Collection [N] [E]

Any organized gathering of funds or resources. In the Bible, collections are often taken for the benefit of others and not for oneself. The Hebrew term terumaa [h'mWr.T] refers to a contribution. The Greek terms are logia [logiva] ("collection"), koinonian [koinwniva] ("participation"), and diakonia [diakoniva] ("ministry").

The collection detailed in 2 Chronicles 31 was part of Hezekiah's reforms to make sure that God's ministers, the priests, received adequate provision as the law had commanded ( Exodus 35:21 Exodus 35:24 ; Leviticus 7:14 Leviticus 7:32 ; Deuteronomy 12:6 Deuteronomy 12:17-19 ). When an excess came in, the remainder was stored for later use. The collection was administered with care.

The right of the New Testament minister to donated material support is affirmed by Jesus ( Luke 10:7 ) and the early church ( 1 Cor 9:1-14 ; 1 Tim 5:18 ), but how this support is to be collected is not discussed anywhere in detail. Acts 4:32-37 discusses how believers voluntarily brought their gifts to help members to the apostles. Here the collection extends beyond ministers to any believer in need. A negative example of those who lie while making such a donation occurs in Acts 5:1-11.

The key New Testament passages on collection are Romans 15:25-26, 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, and 2 Corinthians 8-9. They all refer to Paul's aid from Gentiles for mostly Jewish believers in need in Jerusalem. Here believers in one locale help those of a different race in another locale. The gift expresses the sense of oneness in the body of Christ that comes through sharing and also reveals the church's sensitivity in meeting needs. First Corinthians 16:1-4 makes it clear that the gift is planned for and collected at a fixed time, and that much effort is made to insure the gift's integrity as it is delivered by trustworthy believers to those who are in need. In 2 Corinthians 8-9, the gift is of their own free will, according to means, is handled by trustworthy individuals, is planned for, is to be given with joy, is an expression of thanksgiving to God, and glorifies him because it is a mark of generosity. In this passage, the collection is called "ministry."

Darrell L. Bock

See also Contribution; Tithe, Tithing

Bibliography. S. McKnight, DPL, pp. 143-47; K. F. Nickle, The Collection: A Study in Paul's Strategy.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell
Copyright © 1996 by Walter A. Elwell. Published by Baker Books, a division of
Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan USA.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

For usage information, please read the Baker Book House Copyright Statement.

[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Elwell, Walter A. "Entry for 'Collection'". "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology". . 1997.

Collection [N] [B]

The Christians in Palestine, from various causes, suffered from poverty. Paul awakened an interest in them among the Gentile churches, and made pecuniary collections in their behalf ( Acts 24:17 ; Romans 15:25 Romans 15:26 ; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 ; 2 co 8:9 ; Galatians 2:10 ).

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[B] indicates this entry was also found in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Collection". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .



(1) In the Old Testament (mas'eth, "something taken up"), used in 2 Chronicles 24:6,9 the King James Version with reference to the tax prescribed in Ex; 30:12,16; the Revised Version (British and American) "tax."

(2) In the New Testament "collection" is the translation given to logia, found only twice (classical, sulloge). It is used with reference to the collection which Paul took up in the Gentilechurches for the poor Christians in Jerusalem, as, for some reason, perhaps more severe persecutions, that church was especially needy (1 Corinthians 16:1,2; verse 2 the King James Version "gatherings"). Other words, such as bounty, contribution, blessing, alms, ministration, are used to indicate this same ministry. Paul seems to have ascribed to it great importance. Therefore, he planned it carefully long in advance; urged systematic, weekly savings for it; had delegates carefully chosen to take it to Jerusalem; and, in spite of dangers, determined himself to accompany them. Evidently he thought it the crowning act of his work in the provinces of Galatia, Asia, Macedonia and Achaia, for as soon as it was finished he purposed to go to Rome and the West (Acts 24:17; Romans 15:25,26; 2 Corinthians 8; 9).

See also \COMMUNION\. G. H. Trever

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'COLLECTION'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.