Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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bear your gift to Jerusalem

It is 6:57 PM Saturday evening. I am down in the basement (lower level) of our house reading my books. I want to quote from two books that make comments on these verses in First Corinthians chapter 16 verses 1 through 6.

"[1] Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
[2] Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
[3] And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
[4] And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
[5] Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.
[6] And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.
[7] For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.
[8] But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost." 1 Corinth. 16:1-6

"Probably we should understand the community of goods in the earliest community both as a spontaneous expression of the mutual affection which their shared experience engendered and as an indication that their future horizon was quite limited. In other words, they did not plan their communal life-style for the long term, because they expected the risen and exalted Jesus to return soon and 'the restoration of all things' (Acts 3:21). This in turn may have coincided in their thinking with the hope-for restoration of the kingdom of Israel (Acts 1:6). We need hardly assumed that their expectation was at all clear, let alone detailed, on the subject; a euphoric optimism would be sufficient to explain the seemingly casual, not to say careless, forward planning involved in the community of goods as described by Luke. At all events, we certainly cannot exclude the likelihood that repeated sales of property, together with growing demands on the common fund, constituted a major factor in the subsequent relative poverty of the Jerusalem church (cf. Acts 11:29; Romans 15:26,27)" James D. G. Dunn pg. 184 "Beginning From Jerusalem"

"The Acts experiment only created needed people; selling possessions to help others didn't last long. Isn't that why Paul had to collect a relief offering in the first place?. . ." pg. 155 Rodney Reeves "Spirituality According to Paul"

"But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem" Romans 15:25,26

Check out this book "Loving the Poor, Saving the Rich: Wealth, Poverty, and Early Christian Formation" by Helen Rhee.

"Although the early Christian groups did not formally identify themselves as the "poor," they, in general-whether Jesus and his disciples (Matt.8:20), the Jerusalem church (Rom. 15:26; Gal. 2:10), or Pauline communities (1 Cor. 1:26-27; 2 Cor. 8:1)-belonged to the socioeconomic category of the lower stratum and "the poor" in varying degrees; and they experienced oppression and maltreatment by the rich and powerful in one way or another (cf. Luke 12:11-12; Acts 4:1-3; 8:1-3; 12:1-4; 2 Cor. 11:23-27; Heb. 10:32-34). Particularly, the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were not exempt from the socioeconomic plight in Palestine and suffered from financial pressure, famine, and impoverishment (cf. Acts 11:28-30), as attested by the Pauline collection (1 Cor. 16:3; 2 Cor. 8:14; Rom. 15:26, 31; cf. Gal. 2:10.) In this context, the early Jerusalem assemblies in Acts had special concerns for meeting the needs of the community members: they held all things in common and redistributed possessions to all according to one's needs, to the effect that "there were no needy person among them" (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37, quote at 4:34 NIV), and they appointed the seven to correct inequality (or injustice?) in the community's ministry (charity) to Hellenistic widows (Acts 6:1-7), all of which indicates the presence of those with substantial means and property among them. . ." pg. 35-37 Helen Rhee "Loving the Poor, Saving the Rich"

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