2 Corinthians


7. The collection for the believers, 8:1-9:15

iii] The impending visit of Titus


Paul now focuses on the visit to Corinth by Titus and two unnamed associates. Paul explains the reason for the attendance of all three: Titus, as Paul's representative, is included in the party out of his desire to return to Corinth; The brother, "who is praised by all the churches", joins the party as a representative of all Paul's mission churches for the proper administration of the collection; Paul also includes in the party the brother who "is zealous", he will serve as Paul's representative. Paul calls on the Corinthian believers to warmly receive this delegation: All are men of integrity and should be welcomed.


i] Context: See 8:1-7. In v16-24 Paul explains the makeup of the delegation led by Titus and then in 9:1-5 he explains the purpose of the mission.


ii] Background: See 8:1-7.


iii] Structure: The impending visit of Titus:

A letter of commendation.

An introduction to, and affirmation of, Titus and the brother "praised by all the churches", v16-19;

Paul's motive in the formation of the delegation, v20-21;

That the administration of the collection be above reproach;

An introduction to, and affirmation of, the "zealous" brother, the third delegate, v22;

Exhortation, v23-24:

Given there can be no quibble as to the integrity of the delegates, "show these men the proof of your love";

The purpose of the delegation's visit, 9:1-5.


iv] Interpretation:

The Corinthian believers have indicated their willingness to participate in the collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem, but we get the impression that Paul is not at all convinced that they are going to follow through on their good intentions. So, it is likely that the delegation led by Titus is intended to fire up the support of the Corinthian believers for the collection, and organize it in preparation for the arrival of Paul and the other delegates from Macedonia. Guthrie argues that Paul is motivated by a desire for the Corinthians to act out of generosity rather than stinginess, and this so that the church honors Paul by their behavior, rather than humiliates him.

This passage serves as a letter of commendation sitting within 2 Corinthians as a whole. It is a critical point in the letter, as Paul commends the three men whose task it is to carry his letter / address to the Corinthian believers and to prepare for his intended visit. It seems likely that the Corinthians know the three men, certainly they know Titus and the renowned brother, but possibly the other brother as well.

The letter as a whole has reflected Paul's need to defend himself from criticism by the opposition party (members of the circumcision party??) and this passage carries the same defensive tone. The collection is an "offering", an "act of grace", ESV, for the saints in Jerusalem, not money for Paul's own pocket, and its administration is in the hands of others, "those chosen by the churches to accompany us"; all this "to avoid criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift."

Text - 8:16

A letter of commendation, 8:16-9:5: i] An introduction to Titus and the brother "praised by all the churches", v16-19.

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

tw/ qew/ (oV) dat. "[thanks be] to God" - [grace, favor, gratitude] to god. Dative of indirect object after an assumed optative verb / wish prayer; "may thanksgiving be offered to God."

tw/ donti (didwmi) dat. aor. part. "who put" - the one having put, given. The participle serves as a substantive standing in apposition to "God."

en + dat. "into" - in [the heart of titus]. Local, space / metaphorical; "I am grateful that God made Titus care as much about you as we do", CEV. The genitive titou, "of Titus", is adjectival, possessive.

uJper + gen. "I have for [you]" - [the same zeal] for [you]. Here most likely expressing advantage / benefit; "for the sake of, for the benefit of"; "for the same eager desire for your welfare as is cherished by us", Cassirer.


For Paul, Titus is the right man to head this delegation, giving weight to the letter and the administration of the collection, but Titus didn't need his arm twisted; his love for the church at Corinth is just as strong as Paul's.

oJti "for" - More reason than cause; explanatory. Paul explains that Titus' "earnest commitment in discharge of an obligation", BDAG / "concern", NIV, v16, is expressed in two ways : First, Titus "received", in the sense of accepted, Paul's paraklhsin, "request" (usually with the sense "encouragement", but here with the sense "to plead for, request") - given the context, "warmly accepted" is possible. Second, he volunteered for the task because of his spoudaioteroV, "more earnest = with much enthusiasm, eagerness, zealousness" (the word is used of a heightened sense of civic duty).

men .... de "not only ..... but" - on the one hand, [not only did he receive our encouragement], but, [being earnest, diligent, he went forth of his own accord to you]. Adversative comparative construction; "Not only did he accept our appeal, but, he ......"

uJparcwn (uJparcw) pres. part. "-" - being [of his own accord]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as causal; "and because he is eager, he freely volunteered for the job."


Of the first delegate who will travel with Titus, Paul describes him as a believer who is widely praised throughout all the churches for his gospel ministry.

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

sunepemyamen (sumpempw) aor. "we are sending" - we sent with. Epistolary / royal plural aorist, "we are sending" = "I am sending."

met (meta) + gen. "along with" - with [him]. Expressing accompaniment / association, redundant with a sun prefix verb, but typical form.

ton adelfon (oV) "the brother" - Used in the sense of "fellow believer", but possibly here in a more technical sense as a member of Paul's missionary team, a person who is "sent", so a "fellow evangelist." At any rate, they are official delegates with Titus.

ou| gen. "who" - of whom [the praise in the gospel]. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, but possibly verbal, objective, "whose praise is known by all the churches", Long, or even adverbial, reference / respect. When it comes to gospel ministry, this brother has an excellent reputation.

dia + gen. "by [all the churches]" - is through / by [all the churches]. Probably spacial, "whose praise is proclaimed / known throughout all the churches", so Guthrie, but possibly expressing agency "whose praise is proclaimed by all the churches", so Long.

en + dat. "for his service to [the gospel]" - in [the gospel]. Local, space, or better adverbial, reference / respect, "in connection with his gospel ministry. "The gospel" = "his evangelistic work in proclaiming the gospel."


Of the first delegate, Paul also makes the point that he has been appointed by the churches, possibly just the Macedonian churches, to accompany him in the administration of the collection. His appointment presumably serves to legitimize the collection. The fact that he is now going to Corinth seems to indicate that Paul is wrapping up the collection in Macedonia. For Paul, the collection for the poor in Jerusalem, this act of cariV, "grace", displays "the Lord's own glory", it provides a sneak peak into the nature of God, and at the same time, bolsters Paul's enthusiasm for gospel ministry.

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

ou monon ..... alla "what is more" - not only this, but and = also. Counterpoint construction; "but not only that: he ....", Cassirer.

ceirotonhqeiV (ceirotonew) aor. pas. part. "he was chosen" - having been appointed. Most translations construe the participle as a finite verb, so technically we may classify it as an absolute participle, or a periphrastic with the verb to-be assumed. As Thrall notes, Paul does sometimes follow up a finite verb with a participle serving as a finite verb. Given that it refers back to ton adelfon, "the brother", accusative, it should be accusative rather than nominative, ie., an anacoluthon - Paul has lost track of his syntax, so Harris. Of course, Paul may not have lost track of his syntax, but is employing short-talk, ie, an ellipsis - missing words; "we are sending the brother (ou| oJ) / of whom the praise in/by all the churches ......, not only this, but also (ou| oJ) of whom the election / appointment by the churches."

uJpo + gen. "by" - by [the churches]. Expressing agency.

sunekdhmoV (oV) "to accompany" - as a traveling companion. Standing in apposition to "election / appointment" so defining the nature of the appointment, namely, to accompany Paul and so assist him in the collection which he administers. The implication seems to be that he is appointed by the churches (the Macedonian churches??), at Paul's insistence, as a witness to the probity of the collection.

hJmwn gen. "us" - of us. The genitive is adjectival, relational.

sun + dat. "-" - with. Expressing accompaniment / association.

th/ cariti (iV ewV) dat. "[this] gift" - [this] grace. The use of the word "grace" for the collection reflects its gracious intention, the relief of the poor in Jerusalem.

th/ diakonoumenh/ (diakonew) dat. pres. mid./pas. part. "which we administer" - the one being administered. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "gift", as NIV.

uJf (uJpo) + gen. "by [us]" - Expressing agency.

proV + acc. "in order to" - toward = for. The NIV has taken the preposition here to expresses purpose, but as Thrall notes, it sometimes expresses result, and that seems more likely here; "resulting in the glory of the Lord himself and in our own enthusiasm", Thrall.

tou kuriou (oV) gen. "[honor] the Lord" - [the glory] of the lord [himself and as a testimony of the willingness, eagerness of you]. The NIV takes the genitive as verbal, objective, but adjectival, possessive is still possible in that the collection will result in an enhancement / will serve to enhance / make clearer, the glory which by nature belongs to the Lord ("Lord" probably means "God" here rather than "the Lord Jesus."); "the Lord's own glory." The "himself" is emphatic.


ii] Paul's motive in the formation of the delegation - That the administration of the collection be above reproach, v20-21.

sunekdhmoV (oV) "we want to avoid" - avoiding. The participle is adverbial, possibly temporal, "while at the same time avoid ....", or better causal, "we are sending along with him the brother ....... because we want to avoid ..."; "for I want to take precautions against any risk of suspicion in connection with the administration of this charity", Moffatt.

touto "-" - this. Here cataphoric, referring forward, "because we want to avoid this, namely, not to have anyone find fault with our administration of this generous gift."

mh ... mwmhshtai (mwmaomai) aor. subj. "any criticism" - lest [anyone] should blame [us]. We have what is virtually a iJna mh + subj. construction, with the iJna missing, introducing an epexegetic clause specifying the content of "this"; "namely, not to have anyone find fault with our administration of this generous gift."

en + dat. "of the way" - in [this abundance]. Here adverbial, reference / respect; "that no one should blame us about this generous gift", ESV.

uJf (uJpo) + gen. "[we]" - [being administered] by [us]. Expressing agency; "for we want to avoid any criticism of our financial management of the fund."

th/ diakonoumenh/ (diakonew) dat. pres. mid./pas. part. "administer" - being administered. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "this abundance" = "grace" = "liberal gift."


Paul is determined to assure the proper management of the collection so as to remove from his opponents the opportunity for slander.

gar "for" - for [we have regard for good things]. More reason than cause, explanatory; "our purpose is to do what is right", TEV.

ou monon ..... alla "not only ...., but ..." - not only [before the lord], but .... A counterpoint construction. As is often the case with a counterpoint construction, the weight of the point being made lies with the apodosis. The classic example is the Lord's Prayer: "lead us not into temptation (and of course we know you wouldn't do that anyway), but (alla) deliver us from the evil one." So here in this verse, the weight lies with "also in the sight of man." Paul hasn't organized the brother "who is praised by all the churches" for probity "in the eyes of the Lord", but probity "in the eyes of man." "We are being careful when it comes to our reputation with the public."

enwpion + gen. "in the eyes of [the Lord]" - before [lord]. A shorthand version of "in the sight of the Lord", of behavior conditioned by the close relationship that exists between a believer and their Lord, the all seeing and all knowing God.

kai "also" - [but] also [before men]. Adjunctive; "also in the sight of man", of acting in a way that people generally think is appropriate - here the proper accounting of funds held by a charity.


iii] An introduction to, and affirmation of, the "zealous" brother, the third delegate, v22. Now with an opportunity to minister in Corinth, this unnamed brother is even more enthused / eager to minister in Corinth because of his great confidence in the Corinthian believers. The ground for this confidence is unstated. "His enthusiasm and confidence may have been kindled by Titus's account of the church there", Thrall.

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

autoiV dat. pro. "them" - [we sent with] them. Dative of direct object after the sun prefix verb "to send with." The "we sent", an epistolary aorist, so "we are sending", may indicate that this man is Paul's appointment, so "I am sending with them ..."

en + dat. "in [many way]" - [the brother of us who we tested / proved / examined = approved] in [many things]. Here adverbial, modal, expressing manner, or temporal, expressing time, "on many occasions; "he has proved his dependability many times over", Peterson.

o[nta (eimi) pres. part. "that [he is zealous]" - being [diligent]. Long proposes that the participle here is adverbial, causal, "because he is eager / enthusiastic", but as Harris notes, edokimasamen, "we approved", is a verb of cognition and so it is more likely that the participle introduces a dependent statement of perception expressing what "we" (Paul??) proved to be the case, namely, "that he is zealous", NIV.

pepoiqhsei (iV ewV) dat. "because of [his great] confidence" - [and being (o[nta) now more earnest] in / by [much] confidence. Usually taken as a dative of cause, as NIV, BDF#196. The assumed participle o[nta] introduces a coordinated dependent statement of perception; "and that now he is even more zealous because of his great confidence which he has in you."

th/ + acc. "in [you]" - the [toward you]. The article serves as an adjectivizer turning the prepositional phrase eiV uJmaV, "toward you", into an attributive modifier limiting "confidence", a confidence "which is in you"; "which he has in you."


iv] Exhortation - given that there can be no quibble as to the integrity of the delegates, "show these men the proof of your love", v23-24

eite .... eite "as ..... as for" - whether [concerning titus, my partner and into = for you a co-worker] or [concerning the brothers of us, apostles of the churches, may the glory be of christ]. A correlative disjunctive construction; "whether Titus is in mind (concerning Titus), ...... or our brothers, ........ may the glory be Christ's."

uJper + gen. "for [Titus]" - concerning [titus]. Here in place of peri, reference / respect; "concerning Titus."

eiV + acc. "among [you]" - into = for [you]. The NIV has opted for a spacial sense, but also possibly advantage, "he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit", ESV, or representation, "he is a man united to me in fellowship, sharing my labors on your behalf", Cassirer.

adelfoi (oV) "[our] brothers" - brothers [of us]. Pendent nominative, see Wallace 52.

ekklhsiwn (a) gen. "[they are representatives] of the churches" - [apostles] of the churches. The genitive is adjectival, possessive.

Cristou (oV) gen. "[an honor] to Christ" - [may the glory be] of christ. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, ie., Christ's glory is in mind; "may it be to Christ's glory." The statement "glory of Christ" is elliptical, prompting a number of possible translations from a wish-prayer to an exclamation, although most translations and commentators take the phrase as a description of the brothers, ie., they are the light of Christ shining in the world. Barnett is unsure, arguing that a descriptor like this is more likely applied to the church. Thrall, so also Filson and Bruce, argues that the brothers "promote the glory of Christ." "Participation in the administration of the collection promotes the glory of Christ because the whole enterprise is the work of divine grace", Thrall. "Whether ........ let it be for Christ's glory", Long.


Paul concludes his argument coving v16-23 with a play on words. He calls on the Corinthians to endeiknumenoi, "demonstrate", before all the churches (possibly the Macedonian churches are in mind, but a wider sense is possible), a endeixin, "a demonstration", first, of their love (ie., their reception of the delegates and their willing completion of the collection for the saints), and second, Paul's pride in them (ie., his boast that the Corinthians will complete their part in the collection).

oun "therefore" - Inferential / drawing a logical conclusion.

endeiknumenoi (endeiknumi) pres. part. "show these men" - demonstrating, exhibiting, displaying. This participle is classified as imperatival, but it is often the case that a so called imperatival participle is attendant on an imperative verb and so should be classified as attendant circumstance. Yet, on this occasion, although obviously imperatival, it is not attendant. We probably should follow Turner who suggests the presence of an assumed imperative verb to-be, este, ie., a periphrastic construction stressing aspect. "Show the Macedonian churches what your made of."

thn endeixin (iV ewV) "the proof" - the demonstration, evidence, proof. Accusative direct object of the participle "demonstrating"; "the clear proof", Cassirer.

thV agaphV (h) gen. "of [your] love" - of the love [of you]. The genitive is usually read as verbal, objective, although adjectival, epexegetic / a genitive of definition specifying the "demonstration" seems more likely. Paul calls on the Corinthians "to demonstrate a demonstration / proof", namely / which consists of, "their love", ie., their willing participation in the collection for the saints. The genitive uJmwn, "of them", is possessive; "the love you have."

kauchsewV (iV ewV) gen. "the reason for [our] pride" - [and] the boasting [of us]. The genitive as for thV agaphV, further specifies the nature of the "demonstration", namely, Paul's boast that the Corinthians will complete their part in the collection.

uJper + gen. "in [you]" - about [you to them]. Here expressing reference / respect; "concerning, about, with respect to you."

eiV + acc. "so that" - into = for. Usually taken to express purpose here.

twn ekklhsiwn (a) gen. "the churches [can see it]" - [the face] of churches. The genitive is adjectival, possessive. The phrase is idiomatic, expressing the idea that another / others, with whom we have a relationship, will become aware, or are aware, of our actions. The Corinthians need to conduct themselves, with respect to the visit of the delegates, as if they were in full view of Paul's other mission churches.


2 Corinthians Introduction

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