restricted access V: The Letters of Chapters 8 and 9 and the Other Corinthian Correspondence of Paul
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In conclusion, we must deal with the question of how the letters of chapters 8 and 9, which we have reconstructed, are related to the rest of the apostle's correspondence, and where these letters are to be placed in its history. In respect to this question, we must distinguish between direct references to the letters and those parallel texts which are of indirect significance. All direct references to the reconstructed letters occur in the context of the collection for Jerusalem. Of great importance here are Paul's remarks in the account of his travel plans in Rom 15:25-32. Chronologically, this section followed immediately upon the situation presupposed in 2 Cor 8 and 9. There it was assumed that the collection was still unfinished; Paul's journey to Corinth was onlyjust being contemplated. But the Letter to the Romans indicates that Paul had arrived in Corinth, whence he wrote to Rome saying that the collection had been brought to a successful conclusion and that his departure for Jerusalem was imminent. 1 The terminology used in Rom 15:25-32 is throughout reminiscent of 2 Cor 8 and 9. His imminent journey to Jerusalem (Rom 15:25) was being undertaken "in the service of the saints" (lltaKovwv Tots b:ylots). "Service of the saints"(~ lltaKov{a ~ ds Tovs b:ylovs) is also the name given to the collection in 2 Cor 8:4; 9:1.2 Paul had to first explain to the Romans that Macedonia and Achaia had consented to take part in the collection for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem, for he could not assume that they already knew about it (Rom 15:26). In his explanation, Paul made use of the same administrative language found in 2 Cor 8 and 9. That Macedonia and Achaia had "consented" (£l,1JoK£tv)3 to the collection is also presupposed in 2 Cor 8 and 9, though there he spoke more concretely of pledges (2 Cor 8:4-6, 10-12; 9:2-5). According to 2 Cor 8 and 9, the collection in ChapterV: The Letters of Chapters 8 and 9 and the Other Corinthian Correspondence of Paul Macedonia had already been brought to a successful conclusion, and Achaia's collection was also completewith the exception of Corinth, where the collection activity had been interrupted on account of the great crisis. Thus the Letter to the Romans makes clear that the purpose for which 2 Cor 8 and 9 were written had been fully achieved. In Rom 15:27, Paul began to speak about the significance of the collection. As in 2 Cor 9:13-14,4 the apostle conceived of the gift of the Gentile Christians as a return gift to their Jewish brethren: "For if the Gentiles have come to be partners in their spiritual things, they are obliged to be of service to them in material things." Thus it was a matter of the payment of a "debt" (6qmAtTat du'tv a-hwv) owed to theJewish Christians. When Paul said in Rom 15:28 that he would bring the collection "to a conclusion," he did not mean the collection in Corinth, but the journey toJerusalem and the delivery of the funds. The expression "to bring to completion" (€muf...£1v) is often used in 2 Corinthians,5 while the term "to seal" (ucppayl(nv), as an expression for the delivery of the collection, appears only in Rom 15:28.6 That the entire collection was a kind of "fruit" (Kap?Tos) is expressed in another manner, with the aid of the agricultural metaphor, in 2 Cor 9:6-11. Paul brought the account of his travel plans in Romans to a close in 15:30-32 with an important glimpse of the situation which awaited him in Jerusalem, and of how he expected to deal with it. Clearly the apostle had few illusions about the problems which prevailed there, if he appealed to the Romans to pray for his "deliverance" from the "agon" ( , uvvaywvl( He obviously feared that the "unbelievers in Judea" (ol a?TH8ovvus €v Tii 'lovllalc;t) would make it impossible for the "saints in Jerusalem" to accept the collection. If the account in Acts Thus rightly Hans Lietzmann, An die Romer (HNT 8; Tiibingen: Mohr, Siebeck, 5 1971) 123, who also contends that the Epistle to the Romans "hinter II Cor 8, I Of. flillt." Tob 9:5;Job 4:17. See Ludwig Radermacher, "rt seems to...