What does 1 Corinthians 16:2 mean?
ESV: On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.
NIV: On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
NASB: On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save as he may prosper, so that no collections need to be made when I come.
CSB: On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he is prospering, so that no collections will need to be made when I come.
NLT: On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.
KJV: Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
NKJV: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.
Verse Commentary:
Paul begins to give the church in Corinth specific instructions about collecting money for suffering Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. Many Bible teachers apply these as ground-level principles for how modern Christians should give to local churches and other needs.

This tells the Corinthians to give to this collection weekly, individually, and proportionally. Specifically, each person—or household—is to set aside some amount of money on the first day of every week. It's not clear if this money is meant to be brought to the weekly gathering of the church and held in a central location. Or, it might be simply set aside, person by person, to be delivered together when Paul arrives.

The Christians had adopted the first day of the week—Sunday—as their time to gather together, likely because Christ was raised from the dead on a Sunday.

Paul told everyone to contribute to the collection, rich and poor alike. His letter had already revealed a potential rift between the wealthy and the working poor in the church (1 Corinthians 11:20–22). Paul insisted this gift for their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem should come from all of them together.

That universal command to give, however, is qualified by the phrase "as he may prosper." Paul encouraged proportional giving, meaning that each person should give a percentage of their income instead of a set amount. Notably, Paul does not instruct them to give ten percent, also called a tithe. In fact, the New Testament never commands Christians to tithe in the way the Old Testament required (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26). Jews living under the Old Testament law were obligated to tithe, in addition to other required contributions to the temple and the priests.

Instead, Paul commands to give as each has prospered. This means out of any surplus income above their needs. Historians tell us that many in Corinth among the poorer classes were likely just barely surviving from week to week themselves.

Finally, Paul tells the Corinthians to set aside the money week by week so that no collecting will need to be done when he arrives to organize the delivery of the gift. He does not explain why, but Paul likely wanted to avoid the awkwardness of demanding that the Corinthians come up with some money on the spot when he came and to encourage them to develop the habit of setting aside for the needs of others as a regular practice.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 16:1–4 contains specific instructions to the Corinthians about a collection for poor Christians in Jerusalem. Each person must set aside some money on the first day of each week, meaning Sunday. The amount they give should be a percentage of their income from the following week. Paul does not plan to receive the money himself but to send those selected from Corinth to carry the money to Jerusalem. They may travel with him if they feel it is a good idea.
Chapter Summary:
Having finished the main teaching parts of his letter, Paul wraps up with some matters of business. He tells the Corinthians how to gather funds for a special contribution. He describes his travel plans, including his plan to arrive there before winter. He warns them to treat Timothy well and commends a delegation from Corinth that have come to see him. He concludes with greetings from other believers, along with a curse and a blessing. He curses those who do not love the Lord—here apparently meaning false teachers—and prays the grace of the Lord on everyone else.
Chapter Context:
First Corinthians 16 concludes Paul's long letter to the church in Corinth with several business matters. He instructs them on how to prepare a special contribution for needy Christians in Jerusalem. He describes his plan to visit them in person after wrapping up his ministry in Ephesus and stopping by churches in Macedonia. He reveals that Timothy is coming to them more quickly and that Apollos is not. Finally, he commends a delegation from Corinth that has come to see him. His final words in the letter are a declaration of love for all of them.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
Accessed 7/18/2024 11:24:31 AM
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