The meaning "contribution" is drawn from the context, rather than from the Greek word. The phrase in the passage cited, literally rendered, would be "to exercise" or "put fellowship into activity." The koinonia subsisting among believers because of their inner communion with Christ places them and their gifts and possessions at the service of one another (see COMMUNION). They are enjoined. not to forget to communicate (Hebrews 13:16). To be "communicative" (koinonikoi) is to be a habit of their lives, the Christian principle being that of the holding of all property as a trust, to be distributed as there is need (Acts 2:44; 2 Corinthians 8:14). The first occasion for calling this fellowship into activity, by way of "contributions," was within the church at Jerusalem and for its needy members (see COMMUNITY OF GOODS). The second occasion was repeatedly from the infant Gentilechurches for the poor within the same church (Acts 11:29; Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4; 9:2); the fellowship thus widening from intra-congregational to general church benevolence. These contributions were gathered weekly (1 Corinthians 16:2), were proportioned to the means of the givers (Acts 11:29; 1 Corinthians 16:2), were not exacted or prescribed, in a legalistic manner, but were called forth as the free-will offerings of grateful hearts (2 Corinthians 8:7), springing from th community spirit, and were sent to their destination by accredited representatives of the congregations (1 Corinthians 16:3; Acts 11:30).
H. E. Jacobs
These files are public domain.