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Chapter 16

16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints [peri de tēs logias tēs eis tous hagious]. Paul has discussed all the problems raised by the Corinthians. Now he has on his own heart the collection for the saints in Jerusalem (see chapters 2Co 8; 9). This word [logia] (or [-eia] is now known to be derived from a late verb [logeuō], to collect, recently found in papyri and inscriptions (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 143). The word [logia] is chiefly found in papyri, ostraca, and inscriptions that tell of religious collections for a god or a temple (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, p. 105). The introduction of this topic may seem sudden, but the Corinthians were behind with their part of it. They may even have asked further about it. Paul feels no conflict between discussion of the resurrection and the collection. So also do ye [houtōs kai humas poiēsate]. Paul had given orders [dietaxa] to the churches of Galatia and now gives them like commands. As a matter of fact, they had promised a long time before this (2Co 8:10; 9:1-5). Now do what you pledged.

16:2 Upon the first day of the week [kata mian sabbatou]. For the singular [sabbatou] (sabbath) for week see Lu 18:12; Mr 16:9. For the use of the cardinal [mian] in sense of ordinal [prōtēn] after Hebrew fashion in LXX (Robertson, Grammar, p. 672) as in Mr 16:2; Lu 24:1; Ac 20:7. Distributive use of [kata] also. Lay by him in store [par’ heautōi tithetō thēsaurizōn]. By himself, in his home. Treasuring it (cf. Mt 6:19f. for [thēsaurizō]. Have the habit of doing it, [tithetō] (present imperative). As he may prosper [hoti ean euodōtai]. Old verb from [eu], well, and [hodos], way or journey, to have a good journey, to prosper in general, common in LXX. In N.T. only here and Ro 1:10; 3Jo 1:2. It is uncertain what form [euodōtai] is, present passive subjunctive, perfect passive indicative, or even perfect passive subjunctive (Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 54). The old MSS. had no accents. Some MSS. even have [euodōthēi] (first aorist passive subjunctive). But the sense is not altered. [Hoti] is accusative of general reference and [ean] can occur either with the subjunctive or indicative. This rule for giving occurs also in 2Co 8:12. Paul wishes the collections to be made before he comes.

16:3 When I arrive [hotan paragenōmai]. Whenever I arrive, indefinite temporal conjunction [hotan] and second aorist middle subjunctive. Whomsoever ye shall approve by letters [hous ean dokimasēte di’ epistolōn]. Indefinite relative with [ean] and aorist subjunctive of [dokimazō] (to test and so approve as in Php 1:10). “By letters” to make it formal and regular and Paul would approve their choice of messengers to go with him to Jerusalem (2Co 8:20ff.). Curiously enough no names from Corinth occur in the list in Ac 20:4. To carry [apenegkein]. Second aorist active infinitive of [apopherō], to bear away. Bounty [charin]. Gift, grace, as in 2Co 8:4-7. As a matter of fact, the messengers of the churches [apostoloi ekklēsiōn] 2Co 8:23) went along with Paul to Jerusalem (Ac 20:4f.).

16:4 And if it be meet for me to go also [ean de axion ēi tou kame poreuesthai]. “If the collection be worthy of the going as to me also.” Condition of third class [ean—ēi] and the articular infinitive in the genitive [tou] after [axion]. The accusative of general reference [kame], me also) with the infinitive. So the awkward phrase clears up.

16:5 When I shall have passed through Macedonia [hotan Makedonian dielthō]. “Whenever I pass through (second aorist active subjunctive of [dierchomai] Macedonia” (see construction in verse 3). I do pass through [dierchomai]. I plan to pass through, futuristic use of present indicative.

16:6 It may be [tuchon]. Neuter accusative of second aorist active participle of [tugchanō] used as an adverb (in Plato and Xenophon, but nowhere else in N.T.). Or even winter [ē kai paracheimasō]. Future active of late verb [paracheimazō] [cheimōn], winter). See on Ac 27:12; 28:11; Tit 3:12. He did stay in Corinth for three months (Ac 20:3), probably the coming winter. Whithersoever I go [hou ean poreuōmai]. Indefinite local clause with subjunctive. As a matter of fact, Paul had to flee from a conspiracy in Corinth (Ac 20:3).

16:7 Now by the way [arti en parodōi]. Like our “by the way” [parodos], incidentally. If the Lord permit [ean ho Kurios epitrepsēi]. Condition of the third class. Paul did everything [en Kuriōi] (Cf. Ac 18:21).

16:8 Until Pentecost [heōs tēs Pentēkostēs]. He writes them in the spring before pentecost. Apparently the uproar by Demetrius hurried Paul away from Ephesus (Ac 20:1).

16:9 For a great and effectual door is opened unto me [thura gar moi aneōigen megalē kai energēs]. Second perfect active indicative of [anoigō], to open. Intransitive, stands wide open at last after his years there (Ac 20:31). A wide open door. What does he mean by [energēs]? It is a late word in the Koinē. In the papyri a medical receipt has it for “tolerably strong.” The form [energos] in the papyri is used of a mill “in working order,” of “tilled land,” and of “wrought iron.” In the N.T. it occurs in Phm 1:6; Heb 4:12 of “the word of God” as “[energēs]” (powerful). Paul means that he has at least a great opportunity for work in Ephesus. And there are many adversaries [kai antikeimenoi polloi]. “And many are lying opposed to me,” lined up against me. These Paul mentions as a reason for staying in, not for leaving, Ephesus. Read Ac 19 and see the opposition from Jews and Gentiles with the explosion under the lead of Demetrius. And yet Paul suddenly leaves. He hints of much of which we should like to know more (1Co 15:32; 2Co 1:8f.).

16:10 That he be without fear [hina aphobōs genētai]. Evidently he had reason to fear the treatment that Timothy might receive in Corinth as shown in 4:17-21.

16:11 For I expect him [ekdechomai gar auton]. Apparently later Timothy had to return to Ephesus without much success before Paul left and was sent on to Macedonia with Erastus (Ac 19:22) and Titus sent to Corinth whom Paul then arranged to meet in Troas (2Co 2:12).

16:12 And it was not at all his will to come now [kai pantōs ouk ēn thelēma hina nun elthēi]. Adversative use of [kai] = “but.” Apollos had left Corinth in disgust over the strife there which involved him and Paul (1Co 1-4). He had had enough of partisan strife over preachers.

16:13 Watch ye [grēgoreite]. Stay awake. Late present from [egrēgora] second perfect of [egeirō], to awake. Quit you like men [andrizesthe]. Play the man. Middle voice, show yourselves men. From [anēr], a man.

16:15 Ye know [oidate]. Koinē form for second perfect indicative used as present of [horaō]. Parenthetic clause through rest of the verse. Stephanas is mentioned also in 1:16 and in 16:17. For [aparchē] see on 15:20,23. They have set themselves [etaxan heautous]. Remarkable statement worthy of attention today. This noble family appointed themselves to be ministers to the saints that needed it (the poor and needy). Personal work for Christ is still the only way to win the world for Christ, voluntary personal work. If all Christians did it!

16:16 That ye also be in subjection unto such [hina kai humeis hupotassēsthe tois toioutois]. This is the exhortation begun in verse 15. The family of Stephanas took the lead in good works. Do ye also follow such leaders. This is our great problem today, to find great leaders and many loyal followers. This would solve all church problems, great leadership and great following. Lend a hand.

16:17 At the coming [epi tēi parousiāi]. At the coming here of Stephanas, etc., the very word used of the [parousia] of Christ (15:23). That which was lacking on your part they supplied [to humeteron husterēma houtoi aneplērōsan]. Either “these filled up my lack of you” or “these filled up your lack of me.” Either makes perfectly good sense and both were true. Which Paul meant we cannot tell.

16:18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours [anepausan gar to emon pneuma kai to humōn]. They did both. The very verb used by Jesus in Mt 11:28 for the refreshment offered by him to those who come to him, fellowship with Jesus, and here fellowship with each other.

16:19 The churches of Asia [hai ekklēsiai tēs Asias]. True of the Roman province (Ac 10:10,26; Col 1:6; 2:1; 4:13,16). The gospel spread rapidly from Ephesus. With the church that is in their house [sun tēi kat’ oikon autōn ekklēsiāi]. Paul had long ago left the synagogue for the school house of Tyrannus (Ac 19:9). But Aquila and Prisca opened their house here for the services. The churches had to meet where they could. Paul had laboured and lived with this family in Corinth (Ac 18:2) and now again in Ephesus (Ac 18:19; 20:34). It was their habit wherever they lived (Ro 16:5).

16:20 With a holy kiss [en philēmati hagiōi]. In the synagogue men kissed men and women kissed women. This was the Christian custom at a later date and apparently so here. See 1Th 5:26; 2Co 13:12; Ro 3:8; 1Pe 5:14. It seems never to have been promiscuous between the sexes.

16:21 Of me Paul with mine own hand [tēi emēi cheiri Paulou]. Literally, “With the hand of me Paul.” The genitive [Paulou] is in apposition with the possessive pronoun [emēi] which is in the instrumental case just as in 2Th 3:17, the sign in every Epistle. He dictated, but signed at the end. If we only had that signature on that scrap of paper.

16:22 [Anathema]. The word seems a bit harsh to us, but the refusal to love Christ [ou philei] on the part of a nominal Christian deserves [anathema] (see on 12:3 for this word). [Maran atha]. This Aramaic phrase means “Our Lord [maran] cometh [atha]” or, used as a proleptic perfect, “has come.” It seems to be a sort of watchword (cf. 1Th 4:14ff.; Jas 5:7f.; Php 4:5; Re 1:7; 3:11; 22:20), expressing the lively hope that the Lord will come. It was a curious blunder in the King James Version that connected [Maran atha] with [Anathema].

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