Paul the Apostle, His Life Letters and Thought– Part Twenty Seven

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p. 433— The saints in Judaea are the Christians in Jerusalem and environs.

p. 434- the collection was successful. Paul went again to Corinth, wrote to Rome, and sailed for Jerusalem, money in hand. He thinks maybe 2 Cor. 8-9 are two letters and perhaps either followed 2 Cor. 1-7 (again assuming it’s a letter fragment).

p. 435—Gal. 2.7-10 makes clear the collection is for the poor in Jerusalem. 1 Cor 16.1-4 makes clear he expected the Corinthians to pony up each week on Sunday and then they would send a representative with a letter to deliver the funds to Jerusalem and maybe Paul would accompany him if it seems advisable. Later Rom. 15.6 implies the collection was successful and Paul would help deliver it.

p. 436– He asks for prayer in Rom. 15, showing anxiety that the collection might be rejected. Sanders says probably he died in Rome after delivering the collection to Jerusalem, so it was his last act of ministry as a free apostle.

p. 437— Paul saw the collection from the Gentiles to Jerusalem as a fulfillment of prophecy (such as Is. 2 and Micah 4 and Tobit) in which the nations of the world turn to God in the last day and come to Mt. Zion bearing gifts, the wealth of the Gentiles (Is. 18.7; 60.5-6,9.11). The money Paul carried probably symbolized in his mind the fulfillment of these prophecies.

p. 437 n. 5— In Greece Paul follows the Rom. provincial designations, Macedonia is one Achaia is the other. Probably Paul had a few converts in Athens see 1 Thess. 3.1 and 2 Cor. 1.1ff. ‘all the saints in the whole of Achaia’. Macedonia meant Churches in Philippi and Thessalonike [how about Berea?]

p. 438— Sanders suggests that Paul does not mention Galatia or Asia in 2 Cor. 8-9 as contributing to the collection because he is trying to shame the Corinthians into giving properly in competition with the generous Macedonians. See 2 Cor. 8.1-7.

p. 439- In 8.9 Paul is talking about the same thing as in Phil. 2.5-11. Christ abandoned his heavenly riches to become a poor infant, using the language metaphorically when it comes to the riches. “The infant Jesus was not financially rich”. Corinthians are thus encouraged to give by both the example of the Macedonians and of Christ. He talks about completing the task, so apparently they began when Paul said to do so in 1 Cor. 16.1-4. He quotes Exod. 16.18—things should be balanced out so no one has too much or too little. 3 persons have been appointed to travel with Paul to administer the gift (8.19). Besides the mention of Titus—

p. 440— there is also ‘the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching the good news’ (8.18). It is tempting to see this as Apollos. Paul is very sensitive about avoiding people charging him with being a greedy self-supporting guy. (8.20). So he wants administers of the collection going with him to avoid even the appearance of deceit and self-aggrandizement. In Corinth however they had complained when he didn’t accept fees for preaching and teaching (2 Cor. 11.7).

p. 441- he takes 2 Cor. 9.1— ‘it is not necessary for me to write you about the saint’s collection’ as indication this was originally part of a separate letter. He shames them by pointing out how humiliating it would be if he came to Corinth with some Macedonians and found they had not done enough. But 9.7 says ‘each of you must give as you make up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver’.

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