Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 16

Arrangements for a gift

1 Corinthians 16:3-4

The Christians in Corinth were arranging to make a large gift for the aid of poor Christians in Judea. It would not be easy for them to give that gift.

Today, banks can quickly send money across the world. In the ancient world, such arrangements were not possible. The only way to get that gift to Judea was to take it personally, in the form of gold and silver. It was not safe for one person to travel alone, especially with so much money. Paul said that a group of people should take the gift. The best way was for them to travel by sea. The journey was about 1000 miles from Corinth to Jerusalem. Even by sea, it would still be a dangerous journey (2 Corinthians 11:25-26). However, a journey across land would be even more dangerous, because of robbers.

Even when they arrived in Jerusalem, it would not be easy to find the Christians. The Christians in Judea had many enemies; they often had to meet in secret. They had to be very careful about anyone who wanted to meet their leaders. That was why Paul needed to write letters for them. The letters would show that Paul considered them to be genuine Christians and not enemies.

The Christians in Corinth would have to trust each other in order to give this gift. They could not all travel to Jerusalem. They would not find it easy to trust each other, however. They had argued very much with each other in the past; they had even formed opposing groups in their church.

However, they all cared very much about this gift. So now they must find people whom they trusted. Paul added that he himself was willing to help.

Next part: Paulís plans to return to Corinth (1 Corinthians 16:5-7)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.