2 Corinthians 8:18
And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
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(18) The brother, whose praise is in the gospel.—We cannot get beyond probable conjecture in determining who this was. The general current of patristic interpretation (represented, we may add, in the Collect for St. Luke’s Day in the Prayer Book of the Church of England, though not in that of the Breviary of the Church of Rome) ran in favour of St. Luke; but this rested on the assumption, for which there is no evidence, and against which there is a strong balance of probabilities, that he was already well known as the writer of a Gospel. (See Introduction to St. Luke, Vol. I., p. 239.) Apart from this, however, it may be urged that there is more evidence in favour of this hypothesis than of any other. If the words be interpreted, as they must, as pointing to a preacher of the gospel, we have indications of St. Luke having done this at Antioch, at Troas, and at Philippi. None of the other companions of St. Paul who have been suggested, such as Tychicus or Trophimus, was likely to have so wide-spread a reputation. None was so likely to be with him at the time at Philippi. And it may be noted further—and this, so far as I know, is a point which has not hitherto been dwelt on—that there was no man so fitted to stir up the Corinthians, by his personal character, to a worthy completion of the good work they had begun. We have seen that in his Gospel he dwells emphatically on all parts of our Lord’s teaching that point out the danger of riches and the blessedness of a generous almsgiving (see Introduction to St. Luke, Vol. I., p. 242); how at Philippi his influence was traceable in the liberal supplies sent to St. Paul at Thessalonica (see Note on Acts 16:40, and Philippians 4:15) and at Corinth (see Note on 2Corinthians 11:9). Was not such a man, we may ask, eminently adapted for the mission on which the “brother, whose praise is in the gospel,” was now sent? and was not the Apostle likely to choose him above all others for it? For Mark and Gaius, who have also been suggested, there is not a shadow of evidence; and as the latter was of Corinth (Romans 16:23), he was not likely to have been sent thither from Philippi. The tense, “we have sent,” is, as before, the epistolary aorist, used of the time at which the letter was being written.

8:16-24 The apostle commends the brethren sent to collect their charity, that it might be known who they were, and how safely they might be trusted. It is the duty of all Christians to act prudently; to hinder, as far as we can, all unjust suspicions. It is needful, in the first place, to act uprightly in the sight of God, but things honest in the sight of men should also be attended to. A clear character, as well as a pure conscience, is requisite for usefulness. They brought glory to Christ as instruments, and had obtained honour from Christ to be counted faithful, and employed in his service. The good opinion others have of us, should be an argument with us to do well.And we have sent with him the brother - It has been generally supposed that this anonymous brother was Luke. Some have supposed however that it was Mark, others that it was Silas or Barnabas. It is impossible to determine with certainty who it was; nor is it material to know. Whoever it was, it was some one well known, in whom the church at Corinth could have entire confidence. It is remarkable that though Paul mentions him again 2 Corinthians 12:18, he does it also in the same manner, without specifying his name. The only circumstances that can throw any light on this are:

(1) That Luke was the companion and intimate friend of Paul, and attended him in his travels. From Acts 16:10-11, where Luke uses the term "we," it appears that he was with Paul when he first went into Macedonia, and from Acts 16:15 it is clear that he went with Paul to Philippi. From Acts 17:1, where Luke alters his style and uses the term "they," it is evident that he did not accompany Paul and Silas when they went to Thessalonica, but either remained at Philippi or departed to some other place. He did not join them again until they went to Troas on the way to Jerusalem; Acts 20:5. In what manner Luke spent the interval is not known. Macknight supposes that it might have been in multiplying copies of his gospel for the use of the churches. Perhaps also he might have been engaged in preaching, and in services like that in the case before us.

(2) it seems probable that Luke is the person referred to by the phrase "whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches." This would be more likely to be applied to one who had written a gospel, or a life of the Redeemer that had been extensively circulated, than to any other person. Still it is by no means certain that he is the person here referred to, nor is it of material consequence.

Whose praise - Who is well known and highly esteemed.

Is in the gospel - Either for writing the gospel, or for preaching the gospel. The Greek will bear either construction. In some way he was celebrated for making known the truths of the gospel.

18. the brother, whose praise is in the gospel—whose praise is known in connection with the Gospel: Luke may be meant; not that "the Gospel" here refers to his written Gospel; but the language implies some one well known throughout the churches, and at that time with Paul, as Luke then was (Ac 20:6). Not a Macedonian, as appears from 2Co 9:4. Of all Paul's "companions in travel" (2Co 8:19; Ac 19:29), Luke was the most prominent, having been his companion in preaching the Gospel at his first entrance into Europe (Ac 16:10). The fact that the person here referred to was "chosen of the churches" as their trustee to travel with Paul in conveying the contribution to Jerusalem, implies that he had resided among them some time before: this is true of Luke, who after parting from Paul at Philippi (as he marks by the change from "we" to "they," Ac 16:11) six years before, is now again found in his company in Macedonia. In the interim he had probably become so well known that "his praise was throughout all the churches." Compare 2Co 12:18; Phm 24. He who is faithful in the Gospel will be faithful also in matters of inferior importance [Bengel]. Who this other brother was, whether Luke, or Barnabas or Silas, or Apollos, or Mark, is not much material; it is plain, whoever he was, that he was a brother and a minister one who had a good repute for preaching the gospel. And we have sent with him the brother,.... The Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, "our brother"; and one of Stephens's copies, "your brother": who this brother was, is not certain; some think it was Luke the evangelist, the companion of the apostle in his travels:

whose praise is in the Gospel, throughout all the churches; being known and highly commended by all the churches, for the Gospel he wrote; but it is not certain that Luke as yet had wrote his Gospel; and much less that it was so much known at present among the churches; and besides, this brother's praise seems to be on account of his preaching the Gospel, and not writing one: others think Barnabas is intended, who was chosen and sent out by the churches along with the apostle; but these in a short time separated from each other, nor do we read of their coming together again: others are of opinion, that Apollos is designed, who was a very eloquent preacher, and of whom the apostle had given the Corinthians an intimation in his former epistle, that he would come to them at a convenient time; but to him is objected, that he never was chosen of the churches, to travel with the apostle on such an account as here mentioned: others would have it that Silas or Silvanus is meant, who was a very constant companion of the apostle, and of whom he makes mention in most of his epistles; and others have made no doubt of it, but John Mark is here meant, who not only wrote a Gospel, but was an excellent preacher of it, and was chosen by the churches to go along with Paul and Barnabas; and though there was some distaste taken to him by Paul, he was afterwards reconciled to him, and for his profitableness in the ministry was greatly desired by him; but after all, it is difficult to determine who it was, nor is it of any great moment: a "brother" he was; being not only a regenerate person, but a preacher of the Gospel; a brother in the ministry, and "one whose praise was in the Gospel"; greatly admired, and much commended, for his excellent talent in preaching the Gospel; and for this he was famous "throughout all the churches"; a very great commendation indeed; but this is not all, it follows,

And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is {i} in the gospel throughout all the churches;

(i) In the preaching of the Gospel.

2 Corinthians 8:18. Recommendation of the first companion of Titu.

συνεπέμψ. δὲ μετʼ αὐτοῦ] The σύν refers, like μετʼ αὐτοῦ, to Titus: we have sent along with him. Comp. 2 Corinthians 8:22. See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 354. Comp. Galatians 2:12; Acts 1:26; Acts 25:12; Matthew 17:3. Bengel takes it incorrectly: “una misimus ego et Timotheus,” which is contained in the plural, but not in the compoun.

τὸν ἀδελφὸν κ.τ.λ.] is understood by Heumann and Rückert of an actual brother, viz. a brother of Titus. But ἀδελφοὶ ἡμῶν in 2 Corinthians 8:23 shows that Paul has here and in 2 Corinthians 8:22 f. taken ἀδελφός in the sense of Christian brotherhood. It would not have been in keeping with the prudence of the apostle to send with Titus the very brother of the latter and even his own brother (according to Rückert’s view of τ. ἀδελφ. ἡμ., 2 Corinthians 8:22). Who is meant, remains quite an open question. Some have conjectured Barnabas (τινές in Chrysostom, and Chrysostom himself, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Luther, Calvin, and others) or Silas (Baronius, Estius); but the rank of these was not consistent with the position of a companion subordinate to Titus; nor is there anywhere a trace of Barnabas and Paul having ever united again for common work after their separation (Acts 15:39). Others (comp. also the usual subscription of the Epistle) think that it was Luke. So Origen, τίνες in Chrysostom, Jerome, Ambrosiaster, Pelagius, Primasius, Anselm, Cajetanus, Cornelius a Lapide, and others, including Grotius, Emmerling, Schrader, Olshausen, Köhler (Abfassungszeit, p. 85), of whom those named before Grotius referred ἐν τῷ εὐαγγ. to the Gospel of Luke (at that time not yet even in existence). But from the very brief statement of Acts 20:1 ff. there is no proof to be drawn either for (Olshausen) or against (Rückert); and Ignatius, ad Ephes. (interpol.) 15, to which Emmerling, after Salmeron and others, has again appealed, proves nothing further than that this unknown author either referred or merely applied our passage to Luke. The conjecture which points to Erastus (Ewald, following Acts 19:22; 2 Timothy 4:20) cannot be made good. With just as little proof some have thought of Mark (Lightfoot, Chron. p. 118; Storr, Opusc. II. p. 339; Tobler, Evangelienfr. p. 12). The result remains: we do not know who it was. So much only in reference to the two persons indicated here and in 2 Corinthians 8:22, and in opposition to the conjectures adduced, is clear from 2 Corinthians 8:23, that they were not fellow-labourers in the apostolic work, like Titus, but other Christians of distinction.[279] See on 2 Corinthians 8:23. Against this non liquet Rückert indeed objects, that in that case the Corinthians would not have known which of the two was meant to be here designated, since in 2 Corinthians 8:23 both are called ἀπόστολοι ἐκκλησιῶν, by which all distinction is precluded. But this first companion is in 2 Corinthians 8:19 so distinctively indicated as appointed by a special elective act of the churches concerned, and appointed just for this particular work, that he could not be unknown by name to the Corinthians, after Titus had already begun there the work of collection (2 Corinthians 8:6). Besides, Paul might leave all further information to Titu.

οὗ ὁ ἔπαινος κ.τ.λ.] i.e. who possesses his praise (that duly belonging to him) in the gospel (in the cause of the gospel, in confessing, furthering, preaching, defending it, and the like), spread through all the churches, throughout the whole Christian body. He was a Christian worthy of trust and praised by all.

[279] Hence also we can hardly think of Trophimus (de Wette, Wieseler), Acts 20:4; Acts 21:29 : nor, with Hofmann, of Aristarchus, Acts 19:29; Acts 20:4.2 Corinthians 8:18. συνεπέμψαμεν δὲ κ.τ.λ.: and we have sent (the epistolary aorist; cf. Acts 23:30, chap. 2 Corinthians 9:3, Php 2:28, Philm. 12) together with him the brother, sc., the brother whom you know (cf. chap. 2 Corinthians 12:18), whose praise in the Gospel, i.e., whose good repute as a labourer in the cause of the Gospel (cf. chap. 2 Corinthians 10:14, Php 4:3, Romans 1:9), is throughout all the Churches, i.e., is spread abroad in all the Churches through which I have passed (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:17; 1 Corinthians 14:33; see 2 Corinthians 11:28). The Patristic reference (Origen, Jerome, etc.) of these words to St. Luke is stereotyped in the Collect for St. Luke’s Day, but there is hardly room for doubt that this is due to a mistaken interpretation of εὐαγγέλιον as signifying a written Gospel, rather than the “good news” of God delivered orally by the first Christian preachers. We have no positive data by which to determine which of St. Paul’s contemporaries is here alluded to. It has been argued that as this unnamed “brother” is seemingly subordinate to Titus, he must not be identified with persons so important as (e.g.) Apollos or Silas; and, again, that, as he was apparently not a Macedonian (2 Corinthians 9:4), he cannot be any of the prominent members of the Macedonian Church (see on 2 Corinthians 8:5 above). Trophimus the Ephesian is not impossible (see Acts 20:4; Acts 21:29), but it is idle to speculate where the evidence is so scanty. The important point about this unnamed brother is that he was selected not by St. Paul, but by the Churches who took part in the work of collecting money as their representative as is now explained.18. And we have sent with him] Literally, we sent with him, unless the tense be what is known as the epistolary aorist (see above, ch. 2 Corinthians 2:9), in which case these messengers were also the bearers of this Epistle.

the brother, whose praise is in the gospel] Innumerable guesses have been made as to who this was. We can but briefly glance at them. First of all it is clear that it was no obscure member of any of the various communities who is here mentioned. He was thoroughly well known to the Churches. Secondly, we may remark that it was not Barnabas, as many of the early Fathers have supposed, since we never hear of Paul and Barnabas as travelling together after their misunderstanding in Acts 15, nor Silas, for he does not appear to have been with the Apostle after his departure from Corinth for Jerusalem related in Acts 18:18. We learn from the next verse that the ‘brother’ here referred to was a delegate of the Churches, and deputed to accompany St Paul on his journey to Jerusalem with the proceeds of the collection. He must either have been a delegate of the Ephesian or the Macedonian Christians. If the latter, it must have been (1) St Luke, for he did travel with St Paul on this occasion, as we learn from Acts 20:5. And though he did not join the Apostle till he reached Philippi from Corinth, and did not accompany him on his visit to Corinth (Acts 20:1-5), this is no reason against his having accompanied Titus on his visit to Corinth. See note on 2 Corinthians 8:16. And St Luke answers in many ways better than any one else to this description. But ch. 2 Corinthians 9:4 seems to imply that the brother was not of Macedonia (though Meyer thinks that the whole context shews him to have been a Macedonian). Nor can the words ‘whose praise is in the Gospel’ be pressed (so St Chrysostom and the Collect for St Luke’s Day) as signifying the Gospel of St Luke. For the word gospel is never used in the Scripture of any of the biographies of Christ, but solely of the good tidings proclaimed by His ministers. The earliest phrase by which the Gospels are designated is ‘memoirs.’ (See Justin Martyr’s First Apology, ch. 67.) If the brother were an Ephesian delegate, he must have been either (2) Trophimus or (3) Tychicus. Both these left Greece with St Paul. The former was an Ephesian’ and accompanied him to Jerusalem. (Acts 21:29.) The latter was ‘of Asia’ (Acts 20:4), and probably of Ephesus, for he was twice sent thither by St Paul (Ephesians 6:21; 2 Timothy 4:12). And he evidently stood high in the estimation of the Apostle (Ephesians 6:21-22; Colossians 4:7-8) for his qualities as a minister of Christ. Both these, however, if the deputies were Ephesians, would most likely have been the messengers. See note on 2 Corinthians 8:22.2 Corinthians 8:18. Συνεπέμψαμεν, we have sent along with him) Timotheus and I. So 2 Corinthians 8:1, etc. This word is repeated at 2 Corinthians 8:22 by anaphora;[48] and in this passage, where it first occurs, is emphatic with μετὰ.—τὸν ἀδελφὸν, the brother) It was unnecessary to name this companion of Titus, and that ‘brother,’ who is spoken of at 2 Corinthians 8:22. See ch. 2 Corinthians 12:18. The ancients were of opinion, that Luke was intended; see the close of the epistle; comp. Philemon 1:24.—οὗ, of whom) He, who is faithful in the Gospel, will be faithful also in matters of inferior importance.

[48] See Append. The repetition of the same word marking the beginnings of sections.Verse 18. - The brother, whose praise is in the gospel. The phrase means, "whose worth is praised wherever the glad tidings are preached." There can be no reference to any of the four written Gospels, for they were not in the hands of Christians till a later date; nor did the word "gospel" acquire this significance till afterwards. From Acts 20:5, it is somewhat precariously inferred that St. Luke is meant. Others have conjectured Barnabas, Silas (who are out of the question), Erastus, Mark, a brother of Titus, etc. St. Luke is not unlikely to have been selected as a delegate by the Church of Philippi; but further than this we can say nothing. St. Luke was not a Macedonian by birth, and any Macedonian (e.g., Aristarchus, Sopater, Secundus, Epaphroditus) seems to be excluded by 2 Corinthians 9:4. Palsy notes it as curious that the object of St. Paul's journey to Jerusalem, Which is so prominent in this group of Epistles, is only mentioned indirectly and incidentally by St. Luke (Acts 24:17) in the Acts of the Apostles. The brother whose praise is in the Gospel

Is should be joined with throughout all the churches; as Rev., whose praise in the Gospel is spread throughout, etc. The person referred to has been variously identified with Titus' brother, Barnabas, Mark, Luke, and Epaenetus, mentioned in Romans 16:5. The reference to Epaenetus has been urged on the ground of a supposed play upon the word praise, epainos; Epaenetus meaning praiseworthy; and the parallel is cited in the case of Onesimus profitable, of whom Paul says that he will henceforth be useful, Plm 1:11.

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