2 Corinthians 9:7 "God loves"?

From: Josef Lowder (joe@whidbey.net)
Date: Mon Jun 23 1997 - 07:47:51 EDT

To: b-greek@virginia.edu
Subject: 2 Corinthians 9:7 "God loves"?

ekastos kaqws proaireitai th kardia mh ek luphs h ex anagkhs
each as purposes the heart not of sorrow or of necessity

ilaron gar dothn agapa o qeoV
cheerful for giver loves God

What criteria of Greek grammatical construction warrants or requires
the translation "for God loves [a] cheerful giver" (as seems to be an
almost universal translation in most English texts) ... rather than
"for [the] cheerful giver loves God" ?

Why is the translation "for the cheerful giver loves God" not equally
or more viable, and would that not be more consistent with the context?

Is it not true that one being a cheerful giver out of love for God
("as each one purposes in his/her heart") fits the context more fully
than intimating/insinuating that God's love is somehow limited to or
greater for those who give cheerfully than for those who may not? That
latter notion seems inconsistent with the nature of God who, "while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us" out of love for us.

Therefore, is it correct, or incorrect, to read into this instruction
that one is supposed to give cheerfully because God loves a cheerful
giver (thus suggesting a sense of obligation, out of necessity, and/or
perhaps even "grudgingly")? Or, might we not better read it that the
correct motivation for giving cheerfully is simply out of a sense of
purpose which reflects hearts of love for God?

Josef Lowder - joe@whidbey.net

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