2 Corinthians 8-9Expanded Bible (EXB)
8 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace God gave the churches in Macedonia [1:16]. 2 Although they have been tested by great ·troubles [trials; tribulation] ·and are very poor, they gave much because of their great joy [L their deep poverty and abundant joy overflowed into rich generosity]. 3 I can ·tell you [testify] that they gave as much as they were able and even more than they could afford. No one told them to do it. 4 But they begged and pleaded with us ·to let them [L for the privilege/grace to] share in this service for ·God’s people [T the saints]. 5 And they gave in a way we did not expect: They first gave themselves to the Lord and to us. ·This is what God wants […by the will of God]. 6 So we ·asked [urged; encouraged] Titus [2:13] to help you finish this special work of grace since he is the one who started it. 7 You ·are rich [excel] in everything—in faith, in speaking, in knowledge, in ·truly wanting to help [eagerness; zeal], and in the love ·you learned [L that is in you] from us.[a] In the same way, ·be strong [excel] also in the grace of giving.
8 I am not commanding you to give. But I want to ·see [test; prove] if your love is true by comparing you with ·others that really want to help [L the zeal/eagerness of others]. 9 [L For] You know the ·grace [gift] of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, for your sake he became poor so that by his becoming poor you might become rich.
10 This is ·what I think you should do [L my opinion on this matter for your benefit]: Last year you were the first to want to give, and you were the first who gave. 11 So now finish the work you started. Then your ·“doing” [L completion] will be equal to your ·“wanting to do” [eager desire]. Give from what you have. 12 If you ·want [are eager/willing] to give, your gift will be accepted. It will be judged by what you have, not by what you do not have. 13 [L For] We do not want you to have ·troubles [hardships; trials] while other people ·are at ease [have relief], but we want everything to be equal [C giving is not intended to impoverish the giver, but to distribute God’s resources]. 14 At this time ·you have plenty and what you have [L your abundance] can help others who are in need. ·Then later, when they have plenty, they [or In the same way, their abundance] can help you when you are in need, and all will be equal [C Paul may be saying, (1) that the Jerusalem church may one day reciprocate by helping the Corinthians financially; or, (2) that the Corinthians’ financial gift will be reciprocated through Jerusalem’s spiritual gifts]. 15 As it is written in the Scriptures, “The person who gathered more did not have too much, nor did the person who gathered less have too little [Ex. 16:18].”
Titus and His Companions Help
16 ·I thank [L Thanks be to] God because he ·gave [L put into the heart of] Titus [2:13] the same ·love [L eagerness; zeal] for you that I have. 17 [L For] Titus accepted what we asked him to do. He ·wanted very much [was eager] to go to you, and this was ·his own idea [of his own accord]. 18 We are sending with him the brother who is praised by all the churches because of his service ·in preaching the Good News [L in the Gospel; C unknown person, possibly Luke]. 19 Also, this brother was ·chosen [appointed] by the churches to go with us ·when we deliver this gift of money [or in this ministry/administration of grace]. We are doing this ·service [ministry] to bring glory to the Lord and to show ·that we really want [our eagerness/willingness] to help.
20 We are being careful so that no one will ·criticize [blame] us for the way we are handling this ·large [abundant; generous] gift. 21 [L For] We are trying hard to do what is right, not only before the Lord but also before people [Prov. 3:4].
22 Also, we are sending with them our brother, who has proved to us in many ways that he is always ·ready [eager; zealous] to help. He wants to help even more now, because he has much ·faith [confidence] in you.
23 ·Now [or If there is any question] about Titus [2:13]—he is my partner ·who is working with me [and coworker] to help you. ·And [or If there is any question] about the other brothers—they are ·sent [messengers] from the churches, and ·they bring glory to [or they are the glory of] Christ. 24 So show these men the proof of your love and the reason we ·are proud [boast] of you. ·Then [or …so that] all the churches can see it.
Help for Fellow Christians
9 I really do not need to write you about this ·help [service; ministry] for ·God’s people [T the saints]. 2 [L For; Because] I know ·you want [your eagerness/willingness] to help. I have been ·bragging [boasting] about this to the ·believers in Macedonia [L Macedonians; 8:1], telling them that you in Achaia [C southern Greece; 1:1] have been ready to give since last year. And your ·desire to give [L zeal; enthusiasm] has ·made most of them ready to give also [L aroused/provoked the majority]. 3 But I am sending the brothers to you so that our ·bragging [boasting] about you in this matter will not be empty words. I want you to be ready, as I said you would be. 4 If any of the ·believers from Macedonia [L Macedonians] come with me and find that you are not ready, we will be ·ashamed [embarrassed; dishonored] that we were so sure of you. (And you will be ·ashamed [embarrassed; dishonored], too!) 5 So I thought I should ·ask [urge; encourage] these brothers to go to you before we do. They will finish getting in order the ·generous gift [blessing] you promised so it will be ready when we come. And it will be a ·generous gift [blessing]—not one ·that you did not want to give [required from you; grudgingly given].
6 Remember this: The person who ·plants a little [sows sparingly] will ·have a small harvest [also reap sparingly], but the person who ·plants a lot [sows generously/bountifully] will ·have a big harvest [also reap generously/bountifully]. 7 Each of you should give as you have decided in your heart to give. You should not ·be sad when you give [or give reluctantly], and you should not give ·because you feel forced to give [out of compulsion]. [L For] God loves the person who gives ·happily [cheerfully]. 8 And God can ·give you more blessings than you need [L overflow/abound all grace to you]. Then ·you will always have plenty of everything [L in all things at all times you will have all you need]— ·enough to give to [abounding/overflowing in] every good work. 9 [L Just as] It is written in the Scriptures:
“He ·gives [L scatters (seed) and gives] freely to the poor.
10 [L For] God is the One who gives seed to the farmer and bread for food. He will ·give you all the seed you need and make it grow [L supply and multiply your seed] so there will be a great harvest ·from your goodness [of your righteousness]. 11 He will make you rich in every way so that you can always give ·freely [generously]. And your giving through us will ·cause many to give thanks [L produce thanksgiving] to God. 12 This ·service you do [L ministry of service] not only helps the needs of ·God’s people [T the saints], it also brings many more thanks to God. 13 It is a proof of your faith. Many people will ·praise [glorify] God because you ·obey [submit to] the ·Good News [Gospel] of Christ—the gospel you ·say you believe [confess]—and because you ·freely [generously] share with them and with all others. 14 And when they pray for you, they will ·wish they could be with [L long for] you because of the great grace that God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his ·gift that is too wonderful for words [indescribable/inexpressible gift].
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.