A willing gift (2 Cor. 9:5)

“Thus,

I thought it necessary

To urge the brothers

To go on ahead

To you.

They will arrange

In advance

For this bountiful gift

That you have promised.

Thus,

It may be ready

Not as an extortion,

But as a willing gift.”

ἀναγκαῖον οὖν ἡγησάμην παρακαλέσαι τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς ἵνα προέλθωσιν εἰς ὑμᾶς καὶ προκαταρτίσωσιν τὴν προεπηγγελμένην εὐλογίαν ὑμῶν, ταύτην ἑτοίμην εἶναι οὕτως ὡς εὐλογίαν καὶ μὴ ὡς πλεονεξίαν.

Paul said, “I thought it necessary (ἀναγκαῖον οὖν ἡγησάμην) to urge the brothers (παρακαλέσαι τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς) to go on ahead to you (ἵνα προέλθωσιν εἰς ὑμᾶς).  They will arrange in advance (καὶ προκαταρτίσωσιν) for this willing bountiful gift (εὐλογίαν ὑμῶν) that you have promised already (τὴν προεπηγγελμένην).  Thus, it may be ready (ταύτην ἑτοίμην εἶναι οὕτως) not as an extortion (καὶ μὴ ὡς πλεονεξίαν), but as a willing gift (ὡς εὐλογίαν).”  Only this Corinthian letter had this word προκαταρτίσωσιν, that means to make ready beforehand, or complete beforehand.  Only the Pauline letters used this word that means προεπηγγελμένην, to announce before or promised beforehand.  Paul had planned to send his Christian brothers ahead of him to make sure that the promised gift for the Jerusalem Jewish Christians was ready.  These Pauline co-workers would make sure that everything was in place so that when Paul showed up there would be no disagreements.  Thus, the willing generous gift that they had promised would not appear to be an extortion, but a generous free will offering on the part of the Corinthians.  Do you think that church collections are free will offerings or extortions?

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