What does 2 Corinthians 8:17 mean?
ESV: For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord.
NIV: For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative.
NASB: For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest, he has gone to you of his own accord.
CSB: For he welcomed our appeal and, being very diligent, went out to you by his own choice.
NLT: Titus welcomed our request that he visit you again. In fact, he himself was very eager to go and see you.
KJV: For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.
Paul has just declared that God put the same earnest care for the Corinthians into Titus' heart that Paul carries. Now Paul adds that Titus is not coming to the Corinthians out of any sense of obligation. Titus accepted the assignment to come and help arrange the collection for the Jerusalem Christians of his own free will. In other words, Paul wants the Corinthians to know that Titus really wants to see them again.
Titus had only recently returned from Corinth after delivering Paul's letter of rebuke to them. Paul has stated emphatically in the previous chapter how impressed Titus was with their obedience and humble respect for Paul's authority. The fact that Titus wants to return is the sign of how well things went between him and the Corinthians. Perhaps Paul hopes that Titus being there will help the collection go more smoothly, as well.
Second Corinthians 8:16–24 describes the three men who will be coming to Corinth. After delivering this letter, they will help collect the Corinthian's contribution to the needs of suffering Christians in Jerusalem. The Corinthians know Titus, who recently returned from Corinth, and that he cares for the Corinthians as deeply as Paul himself. Titus will be accompanied by two delegates from other churches to prove that everything is done honestly and with transparency. These men will then report back to their churches how the Corinthians participated in the collection.
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.
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.
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 2/25/2024 10:07:33 AM
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