So that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Insomuch that we desired Titus . . .—The sequence of events seems to have been this: When Titus came to Corinth, he, among other things, after seeing the satisfactory results of the First Epistle in other respects, had begun to take measures for this collection for the poor of Jerusalem. He had been, to a certain extent, successful. Encouraged by the report of that success, St. Paul had now entreated Titus to return to Corinth, and to bring the good work to its completion. “This grace also” practically means—this work of liberality, as well as that of repentance and loyal obedience already spoken of in 2 Corinthians 7.2 Corinthians 8:6-8. Insomuch that — Seeing this forwardness in them; we desired Titus, that as he had begun — When he was with you before; so he would also now finish among you the same grace — That is, fruit of grace, or charity; also. Therefore, as ye abound in every thing — In all other gifts and attainments; in faith — A full assurance of the truth of the gospel; and utterance — In eloquence, or ability to speak a variety of languages; and knowledge — Of divine things; and in all diligence — In performing every Christian duty; and in your love to us — To me your spiritual father; see that ye abound — Or I pray that you would abound; in this grace of Christian liberality also. I speak not by commandment — Or by way of injunction, because works of charity ought to be voluntary; but by occasion of the forwardness of others — I recommend it on account of the diligence (δια της σπουδης, through the zeal) of the Macedonians, which I wish you to imitate; and reprove the sincerity — Το γνησιον, the sincere thing, or the genuine sincerity; of your love — To God, to your brethren, and to me.
The same grace also - Margin, "Gift;" see the note on 2 Corinthians 8:1. The word refers to the contribution which he wished to be made.
as he had begun—Greek, "previously begun," namely, the collection at Corinth, before the Macedonians began to contribute, during the visit to Corinth from which he had just returned.
finish in you the same grace—complete among you this act of grace or beneficence on your part.
also—as well as other things which he had to do among them [Alford].The same grace, in this place, signifieth no more than the same gift, or the same good work, in collecting in the church of Corinth. If by grace here be understood the grace of God, the cause is put for the effect (as we had it in the first verse); but tou yeou being not here added, possibly it had been better translated gift, or free contribution; for how a minister should finish the grace of God, is hard to conceive; and the phrase is at best very hard, but he may be an instrument for completing a good work, which is done from a habit of Divine grace, by exhortations and arguments, which he may use to press the performance of it. Titus (it seemeth) had been diligent in some other places to make this collection; going to Corintlh the apostle presseth him to go on with it there also. 2 Corinthians 8:4 that the apostle would be pleased to take their collection, and send or carry it to Jerusalem; but also that they would entreat Titus,
that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also; that is, that as he had already moved this affair to the Corinthians while he was with them, and had made some progress in it, though what, through one thing or another, it had been retarded, and lay in some measure neglected; that he might be desired to go again, on purpose to complete so good a work, so acceptable to God, and so useful to the poor saints; which carries in it a new and strong argument to stir up the Corinthians to this service; since they had not only the example of the Macedonian churches, but it was even at their request that Titus was desired to go upon this errand; and to this sense read the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions.Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2 Corinthians 8:6. In order that we should exhort Titus, etc. Comp. 2 Corinthians 8:17. εἰς τό with the infinitive is here, as in all passages (see on Romans 1:20), to be taken, not as so that (so usually, and by Winer), but as telic: in order that. Comp. Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. vii. 8. 20. Certainly the παρακαλέσαι ἡμᾶς τίτον κ.τ.λ. was a consequence of the beyond expectation successful course of the matter in Macedonia, in accordance with which Paul might promise himself no less a success among the Corinthians; but delicately and piously he presents the state of the case, as if this further prosecution of the work of collection, amidst the self-sacrificing liberality of the Macedonians effected by the divine will, had lain in God’s purpose, and was therefore a consequence that had been aimed at by God. This flows from the διὰ θελήμ. θεοῦ immediately preceding. Comp. Hofmann also. Paul sees in the fact, that the divinely-willed success of the collecting work in Macedonia has encouraged him to the continuance of it expressed in 2 Corinthians 8:6, the fulfilment of the divine counsel and will, which he is thereby servin.
ἵνα] Design in the παρακαλέσαι, and consequently its content.
καθὼς προενήρξατο] as he formerly has begun, without doubt during his sojourn in Corinth after our first Epistle, see Introd. § 1. The word is indeed without example elsewhere, but it is formed from ἐνάρχομαι, after the analogy of προάρχω and other.
οὕτω καὶ ἐπιτελέσῃ εἰς ὑμᾶς] so also might complete it among you. The emphasis lies, as before on προενήρξατο, so here on ἐπιτελέσῃ. With the verb of rest εἰς associates the thought of the previous arrival, so that ἐλθέν may for clearness be supplied. See Kühner, § 622 b; Jacobs, ad Anthol. XIII. p. 71; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 537. The correlation of ἐνάρχεσθαι and ἐπιτελεῖν is simply as in Php 1:6, Galatians 3:3; we should anticipate (2 Corinthians 9:12) by importing the idea of sacrifice (Osiander).
καὶ τὴν χάριν ταύτην] not hanc quoque gratiam (Beza, Calvin, comp. Castalio), but: etiam gratiam istam (Vulgate). For also belongs to τὴν χάριν, not to ταύτην. He shall complete among you—in addition to whatever else he has already begun and has still to complete—also this benefit. This better suits the context, namely, the connection of the οὕτω καὶ ἐπιτελ. with καθὼς προενήρξατο, than the interpretation of Estius: “dicit etiam, ut innuat Titum alia quaedam apud ipsos jam perfecisse.” So also Flatt. It is quite superfluous to invoke, with Hofmann, an involution of two sentences in order to explain the double καί. And since καί refers to the activity of Titus, Billroth is wrong in explaining it: “they are to distinguish themselves in this good deed, as in all things.”
The work of collection is designated as χάρις, for on the side of the givers it was a showing of kindness, a work of love, an opus charitativum. Observe that here and in 2 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 8:19, θεοῦ is not added, as in 2 Corinthians 8:1; 2 Corinthians 9:14, according to which Hofmann and older commentators explain it here also of the divine grace, of which they are made worthy through the service rendered.2 Corinthians 8:6-7. εἰς τὸ παρακαλέσαι κ.τ.λ.: so that we exhorted Titus (the epistolary aor. infin.; this is the exhortation to Titus on his meeting with St. Paul in Macedonia after accomplishing his first Mission to Corinth; παρακαλ. is the word used throughout of the Apostle’s directions to Titus; see 2 Corinthians 8:17, 2 Corinthians 9:5, 2 Corinthians 12:17, and on chap. 2 Corinthians 1:4), that as he made a beginning before, sc., in the matter of the collection, during the Mission from which he has now returned, so he would also complete in you this grace also, i.e., the grace of liberal giving in addition to the graces of repentance and goodwill which rejoiced him so much to observe (2 Corinthians 7:13-14). ἐπιτελεῖν is to bring to a successful issue a work already begun; see 2 Corinthians 5:11 below.—ἀλλʼ ὥσπερ κ.τ.λ.: yea rather (ὥσπερ having an ascensive force as at 2 Corinthians 1:9, 2 Corinthians 5:7 being strictly parallel to and explanatory of 2 Corinthians 5:6) that as ye abound (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:58) in everything (so he had said of the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 1:5, ἐν παντὶ ἐπλουτίσθητε), in faith (see chap. 2 Corinthians 1:24 and 1 Corinthians 12:8, where πίστις is named as one of the gifts of the Spirit exhibited among them), and utterance, i.e., the grace of ready exposition of the Gospel message, and knowledge, i.e., of Divine things (λόγος and γνῶσις are conjoined, as here, at 1 Corinthians 1:5, and γνῶσις is also mentioned with πίστις at 1 Corinthians 12:8; at 1 Corinthians 8:1 he points out with marked emphasis that γνῶσις is not comparable in importance to ἀγάπη as shown in condescension to a brother’s intellectual weakness), and all earnestness (see reff. and cf. 2 Corinthians 7:11, where he mentions the σπουδή that the Corinthians had exhibited when they received his message of reproof), and in your love to us (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:11 and 2 Corinthians 8:24; the variant reading ἐξ ἡμῶν ἐν ὑμῖν would disturb the sense all through he is speaking of the graces of the Corinthians, not of his own), so ye may abound in this grace also (cf. 2 Corinthians 9:8). The English versions and comm. take ἵνα with the subj. here as a periphrasis for the imperative, and understand some verb like βλέπετε, “See that ye abound, etc.,” but this usage of ἵνα is unexampled. We follow Kennedy in taking 2 Corinthians 8:7 in close connexion with 2 Corinthians 8:6, although we do not agree with the inferences which he draws (2 and 3 Cor., p. 122). 2 Corinthians 8:7 seems “to have been added by St. Paul,” he rightly observes “to avoid any appearance of depreciating the work which Titus had already accomplished among the Corinthian Christians, by the description of it in 2 Corinthians 8:6 as a beginning”. Cf. the shrewd remark of Grotius, “non ignoravit Paulus artem rhetorum, movere laudando”.Insomuch that we desired Titus] Titus, it seems clear by the words ‘as he had begun,’ went a second time to Corinth before the Apostle arrived there (see, however, note on 2 Corinthians 8:18). His first visit began, his second completed the collection for the saints. For desired see ch. 2 Corinthians 1:3, the word receiving a great variety of translations in the N. T. Perhaps incited (or urged) would be the best translation here.
finish] Literally, complete.
in you] Literally, unto you. “Erga vos.” Estius.
the same grace also] See note on 2 Corinthians 8:4. The Greek word is the same in both instances. The grace or favour is either (1) (see last note) the work of love which St Paul had accomplished in Macedonia, that of stirring up their zeal in giving; or (2) it may refer to the good work which God performed in their souls by means of His ministers, in drawing out all the best qualities of their renewed humanity.2 Corinthians 8:6. Εἰς) Not the end, but the consequence is intended [“insomuch that”].—καθῶς προενήρξατο, as he formerly began) in regard to spiritual things, ch. 2 Corinthians 7:15. To him, who has begun well, the things which are beyond turn out easy. He had gone to the Corinthians; he was going to the Corinthians.—ἐπιτελέσῃ, he would finish) in this matter. [If you have attempted any good thing, finish it.—V. g.]—εἰς ὑμᾶς, in respect of you) that you might imitate the Macedonians.Verse 6. - Insomuch that. Their liberality encouraged me so greatly that I exhorted Titus to return to Corinth once more, and see whether he could not receive some proof that you were equally liberal. The remarks that follow are full of delicate reserve, but under their exquisite tact and urbanity we can perceive that the Corinthians had talked very loudly about their contributions, and had promised with great zeal, but had shown themselves somewhat slack in redeeming their promises. We exhorted Titus. It is curious that this word is constantly used of the missions of Titus (ver. 17; 2 Corinthians 12:18; 1 Corinthians 16:12). As he had began. "That as no inaugurated (this collection), so he would also complete towards you this gracious work also." Among other works of grace which Titus might complete by returning to them from Macedonia was the kindly collection which he had begun to set on foot in his previous visit (2 Corinthians 12:18).
Only here and 2 Corinthians 8:10. Rev., giving the force of πρό before, had made a beginning before: on his first visit to Corinth.
Complete - this grace also (ἐπιτελέσῃ καὶ τὴν χάριν ταύτην).
Should complete among you the act of love (χάριν), the contribution already begun, in addition to whatever else He has yet to complete among you (καὶ also).
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