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"Paul's Paradigm for Giving in 2 Corinthians 8-9"

Millicent Guarin (Philippines)

Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Theology program
Adviser: Markus Locker, Ph.D.


Paul appeals for the collection in 2 Corinthians 8-9. The collection is the relief fund he has established in keeping with his promise to the Church Council to “remember the poor in Jerusalem.” Paul redefines the prevailing Corinthian culture of client-benefactor system to cast his paradigm of excellent generosity (8:7; 9:6) and mutual dependence, reciprocity, and equality (8:13-15) based on Christ’s example in his incarnation and passion (8:9). Paul’s exhortation for the Corinthians is to give freely, not under compulsion, according to their means, so that there might be “equality among believers” and so that there might be public worship and confession of faith in Christ. In other words, Paul’s paradigm for giving is one of imitation of Christ in his self-giving and dependence on the Spirit for God’s glory. Christ submitted to the will of God and depended on the work of the Spirit, thus he gave himself freely and completely, even in death, so that others might be reconciled to God. The Macedonian giving marked by “abundance of joy” and “wealth of liberality” in the midst of their “severe test of affliction” and “extreme poverty” (8:1-5) and Paul’s abasement as a “working and suffering apostle” (4:7-12; 5-8:10) are imitations par excellence of Jesus’ self-donation. By adopting Paul’s paradigm for giving, the contemporary missional church “recovers Christ,” that is, it returns Christ back to the center of its mission, making it genuinely incarnational. The transforming power of the gospel of Christ in God’s people is highlighted without disregarding the social and economic functions of the church’s charitable endeavors.

Final Defense:

Date of Oral Defense: December 9, 2015

Board of Examiners: Fr. Herbert Schneider, S.J., S.T.D. (Principal Examiner), Sr. Gemma Victorino, P.D.D.M., S.T.L., Sr. Ma. Anicia Co, R.V.M., S.T.D., Ph.D.

Proposal Defense:

December 11, 2014 (Thursday), 3:00 pm, Tipanan ni San Ignacio, Second Floor of LST

Board of Examiners: Fr. Renato Repole, S.J., S.T.D., Fr. Herbert Schneider, S.J., S.T.D. and Markus Locker, Ph.D. (Adviser).

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Loyola School of Theology