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2 Corinthians 8:1-9

Context
Completing the Collection for the Saints

8:1 Now we make known to you, brothers and sisters, 1  the grace of God given to the churches of Macedonia, 8:2 that during a severe ordeal of suffering, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in the wealth 2  of their generosity. 8:3 For I testify, they gave according to their means and beyond their means. They did so voluntarily, 3  8:4 begging us with great earnestness for the blessing and fellowship of helping 4  the saints. 8:5 And they did this not just as we had hoped, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 8:6 Thus 5  we urged 6  Titus that, just as he had previously begun this work, 7  so also he should complete this act of kindness 8  for you. 8:7 But as you excel 9  in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, and in all eagerness and in the love from us that is in you 10  – make sure that you excel 11  in this act of kindness 12  too. 8:8 I am not saying this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love by comparison with the eagerness of others. 13  8:9 For you know the grace 14  of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, he became poor for your sakes, so that you by his poverty could become rich.

2 Corinthians 8:12

Context
8:12 For if the eagerness is present, the gift itself 15  is acceptable according to whatever one has, not according to what he does not have.

1 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:8.

2 tn Or “riches.”

3 tn Or “spontaneously.”

4 tn Or “of ministering to.”

5 tn A new sentence was started here in the translation and the word “thus” was supplied to indicate that it expresses the result of the previous clause.

6 tn Or “we exhorted.”

7 tn The words “this work” are not in the Greek text but are implied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted and must be supplied from the context.

8 tn Grk “this grace.”

9 tn Grk “as you abound.”

10 tc The reading “the love from us that is in you” is very difficult in this context, for Paul is here enumerating the Corinthians’ attributes: How is it possible for them to excel “in the love from us that is in you”? Most likely, because of this difficulty, several early scribes, as well as most later ones (א C D F G Ψ [33] Ï lat), altered the text to read “your love for us” (so NIV; Grk ἐξ ὑμῶν ἐν ἡμῖν ἀγάπῃ [ex Jumwn en Jhmin agaph]). The reading ἐξ ἡμῶν ἐν ὑμῖν ἀγάπῃ (ex Jhmwn en Jumin agaph) is found, however, in excellent and early witnesses (Ì46 B 0243 6 104 630 1175 1739 1881 co). As the harder reading it explains the rise of the other reading. What, then, is the force of “in the love from us that is in you”? Most likely, Paul is commending the Corinthians for excelling in deriving some inspiration from the apostles’ love for them.

11 tn Grk “you abound.”

12 tn Grk “this grace.”

13 tn Grk “by means of the eagerness of others.”

14 tn Or “generosity.”

15 tn The words “the gift itself” are not in the Greek text but are implied. Translators often supply an English phrase like “it is” (NASB) but in the context, Paul is clearly referring to the collection Titus was to oversee (2 Cor 8:4-7). Therefore there is no reason not to specify the referent (the gift) more narrowly for clarity.



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