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2 Corinthians 8 - IVP New Testament Commentaries

Paul Urges Titus to Finish the Work

The example of the Macedonian churches encourages Paul to call for the completion of the collection at Corinth (so, v. 6). To this end he announces his plan to send Titus to supervise the effort. This is a strategic move on Paul's part. Titus is someone whom the church knows and trusts. Plus, he had earlier made a beginning at Corinth. Proenarchomai ("to begin before," vv. 6, 10) is attested nowhere else in Greek literature. At face value it suggests that Titus had launched the collection effort. Yet technically Paul was the initiator (1 Cor 16:1-4). The choice of words may indicate that the offering had been so completely abandoned that Titus had to start effectively from scratch.

Although a latecomer on the Corinthian scene, Titus was nonetheless an important player. He was able not only to reinforce the dictates of the severe letter but also to revive the church's flagging collection efforts (see the commentary on 7:13-15).

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The Corinthians Are Challenged to Excel in Giving

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