More Information
ISBN: 9781783682607
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 20
Publication Date: 30/04/2017
Pages: 372
Language: English

Christian Generosity according to 2 Corinthians 8–9

Its Exegesis, Reception, and Interpretation Today in Dialogue with the Prosperity Gospel in Sub-Saharan Africa


The social and religious phenomenon popularly known as the “prosperity gospel” has made huge inroads in sub-Saharan Africa and raises many questions surrounding Christian giving. In this book, Dr Habarurema applies biblical scholarship, historical enquiry and contemporaneous analysis to generosity and financial reward in 2 Corinthians 8–9, as well as to the prosperity gospel movement. With a clear focus on the concepts of divine charis and autarkeia, this study provides insight into the apostle Paul’s exhortations to care for the poor and vulnerable in society as a manifestation by the church of God’s compassion and grace. The author concludes with a series of hermeneutical and theological recommendations to promote a reading which is faithful to Paul’s thoughts in 2 Corinthians 8–9, fully integrated in Paul’s overall theology, and welcoming insights provided by Pentecostal hermeneutics.

Author Bios

Viateur Habarurema

VIATEUR HABARUREMA holds a PhD in New Testament Studies from Protestant Theological University, Amsterdam-Groningen, Netherlands. He is currently a full-time lecturer of New Testament and Greek within the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at Protestant University of Rwanda. He also serves as a part-time assistant pastor in a congregation within the Pentecostal Church of Rwanda-ADEPR. Viateur and his wife, Enatha, have four children: Délices, Emérance, Blessing and Elpis.


This is an important exegetical work that deepens our understanding of the practical outworking of the prosperity gospel that has become a hallmark of contemporary Pentecostalism.

J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, PhD
Baëta-Grau Professor of Contemporary African Christianity and Pentecostalism,
Trinity Theological Seminary, Ghana

This is a fine study which combines precise exegesis of the biblical texts with most relevant reflections on its corollaries for present-day theology and the church, based on first-hand knowledge and sound academic analysis.

Riemer Roukema, PhD
Professor in Early Christianity,
Protestant Theological University,
Amsterdam and Groningen

A model of scholarly clarity and contextual sensitivity!

Benjamin Schliesser, PhD
Professor of New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology,
University of Bern

Table of Contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Abbreviations
  4. Introduction
    1. 1. Motivation for the Study
    2. 2. Major Scholarly Studies on Paul’s Collection
    3. 3. New Areas to Be Explored
    4. 4. The Aim and Nature of This Research
    5. 5. Presuppositions and Approach
    6. 6. Structure of the Study
  5. Chapter 1
    1. The Background of Christian Generosity
      1. 1.1 Charity in the Old Testament and Early Judaism
      2. 1.2 Charity in the Greco-Roman Context
      3. Conclusion
  6. Chapter 2
    1. Paul’s Corinthian Correspondence
      1. 2.1 1 Corinthians 5:9–11
      2. 2.2 2 Corinthians 2:1, 5; 7:12 (“The Letter of Tears”)
      3. 2.3 Partition Theories
      4. 2.4 Marks of Discontinuity in 2 Corinthians 1–7
      5. 2.5 The Unity of 2 Corinthians 8–9 in Recent Scholarship
      6. 2.6 2 Corinthians 10–13
      7. 2.7 The Text of 2 Corinthians 8–9
      8. Conclusion
  7. Chapter 3
    1. Paul’s Collection in 2 Corinthians
      1. 3.1 The Macedonians as a Good Example of Generosity (2 Cor 8:1–6)
      2. 3.2 The Corinthians Exhorted to Complete the Collection (2 Cor 8:7–12)
      3. 3.3 The Purpose of the Collection (2 Cor 8:13–15)
      4. 3.4 The Delegates, Their Commendations and Mission (2 Cor 8:16–9:5)
      5. 3.5 God Reciprocates the Generosity of a Cheerful Giver (2 Cor 9:6–10)
      6. 3.6 The Outcomes of the Collection and Doxology (2 Cor 9:11–15)
      7. Conclusion
  8. Chapter 4
    1. 2 Corinthians 8–9 from Late Antiquity to the Reformation Period
      1. 4.1 John Chrysostom
      2. 4.2 Theodoret of Cyrus
      3. 4.3 Ambrosiaster
      4. 4.4 Thomas Aquinas
      5. 4.5 John Calvin
      6. 4.6 Summary
      7. Conclusion
  9. Chapter 5
    1. Pentecostalism in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Overview
      1. 5.1 Pentecostalism as a Global Movement
      2. 5.2 The Use of the Bible in African Pentecostalism
      3. Conclusion
  10. Chapter 6
    1. The Prosperity Gospel in Sub-Saharan Africa
      1. 6.1 Background
      2. 6.2 The Major Teachings of the Prosperity Gospel
      3. 6.3 A Positive Import of the Prosperity Gospel?
      4. 6.4 Concerns about the Prosperity Gospel
      5. Conclusion
  11. Chapter 7
    1. The Reading of 2 Corinthians 8–9 in Africa Today in Dialogue with the Prosperity Gospel
      1. 7.1 Matthew Ashimolowo: 2 Corinthians 9:5–13
      2. 7.2 Mensa Otabil: The Principles of Productivity and Multiplication
      3. 7.3 Dag Heward-Mills: The Law of Sowing and Reaping
      4. 7.4 David O. Oyedepo
      5. 7.5 Enoch Adejare Adeboye
      6. 7.6 Benson Andrew Idahosa
      7. 7.7 Discussion and Evaluation
      8. Conclusion
  12. Conclusion
  13. Bibliography

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