1 Corinthians 16:1
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XVI.

(1) Now concerning the collection for the saints.—This chapter deals briefly with the following subjects:—

1Corinthians 16:1-4. The collection for the poor at Jerusalem.

1Corinthians 16:5-9. The Apostle’s prospective arrangement, as to his journey.

1Corinthians 16:10-18. Commendation of various individuals.

1Corinthians 16:19-20. The salutation of the Church.

1Corinthians 16:21-24. The salutation of Paul himself.

From the fact of a necessity existing for a collection for the poor Christians at Jerusalem, it is clear that the community of goods (see Acts 2:44) which had at the beginning been established in that Church had not proved successful. Christianity was largely recruited from the lower classes, especially in Jerusalem (James 2:6), and a common fund would not long have flourished with so few contributors and such a multitude of sharers. Moreover, the many who were shut up in prison had perhaps by this time been released in abject poverty, and would naturally be the subject of anxious solicitation to one who was identical with “persecuting Saul,” who “had given his voice against them,” and against others now dead. (See Acts 26:10.) It is to be noticed that the Apostle does not speak of them as “the poor,” but as “saints.” That was the true ground of their claim upon their brethren.

As I have given order to the churches of Galatia.—Better, As I gave order to the churches of Galatia. The order was definitely given by the Apostle in person when visiting these churches (Acts 18:23). It does not occur in his Epistle to that Church. On this passage Bengel’s Note is worth quoting—“He proposes the Galatians as an example to the Corinthians, the Corinthians to the Macedonians, and the Corinthians and Macedonians to the Romans (2Corinthians 9:2; Romans 15:26). Great is the power of examples.”

1 Corinthians 16:1-2. Now concerning the collection — During the apostle’s eighteen months’ abode at Corinth, he had exhorted the brethren there to undertake the making a collection for the poor saints in Judea. But the divisions in their church, it seems, had hitherto hindered them from beginning it. The apostle therefore here requests them to set about it immediately, and directs them as to the mode of proceeding. The saints in Judea were, it appears, at this time, in great straits, both on account of a famine, and the persecution to which they were exposed. As I have given order, or a charge, Greek, διεταξα, to the churches of Galatia — It is probable the apostle gave these orders to the churches of Galatia when he went throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, establishing the churches, as mentioned Acts 16:6. And he may have received the collections made by these churches when, in his way to Ephesus, where he now was, he went through all the churches of those parts in order, as related Acts 18:23.16:1-9 The good examples of other Christians and churches should rouse us. It is good to lay up in store for good uses. Those who are rich in this world, should be rich in good works, 1Ti 6:17,18. The diligent hand will not make rich, without the Divine blessing, Pr 10:4,22. And what more proper to stir us up to charity to the people and children of God, than to look at all we have as his gift? Works of mercy are real fruits of true love to God, and are therefore proper services on his own day. Ministers are doing their proper business, when putting forward, or helping works of charity. The heart of a Christian minister must be towards the people among whom he has laboured long, and with success. All our purposes must be made with submission to the Divine providence, Jas 4:15. Adversaries and opposition do not break the spirits of faithful and successful ministers, but warm their zeal, and inspire them with fresh courage. A faithful minister is more discouraged by the hardness of his hearers' hearts, and the backslidings of professors, than by the enemies' attempts.Now concerning the collection for the saints - The use of the article here shows that he had mentioned it to them before, and that it was a subject which they would readily understand. It was not new to them, but it was needful only to give some instructions in regard to the manner in which it should be done, and not in regard to the occasion for the collection, or the duty of making it. Accordingly, all his instructions relate simply to the manner in which the collection should be made. The word rendered "collection" (λογία logia) does not occur anywhere else in the New Testament, and is not found in the classic writers. It is from λέγω legō, to collect, and, undoubtedly, here refers to a contribution, or collection of money for a charitable purpose. The word "saints" (ἁγίους hagious) here refers, doubtless, to "Christians;" to the persecuted Christians in Judea. There were many there; and they were generally poor, and exposed to various trials. In regard to the meaning of this word, and the circumstances and occasion of this collection; see the notes on Romans 15:25-26.

As I have given order - (διέταξα dietaxa). As I have directed, enjoined, commanded, arranged. It does not mean that he had assumed the authority to tax them, or that he had commanded them to make a collection, but that he had left directions as to the best manner and time in which it should be done. The collection was voluntary and cheerful in all the churches Romans 15:26-27; 2 Corinthians 9:2; and Paul did not assume authority to impose it on them as a tax. Nor was it necessary. Self-denial and liberality were among the distinguishing virtues of the early Christians; and to be a Christian then implied that a man would freely impart of his property to aid the poor and the needy. The order related solely to the manner of making the collection; and as Paul had suggested one mode to the churches in Galatia, he recommended the same now to the Corinthians.

To the churches of Galatia - Galatia was a province in Asia Minor. On its situation, see the note on Acts 16:6. There were evidently several churches planted in that region; see Galatians 1:2. At what time he gave this order to the churches there is not mentioned; though it was doubtless on occasion of a visit to the churches there; see Acts 16:6.

CHAPTER 16

1Co 16:1-24. Directions as to the Collection for the Judean Christians: Paul's Future Plans: He Commends to Them Timothy, Apollos, &C. Salutations and Conclusions.

1. collection for the saints—at Jerusalem (Ro 15:26) and in Judea (Ac 11:29, 30; 24:17; compare 2Co 8:4; 9:1, 12). He says "saints" rather than "the poor," to remind the Corinthians that in giving, it is to the Lord's people, their own brethren in the faith. Towards the close of the national existence of the Jews, Judea and Jerusalem were harassed with various troubles, which in part affected the Jewish Christians. The community of goods which existed among them for a time gave temporary relief but tended ultimately to impoverish all by paralyzing individual exertion (Ac 2:44), and hence was soon discontinued. A beautiful fruit of grace it was, that he who had by persecutions robbed many of their all (Ac 26:10), should become the foremost in exertions for their relief.

as I have given—rather, "gave order," namely, during my journey through Galatia, that mentioned in Ac 18:23. The churches of Galatia and Phrygia were the last which Paul visited before writing this Epistle. He was now at Ephesus, and came thither immediately from visiting them (Ac 18:23; 19:1). That he had not been silent in Galatia on contributions for the poor, appears from the hint let fall in his Epistle to that church (Ga 2:10): an undesigned coincidence and mark of genuineness [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ]. He proposes the Galatians as an example to the Corinthians, the Corinthians to the Macedonians, the Corinthians and Macedonians to the Romans (Ro 15:26, 27; 2Co 9:2). There is great force in example.1 Corinthians 16:1-4 Paul directeth the Corinthians how to proceed in

their collections for the relief of the brethren at

Jerusalem.

1 Corinthians 16:5-9 He mentioneth his design of visiting them,

1 Corinthians 16:10-12 and commendeth Timothy, who was coming to them.

1 Corinthians 16:13-18 After some seasonable admonitions,

1 Corinthians 16:19-24 he closeth the Epistle with divers salutations.

The business of relieving the poor members of the church, is a moral duty, a sacrifice with which God is well pleased, Philippians 4:18; our faith must work by this love. The apostle, in several Epistles, was very solicitous about this; he mentioneth it, Romans 15:26 Galatians 2:10, as well as in this Epistle. Besides that our Saviour had foretold, that the state of the church would be such, that they should have the poor always with them; Agabus, Acts 11:28, had prophesied of a famine, which (some think) raged at this time; and besides, the persecution at Jerusalem had scattered the brethren abroad, and being out of their country and employments, they could not but be at a loss for a livelihood, and so need the charitable contribution of other churches under better circumstances, as they were at this time in Greece. The churches of Galatia and Macedonia had been very liberal this way; and the apostle, by their example, quickens the churches both at Rome and Corinth, Romans 15:26 2 Corinthians 8:4. As to this he had (as he saith) given order to the churches of Galatia, which, it is thought, he did in his journey through Galatia, Acts 16:6; and he ordereth the church at Corinth to follow that order, which followeth.

Now concerning the collection for the saints,.... Not at Corinth, but at Jerusalem, as appears from 1 Corinthians 16:3 for the poor saints there, who were reduced to poverty, either through the spoiling of their goods by their persecuting countrymen; or through the selling of their possessions, and putting their substance into one common stock, which was now exhausted, partly by their living upon it, and partly by the expending of it for the enlargement of the interest of Christ, and the spread of his Gospel among the Gentiles; so that it was but fit and reasonable that they should assist them in their necessitous circumstances: wherefore the apostle, after he had gone through the various subjects he thought fit to write upon, relating both to doctrine and practice, proceeds to give some orders, directions, and instructions, concerning this matter.

As I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so also do ye. The churches of Galatia were those he wrote an epistle to, which bears their name, and in which he takes notice of the request of the apostles at Jerusalem to him, that he would remember the poor as he travelled through the Gentile countries, and which, no doubt, he mentions, as a hint unto them to collect for them. Galatians 2:10 though the order he here speaks of was doubtless given them when he passed through the region of Galatia, Acts 16:6. This he observes by way of example to the church at Corinth, and to show them, that what he ordered them was no other than what he enjoined other churches, and which they were ready to come into, as these in Galatia, and also in Macedonia; and designs this as a spur unto them, that if the Galatians, who were a more rude and uncultivated people, being now called by grace, were ready to such a good work, they who were a more polite people, and used to civility, humanity, and tenderness, would not be backward to it.

Now concerning {1} the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

(1) Collections in ancient times were made by the appointment of the apostle appointment to be the first day of the week, on which day the manner was then to assemble themselves.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 16:1. The construction may be: ὥσπερ περὶ τῆς λογ. διέτ. ταῖς ἐκκλ. τῆς Γαλ., οὕτω κ.τ.λ. Comp. 2 Corinthians 9:1; also 1 Corinthians 12:1. Still περὶἁγίους may also be taken by itself (de Wette and others), comp. 1 Corinthians 16:12; 1 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Corinthians 8:1. We cannot, indeed, decide, but the latter is more in harmony with the inartificial movement of the epistolary styl.

λογία· συλλογῇ, Suidas, comp. Hesychius. Without example elsewhere save in the Father.

εἰς τοὺς ἁγίους] i.e. εἰς τοὺς πτωχοὺς τῶν ἁγίων τῶν ἐν Ἱερουσαλήμ, Romans 15:26. This detail, however, was obvious of itself to the readers; the assumption that οἱ ἅγιοι by itself denoted the mother church (Hofmann)[101] is neither necessary nor capable of proof; they are the ἅγιοι who are known; the readers were acquainted with the fact, for whom the apostle made the collection.

The poverty of the church at Jerusalem explains itself in part from the community of goods which had formerly[102] subsisted there (see on Acts 2:44 f.). This poverty itself, along with the high interest excited by what was in truth the mother church of the whole of Christendom, as well as Galatians 2:10, and generally Paul’s love for his people (Romans 9:3), which made sacrifices with joy, form a sufficient explanation of his great zeal in their support, and of his delivering over the sums raised in person, notwithstanding of the dangers which he saw before him. Rückert’s view (comp. also Olshausen), that Paul desired to appease the minds of the Jewish Christians there which were embittered against him, before he journeyed into the west, has no trace whatever of its existence either in the Acts or the Epistles. See, on the contrary, Acts 21:17-24. Rückert even asserts that such a reason alone could justify him in undertaking so perilous a journey. But see Acts 20:22-24.

τῆς Γαλατ.] whether from Ephesus by messengers, or in person on the journey mentioned in Acts 18:23 (Osiander, Neander, Wieseler), or by letter (so Ewald), must be left undecided. In the Epistle to the Galatians preserved to us there is no mention of this collection; for Galatians 2:10 is of general import, although it is the basis of the apostolic διατάσσειν, as well as the special warrant for it. For the rest, Bengel aptly says: “Galatarum exemplum Corinthiis, Corinthiorum exemplum Macedonibus, et Macedonum Romanis proponit, 2 Corinthians 9:2; Romans 15:26. Magna exemplorum vis.” But a proof, too, how Paul sought to foster the community of life and effort in his churches (comp. Lechler, p. 364 f.), and how the appointed mode of doing so had already approved itself.

[101] See in opposition to this explanation of οἱ ἅγιοι, which was previously proposed by Wieseler also, Riehm, Lehrbegr. d. Hebr. Br. p. xviii. ed. 2.

[102] The community of goods cannot by this time have subsisted any longer; otherwise it could not have been said, Rom. l.c., τοὺς πτωχοὺς τῶν ἁγίων. See Acts 4:34.

1 Corinthians 16:1-9. Regarding the collection for Jerusalem; doubtless (comp. 1 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Corinthians 8:1, 1 Corinthians 12:1) occasioned by a question in the Corinthian letter.1 Corinthians 16:1-4. § 57. CONCERNING THE COLLECTION. During his Third Missionary Journey P. was collecting money for the relief of the Christian poor in Jerusalem. Two chaps. in the middle of 2 Cor. are devoted to this business, which, as it seems, had moved slowly in the interval between the two Epp. The collection had been set on foot some time ago in Galatia (1 Corinthians 16:1); in Macedonia it had been warmly taken up (2 Corinthians 8 f.); from Acts 20:4 we learn that “Asians” also (from Ephesus and the neighbourhood) accompanied P. in the deputation which conveyed the Gentile offering to the mother Church. A little later, in writing to Rome (1 Corinthians 15:25-32), the Ap. refers to the collection, with great satisfaction, as completed. Every province of the Pauline mission appears to have aided in this charity, which, while it relieved a distressing need, was prompted also by Paul’s warm love for his people (Romans 9:3), and by his desire to knit together the Gentile and Jewish sections of the Church, and to prove to the latter the true faith and brotherhood of the converts from heathenism (2 Corinthians 9:11-14). P. had taken part in a similar relief sent from Antioch many years before (Acts 11 f.); and in the Conference of Jerus., when the direction of the Gentile mission was committed to him, the heads of the Judæan Church laid on him the injunction to “remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10). Foreign Jews were accustomed, as an act of piety, to replenish the poorfunds of the mother city. The Christian community of Jerus. suffered from chronic poverty. With little natural or commercial wealth, the city lived mainly upon its religious character—on the attractions of the Temple and the Feasts thronged by Jews from the whole world; and the Nazarenes, while suffering from the intense bigotry of their compatriots in other ways, would find it esp. difficult to participate in employments connected with religion. 1 Thessalonians 2:14 intimates that the Judæan Churches had recently undergone severe persecution.Ch. 1 Corinthians 16:1-24. Sundry practical directions. Conclusion

1. Now concerning the collection for the saints] i.e. ‘the poor saints (see note on ch. 1 Corinthians 1:2) at Jerusalem,’ Romans 15:26. The same subject is mentioned in ch. 8, 9 of the second Epistle. The disorganized state of Judaea at this time, as described in the pages of Josephus, may account for the systematic efforts which were then being made throughout the Gentile Churches for their aid. This collection is mentioned in Romans 15:26, written after the Apostle’s arrival at Corinth. Another reason for this Gentile liberality is given there. Jerusalem was the source whence all the blessings of the Gospel had flowed. It was fitting that some recompence, however inadequate, should be made. Cf. ch. 1 Corinthians 9:11. St Paul says here that he had instructed the Galatian Churches to send their contribution, and in Galatians 2:10 we find that it was a special matter of agreement between himself and the other Apostles that he should ‘remember the poor,’ i.e. of the Church at Jerusalem. St Luke does not mention the collection in its proper place in the Acts, but the incidental reference to it in a speech made long after by the Apostle, and recorded in Acts 24:17, is adduced by Paley in his Horae Paulinae, as a remarkable instance of undesigned agreement between this Epistle and the narrative in the Acts, and as strong evidence of the authenticity of both.

as I have given order] Rather, as I gave order.

to the churches of Galatia] Hardly in the visit recorded in Acts 18:23, for (though (see Paley, Horae Paulinae) they are the last Churches recorded to have been visited), that visit took place nearly three years previously (Acts 20:31; cf. Acts 19:10; cf. Acts 19:21-22), but in some short visit not recorded, or by letter or message. The Corinthians had received their instructions a year before the date of the second Epistle (2 Corinthians 8:10; 2 Corinthians 9:2), and therefore several months before the first was written.1 Corinthians 16:1. Λογίας, collection) A plain [not figurative] term well adapted to the commencement of this subject, 1 Corinthians 16:2 : it is called a blessing,[153] 2 Corinthians 9:5.—εἰς τοὺς ἁγίους, for the saints) He would rather call them the saints than the poor; and he does so both because this appellation is suited to the importance of the object and fitted for obtaining it.—διέταξα, I have given order) by apostolic authority, which was familiar to the Galatians.—Γαλατίας, of Galatia) He proposes the Galatians as an example to the Corinthians, the Corinthians to the Macedonians, the Corinthians and Macedonians to the Romans: 2 Corinthians 9:2; Romans 15:26. There is great force in examples.

[153] εὐλογία, a figurative term for bounty; whereas here the plain term λογία is used.—ED.Verses 1-18. - Directions and arrangements. Verse 1. - Now concerning the collection for the saints. "The saints" are here the poor Christians at Jerusalem (Romans 15:26). The subject weighed much on St. Paul's mind. First, there was real need for their charity, for at Jerusalem there was as sharp a contrast between the lots of the rich and poor as there is in London, and the "poor saints," being the poorest of the poor (James 2:5), must have often been in deep distress. Not many years before this time, in the famine of Claudius, (Acts 11:27-30), Queen Helena of Adiabene had kept the paupers of Jerusalem alive by importing cargoes of dried grapes and figs. Besides the periodical famines, the political troubles of Judaea had recently increased the general distress. Secondly, the tender heart of St. Paul was keenly alive to this distress. Thirdly, it was the only way in which the Gentile Churches could show their gratitude to the mother Church. Lastly, the Apostle St. Paul had solemnly promised the apostles at Jerusalem that he would remember the poor (Galatians 2:10). Hence he frequently alludes to this collection (2 Corinthians 8, 9 Romans 15:26; Acts 24:17, etc.). The enthusiastic communism of the earliest Christian society in Jerusalem had soon ceased, being, as all experience proves, an impossible experiment under the conditions which regulate all human life, and it may have aggravated the chronic distress. As I have given order; rather, as I arranged. To the Churches of Galatia. Not in his extant letter to the Galatians, but either in a visit three years before this time (Acts 18:28), or by letter. It appears from 2 Corinthians 8:10 that St. Paul had already asked for the contributions of the Corinthians. "To the Corinthians he proposes the example of the Galatians; to the Macedonians the example of the Corinthians; to the Romans that of the Macedonians and Corinthians. Great is the power of example" (Bengel). Even so do ye. The aorist implies that they should do it at once. Collection (λογίας)

Peculiar to the New Testament, and occurring only here and 1 Corinthians 16:2. The classical word is συλλόγη, Vulg., collecta, which latter is also used of the assemblies in which the collections took place. From λέγω to collect. For such material ministries Paul uses a variety of words; as χάρις bounty, 1 Corinthians 16:3; κοινωνία contribution, Romans 15:26; εὐλογία. blessing, 2 Corinthians 9:5; λειτουπγία ministration, 2 Corinthians 9:12; ἐλεημοσύναι alms, Acts 24:17. The word ἔρανος was used by the Greeks to denote a feast of contribution or picnic; a club for mutual relief, and a contribution, made as a club-subscription, or for the support of the poor.

The saints

At Jerusalem. Evidently the community of property (Acts 2:44) had been abandoned; and Augustine supposes that the poverty of the Jerusalem Christians was due to that practice. See note on Romans 15:26. The precise causes of the destitution in that church can be only conjectured.

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