2 Corinthians 8:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 8:13, NIV: Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.

2 Corinthians 8:13, ESV: For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness

2 Corinthians 8:13, KJV: For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:

2 Corinthians 8:13, NASB: For this is not for the relief of others and for your hardship, but by way of equality—

2 Corinthians 8:13, NLT: Of course, I don't mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality.

2 Corinthians 8:13, CSB: It is not that there should be relief for others and hardship for you, but it is a question of equality.

What does 2 Corinthians 8:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When Christianity was established in Jerusalem after Pentecost, it became renowned in the wider community for sharing all things in common. Every believer in a congregation was provided for because every Christian gave what they had to meet the needs of others (Acts 2:44–45). This practice is not commanded specifically for churches, but Paul describes a version of it in this verse.

He makes clear to the Christians in Corinth that he does not expect them to give so much to the Christians in Jerusalem that they become destitute. Nor is he seeking for them to suffer while the Jerusalem believers experience a life of ease. He is not asking the Corinthians to give everything they have or more than they have.

Paul does believe, though, that there should be fairness among the Christian community. It doesn't make sense to him that some believers should live on the verge of starvation while others lived to excess. He offers more detail in the following verses.