What does 2 Corinthians 8:14 mean?
ESV: your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.
NIV: At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality,
NASB: at this present time your abundance will serve as assistance for their need, so that their abundance also may serve as assistance for your need, so that there may be equality;
CSB: At the present time your surplus is available for their need, so that their abundance may in turn meet your need, in order that there may be equality.
NLT: Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.
KJV: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
NKJV: but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality.
Verse Commentary:
Paul is describing the biblical principle of fairness among those living in the Christian community. In urging the Corinthians to follow through on their previous commitment to contribute to a collection for the suffering Christians in Jerusalem, he has asked them to give a proportion of what they have. He doesn't want them to give all they have or more than they have. He does, though, teach that Christians should see themselves as responsible to each other.

Believers with more than they need should be ready and willing to give to believers with less than they need. If their fortunes reverse later, then the contributions should flow in the other direction. Paul does not think some Christians should live in painful poverty while others live in pleasurable excess. When the church first came into being, it was known for following this principle (Acts 2:44–46).
Verse Context:
Second Corinthians 8:1–15 begins with Paul's praise for the churches in Macedonia. These believers begged to be included in giving to a collection for the suffering Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. Paul urges the Corinthians to follow through on their own commitment to do the same thing of their own free will as an act of grace. In doing so, they will also be following the example of Jesus' sacrifice for them. They should give proportionally, using their abundance to meet the need of other believers so that all may have enough.
Chapter Summary:
The Corinthians had previously agreed to contribute to a collection. This was for suffering Christians in Jerusalem. Paul raises the issue with them, pointing to the example of the poverty-stricken Macedonian churches who had given beyond their means of their own free will. Paul urges the Corinthians to follow through on their commitment by their own choice. Titus and two representatives of other churches are coming to Corinth to oversee the collection so it is done with integrity. Paul urges the Corinthians to prove their love by following through on their commitment to give.
Chapter Context:
Second Corinthians 8 follows Paul's expression of comfort and rejoicing at what he learned from Titus. That news explained the Corinthians' repentance in response to Paul's letter of rebuke. Next Paul urges them to follow through on a commitment to contribute to a collection for the suffering Christians in Jerusalem. He points to the example of the generous gifts of the poverty-stricken Macedonian churches and asks the Corinthians to prove that their own Christlike love for others is genuine by excelling in this, as well. Titus and two delegates from other churches will come to Corinth to oversee the collection. In chapter 9, Paul will continue to discuss this ministry opportunity.
Book Summary:
Second Corinthians returns to similar themes as those Paul mentioned in his first letter to this church. Paul is glad to hear that the church in Corinth has heeded his advice. At the same time, it is necessary for Paul to counter criticisms about his personality and legitimacy. Most of this text involves that subject. The fifth chapter, in contrast, contains comforting words which Christians have quoted often in times of hardship. Paul also details his expectations that the church in Corinth will make good on their promise to contribute to the needs of suffering believers in Jerusalem.
Accessed 5/20/2024 9:00:42 PM
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