2 Corinthians 8:3
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord,

King James Bible
For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;

Darby Bible Translation
For according to their power, I bear witness, and beyond their power, they were willing of their own accord,

World English Bible
For according to their power, I testify, yes and beyond their power, they gave of their own accord,

Young's Literal Translation
because, according to their power, I testify, and above their power, they were willing of themselves,

2 Corinthians 8:3 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For to their power - To the utmost of their ability.

I bear record - Paul had founded those churches and had spent much time with them. He was therefore well qualified to bear testimony in regard to their condition.

Yea, and beyond their power - Beyond what could have been expected; or beyond what it would have been thought possible in their condition. Doddridge remarks that this is a noble hyperbole, similar to that used by Demosthenes when he says, "I have performed all, even with an industry beyond my power." The sense is, they were willing to give more than they were well able. It shows the strong interest which they had in the subject, and the anxious desire which they had to relieve the needs of others.

Of themselves - (αὐθαίρεται authairetai). Acting from choice, self-moved, voluntarily, of their own accord. They did not wait to be urged and pressed to do it. They rejoiced in the opportunity of doing it. They came forward of their own accord and made the contribution. "God loveth a cheerful giver" 2 Corinthians 9:7; and from all the accounts which we have of these churches in Macedonia it is evident that they were greatly distinguished for their cheerful liberality.

2 Corinthians 8:3 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
1 Corinthians 16:2
On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.

2 Corinthians 8:11
But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.

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