2 Corinthians 8:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 8:5, NIV: And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.

2 Corinthians 8:5, ESV: and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

2 Corinthians 8:5, KJV: And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

2 Corinthians 8:5, NASB: and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.

2 Corinthians 8:5, NLT: They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.

2 Corinthians 8:5, CSB: and not just as we had hoped. Instead, they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us by God's will.

What does 2 Corinthians 8:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This portion of 2 Corinthians describes evidence that the churches in Macedonia have received God's grace. Despite their own poverty and suffering, they begged to be included in giving aid to suffering Christians in Jerusalem. Once included, they gave generously, even beyond their means. Paul and the others administering the collection had not expected this. Paul now says that it revealed that the churches in Macedonia had given themselves to the Lord and then, by God's will, had given themselves also to Paul.

The Corinthians had previously committed to being included in Paul's collection for those in Jerusalem, as well, and Paul had given them instructions for how to raise the funds (1 Corinthians 16:1–6). Paul may have wondered if his strained relationship with them would cause them not to follow through on this commitment. Now that he has received the report from Titus, though, about their renewed longing for him (2 Corinthians 7:7), he will ask them to follow the example of the Macedonians and give themselves first to the Lord and then to him.