1 Corinthians 16

Chapter sixteen concludes Paul’s letter with a reminder, a schedule plan, and a final greeting. First, Paul reminded them that he had been collecting funds to take with him to Jerusalem for the impoverished saints there. Second Corinthians will come back to this topic, but for now, Paul simply asked them to set a little bit aside every week so that no special collection would be necessary when he arrived (1 Corinthians 16:1-4). We should note that his comment about “the first day of the week” does not necessarily refer to an established Sunday church gathering, because the command is for “each of you” to set aside funds personally, not corporately. (Although, it does not contradict a weekly gathering either.) Additionally, this was not a “tithe” for the church but a special gift for the Jewish saints. To use this passage to teach a necessary weekly tithe is not correct.

Second, Paul informed them of his traveling plans (1 Corinthians 16:5-12). Writing from Ephesus, he intended to finish visiting his churches in Macedonia before going to Corinth, where he might have stayed the winter, because he did not want to see them only in passing. (These types of statements help us, who are so far removed from the immediate situation, remember the real humanity of the people involved. Paul did not want to travel in the winter either.) Instead, he might send Timothy or Apollos in the meantime.

Finally, Paul ended with his common greeting of personal names and encouragements, including a note that he signed it with his own hand, a type of authentication in a time when he was being misrepresented.

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