1 Corinthians


10. Final instructions, 16:1-12.

The collection for the saints and travel itinerary


Paul now begins to wind up his letter / sermon to the Corinthians by giving them instructions concerning the collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem, and outlining his intended itinerary for his coming visit to the church in Corinth. He adds a further note on the itinerary of Timothy and Apollos.


i] Context: See 1:1-3.


ii] Structure: The collection for the saints and travel itinerary, :

Instruction concerning the collection for the saints, v1-4;

Paul's travel itinerary, v5-9;

The intended visit of Timothy, v10-11;

A delay in the visit of Apollos, v12.


iii] Interpretation:

It seems likely that the letter sent to Paul by the Corinthian believers asked for some practical guidance on the collection for the saints in Jerusalem. The Corinthians have obviously received previous instructions on the collection and so here Paul only deals with some minor organizational matters. He doesn't even exhort them to contribute to the collection, although does so in his followup letter, 2Cor. 8-9.

The collection for the saints in Jerusalem is a project which is of special importance to Paul and one that he promotes among his Gentile congregations. It is unclear if there is a special need among the believers in Jerusalem. Poverty is a possibility, especially if the Jerusalem church continued with the practice of selling assets and sharing the proceeds among the membership (the first example of failed socialism????). Palestine was never a rich province and was subject to food shortages, so maybe the collection was intended to meet a present practical need. Paul, of course, may be driven by theological considerations; Gentiles bearing gifts to God's historic people Israel is a powerful sign of the realization of the kingdom of God. Whatever Paul's intentions, the consequences are anything but positive, inevitably leading to his arrest on arrival in Jerusalem.

In outlining his travel plans, v5-9, Paul indicates that he will soon be with them and intends to spend some time ministering in Corinth. Obviously, these plans fail to eventuate, forcing Paul to apologize in his followup letter and to defend himself from the charge of being a flip-flop man. In early AD 56 Paul does end up in Corinth, spending some three months ministering in the church.

Paul goes on to mention the opportunities for ministry, while noting also the opposition he faces in proclaiming the gospel. He then mentions that he would like Timothy to return to him ASAP after his visit with them, and that Apollos is unable to visit with them for the present.

Text - 16:1

The collection for the saints and Paul's travel itinerary, v1-12: i] Instructions concerning the collection for the saints, v1-4. It was at the Jerusalem Council that Paul was asked to organize a collection from his Gentile churches for the poor in Jerusalem, cf., Gal.2:10. Paul certainly applied himself to the task, cf., Rom.15:26.

de "Now" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument.

peri + gen. "about" - concerning [the collection]. Expressing reference / respect.

thV "-" - the. The article serves as an adjectivizer turning the prepositional phrase "into the saints" into an attributive modifier limiting the noun "collection", "which is for the saints."

eiV + acc. "for" - into [the saints]. Here expressing advantage; as NIV.

wJsper .... ouJtwV kai "-" - as, just as [i commanded the churches of galatia] so also [you do]. A coordinate comparative construction.

thV GalatiaV (a) gen. "Galatian [churches]" - of galatia. The NIV treats the genitive as adjectival, attributive, limiting the noun "churches".


kata mian sabbatou "on the first day of every week" - according to one of sabbath. Temporal construction; with kata distributive, mian, "one" with an assumed hJmeran, "day", and the genitive "sabbath", ablative, expressing separation, "from the sabbath" = "every one day from the Sabbath."

uJmwn gen. pro. "[each one] of you" - [each] of you. Partitive genitive.

par (para) + dat. "[set] aside" - [put, place some money] beside. Spacial; "at the side of"; "From your finances set something aside on the first day of the week."

qhsaurizwn (qhsaurizw) pres. part. "saving it up" - storing up. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to put"; "put something aside and store it up", ESV.

iJna mh + subj. "so that" - that not = lest [then there should be collections]. Introducing a negated final clause expressing purpose; "And then, when I come, I will not have to start organizing collections", Barclay.

oJtan adv. + subj. "when" - whenever [i come]. Forming an indefinite temporal clause; "when I come."


As is always the case when it comes to money and ministry, propriety must not only be, but seen to be. Whether representatives of the Corinthian church accompanied Paul to Jerusalem with the funds is unclear, but if they didn't, it was their choice.

oJtan + subj. "when" - [but/and] whenever [i arrive]. Introducing an indefinite temporal clause.

oJuV ean + subj. "the men [you approve]" - who if = whomever [you approve]. This construction introduces an indefinite relative clause.

di (dia) + gen. "-" - [these ones i will send] by means of [letters]. Instrumental, expressing means; "equipped with letters accrediting them", Cassirer.

apenegkein (apoferw) aor. inf. "-" - to carry [the gift of you to jerusalem]. The infinitive is adverbial, expressing purpose; "in order to carry."


ean + subj. "if" - if [it is fitting]. Introducing a third class conditional clause where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as the case may be, ...... then ....."

poreusqai (poreuomai) pres. inf. "to go" - [for me also] to go. The infinitive serves as the subject of the impersonal verb "it is fitting"; "for me also to go is fitting". The accusative subject of the infinitive is the crasis kame = kai + me, "me also." "And if it is worthwhile for me to go", Berkeley.

sun + dat. "[accompany]" - [then they will go] with [me]. Expressing association.


ii] Paul's travel itinerary, v5-9. In general terms, Paul's plans are to minister for a time in Macedonia before retuning to Jerusalem to meet with the leading apostles and hand over the collection for "the saints", and then to head for Rome. Paul doesn't mention his intention to visit Rome; the Corinthians may know about it, although it seems more likely that Paul is holding back this information for the moment. The Corinthians are expecting Paul to spend time with them and are somewhat touchy on the issue. This comes out in full in his followup letter (2 Corinthians), written after he receives a report from Titus on the state of the congregation - particularly the presence of judaizers / members of the circumcision party, 2Cor.2:17-3:1, 10:12-11:6. Paul explains his continued stay at Ephesus by telling the Corinthians that "a great and effective door for ministry" has presented itself, although with "many opponents." Anyway, Paul envisages an extended stay at Corinth in the future, and this is ultimately what happens, although with some difficulties along the way. In the meantime, Timothy will soon visit Corinth on Paul's behalf.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument.

oJtan + subj. "after" - [i will come to you] whenever [i pass through macedonia]. Introducing an indefinite temporal clause.

gar "for" - because [i am passing through macedonia]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why Paul is able to visit them, "because I intend to pass through Macedonia."


proV + acc. "with [you]" - [but/and possibly i will remain, stay] toward [you or even spend the winter]. Usually expressing motion toward, but it can sometimes take a relational sense expressing accompaniment, as here; "with you."

iJna + subj. "so that" - that. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose; "in order that"

uJmeiV "you" - you [you may send me on my way]. Emphatic by position and use.

ou| ean + subj. "wherever [I go]" - where if = wherever [i may go]. This construction introduces an local indefinite adverbial clause.


gar "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why Paul is not immediately coming to Corinth; because he doesn't want to have a fleeting visit with them.

idein (oJraw) aor. inf. "to see [you]" - [i do not want] to see [you now]. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the negated verb "I do not want."

en + dat. "[a passing visit]" - in [passing]. The preposition here is adverbial, probably temporal, "while passing by." "I don't want to just drop by", Peterson.

epimeinai (epimenw) aor. inf. "to spend [some time]" - [for i hope] to remain [some time]. the infinitive is probably best classified as introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception, expressing what Paul hopes, namely "that I might spend some time with you."

proV + acc. "with [you]" - toward [you]. As in v6, expressing accompaniment; "with you".

ean + subj. "if" - if, as the case may be [the lord allows, permits, then i hope to remain some time with you]. Introducing a 3rd. class conditional clause where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true.


eJwV + gen. "until [Pentecost]" - [but/and i will remain in ephesus] until [pentecost]. Temporal, expressing time up to; "until the feast of Pentecost."


gar "because" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why Paul wants to remain in Ephesus, rather than come immediately to Corinth, namely, because ministry opportunities are presenting themselves in Ephesus.

moi dat. pro. "to me" - [a great and effective door has opened] to me. Dative of interest, advantage, "for me."

antikeimenoi (antikeimai) pres. mid. part. "[there are many] who oppose me" - [and] the ones opposing [are many]. Although anarthrous, the participle serves as a substantive, modified by the predicate adjective polloi, "many".


iii] The intended visit of Timothy, v10-11. It is possible that Timothy carries this letter to Corinth, although the language Paul uses mitigates against this, cf., 4:17. Barrett suggests that Paul has already sent Timothy to visit the circuit of Macedonian churches and that sooner or later he will get to Corinth (ean elqh/ implies doubt, either with respect to timing and/or the vagaries of travel in the ancient world). As it turns out, Timothy does get to visit Corinth and is able to report back to Paul in Ephesus. The news is not good, and Paul wonders whether his letter has been too harsh. It is not until matters come to a head in Ephesus and Paul is forced to leave, that he catches up with Titus. Titus is able to report that the letter has brought about positive results. This prompts Paul to write his followup letter, 2 Corinthians. Also worth noting is the rather protective language Paul uses with respect to Timothy. Is this down to Timothy's youth, or the assumed lack of respect that might be shown Timothy by members of the Corinthian congregation?

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument.

ean "when" - if, as may be the case, [timothy comes, then]. Introducing a 3rd. class conditional clause where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true. As noted above, the indefinite sense does not mean that Paul is debating whether or not to send Timothy.

iJna + subj. "[see to it] that" - [see] that [he may be with you without fear]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul is instructing the Corinthians to do.

gar "for" - for [he works]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the Corinthians should warmly accept Timothy's ministry.

kuriou (oV) gen. "[the works] of the Lord" - [the works] of lord. The genitive is adjectival, probably best classified as possessive, identifying the possession of a derivative characteristic, cf., 15:58. God acts to order his creation according to his will, and Timothy is a person who applies himself to the divine will.

wJV "just as" - as, just as [i also]. Comparative conjunction; "just as I do", Berkeley.


oun "then" - therefore. Inferential, drawing a logical conclusion.

exouqenhsh/ (exouqenw) aor. subj. "should treat [him] with contempt" - let [not a certain, anyone] despise [him]. Hortatory subjunctive.

en + dat. "on [his way]" - [but/and send forward him] in [peace]. Adverbial use of the preposition,"peacefully"; "send him on his way happily", Cassirer, although the contextual sense seems to be "quickly".

iJna + subj. "so that" - that [he may come toward me]. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose.

gar "for" - because [i am waiting for him with the brothers]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why Paul wants the Corinthians to send Timothy off en eirhnh/, "in peace" = "quickly"???


iv] A delay in the visit of Apollos, v12. Paul is obviously answering another question from the letter sent to him by the Corinthian believers. They want to know about the return of Apollos. Paul informs them that Apollos will not be returning to Corinth any time soon, probably because of the party that has formed around his person in the church. Apollos, a converted Alexandrian Jews, had originally played an important part in the life of the Corinthian congregation, cf., Acts18:27-28.

peri + gen. "[now] about" - [but/and] concerning your question about the return of [the brother apollos]. Expressing reference / respect; "with respect to, concerning, about." "Apollos" stands in apposition to "the brother."

iJna + subj. "-" - [i urged, encourage him much, greatly] that [he might come toward you with the brothers]. Introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul urged Apollos to do. Paul is making sure the Corinthians don't think that he is stopping Apollos from returning to Corinth, although we would expect that they have discussed the situation in the church, and so this is likely behind the unwillingness of Apollos to return just yet. The reinstitution of Paul's apostolic authority may well be the motivating factor. "I pressed him strongly to go to you", Phillips.

iJna + subj. "-" - [and it was not altogether his desire] that [he should come now]. Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what Apollos was unwilling to do; "he was determined that he would not on any account pay you a visit at the present time", Cassirer.

de "but [he will go]" - but/and [he will come]. We may have expected alla here because the clause is typically counterpoint, "not ....., but ....."; "not ready to come now, but will come ..." Of course, alla would depreciate the protasis, and from Paul's perspective, it is important that Apollos is the one who is "unwilling to go."

oJtan + subj. "when [he has the opportunity]" - whenever [he may have an occasion to, a chance to, opportunity]. Introducing an indefinite temporal clause.


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