What does 2 Corinthians 8:23 mean?
ESV: As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
NIV: As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ.
NASB: As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.
CSB: As for Titus, he is my partner and coworker for you; as for our brothers, they are the messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
NLT: If anyone asks about Titus, say that he is my partner who works with me to help you. And the brothers with him have been sent by the churches, and they bring honor to Christ.
KJV: Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.
Paul gives one more recommendation for the three men coming to Corinth to help collect funds for the suffering Christians in Jerusalem. He describes Titus, whom they now know, as his partner and fellow worker for their benefit. Paul helped to mentor Titus, but he described him as a partner, especially in Paul's recent relationship with the Corinthian people.
Here he calls the other two men "our brothers" and messengers of the churches they represent. It may be that the Corinthians know these men, also. If so, these two will vouch for the legitimacy of the collection for the Jerusalem Christians and provide oversight to it.
These words add that the churches they represent are the "glory of Christ." Those who represent Christ in acts of grace, like giving to people in need, bring glory to Christ on earth. That's what Christian churches are meant to do, something Paul hopes those in the church in Corinth will understand and participate in fully.
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 11:19:24 AM
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