Collection For The Judean Saints

A querist asks, “In reading about the collection taken for Judea in Acts 11:27, due to the prophets vision by the Holy Spirit regarding impending famine, I would like to receive feedback on whether or not this was the same collection from Romans 15:26; 1 Corinthians 16:3. I do not believe it to be the same… since the latter was for Jerusalem and the previous gift was coming from Jerusalem. However, clarification is always good.”

After much study, this Bible student believes that the collection in Romans 15:25-26; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 was a different collection than the one recorded in Acts 11:27. Much is said in Paul’s writings to the Gentile churches concerning “a contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem” (Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 8:1-24; 2 Corinthians 9:1-15). Paul had been exhorted by the “pillars” of the Jerusalem church to “remember the poor” which Paul was “zealous to do” (Gal. 2:9-10 ASV). He had been involved in a previous collection in response to a “great dearth throughout all the world” in order to provide relief for the brethren of Judea (Acts 11:27-30). This event occurred around 45 A.D.

When Paul began his third missionary journey, he purposed to secure a large offering for the Judean poor from the Gentile churches in Asia Minor and Greece. While Paul was at Ephesus in Acts 19:21, he “purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” Paul’s determination to go back through the provinces mentioned included his plan to receive this collection which had been over a year in preparation, and to deposit it safely in Judean hands (2 Corinthians 8:10; 2 Corinthians 9:2).

Timothy and Erastus went ahead of Paul to expedite the final collections among these churches (Acts 19:22). Titus also worked with the Corinthian congregation in the final preparations made for their contribution (2 Corinthians 8:16-24). The churches of Macedonia responded liberally to the need, and their liberality was used by the apostle Paul as an example for the procrastinating Corinthians to emulate (2 Corinthians 8:1-12). All of these events occurred around 59-60 A.D. A specific commandment concerning giving into a common treasury had been sent to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), which served then (and serves now) as God’s plan for giving in the Lord’s church (1 Corinthians 4:17).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets