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

2 Corinthians 8:8, NIV: I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.

2 Corinthians 8:8, ESV: I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.

2 Corinthians 8:8, KJV: I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.

2 Corinthians 8:8, NASB: I am not saying this as a command, but as proving, through the earnestness of others, the sincerity of your love as well.

2 Corinthians 8:8, NLT: I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.

2 Corinthians 8:8, CSB: I am not saying this as a command. Rather, by means of the diligence of others, I am testing the genuineness of your love.

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

Paul has praised the Christian churches in Macedonia for giving generously to meet the needs of suffering Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. They did this despite their own poverty and suffering. He noted they gave willingly, even begging to be included in the opportunity to give. Neither he nor God nor anyone else commanded the Macedonians to give (2 Corinthians 8:2–5).

Now Paul makes clear to the Corinthians that he is not commanding them to give to this collection. He wants them to do so out of love for other believers. The Macedonians have proved their Christlike love for others is genuine by giving so earnestly. Now the Corinthians have an opportunity to demonstrate that same love.

Paul is not manipulating the Corinthians. He represents Christ even in his role as fundraiser for suffering Christians. He is sincere in saying that they are not compelled by him to donate to this collection. He is also sincere in saying that an opportunity to give generously to a believer who is hurting is an opportunity to show the love of Christ.