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Chapter 8

8:1 The grace [tēn charin]. As manifested in the collection in the churches, poor as they were. The Romans had lacerated Macedonia (Livy, XLV. 30).

8:2 Proof [dokimēi]. Tests as of metals as in 2:9. Abundance [perisseia]. Late word from [perisseuō], to overflow. Their deep poverty [hē kata bathous ptōcheia autōn]. [Ptōcheia] is old word from [ptōcheuō], to be a beggar, as of Jesus in 8:9 (from [ptōchos], cowering in fear and poverty, as in Lu 14:13, but ennobled by Christ as in Mt 5:3; 2Co 8:9). Poverty down deep. Strabo (LX 419) has [kata bathous], down to the bottom. Liberality [haplotētos]. From [haplous], single, simple (Mt 6:22). “The passage from single-mindedness or simplicity to liberality is not quite obvious” (Plummer). Perhaps “heartiness” supplies the connecting link. See also 9:11-13.

8:3 Beyond their power [para dunamin]. “Alongside” with accusative like [huper dunamin] in 1:8. Field (Ot. Nov.) quotes Josephus (Ant. iii. 6, 1) for [kata dunamin] and [para dunamin] as here. Few give [kata dunamin] (according to actual ability). Paul commends this high pressure collection because of the emergency. Of their own accord [authairetoi]. Old verbal adjective [autos, hairetos] from [haireomai], to choose), of their own initiative, voluntary. Only here and verse 17 in N.T. Papyri often have [hekousiōs kai authairetōs] (willingly and voluntarily).

8:4 Beseeching us with much intreaty in regard of this grace [meta pollēs paraklēseōs deomenoi hēmōn tēn charin]. Literally, “with much intreaty begging of us the favour and the partnership in the ministry to the saints.” The accusative [charin] after [deomai] is unusual. By [charis] Paul means the privilege of giving (cf. Ac 24:27). Apparently Paul had been reluctant to press the Macedonians because of their manifest poverty. They demanded the right to have a share in it.

8:5 We had hoped [ēlpisamen]. First aorist active indicative of [elpizō]. “Expected,” he means. They went beyond his hopes about them. First they gave their own selves [heautous edōkan prōton]. First aorist active indicative of [didōmi] (k aorist). “Themselves they gave first.” That is the explanation of the generous giving.

8:6 Insomuch that we exhorted Titus [eis to parakalesai hēmas Titon]. Use of [eis to] and the infinitive for result with accusative of general reference [hēmas]. See Robertson, Grammar, p. 1003. He had made a beginning before [proenērxato]. First aorist active indicative of the double compound verb [pro-en-archomai], still found only here and verse 10, to make a start before others. Complete [epitelesei] First aorist (effective) active subjunctive of [epiteleō], to finish, with perfective use of [epi] in composition.

8:7 In this grace also [kai en tautēi tēi chariti]. This gifted church (1Co 12-14) had fallen behind in the grace of giving. Kindly irony in this allusion.

8:8 Proving [dokimazōn]. Testing and so proving. The sincerity also of your love [kai to tēs humeteras agapēs gnēsion]. Old adjective, contraction of [genesios] [ginomai], legitimately born, not spurious. A collection is a test of one’s love for Christ, not the only test, but a real one.

8:9 Though he was rich [plousios ōn]. Concessive present participle [ōn] from [eimi], to be. Be became poor [eptōcheusen]. Ingressive aorist active indicative of [ptōcheuō] (see verse 2 on [ptōcheia]. Through his poverty [tēi ekeinou ptōcheiāi]. Instrumental case, by means of. Might become rich [ploutēsēte]. Ingressive first aorist active subjunctive of [plouteō], to be rich with [hina] (that). See on Lu 1:53; 1Co 4:8.

8:10 Judgment [gnōmēn]. Deliberate opinion, but not a “command” [epitagē] verse 8). Cf. 1Co 7:25. A year ago [apo perusi] From last year. Not only to do, but also to will [ou monon to poiēsai, alla kai to thelein]. Articular infinitives the objects of [proenērxasthe] on which verb see verse 6). That is to say, the Corinthians promised before any others.

8:11 The readiness to will [hē prothumia tou thelein]. Old word from [prothumos] [pro, thumos], forwardness, eagerness (Ac 17:11). They were quick to pledge. The completion also [kai to epitelesai]. The finishing also (articular first aorist active infinitive). Out of your ability [ek tou echein]. “Out of the having,” literally, and so, “out of what you can give” (verse 12).

8:12 Is there [prokeitai]. Lies before one. Old word. Acceptable [euprosdektos]. See on 6:2. According as a man hath [katho ean echēi]. Indefinite comparative clause with [ean] and present subjunctive [echei]. Clearly God does not expect us to give what we do not have. Not according as he hath not [ou katho ouk echei]. Note present indicative rather than subjunctive because a specific case is presented. See 9:7; Mr 12:43.

8:13 Others may be eased [allois anesis]. “Release to others.” Ye distressed [humin thlipsis]. “To you tribulation.” The verb [ēi] (present subjunctive) with [hina] is not expressed.

8:14 By equality [ex isotētos]. Old word from [isos], fair, equal. In N.T. only here and Col 4:1. Abundancy [perisseuma]. Late word from [perisseuō] like [perisseia] (verse 2) Cf. Mt 12:34. Want [husterēma]. Late word from [hustereō], to be in want. See also 9:12; Lu 21:4 (cf. [husterēsis] in Mr 12:44).

8:16 Which putteth [tōi didonti]. Present active articular participle, “who is continually giving.” Hence Titus is full of zealous care for you.

8:17 Very earnest [spoudaioteros]. “More earnest than ordinarily,” comparative adjective.

8:18 We have sent with him [sunepempsamen met’ autou]. Epistolary aorist. The brother [ton adelphon]. This may be, probably is, Luke who may also be the brother of Titus (see also 12:18) according to a common Greek idiom where the article is used as “his.” But this idiom is not necessary. As a matter of fact, we do not know who this brother is. Is spread through all the churches [dia pasōn tōn ekklēsiōn]. No verb in the Greek (ellipsis).

8:19 But who was also appointed [alla kai cheirotonētheis]. Anacoluthon. The first aorist passive participle [cheirotonētheis] is 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 Ac 14:23 where it means to appoint without notion of raising the hands. In Ac 10:41 we have [procheirotoneō]. To travel with us [sunekdēmos]. Late word for travelling companion. So in the inscriptions [sun], together with, [ekdēmos], away from home).

8:20 Avoiding this [stellomenoi touto]. Present middle participle of [stellō], old verb, to set, to arrange. So “arranging for ourselves this.” That any man should blame us [mē tis hēmas mōmēsētai]. Literally, “lest any one blame us” (negative purpose with [] and first aorist middle subjunctive of [mōmeomai]. See on 6:3, only other N.T. example). Bounty [hadrotēti]. Old word from [hadros], thick, stout, ripe, rich, great as in 1Ki 1:9; 2Ki 10:6. Only here in N.T.

8:21 We take thought [pronoumen]. Old verb, to plan beforehand [pro-] as in Ro 12:17; 1Ti 5:8. But also in the sight of men [alla kai enōpion anthrōpōn]. It is not enough for one’s financial accounts to be honourable [kala] as God sees them, but they should be so kept that men can understand them also. A timely warning. Paul took the utmost pains that no suspicion could be attached to him in this collection.

8:22 Our brother [ton adelphon hēmōn]. Not Paul’s personal brother, but a brother in Christ, one whom Paul had tested and was willing to trust. It may have been Tychicus or Apollos, but we do not know.

8:23 About Titus [huper Titou]. There is no verb expressed. Supply “inquire.” He endorses Titus up to the hilt. He is “my partner” [koinōnos emos] and “fellow-worker” [sunergos]. Messengers of the churches [apostoloi ekklēsiōn]. Apostles in the general sense of “sent ones” (from [apostellō], to send) by the churches and responsible to the churches for the handling of the funds. The glory of Christ [doxa Christou]. Financial agents, please observe.

8:24 The proof of your love [tēn endeixin tēs agapēs humōn]. There is a word here for pastors and deacons who try to protect the churches from the denominational representatives of kingdom causes. In the face of the churches [eis prosōpon tōn ekklēsiōn]. A great host is pictured as watching how the Corinthians will treat these duly accredited agents in the collection (Titus and the other two brethren). It requires courage to stand by such representatives of great causes before stingy saints.

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