Koinōnia, Greek Strong’s #2842, is used 20 times throughout the New Testament. It is translated as fellowship (12), communion (4), communication (1), distribution (1), contribution (1), and to communicate (1). This is the only verse found regarding contribution:
DEFINITIONSRomans 15:25-27 (KJV) But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, 1828
Bouvier’s Dictionary of Law, 1856:CONTRIBUTE, verb transitive [Latin , to grant, assign, or impart. See Tribe, Tribute.]
1. To give or grant in common with others; to give a common stock or for a common purpose; to pay a share.
England contributes much more than any other of the allies.
It is the duty of Christians to contribute a portion of their substance for the propagation of the gospel.
2. To impart a portion or share to a common purpose.
Let each man contribute his influence to correct public morals.
CONTRIBUTE, verb intransitive To give a part; to lend a portion of power, aid or influence; to have a share in any act or effect.
There is not a single beauty in the piece, to which the invention must not contribute
1. The act of giving to a common stock, or in common with others; the act of lending a portion of power or influence to a common purpose; the payment of each mans share of some common expense.
2. That which is given to a common stock or purpose, either by an individual or by many. We speak of the contribution of one person, or the contribution of a society. Contributions are involuntary, as taxes and imposts; or voluntary, as for some undertaking.
3. In a military sense, impositions paid by a frontier country, to secure themselves from being plundered by the enemy's army; or impositions upon a country in the power of an enemy, which are levied under various pretenses, and for various purposes, usually for the support of the army.
Black’s Law Dictionary, 1st Edition, 1891CONTRIBUTION, civil law. A partition by which the creditors of an insolvent debtor divide, among themselves the proceeds of his property, proportionably to the amount of their respective credits. Civ. Code of Lo. art. 2522, n. 10. It is a division pro rata. Merl. Rep. h. t.
1. When two or more persons jointly owe a debt, and one is compelled to pay the whole of it, the others are bound to indemnify him for the payment of their shares; this indemnity is called a contribution. 1 Bibb. R. 562; 4 John. Ch. R. 545; 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 3935 6.
2. The subject will be considered by taking a view, 1. Of right of the creditors where there are several debtors. 2. Of the right of the debtor who pays the whole debt. 3. Of the liabilities of the debtors who are liable to contribution. 4. Of the liability of land owned by several owners, when it is subject to a charge. 5. Of the liability of owners of goods in a vessel, when part is thrown overboard to save the rest.
3. 1. The creditor of several debtors, jointly bound to him, has a right to compel the payment by any he may choose; but he cannot sue them severally, unless they are severally bound.
4. 2. When one of several debtors pays a debt, the creditor is bound in conscience, if not by contract, to give to the party paying the debt all his remedies against the other debtors. 1 Cox, R. 318 S. C. 2 B. & P. 270 2 Swanst. R. 189, 192; 3 Bligh, 59 14 Ves. 160; 1 Ves. 31 12 Wheat. 596 1 Hill, Ch. R. 844, 351 1 Term. St. It. 512, 517; 1 Ala. R. 23, 28; 11 Ohio It. 444, 449 8 Misso. It. 169, 175.
5. 3. A debtor liable to contribution is not responsible upon a contract, but is so in equity. But courts of common law, in modern times, have assumed a jurisdiction to compel contribution among sureties, in the absence of any positive contract, on the ground of an implied assumpsit, and each of the sureties may be sued for his respective quota or proportion. White's L. C. in Eq. 66. The remedy in equity is, however, much more effective. For example, a surety who pays an entire debt, can, in equity, compel the solvent sureties to contribute towards the payment of the entire debt. 1 Chan. R. 34 1 Chan. Cas. 246; Finch, R. 15, 203. But at law he can recover no more than an aliquot part of the whole, regard being had to the number of co sureties. 2 B. & P. 268; 6 B. & C. 697.
6. 4. When land is charged with the payment of a legacy, or an estate with the portion of a posthumous child, every part is bound to make contribution. 3 Munf. R. 29; 1 John. Ch. R. 425 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1301.
7. 5. Contribution takes place in another case; namely, when in order to save a ship or cargo, a part of the goods are cast overboard, the ship and cargo are liable to contribution in order to indemnify the owner of the goods lost, except his just proportion. No contribution can be claimed between joint wrong doers. Bac. Ab. Assumpsit A; Vide 3 Com. Dig. 143; 8 Com. Dig. 373; 5 Vin. Ab. 561; 2 Supp. to Ves. jr. 159, 343; 3 Ves. jr. 64; Wesk. Ins. 130; 10 S. & R. 75; 5 B. & Ad. 936; S. C. 3 N. & M. 258; Rast. Entr. 161; 2 Ventr. 348; 2 Vern. 592; 2 B. & P. 268; 3 B. & P 235; 5 East, 225; 1 J. P. Smith 411 5 Esp. 194; 3 Campb. 480; Gow, N. P. C. 13; 2 A. & E. 57; 4 N. & M. 64; 6 N. & M. 494.
CONTRIBUTIONS, public law.
1. Taxes or money contributed to the support of the government.
2. Contributions are of three kinds, namely: first, those which arise from persons on account of their property, real or personal, or which are imposed upon their industry those which are laid on and paid by real estate without regard to its owner; and those to which personal property is subject, in its transmission from hand to hand, without regard to the owner. See Domat, Dr. Publ. 1. 1, t. 5, s. 2, n. 2.
3. this is a generic term which includes all kinds of impositions for the public benefit. See Duties; Imports; Taxes.
4. By contributions is also meant forced levy of money or property by a belligerent in a hostile country which he occupies, by which means the country is made to contribute to the support of the army of occupation. These contributions are usually taken instead of pillage. Vatt. Dr. des Gens, liv. 3, 9, §165; Id. liv. 4, c. 3, §29.
To supply a share or proportional part of money or property towards the prosecution of a common enterprise or the discharge of a joint obligation.
In common law.The sharing of a loss or payment among several. The act of any one or several of a number of co-debtors, co-sureties, etc., in reimbursing one of their number who has paid the whole debt or suffered the whole liability, each to the extent of his proportionate share.
In maritime law. Where the property of one of several parties interested in a vessel and cargo has been voluntarily sacrificed for the common safety, (as by throwing goods overboard to lighten the vessel.) such loss must be made good by the contribution of the others, which is termed “general average." 3 Kent, Comm. 232344; 1 Story, Eq. Jur. § 490.
In the civil law. A partition by which the creditors of an insolvent debtor divide among themselves the proceeds of his property proportionably to the amount of their respective credits. Code La. art. 2522, no. 10.
Contribution is the division which is made among the heirs of the succession of the debts with which the succession is charged, according to the proportion which each is bound to bear. Civil Code La. art. 1420.
Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Edition, 1910
Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition, 1991
Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th Edition, 1999Contribute. To lend assistance or aid, or give something, to a common purpose; to have a share in any act or effect; to discharge a joint obligation.
Contribution. Right of one who has discharged a common liability to recover of another also liable, the aliquot portion which he ought to pay or bear. Under principle of “contribution,” a tort-feasor against whom a judgment is rendered is entitled to recover proportional shares of judgment from other joint tort-feasors whose negligence contributed to the injury and who were also liable to the plaintiff. The share of a loss payable by an insurer when contracts with two or more insurers cover the same loss. The insurers share of a loss under a coinsurance or similar provision. The sharing of a loss or payment among several. The act of any one or several of a number of co-debtors, co-sureties, etc., in reimbursing one of their number who has paid the whole debt or suffered the whole liability, each to the extent of his proportionate share. A number of states have adopted the Uniform Contribution Among Tort-feasors Act.
In civil law, a partition by which the creditors of an insolvent debtor divide among themselves the proceeds of his property proportionably to the amount of their respective credits. Division which is made among the heirs of the succession of the debts with which the succession is charged, according to the proportion which each is bound to bear.
1. The right that gives one of several persons who are liable on a common debt the ability to recover ratably from each of the others when that one person discharges the debt for the benefit of all; the right to demand that another who is jointly responsible for a third party’s injury supply part of what is required to compensate the third party. – Also termed right of contribution.
2. A tortfeasor’s right to collect from others responsible for the same tort after the tortfeasor has paid more than his or her proportionate share, the shares being determined as a percentage of fault.
3. The actual payment by a joint tortfeasor of a proportionate share of what is due.
There are over 3000 references to “contributions” in U.S. Code. You can search them HERE.
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