills(2). Matt. 12:34 - "that which fills the heart"; Mk. 8:8 = "full of what was left over"; Lk. 6:45 = "his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart."; 2 Co. 8:14. Once in Lxx = Eccl 2:15.

Need (5303husterema  is that which is comes behind, that which is left or that which is deficient. The root verb hustereo pictures someone in a company marching together with others who march faster than he can. He cannot keep up, so he falls behind (he is "lacks" in the sense he cannot keep up). The lack of what is needed or desirable, frequently in contrast to abundance (need, want, shortcoming, deficiency, poverty, destitution - Lk 21:4) Uses in NT Lk. 21:4; 1 Co. 16:17 = "they have supplied what was lacking on your part."; 2 Co. 8:14; 2 Co. 9:12; 2 Co. 11:9; Phil. 2:30; Col. 1:24; 1 Thess. 3:10

2 Corinthians 8:15  as it is written, "HE WHO gathered MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH, AND HE WHO gathered LITTLE HAD NO LACK."

Related Passages:

Exodus 16:18+ (EQUALITY OF SUPPLY - FOR CONTEXT READ Ex 16:13-36+) When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered as much as he should eat.


As it is written (grapho) - Perfect tense - written in past when inspired by the Spirit and stands fast (Mt 24:35, Mk 13:31+). It is written occurs 76 times in the NAS. When we were children and our parents told us to do something and we questioned "Why?", the answer was usually "Because I said so!". Why are we commanded to be holy? Because God said so! A popular saying is "God said it, I believe it, that settles it." This sounds good but isn't accurate because God's Word is true, regardless of whether we believe it or not. A more accurate "saying" would be "God said it, that settles it!" It is written should put a stop to every complaint or excuse. Paul is saying don't judge but remember you will appear before Me to give an account (as the next verse clarifies). This sobering thought should motivate us to obey this injunction.

POSB - One person's need is not to be eased while another person has a need (verse 13)  Each need is to be equally met. This is an explosive principle, for it goes contrary to what society practices. It eliminates the hoarding and keeping of goods beyond our needs. God wants the needs of the starving and lost masses met. The only way they can be met is by giving all we are and have beyond what is needed to take care of our own families.  The Old Testament Scripture supports this principle (Exodus 16:18). When God miraculously fed Israel with the manna from the sky, the people were to gather only what they needed. If they gathered too much and attempted to hoard and put it back, it spoiled overnight. If a person was unable to gather enough due to some illness or inability, his need was either met by the help of others or by God Himself. (The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible: 1 & 2 Corinthians)

"HE WHO gathered MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH (pleonazo), AND HE WHO gathered LITTLE HAD NO LACK (elattoneo) - Paul appeals to this same principle practiced by Israel during their wilderness wandering as recorded in Exodus 16:18+. The Israelites gathered manna for their own personal needs ("he who gathered much"), but shared with others who may have not collected enough because of illness ("he who gathered little"), etc. In this way the surplus of one family was used to balance out the lesser amount of another family ("had no lack") The result was that everyone had enough. 

John Calvin - “All that we have is manna...And just as manna, which was hoarded to excess out of greed or lack of faith, immediately putrefied, so we should have no doubt that riches which are heaped up at the expense of our brethren are accursed and will soon perish and their owner will be ruined with them.”

Property is like manna, it will not bear hoarding.”
-- Charles Hodge

Harris - Although some gathered more than others and some less, the needs of all were met. Miraculously there was equal provision, with neither surplus nor deficiency. Any imbalance that might have been caused by hoarding was ruled out, for on the second day manna that had not been used putrefied (Exod 16:20). But Paul's illustration also points to a contrast. The equality the Israelites miraculously experienced in the wilderness was enforced; the equality Christians are themselves to create in the church and the world is voluntary. (1 and 2 Corinthians The Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Constable - Some of the Israelites gathered more manna and some gathered less for various reasons. Nevertheless they all had their needs met. God saw to that, though the Old Testament does not explain exactly how He did it. Now the Corinthians needed to see to it that what God had provided them in abundance reached those who did not have enough. As they did this, they would become God's agents in maintaining sufficiency for all.  God has always wanted all His people to have enough and to share with their brethren who have less when they have more. We should implement this principle of relative equality in our giving. God's desire is the same today as it has been throughout history. This is clear from Paul's appeal to the past (2 Corinthians 8)

Albert McShane - Perhaps we ought to make clear that in all this giving to the distressed there is no question of helping the lazy, or of encouraging any to sponge on the good-nature of the saints. The manna had to be gathered by all the able-bodied in Israel, and even before the Fall, Adam was enjoined to dress and keep the garden, so work has divine approval, and any who shirks it has no right to eat. (WTBT Vol 4 NT 1 & 2 Corinthians )

William MacDonald - If anyone tried to hoard manna, it bred worms! The equalization didn't happen by miracle or magic. It happened because those who had too much shared with those who didn't have enough. Hodge observes: "The lesson... taught in Exodus and by Paul is that, among the people of God, the superabundance of one should be employed in relieving the necessities of others; and that any attempt to countervail this law will result in shame and loss. Property is like manna; it will not bear hoarding." Along the same lines is this selection from an unknown source: "God intends each man to have a share of the good things of life. Some gather more, however, and some less. Those who have more should share with those who have less. God permits the unequal distribution of property, not so that the rich shall selfishly enjoy it, but share it with the poor." (Believer's Bible Commentary)  

Written (1125grapho from root graph- = primarily means to scratch on or engrave as on an ornament, reports, letters, etc; English = graph, graphic, etc) means to engrave or inscribe with a pen or stylus characters or letters on a surface which can be wood, wax, metal, leather, stone, parchment, dirt (John ), paper, etc.  

Have too much (4121pleonazo from pleion = more) means to cause to increase or superabound, suggesting rich abundance but not necessarily excessiveness. To be present in abundance or to have plenty (2Pe 1:8+, Php 4:17). To have more than is necessary or more than enough to meet one's needs (2Co 8:15). 

Had lack (1641)(elattoneo from elatton = less) means to be less,  to possess too little of some substance. Used intransitively meaning  to be less in respect to quantity, to lack, fall short. Used only once in NT in an absolute sense in 2Cor. 8:15. Uses in the Lxx = Gen. 8:3; Gen. 8:5; Exod. 16:18; Exod. 30:15; 1 Ki. 11:22; 1 Ki. 17:14; Prov. 11:24

ILLUSTRATION - In 1865, when Hudson Taylor founded the China Inland Mission (now Overseas Missionary Fellowship), he determined to depend on God alone for the needed finances. From that day no direct solicitation of funds has occurred, yet, the mission's needs have been continuously met from unexpected sources at critical times, in answer to prayer.

Several years ago, Phyllis Thompson chronicled many stories of God's faithfulness to CIM in her little book, Proving God. "Through the ninety and more years of its history," she wrote, "although no public or private appeal for funds has ever been authorized, its work and workers have been sustained by an unfailing supply."

For example, Thompson recalls that in December, 1954, when funds were especially low, mission personnel heard of a gift coming their way from a wealthy American lady. Nobody at CIM remembered having met the lady, but she had sometimes sent small donations to the mission's London office. Now she had apparently included CIM in her will to the tune of $5,500.

As it turned out, however, the money was not for the China Inland Mission. It went instead to a Bible school organized by Chinese in the Far East. While the CIM personnel were glad for their Chinese brothers, they naturally felt a bit disappointed, but their attention was soon drawn to 2 Chronicles 25:9, and they claimed the verse as their own: "The Lord is able to give you much more than this."

Within days another communication came from the woman's estate. She had indeed remembered the mission, but not for $5,500. The amount being sent was $75,000, with an additional $60,000 coming later! Mission directors met for prayer with overflowing and humbled hearts. They sang the Doxology and thanked the Lord for his goodness in sending them "much more than this." Thank God, that we serve a Lord that can supply the needs we have in our lives and help us to finish what He has started in us. (Rod Mattoon)

2 Corinthians 8:16  But thanks be to God who puts the same earnestness on your behalf in the heart of Titus.

KJV  2 Corinthians 8:16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.

NET  2 Corinthians 8:16 But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same devotion I have for you,

BGT  2 Corinthians 8:16 Χάρις δὲ τῷ θεῷ τῷ δόντι τὴν αὐτὴν σπουδὴν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ Τίτου,

NLT  2 Corinthians 8:16 But thank God! He has given Titus the same enthusiasm for you that I have.

ESV  2 Corinthians 8:16 But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you.

NIV  2 Corinthians 8:16 I thank God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you.

YLT  2 Corinthians 8:16 And thanks to God, who is putting the same diligence for you in the heart of Titus,

ASV  2 Corinthians 8:16 But thanks be to God, who putteth the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.

CSB  2 Corinthians 8:16 Thanks be to God who put the same concern for you into the heart of Titus.

MIT  2 Corinthians 8:16 Thanks to God who put in Titus' heart the same earnestness as it relates to you.

NKJ  2 Corinthians 8:16 But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.

NRS  2 Corinthians 8:16 But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same eagerness for you that I myself have.

NAB  2 Corinthians 8:16 But thanks be to God who put the same concern for you into the heart of Titus,

NJB  2 Corinthians 8:16 Thank God for putting into Titus' heart the same sincere concern for you.

GWN  2 Corinthians 8:16 I thank God for making Titus as dedicated to you as I am.

BBE  2 Corinthians 8:16 But praise be to God, who puts the same care for you into the heart of Titus.

  • thanks: Ezr 7:27 Ne 2:12 Jer 31:31 32:40 Col 3:17 Rev 17:17 
  • earnestness: 2Co 7:7,12 Php 2:20 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Paul concludes chapter 8 by shifting from encouragements to the contributors, to a discussion of principles related to the carriers of the contribution, the men who handle the collection, emphasizing the importance of maintaining integrity to make absolutely sure that everything is above board, that he leaves no door open for questioning what happened to the money. Notice that at no time does Paul himself handle the contribution. The importance of the men who handle collections cannot be overstressed, so Paul  ensures that there will be corporate accountability (he describes 3 men in some detail), so that no single individual would be solely responsible for the offering. 

THOUGHT - Does your ministry practice similar principles of integrity and accountability? Sadly, in recent days (2021), the RZIM ministry has come under significant scrutiny because of the possible misuse of donor funds to support activities that one would deem as "less than wholesome." 

Murray Harris makes an excellent point on 2Cor 8:16-24 - This section amounts to a "letter of commendation" (cf. 2Co 3:1+) from Paul to the church at Corinth, giving the credentials of the three appointed delegates and encouraging the Corinthians to welcome them warmly. (1 and 2 Corinthians The Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Constable summarizes 2Cor 8:16-24 - Having motivated his readers to finish the collection Paul proceeded to explain the practical steps he had taken to pick up their gift. He wanted the Corinthians to know what to do and what to expect. He gave a letter of commendation (cf. 2Co 3:1+) in which he set forth the credentials of the three delegates who would visit them soon. (2 Corinthians 8)

But thanks (grace - charisbe to God (grace be to God) Who puts (has given) the same earnestness (spoude)  on your behalf in the heart (kardia) of Titus - Literally = "Literally: But thanks (be) to God who keeps on giving the same diligence for you in the heart of Titus." In other words the providential working of God's Spirit had placed the same concern for the Corinthians in the heart of Titus that Paul had in his heart for them. In short, Titus was a "kindred spirit" with Paul. Paul's affirmation of Titus would ease his approval by the Corinthians who would be much more willing to entrust Titus with the relatively large contribution for the saints at Jerusalem. The corollary thought regarding the fact that Paul says it was God who had given Titus this enthusiasm for the Corinthians would confirm in their minds the love that God Himself had for them!

ESV Study Bible has an interesting observation that "Once again, Paul’s thanks... to God begins a new section (cf. 2Co 1:3; 2Co 2:14), just as his thanksgiving concludes it (2Co 9:15; see 2Co 1:11).

Murray Harris addst that "Nothing could be more reassuring to the Corinthians than to know that the devotion and concern for them shared by Paul and Titus were simply a reflection of God's own affection for them. And it was concern for them, not for their money. As Paul later (2Co 12:14+) comments, "What I want is not your possessions but you." (1 and 2 Corinthians The Expositor's Bible Commentary

Lowery points out that "Titus was genuinely concerned about the welfare of those he served. In a self-centered world, such a concern was a distinguishing feature valued by Paul in his associates. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary:)

Alfred Plummer makes an interesting point regarding the earnestness of Titus on behalf of the Corinthians - "The Corinthians might think that the zeal of Titus for the relief-fund was zeal on behalf of the Jerusalem poor; but it was really on behalf of the Corinthians. They would be the chief losers if a suitable sum was not raised in Corinth." (2 Corinthians 8 - A Critical and Exegetical Commentary)

Heart (2588kardia does not refer to the physical organ but is always used figuratively in Scripture to refer to the seat and center of human life. The heart is the center of the personality, and it controls the intellect, emotions, and will. No outward obedience is of the slightest value unless the heart turns to God. The heart is the center of our personality, our "control center" (to make a play on the "air traffic control center" at the airport which carefully guards and guides what flies in and what flies out. How applicable to our "hearts" which are so prone to wander!). In short kardia refers to the the affective center of our being wherein lies the capacity of moral preference and volitional desire. The kardia generates thoughts that make the decisions which the mind works out. In other words, our logic flows out of our heart-decisions and not vice versa. Uses in Corinthians 1 Co. 2:9; 1 Co. 4:5; 1 Co. 7:37; 1 Co. 14:25; 2 Co. 1:22; 2 Co. 2:4; 2 Co. 3:2; 2 Co. 3:3; 2 Co. 3:15; 2 Co. 4:6; 2 Co. 5:12; 2 Co. 6:11; 2 Co. 7:3; 2 Co. 8:16; 2 Co. 9:7

2 Corinthians 8:17  For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest, he has gone to you of his own accord.

Related Passages:

Philippians 2:19-20  (TITUS - A MAN LIKE TIMOTHY) -But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.


For Here Paul explained the earnestness in the heart of Titus for the Corinthians. 

He not only accepted (dechomai) our appeal (paraklesis) - NLT = Titus welcomed our request that he visit you again." Titus "put out the welcome mat" when Paul appealed to him to go to the Corinthians. 

But (present tense - continually) being (huparcho) himself very earnest (spoudaios), he has gone to you of his own accord (authairetos) - NIV = "but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative." Titus loved the Corinthians, did not have to be coerced or compelled to go to them, welcomed the opportunity. Titus was genuinely concerned for the welfare of the Corinthians. Of his own accord means  independently, of his own will and desire. 

MacDonald on he has gone to you - The clause he went to you probably means "he is going to you." It illustrates the epistolary aorist tense, which views the action not at the time when Paul wrote the Letter but when the Corinthians read it. Titus was unquestionably the one who carried this Letter to Corinth. He didn't leave for Corinth until Paul finished the Letter.  (Believer's Bible Commentary:)

Hughes "'The same earnestness' (8:16) linked Titus' heart to Paul's. Not only did Titus share the same earnestness for the offering, but he went of his own accord (8:17). Titus was a true self-starter and was motivated first by his own desire and, second, by Paul's appeal. Paul stressed that fact to support the genuineness of Titus' ministry" (Everyman's Bible Commentary, p. 81).

A T Robertson on very earnest - "More earnest than ordinarily,"

Broomall on being - The verb being ((present participle of huparcho) underscores real existence in the essential nature of a thing (cf. its use in Acts 2:30; 16:20; 1 Cor 11:7; 2 Pet 1:8; 2:19; 3:10). (2 Corinthians 8 - Wycliffe Bible Commentary - online)

Accepted (1209dechomai = middle voice of a primary verb) means to to receive something offered or transmitted by another (Luke 2:28). To take something into one's hand and so to grasp (Luke 2:28, 22:17). To be receptive to someone (Mt 10:14, 40). To take a favorable attitude toward something (Mt 11:14). Dechomai in Corinthians -  1Co. 2:14; 2Co. 6:1; 2Co. 7:15; 2Co. 8:17; 2Co. 11:4; 2Co. 11:16

Being (5225huparcho from hupó = under + árcho = begin or arche = beginning) means literally to begin under and then to exist, be present or be at hand. It denotes the continuance of a previous state or existence. To live, to behave or to continue to be. To be in existence. Vine says huparcho means to be in existence and in a secondary sense to belong to with the article signifying one's possessions (the things which one possesses, which exist so to speak). BDAG saays "the basic idea: come into being fr. an originating point and so take place; gener. 'inhere, be there'" 

Very earnest (4705)(spoudaios from spoude = haste, diligence) means hasty, eager, diligent. pertaining to being earnest and diligent in undertaking an activity. Spoudaios means “eager, zealous, earnest,” or “diligent” depending on the context. The word is used only once in the Septuagint at Ezekiel 41:25. Used only twice in comparative form (2 Co 8:17, 22), once in its positive form (2 Co 8:17). 

2 Corinthians 8:18  We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches;

KJV  2 Corinthians 8:18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;

NET  2 Corinthians 8:18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his work in spreading the gospel.

BGT  2 Corinthians 8:18 συνεπέμψαμεν δὲ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀδελφὸν οὗ ὁ ἔπαινος ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ διὰ πασῶν τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν,

NLT  2 Corinthians 8:18 We are also sending another brother with Titus. All the churches praise him as a preacher of the Good News.

ESV  2 Corinthians 8:18 With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel.

NIV  2 Corinthians 8:18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel.

  • the brother: 2Co 8:19,22,23 12:18 
  • has spread through all the churche: Ro 16:4 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold. 


We have sent along with him the brother (adelphos) whose fame (epainos) in the things of the gospel (euaggelion) has spread through all the churches (ekklesia) - NLT = "All the churches praise him as a preacher of the Good News." Who is this famous brother? Many think this was Dr Luke (see Wenham - "The Identification of Luke" Evangelical Quarterly, 1991) but we simply cannot be dogmatic. Clearly if God thought it was important for us to know his name, the Spirit would have inspired Paul to record it! While this identification exercise might be intellectually stimulating, it is not generally spiritually profitable. 

MacArthur touches on why this brother is not named - This man is unnamed because he was so well known, prominent, and unimpeachable. He was a distinguished preacher, and he was able to add credibility to the enterprise of taking the collection to Jerusalem.  (MacArthur Study Bible)

Charles Spurgeon wrote, "A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you, and were helped by you, will remember you when forget-me-nots are withered. Carve your name on hearts, and not on marble."

Plummer describes the brother as the one "whose praise in the gospel is through all the churches" (2 Corinthians 8 - A Critical and Exegetical Commentary)

MacDonald suggests that "perhaps by trying to guess (THE IDENTITY OF THIS BROTHER) we miss the whole spirit of the passage. Is it not intentional that he is unnamed? True discipleship often involves obscurity. This was so with the little maid who was used so greatly in the life of Naaman, the leper. It was also true with the little boy who put his lunch at the disposal of the Lord Jesus." (Believer's Bible Commentary:)

TSK -  This is generally supposed to have been Said. Luke, "whose praise was in all the churches," on account of the gospel which he had written, and for many zealous services in its cause.

ILLUSTRATION of a good name - At the end of World War I, Herbert Hoover, later to become President of the United States, led the allied relief efforts in Europe. He kept hundreds of thousands from starving, and a new word entered the Finnish language. In Finland, to "hoover" means "to be kind, to help." If someone coined a word from your name, what would it be? Would it signify character, helpfulness, or cheerfulness, or would it be some mean and ugly word? Beloved, God wants us to focus on having a good name more than great wealth. He wants us to live above the boards. How do we do this?

Fame (praise) (1868epainos from epí = upon + aínos = praise) is literally "praise upon" and denotes commendation, praise, or approbation (an act of formally or officially approving).The basic meaning of this word is "applause." It speaks of expressed approval or public recognition. It means something which is worthy of being commended. The word can describe the act of expressing admiration or approval, praise, approval, recognition. In the present context epainos describes a thing that is praiseworthy or something that deserves to be praised. So when that thought comes into your mind ask "Is it praiseworthy?" Then reflect upon it.

Gospel (2098euaggelion from eú = good + aggéllo = proclaim, tell) is literally good news or glad tidings. In the NT euaggelion is used only of God's message of salvation in three senses (1) act of proclamation (preaching the gospel) (1Cor 4:15), (2) the work of evangelization (spread of the gospel) (Phil 4:3), (3) the content of the message as an offer of salvation (good news) (Ro 1:16) (Adapted from Friberg - Analytical Lexicon). BDAG (summarized) - (1) God’s good news to humans, good news as proclamation (2) details relating to the life and ministry of Jesus = good news of Jesus (Mk 1:1) (3) details relating to the life and ministry of Jesus = good news of Jesus (Mt 1:1). Euaggelion in Corinthians 1 Co. 4:15; 1 Co. 9:12; 1 Co. 9:14; 1 Co. 9:18; 1 Co. 9:23; 1 Co. 15:1; 2 Co. 2:12; 2 Co. 4:3; 2 Co. 4:4; 2 Co. 8:18; 2 Co. 9:13; 2 Co. 10:14; 2 Co. 11:4; 2 Co. 11:7; 

2 Corinthians 8:19  and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness,

KJV  2 Corinthians 8:19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:

NET  2 Corinthians 8:19 In addition, this brother has also been chosen by the churches as our traveling companion as we administer this generous gift to the glory of the Lord himself and to show our readiness to help.

BGT  2 Corinthians 8:19 οὐ μόνον δέ, ἀλλὰ καὶ χειροτονηθεὶς ὑπὸ τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν συνέκδημος ἡμῶν σὺν τῇ χάριτι ταύτῃ τῇ διακονουμένῃ ὑφ᾽ ἡμῶν πρὸς τὴν [αὐτοῦ] τοῦ κυρίου δόξαν καὶ προθυμίαν ἡμῶν,

NLT  2 Corinthians 8:19 He was appointed by the churches to accompany us as we take the offering to Jerusalem-- a service that glorifies the Lord and shows our eagerness to help.

ESV  2 Corinthians 8:19 And not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of grace that is being ministered by us, for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will.

NIV  2 Corinthians 8:19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help.

YLT  2 Corinthians 8:19 and not only so, but who was also appointed by vote by the assemblies, our fellow-traveller, with this favour that is ministered by us, unto the glory of the same Lord, and your willing mind;

  • but he has also been appointed : 2Co 8:1-4 Ac 6:3-6 15:22,25 1Co 16:3,4 
  • this gracious work 2Co 8:4,6,7 9:8 
  • for the glory of the Lord Himself,: 2Co 8:1,2 4:15 9:12-14 Php 4:18,19 1Pe 4:10,11 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


and not only this, but he has also been appointed (cheirotoneo = a "show of hands") by the churches (ekklesia); to travel with us (sunekdemos - Acts 19:29+) - The churches of Macedonia had chosen this famous man (v18) to be a courier of the contribution. Notice how Paul insulates himself and Titus from charges of self-interest which would lead potentially to mishandling the contribution. The appointment of the famous brother by the churches (not just one church!) would serve as accountability and a check on any mishandling of resources.

A T Robertson on appointed - cheirotoneo from cheirotoneō, old verb to stretch out the hands (cheir teinō) and so to vote in public. The idea is that this brother was chosen by the churches, not by Paul. Only here in N.T. save Acts 14:23 where it means to appoint without notion of raising the hands.

Murray Harris on appointed - Originally the verb cheirotoneo indicated election by "stretching out the hand" (i.e., voting), but this meaning cannot be pressed in NT usage where the term simply denotes appointment (e.g., Acts 14:23) with no implication of the "laying on of hands." (1 and 2 Corinthians The Expositor's Bible Commentary)

In this gracious work, (charis = the offering) which is being administered (diakoneo) by us for the glory (doxa) of the Lord (kurios) Himself, and to show our readiness (prothumia - show our readiness to help) - The generous gift was a work of grace which was administered for (1) the Lord would receive glory (always the summum bonum for any ministry endeavor!) and the Jerusalem saints would see their readiness to help alleviate their poverty (Gal 2:10+). 

Gilbrant - The offering accomplished purposes other than just meeting the needs of brethren in financial straits. Everyone participating did so in worship, to the glory of God. The offering also demonstrated the grace of giving the Lord had worked in the hearts of believers at Corinth. It showed their ready mind and willingness to love their brethren in Christ in deed as well as word. (The Complete Biblical Library – Romans-Corinthians)

Constable - Paul personally supervised the project for a double reason. He saw it as an opportunity to promote the glory of the Lord and to lend a hand in helping his needy brethren (cf. Mt. 22:37-39). (2 Corinthians 8)

Broomall - We have here (1) the past—chosen (by "raising the hand"); (2) the present—this grace "which is being ministered by us" (Plummer); (3) the future—"unto the (furtherance of the) glory of God and our readiness." The human and the divine are intermingled here. (2 Corinthians 8 - Wycliffe Bible Commentary - online)

Appointed (5500cheirotoneo from cheir = hand + teino = to stretch) means to stretch out the hand, thus expressing agreement with a motion, then, I popularly elect by show of hands, to vote by stretching out the hand and then to appoint. There are only 2 uses in the NT - 2 Cor 8:19, Acts 14:23. 

Travel with (4898)(sunekdemos from sun - with + ek = from + démos = people, the public) one who is away from home on a journey with someone else—‘travelling companion. The two occurrences of the word in the New Testament are Acts 19:29 and 2 Corinthians 8:19. In the first instance the Ephesian citizens seized Gaius and Aristarchus who were Paul’s “companions in travel” (sunekdēmous) and rushed with them into the town theater. In 2 Corinthians 8:19 Paul wrote of an unnamed brother chosen to travel with (sunekdēmos, “fellow traveler”) Paul’s party.

Administered (1247diakoneo derivation uncertain - cp diakonis = in the dust laboring or running through the dust or possibly diako = to run on errands; see also study of related noun - diakonia) means to minister by way of rendering service in any form or to take care of by rendering humble service. To be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon 1a) to minister to one, render ministering offices to. To attend to anything, that may serve another's interests. 2 Co. 3:3; 2 Co. 8:19; 2 Co. 8:20

Glory (1391doxa from dokeo = to think) in simple terms means to give a proper opinion or estimate of something. In the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory. Glory is something that is a source of honor, fame, or admiration. It describes renown, a thing that is beautiful, impressive, or worthy of praise - magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace. It follows that the glory of God expresses all that He is in His Being and in His nature, character, power and acts. He is glorified when He is allowed to be seen as He really is. To be where God is will be glory. To be what God intended will be glory. To do what God purposed will be glory. Uses in Corinthians -  1 Co. 2:7; 1 Co. 2:8; 1 Co. 10:31; 1 Co. 11:7; 1 Co. 11:15; 1 Co. 15:40; 1 Co. 15:41; 1 Co. 15:43; 2 Co. 1:20; 2 Co. 3:7; 2 Co. 3:8; 2 Co. 3:9; 2 Co. 3:10; 2 Co. 3:11; 2 Co. 3:18; 2 Co. 4:4; 2 Co. 4:6; 2 Co. 4:15; 2 Co. 4:17; 2 Co. 6:8; 2 Co. 8:19; 2 Co. 8:23;

2 Corinthians 8:20  taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift;

KJV  2 Corinthians 8:20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:

NET  2 Corinthians 8:20 We did this as a precaution so that no one should blame us in regard to this generous gift we are administering.

BGT  2 Corinthians 8:20 στελλόμενοι τοῦτο, μή τις ἡμᾶς μωμήσηται ἐν τῇ ἁδρότητι ταύτῃ τῇ διακονουμένῃ ὑφ᾽ ἡμῶν·

NLT  2 Corinthians 8:20 We are traveling together to guard against any criticism for the way we are handling this generous gift.

ESV  2 Corinthians 8:20 We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us,

NIV  2 Corinthians 8:20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift.

YLT  2 Corinthians 8:20 avoiding this, lest any one may blame us in this abundance that is ministered by us,

  • that: 2Co 11:12 Mt 10:16 Ro 14:16 1Co 16:3 Eph 5:15 1Th 5:22 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Taking precaution (avoiding this - stello) so that no one will discredit (momaomai) us in our administration (diakoneoof this generous gift (hadrotes - lavish gift, generous amount) - NLT = "We are traveling together to guard against any criticism for the way we are handling this generous gift." NET = "We did this as a precaution" refers to the corporate selection of the contribution couriers. Paul is taking precautions to guard his integrity. With his usual Spirit enabled godly wisdom Paul put into place a "buffer system" which would effectively curtail the attempts of his adversaries to discredit the ministry of the money. This reminds me of the old saying "a stitch in time saves nine." The verb discredit (momaomai) is from the root momos which means blame, blemish or fault. Paul's goal was to keep their ministry of the money faultless and blameless. Paul surely knew his critics would seek to sully his name with allegations of mishandling the funds and so he practiced good preventive medicine to curtail their attempts. Generous gift (hadrotes) signifies this was a sizeable collection. 

Rod Mattoon - The word "Taking precaution" is from the Greek word stello which means "set in order, equip; to prepare one's self." Paul was preparing himself against "blame" (DISCREDIT) which is a strong word in the Greek. The word "blame" is from the root word momos which means "blemish, blot, disgrace, insult or censure." Paul was doing everything he could to prevent any kind of blemish or disgrace upon his testimony (cf Ro 14:16, 1Co 10:32-33)

Gilbrant writes Paul did not want "anyone to credit him as the source of this lavish gift. God's people gave it all. He simply administered (diakoneo, "served") in it."  (The Complete Biblical Library – Romans-Corinthians)

ESV Study Bible - As Paul delivers the gift to Jerusalem, he will be accompanied by a team of men well known for their integrity. Their presence will guarantee a public accounting for the gifts and also provide protection from robbers.

Calvin has a good word of warning for all in ministry that "nothing more certainly invites slanderous attacks than to be handling public money."

Paul Collects an Offering for Judea

The church in Antioch sends Barnabas and Paul to Judea with relief funds.

Acts 11:29-30; 12:25

c. a.d. 44-47

James, Cephas, and John encourage Paul to remember the poor, which he is eager to do.

Gal. 2:10

c. 44-47

Paul raises support for the Christians in Jerusalem while in Ephesus.

1 Cor. 16:1-4 (cf. note on Acts 20:4)

c. 53-55

Paul raises support for the Christians in Jerusalem while in Macedonia

2 Corinthians 8-9

c. 55-56

Paul raises support for the Christians in Jerusalem while in Achaia.

Rom. 15:25-33 (cf. note on Acts 20:3)

Spring of 57

Paul is arrested when he arrives in Jerusalem to deliver the gift.

Acts 24:17 (cf. Acts 21:17-33)

Pentecost, 57

Adapted from ESV Study Bible

Taking precaution (4724)(stello) means to arrange, prepare, gather up, hence to restrain. To stay clear from, keep away from, keep out of the way. keep oneself away from some activity—‘to avoid doing. Gilbrant - Stellomai is a rather common verb in Greek generally meaning “make ready.” It is the middle form of the verb stellō meaning “set, place,” or “send.” As early as Herodotus we find the meanings “make ready, prepare, furnish with” and the passive meanings “prepare oneself, to set out, to summon” (cf. Liddell-Scott). With reference to ships it can mean “to furl a sail, shifting a sail to avoid enemy contact,” or “make compact.” Its medical use is “to restrict one’s diet,” hence the idea “to withdraw, shrink,” or “restrict oneself from someone or something” (ibid.). Of the seven occurrences in the Septuagint, Malachi 2:5 uses the idea of withdrawing in fear: “… to shrink (withdraw) in fear from His name” (author’s translation). The verb occurs twice in the New Testament. In 2 Corinthians 8:20 stellomai means “avoiding”; thus Paul wrote, “We do not want anyone to blame us in the matter of the contribution of money which we administer, but provide all things honest … in the sight of the Lord … and in the sight of men” (author’s translation). In its second occurrence (2 Thessalonians 3:6) the meaning is not unlike that of “avoid,” i.e., “Avoid those who walk in a disorderly fashion”; more precisely, “withdraw yourself from” (author’s translations). The verse indicates that a Christian has an obligation to withdraw from a brother whose behavior is characterized by insistent idleness and rejection of the clear teaching of Christ and the apostles. (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource) Used 2x in NT - keep away(1), taking precaution(1). 2 Co. 8:20; 2 Thess. 3:6. Twice in Lxx - Prov. 31:26; Mal. 2:5;

Discredit (3469momaomai from momos = blame, disgrace, blemish) means to find fault with, to discredit by implying blame. It includes the ideas of criticize or censure. To be or become attributed with blame or criticism (whether real or perceived).  To attribute blame to someone. Only twice - 2Co 6:3 and 2Co 8:20. One use in Lxx = Pr 9:7. 

Generous gift (100)(hadrotes from hadros = thick, stout, fat, full-grown, rich) abundance, lavishness, characterized by fullness or ripeness; it means more than a token or even an adequate quantity. Of a money collection great liberality, generous gift. Only in 2Co 8:20. Not in the Septuagint.

2 Corinthians 8:21  for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

KJV  2 Corinthians 8:21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

NET  2 Corinthians 8:21 For we are concerned about what is right not only before the Lord but also before men.

BGT  2 Corinthians 8:21 προνοοῦμεν γὰρ καλὰ οὐ μόνον ἐνώπιον κυρίου ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐνώπιον ἀνθρώπων.

NLT  2 Corinthians 8:21 We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable.

ESV  2 Corinthians 8:21 for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of man.

NIV  2 Corinthians 8:21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.

YLT  2 Corinthians 8:21 providing right things, not only before the Lord, but also before men;

  • for: Ro 12:17 Php 4:8 1Ti 5:14 Tit 2:5-8 1Pe 2:12 
  • not: 2Co 2:17 5:9-11 Mt 5:16 6:1,4 23:5 1Th 5:22 
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

Proverbs 3:3-4  Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.  So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. 


For (gar) - Explaining why he had taken such precautions in selecting conscientious couriers. 

We have (present tense - continually) regard for (pronoeo - "take into consideration") what is honorable (kalos), not only in the sight of (enopion) the Lord (kurios), but also in the sight of (enopion) men - NLT - "We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable." Have regard means Paul was thinking about this beforehand, giving attention to taking careful above board precautions. He was not a man-pleaser (Gal 1:10+), but did care that men would see his actions as acts of integrity, especially regarding the handling of money.

Henry Morris - In the work of Christ, the end does not justify the use of questionable means. Our testimony before men must be credible if we expect it to be effective for the Lord. See also Proverbs 3:4 and 1 Peter 2:12. (Defender's Study Bible)

G Campbell Morgan - "It is the business of the Christian community to do its business in such a way that men of the world will have no cause to suspect anything contrary to righteousness in its affairs."

David Guzik - Paul took whatever steps were necessary so no one could blame him with financial impropriety. Paul could write like a poet and think like a theologian; but he could also act with the meticulous accuracy and integrity of the best accountant.

Gilbrant has a pithy note -  Some preachers conclude they do not care what people think as long as they know their ministry is acceptable with God. Paul was of a different opinion. His carefulness as a church administrator led him to plan ahead with due consideration for things honest before men and God. Of course, he and the others must first actually be praiseworthy before God; but he felt they must also appear that way in the presence of men. This was especially true regarding church finances. He determined that everything would be both honest and open. He left no room for suspicion or criticism.
Complete Biblical Library Commentary - The Complete Biblical Library – Romans-Corinthians. (The Complete Biblical Library – Romans-Corinthians)

Have regard for (4306pronoeo from pró = before + noieo = think, comprehend, observe, notice) means literally to think before, to observe in advance, to notice beforehand, to plan before, to plan carefully, to perceive in advance, to foresee and so to have regard for. Most of uses in secular Greek convey the idea of to care, to see to it that, make provision for, attend to. The the temporal meaning of observing in advance is rare. The idea is to think about something ahead of time, giving it careful thought and consideration, with the implication that one can then respond appropriately. 3 uses in NT - Ro 12:17; 2 Co. 8:21; 1 Ti 5:8

Honorable (2570kalos describes that which is inherently excellent or intrinsically good, providing some special or superior benefit. Kalos is good with emphasis (as discussed below) on that which is beautiful, handsome, excellent, surpassing, precious, commendable, admirable.  In classical Greek kalos was originally used to describe that which outwardly beautiful. 

In sight of (1799) enopion  from en = in + ops = the eye/see [cp optanomai = see, perceive with eyes, look at, implying not only the mere act of seeing but actual perception of what one sees]) means literally in sight, in front of, in the presence of. Being in sight. Before the face and thus the idea of face to face! Of doing something in someone’s presence. Enopios in Corinthians 1 Co. 1:29; 2 Co. 4:2; 2 Co. 7:12; 2 Co. 8:21;

2 Corinthians 8:22  We have sent with them our brother, whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things, but now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you.

KJV  2 Corinthians 8:22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.

NET  2 Corinthians 8:22 And we are sending with them our brother whom we have tested many times and found eager in many matters, but who now is much more eager than ever because of the great confidence he has in you.

BGT  2 Corinthians 8:22 συνεπέμψαμεν δὲ αὐτοῖς τὸν ἀδελφὸν ἡμῶν ὃν ἐδοκιμάσαμεν ἐν πολλοῖς πολλάκις σπουδαῖον ὄντα, νυνὶ δὲ πολὺ σπουδαιότερον πεποιθήσει πολλῇ τῇ εἰς ὑμᾶς.

NLT  2 Corinthians 8:22 We are also sending with them another of our brothers who has proven himself many times and has shown on many occasions how eager he is. He is now even more enthusiastic because of his great confidence in you.

ESV  2 Corinthians 8:22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you.

NIV  2 Corinthians 8:22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you.


We have sent with them our brother (adelphos), whom we have often tested (dokimazoand found diligent (spoudaiosin many things - Them refers to Titus and the famous brother (v18). Our brother indicates Paul considers him to be a true believer. Paul himself had often tested this brother and found him to "pass the test." Ministry is challenging and undoubtedly Paul had witnessed this brother's response the manifold "slings and arrows" that come against those who minister in the Lord. Finally, he is a brother who was not passively involved in ministry but actively, earnestly, even zealously involved. 

Mattoon on tested - This brother in Christ was trusted because he proved to be the "Real McCoy." His life was scrutinized and tested and he was found to be a trusted man of God.

But now (nuni) even more diligent (spoudaios ) because of his great confidence (pepoithesis) in you - NLT = "He is now even more enthusiastic because of his great confidence in you." This man was zealous, earnest and active and now even more so because of his great confidence in the Corinthians. 

Murray Harris - Why were three delegates chosen? Would not one have sufficed? Evidently Paul was more susceptible to misrepresentation at Corinth than in most of the other churches he had founded. Added precautions were necessary. To have sent one personal representative would have been to lay himself open to slanderous gossip (cf. 12:16-18). Two independent envoys would be able to testify to his honest intentions and conduct. Second, it is not impossible that Paul wished to exert some subtle yet legitimate pressure on the Corinthians (cf. 9:4), knowing as he did the somewhat erratic progress of the collection at Corinth thus far, the propensity of the Corinthians for disorderliness (cf. 1Cor 14:33, 40), and the disturbing effect of the parasitical intruders from Palestine.  (1 and 2 Corinthians The Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Confidence (4006pepoithesis from peitho = to persuade, come to a settled conviction) means full persuasion and expresses a belief in someone or something to the point of placing one's trust or reliance in them - the idea is having been persuaded and remaining persuaded. It is a belief that one can rely on someone or something. The nuance of meaning depends on the context - it can mean confidence or trust in others (2Co 1:15), in God (Ep 3:12) or in oneself (i.e., self-confidence) (2Co 10:12).

2 Corinthians 8:23  As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.

KJV  2 Corinthians 8:23 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.

NET  2 Corinthians 8:23 If there is any question about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; if there is any question about our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.

BGT  2 Corinthians 8:23 εἴτε ὑπὲρ Τίτου, κοινωνὸς ἐμὸς καὶ εἰς ὑμᾶς συνεργός· εἴτε ἀδελφοὶ ἡμῶν, ἀπόστολοι ἐκκλησιῶν, δόξα Χριστοῦ.

NLT  2 Corinthians 8:23 If anyone asks about Titus, say that he is my partner who works with me to help you. And the brothers with him have been sent by the churches, and they bring honor to Christ.

ESV  2 Corinthians 8:23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.

NIV  2 Corinthians 8:23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ.

  • Titus: 2Co 8:6,16 7:6 12:18 
  • my partner Lu 5:7,10 Philemon 1:17 
  • fellow worker: Php 2:25 4:3 Col 1:7 1Th 2:2 Phm 1:24 3Jn 1:8 
  • the messengers: 2Co 8:19 Php 2:25
  • 2 Corinthians 8 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


A triumvirate was made up of  triumvirs one of three men sharing public administration or civil authority in ancient Rome and in the present context one of three mean associated in the position of authority and responsibility for the Jerusalem contribution.

This is Paul's "commendation" letter for Titus, but of course the Corinthians knew of his character from previous contact. 

As for Titus, he is my partner (koinonos) and fellow worker (sunergos) among you - Paul's letter of commendation continues. The idea of partner (koinonos) is one who shared a common concern (koinos) because they shared a common faith (Titus 1:4), a common message (the Gospel), a common salvation (Jude 1:3), a common Savior (Jesus Christ) and a common goal (the glory of God).  Fellow worker (sunergos) emphasizes how intimately Paul and Titus worked in ministry, this intimate interaction enabling them to accomplish far more together than they could accomplish by themselves alone. In a word they were "synergistic saints" working with (sunergeo) God (2Co 6:1+) making this an indomitable ministry for the Gospel. 

As for our brethren (adelphos), they are messengers (apostolos) of the churches (ekklesia), a glory (doxato Christ (Christos) - Paul proceeds to describe the other two brethren (believers) mentioned above using the Greek word apostolos in the sense not as apostles of Christ (like Paul for an apostle had to have personally witnessed Jesus), but men sent out much like missionaries from the church to accomplish a specific objective (deliver the goods!) and with the full authority bestowed on them by the true apostle Paul. A glory to Christ means they "bring honor to Christ." (NLT) Their ministries and Christ in them radiated the glory of Christ and brought honor to His Name.

THOUGHT - What a commendation to be on our "Christian Curriculum Vitae" the affirmation that we had lived our lives in such a way that we were known by others as those who brought honor and glory to the King of kings! May God grant each of us the grace of His Spirit that we have the desire and the power to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, so that at the Bema Seat of the King, we might hear "your life was a glory to Me!" In Jesus' Name. Amen 

MacArthur - The two men who went with Titus were apostles in the sense of being commissioned and sent by the churches. They were not apostles of Christ (11:13; 1Th 2:6), because they were not eyewitnesses of the resurrected Lord or commissioned directly by Him   (MacArthur Study Bible)

Partner (partaker, sharer) (2844koinonos from koinos = common, shared by all) (Click for an in depth study of related word koinonia) is one who participates with another in an enterprise or matter of joint concern. It is one who fellowships and shares something in common with another. He or she takes part in something with someone else. Uses in Corinthians -; 1 Co. 10:18; 1 Co. 10:20; 2 Co. 1:7; 2 Co. 8:23;

Fellow worker (4904sunergos from sun = together with, speaks of an intimate relationship + érgon = work) means literally working together with and thus refers to a companion in work, a colleague, a co-laborer, a fellow laborer or fellow helper. Rom. 16:3; Rom. 16:9; Rom. 16:21; 1 Co. 3:9; 2 Co. 1:24; 2 Co. 8:23; Phil. 2:25; Phil. 4:3; Col. 4:11; 1 Thess. 3:2; Phlm. 1:1; Phlm. 1:24; 3 Jn. 1:8

Messengers (652apostolos from apo = from + stello = send forth) (Click discussion of apostle) means one sent forth from by another, often with a special commission to represent another and to accomplish his work. It can be a delegate, commissioner, ambassador sent out on a mission or orders or commission and with the authority of the one who sent him. Uses in Corinthians - 1 Co. 1:1; 1 Co. 4:9; 1 Co. 9:1; 1 Co. 9:2; 1 Co. 9:5; 1 Co. 12:28; 1 Co. 12:29; 1 Co. 15:7; 1 Co. 15:9; 2 Co. 1:1; 2 Co. 8:23; 2 Co. 11:5; 2 Co. 11:13; 2 Co. 12:11; 2 Co. 12:12

Christ (5547Christos from chrio = to rub or anoint, consecrate to an office) describes one who has been anointed with oil, one who has been consecrated,  symbolizing appointment to a task. The majority of the NT uses refer to Jesus  Hamilton suggests a fourfold significance to such anointing (“māshach,” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, 1:530): (1) separation unto God, (2) authorization by God, (3) divine enablement, and (4) the coming Deliverer.  Uses in Corinthians - 1 Co. 1:1; 1 Co. 1:2; 1 Co. 1:3; 1 Co. 1:4; 1 Co. 1:6; 1 Co. 1:7; 1 Co. 1:8; 1 Co. 1:9; 1 Co. 1:10; 1 Co. 1:12; 1 Co. 1:13; 1 Co. 1:17; 1 Co. 1:23; 1 Co. 1:24; 1 Co. 1:30; 1 Co. 2:2; 1 Co. 2:16; 1 Co. 3:1; 1 Co. 3:11; 1 Co. 3:23; 1 Co. 4:1; 1 Co. 4:10; 1 Co. 4:15; 1 Co. 4:17; 1 Co. 5:7; 1 Co. 6:11; 1 Co. 6:15; 1 Co. 7:22; 1 Co. 8:6; 1 Co. 8:11; 1 Co. 8:12; 1 Co. 9:12; 1 Co. 9:21; 1 Co. 10:4; 1 Co. 10:16; 1 Co. 11:1; 1 Co. 11:3; 1 Co. 12:12; 1 Co. 12:27; 1 Co. 15:3; 1 Co. 15:12; 1 Co. 15:13; 1 Co. 15:14; 1 Co. 15:15; 1 Co. 15:16; 1 Co. 15:17; 1 Co. 15:18; 1 Co. 15:19; 1 Co. 15:20; 1 Co. 15:22; 1 Co. 15:23; 1 Co. 15:31; 1 Co. 15:57; 1 Co. 16:24; 2 Co. 1:1; 2 Co. 1:2; 2 Co. 1:3; 2 Co. 1:5; 2 Co. 1:19; 2 Co. 1:21; 2 Co. 2:10; 2 Co. 2:12; 2 Co. 2:14; 2 Co. 2:15; 2 Co. 2:17; 2 Co. 3:3; 2 Co. 3:4; 2 Co. 3:14; 2 Co. 4:4; 2 Co. 4:5; 2 Co. 4:6; 2 Co. 5:10; 2 Co. 5:14; 2 Co. 5:16; 2 Co. 5:17; 2 Co. 5:18; 2 Co. 5:19; 2 Co. 5:20; 2 Co. 6:15; 2 Co. 8:9; 2 Co. 8:23; 2 Co. 9:13; 2 Co. 10:1; 2 Co. 10:5; 2 Co. 10:7; 2 Co. 10:14; 2 Co. 11:2; 2 Co. 11:3; 2 Co. 11:10; 2 Co. 11:13; 2 Co. 11:23; 2 Co. 12:2; 2 Co. 12:9; 2 Co. 12:10; 2 Co. 12:19; 2 Co. 13:3; 2 Co. 13:5; 2 Co. 13:14; 

2 Corinthians 8:24  Therefore openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.

KJV  2 Corinthians 8:24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

NET  2 Corinthians 8:24 Therefore show them openly before the churches the proof of your love and of our pride in you.

BGT  2 Corinthians 8:24 τὴν οὖν ἔνδειξιν τῆς ἀγάπης ὑμῶν καὶ ἡμῶν καυχήσεως ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν εἰς αὐτοὺς ἐνδεικνύμενοι εἰς πρόσωπον τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν.

NLT  2 Corinthians 8:24 So show them your love, and prove to all the churches that our boasting about you is justified.

ESV  2 Corinthians 8:24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men.

NIV  2 Corinthians 8:24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.

YLT  2 Corinthians 8:24 the shewing therefore of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf, to them shew ye, even in the face of the assemblies.


Therefore - Term of conclusion. In light of the sterling credentials of the contribution couriers, Paul encourages the Corinthians to receive them with open hearts and arms. 

Phillips Paraphrase - "So do let them, and all the Churches, see how genuine is your love, and justify all the nice things we have said about you!"

Openly (prosopon) before the churches (ekklesia), (present tense - continually) show (endeíknumi) them (the messengers-v23) the proof (endeixis) of your love (agape) - Openly (prosopon) is literally face which reflects the internal attitude of a man (love, joy, goodwill), in this context Paul encouraging the Corinthians to show by their faces, their loving reception of the men. The proof of their love would be shown by the openness of their "pocketbooks." 

And of our reason for boasting (kauchesis) about you - NLT = "prove to all the churches that our boasting about you is justified." Paul had boasted about the church at Corinth and he desired that the Macedonians see the reason he boasted about them. 

Broomall - All eyes were on Corinth to see how the Christians there would receive the "messengers." Two things were at stake: your love and our boasting.

Openly (presence) (4383prosopon from pros = towards + ops = eye, the part around the eye and so the face) means literally toward the eye or face. 

Show (1731endeíknumi from preposition en = in, to + deíknumi = to show) means to point out, to demonstrate, to put on display, to prove, to show proof, to show forth, to show oneself, to give visible proof, to show in anything and implies an appeal to facts. The preposition (in) in the compound suggests more than the simplest demonstration. It is like laying the index finger, as it were, on the object. It means to to show something in someone. Ro 2:15; Ro 9:17, Ro 9:22; 2Co 8:24; Ep 2:7; 1Ti 1:16; 2Ti 4:14; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:2; Heb 6:10, Heb 6:11

Proof (1732endeixis from endeíknumi = show forth <> en = in, to + deíknumi = expose to eyes and give proof, make known by visual, auditory, or linguistic means) means a pointing out (particularly with the finger). It something that points to or serves as an indicator of something else and hence is synonymous with a sign, an indication, evidence, verification. It describes the means by which one knows that something is a fact. It is something that compels acceptance of something mentally or emotionally and thus serves as a demonstration or a proof. In secular Greek endeixis meant a pointing out and was used as a legal term, meaning a laying out of information against one who discharged public functions for which he was legally disqualified. 3x - Ro 3:26; 2Co. 8:24; Php 1:28

Boasting (2746kauchesis from kauchaomai = to boast) refers to the act of boasting about something. It expresses the idea of self-congratulation with or without sufficient reason.To boast means to speak of or assert with excessive pride, to express pride in oneself or one’s accomplishments and often suggests ostentation or even exaggeration. In the present context kauchesis denotes the assertion of a claim upon God on the ground of one’s works. 11x in NT- Rom. 3:27; Rom. 15:17; 1 Co. 15:31; 2 Co. 1:12; 2 Co. 7:4; 2 Co. 7:14; 2 Co. 8:24; 2 Co. 11:10; 2 Co. 11:17; 1 Thess. 2:19; Jas. 4:16