2 Corinthians 8:2
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.

King James Bible
How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

Darby Bible Translation
that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty has abounded to the riches of their free-hearted liberality.

World English Bible
how that in much proof of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded to the riches of their liberality.

Young's Literal Translation
because in much trial of tribulation the abundance of their joy, and their deep poverty, did abound to the riches of their liberality;

2 Corinthians 8:2 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

How that, in a great trial of affliction - When it might be supposed they were unable to give; when many would suppose they needed the aid of others; or when it might be supposed their minds would be wholly engrossed with their own concerns. The trial to which the apostle here refers was doubtless some persecution which was excited against them, probably by the Jews; see Acts 16:20; Acts 17:5.

The abundance of their joy - Their joy arising from the hopes and promises of the gospel. Notwithstanding their persecutions, their joy has abounded, and the effect of their joy has been seen in the liberal contribution which they have made. Their joy could not be repressed by their persecution, and they cheerfully contributed largely to the aid of others.

And their deep poverty - Their very low estate of poverty was made to contribute liberally to the needs of others. It is implied here:

(1) That they were very poor - a fact arising probably from the consideration that the poor generally embraced the gospel first, and also because it is probable that they were molested and stripped of their property in persecutions (compare Heb). Acts 10:34);

(2) That notwithstanding this they were enabled to make a liberal contribution - a fact demonstrating that a people can do much even when poor if all feel disposed to do it, and that afflictions are favorable to the effort; and,

(3) That one cause of this was the joy which they had even in their trials.

If a people have the joys of the gospel; if they have the consolations of religion themselves, they will somehow or other find means to contribute to the welfare of others. They will be willing to labor with reference to it, or they will find something which they can sacrifice or spare. Even their deep poverty will abound in the fruits of benevolence.

Abounded - They contributed liberally. Their joy was manifested in a large donation, notwithstanding their poverty.

Unto the riches of their liberality - Margin, "Simplicity." The word (ἁπλότης haplotēs) used here means properly sincerity, candor, probity; then Christian simplicity, integrity; then liberality; see Romans 12:8 (Margin,); 2 Corinthians 9:11, 2 Corinthians 9:13. The phrase "riches of liberality," is a Hebraism, meaning rich, or abundant liberality. The sense is, their liberality was much greater than could be expected from persons so poor; and the object of the apostle is, to excite the Corinthians to give liberally by their example.

2 Corinthians 8:2 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Giving and Asking
'Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2. How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 4. Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5. And this they did, not as we hoped,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Of the Matters to be Considered in the Councils.
Let us now consider the matters which should be treated in the councils, and with which popes, cardinals, bishops, and all learned men should occupy themselves day and night, if they loved Christ and His Church. But if they do not do so, the people at large and the temporal powers must do so, without considering the thunders of their excommunications. For an unjust excommunication is better than ten just absolutions, and an unjust absolution is worse than ten just excommunications. Therefore let
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

The Duty of Self-Denial.
"Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child."--Psalm cxxxi. 2. Self-denial of some kind or other is involved, as is evident, in the very notion of renewal and holy obedience. To change our hearts is to learn to love things which we do not naturally love--to unlearn the love of this world; but this involves, of course, a thwarting of our natural wishes and tastes. To be righteous and obedient implies self-command; but to
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

Of the Nature of Regeneration, with Respect to the Change it Produces in Men's Affections, Resolutions, Labors, Enjoyments and Hopes.
2 Cor. v. 17. 2 Cor. v. 17. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new. AMONG the various subjects, which exercise the thoughts and tongues of men, few are more talked of than Religion. But it is melancholy to think how little it is understood; and how much it is mistaken and misrepresented in the world. The text before us gives us a very instructive view of it: such a view, that I am sure, an experimental knowledge of its sense would
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

Cross References
Matthew 20:15
'Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?'

Romans 2:4
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Romans 12:8
or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

2 Corinthians 2:9
For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.

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