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2 Corinthians 8:3

ESV For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,
NIV For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,
NASB For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave voluntarily,
CSB I can testify that, according to their ability and even beyond their ability, of their own accord,
NLT For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.
KJV For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
NKJV For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing,

What does 2 Corinthians 8:3 mean?

Paul has been asking his Corinthian readers to join him in marveling at the demonstration of God's grace in the lives of the believers in the Macedonian region. Despite harsh circumstances, persecution for faith and extreme poverty, these believers in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea had an abundance of joy. They were eager to give generously to meet the desperate needs of the Jewish believers in Jerusalem.

Paul now adds that these believers exceeded his usual directions that Christians should give in proportion to their income (1 Corinthians 16:2). The Macedonian believers both gave according to their means and then even beyond their means. Paul is quick to add that they did so willingly and not under any kind of command or obligation or pressure from him or others. The Macedonian Christians wanted to give as much as they could.
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