“Now as you excel in everything,
In all earnestness,
And in your love for us,
We would want you
To excel also
In this generous undertaking.”
ἀλλ’ ὥσπερ ἐν παντὶ περισσεύετε, πίστει καὶ λόγῳ καὶ γνώσει καὶ πάσῃ σπουδῇ καὶ τῇ ἐξ ἡμῶν ἐν ὑμῖν ἀγάπῃ, ἵνα καὶ ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ χάριτι περισσεύητε.
Paul said that now as you excel in everything (ἀλλ’ ὥσπερ ἐν παντὶ περισσεύετε), in faith (πίστει), in speech (καὶ λόγῳ), in knowledge (καὶ γνώσει), in all earnestness (καὶ πάσῃ σπουδῇ), and in your love for us (καὶ τῇ ἐξ ἡμῶν ἐν ὑμῖν ἀγάπῃ), thus, we would want you to excel also in this generous or graced undertaking (ἵνα καὶ ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ χάριτι περισσεύητε). Paul then began to flatter the Corinthians. He told them that they excelled in everything. Then he listed their great accomplishments, their faith, their speech, their earnestness, and their love for Paul. Paul implied that somehow, they were better than the Macedonians. As they were so good in so many things, surely, they could be more generous or gracious than the Macedonians in this collection for the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. The Corinthians had been blessed in many ways, spiritually and economically. Thus, they could thank God and help other people at the same time with this collection. Have you ever used flattery to get people to do something?