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
CommentaryBarnes' 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.
LibraryGiving 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.
The Duty of Self-Denial.
Of the Nature of Regeneration, with Respect to the Change it Produces in Men's Affections, Resolutions, Labors, Enjoyments and Hopes.
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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