What does 2 Corinthians 8:21 mean?
ESV: for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord 's sight but also in the sight of man.
NIV: For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.
NASB: for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of other people.
CSB: Indeed, we are giving careful thought to do what is right, not only before the Lord but also before people.
NLT: We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable.
KJV: Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
NKJV: providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
Verse Commentary:
Paul has welcomed an appointed representative of the Macedonian churches to join the group collecting and distributing donations for suffering Christians in Jerusalem. The man will travel with Titus to Corinth for that purpose (2 Corinthians 8:16–19).

This is described as part of a strategy to give as much legitimacy to the collection as possible. Paul doesn't want anyone to have a valid cause to blame him or any of his associates for skimming any of the donations for themselves. More eyes joining the party will not only help to keep this from happening, it will give confidence to others that everything is being done with integrity and transparency.

The goal of this tactic is not merely to avoid an appearance of wrongdoing. Paul's aim, stated in this verse, is to faithfully do what is honorable in the sight of the Lord, as well as in the sight of others. Paul is modeling a standard that should be followed by all Christian churches and organizations that receive donations. An active attitude of openness and transparency should be the rule at all times. This is not because people who handle those funds are inherently untrustworthy; it is to take away any valid reasons to question their trustworthiness.
Verse Context:
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.
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 7/17/2024 12:52:08 PM
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