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2 Corinthians 8:16-24 – Report of How the Collection Will Be Taken to Jerusalem

Summary

Paul commends Titus and two unnamed brothers who will be arriving in Corinth to assist with the collection of funds for the Jerusalem churches and defends his own honor as one trustworthy with such a gift.

Analysis

In and around the theological claims Paul makes in his letters, he often includes specific details about everyday church matters. The last half of 2 Corinthians 8 abounds in such local color. Paul reports that Titus has volunteered to go to Corinth and help with the collection. (He may have been the bearer of the letter concerning the collection itself.)

In addition, two "brothers," a common designation in the early church for fellow church members, will accompany Titus. The brothers are not named, and so we do not know to whom Paul refers. Whoever they are, Paul commends them to the Corinthians. These three leaders-Titus and the two unnamed brothers-will be accompanying Paul to Jerusalem with the gift that is being collected.

In this passage, Paul is not just commending coworkers. He is also defending himself against any appearance of impropriety. He will not disappear with their gift of funds for the other churches. He will be accompanied by other trustworthy fellow Christians. His comment that "we intend to do what is right not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of others" (2 Corinthians 8:21) is a paraphrase of Proverbs 3:4.

2 Corinthians 8:16-24

Commendation of Titus

16 But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same eagerness for you that I myself have. 17For he not only accepted our appeal, but since he is more eager than ever, he is going to you of his own accord. 18With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his proclaiming of the good news;* 19and not only that, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us while we are administering this generous undertaking* for the glory of the Lord himself* and to show our goodwill. 20We intend that no one should blame us about this generous gift that we are administering, 21for we intend to do what is right not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of others. 22And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found eager in many matters, but who is now more eager than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker in your service; as for our brothers, they are messengers* of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24Therefore, openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.

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10 February 2011

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