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late 14c., "action of collecting," from Old French collection (14c.), from Latin collectionem (nominative collectio) "a gathering together," noun of action from colligere (see collect). Especially of money gathered for religious or charitable purposes from 1530s. Meaning "a group of objects viewed as a whole" is from c.1400.
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; Rom. 15:25, 26; 1 Cor. 16:1-3; 2 Cor. 8:9; Gal. 2:10).