International Standard Version
The Collection for the Christians in Jerusalem
1We want you to know, brothers, about God’s grace that was given to the churches of Macedonia. 2In spite of their terrible ordeal of suffering, their abundant joy and deep poverty have led them to be abundantly generous. 3I can testify that by their own free will they have given to the utmost of their ability, yes, even beyond their ability. 4They begged us earnestly for the privilegea of participating in this ministry to the saints. 5We did not expect that! They gave themselves to the Lord first and then to us, since this was God’s will. 6So we urged Titus to finish this work of kindnessb among you in the same way that he had started it. 7Indeed, the more your faith, speech, knowledge, enthusiasm, and love for us increase, the more we want you to be rich in this work of kindness.c
8I am not commanding you but testing the genuineness of your love by the enthusiasm of others. 9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah.d Although he was rich, for your sakes he became poor, so that you, through his poverty, might become rich.
10I am giving you my opinion on this matter because it will be helpful to you. Last year you were not only willing to do something, but had already started to do it. 11Now finish what you began, so that your eagerness to do so may be matched by your eagernesse to complete it. 12For if the eagerness is there, the giftf is acceptable according to what you have, not according to what you do not have.
13Not that others should have relief while you have hardship. Rather, it is a question of fairness. 14At the present time, your surplus fills their need, so that their surplus may fill your need. In this way things are fair. 15As it is written,
“The person who had much did not have too much,
and the person who had little did not have too little.”g
Titus and His Companions
16But thanks be to God, who placed in the heart of Titus the same dedication to you that I have. 17He welcomed my request and eagerly went to visit you by his own free will. 18With him we have sent the brother who is praised in all the churches for spreading the gospel.h 19More than that, he has also been selected by the churches to travel with us while we are administering this work of kindnessi for the glory of the Lord and as evidence of our eagerness to help.j 20We are trying to avoid any criticism of the way we are administering this great undertaking. 21We intend to do what is right, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of people.
22We have also sent with them our brother whom we have often tested in many ways and found to be dedicated. At present he is more dedicated than ever because he has so much confidence in you.
23As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker on your behalf. Our brothers, emissariesk from the churches, are bringing glory to the Messiah.l 24Therefore, demonstrate to the churches that you love them and show them publicly why we boast about you.
a 8:4 Or for the grace
b 8:6 Or this grace
c 8:7 Or this grace
d 8:9 Or Christ
e 8:11 Lit. matched as you contribute from what you have
f 8:12 Lit. it
g 8:15 Exod 16:18
h 8:18 Lit. in the gospel
i 8:19 Or this grace
j 8:19 The Gk. lacks to help
k 8:23 Or apostles
l 8:23 Or Christ