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1 Corinthians 9:4-18 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Don’t we have the right to food and drink? Don’t we have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other emissaries and the Lord’s brothers and Kefa? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to not work? What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink its milk?

I don’t say these things merely as a man, do I? Doesn’t Torah also say these things? For it is written in the Torah of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is threshing.”[a] Is it the oxen that concern God, 10 or is He speaking entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because the one plowing ought to plow in hope and the one threshing in hope of a share in the crop. 11 If we sowed spiritual things into you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others have a share in this claim over you, shouldn’t we even more?

Nevertheless we did not use this right, but we put up with all things so that we cause no hindrance to the Good News of Messiah. 13 Don’t you know that those who perform the holy services eat from the Temple, and those who wait on the altar receive a share at the altar? [b] 14 So also the Lord ordered those who proclaim the Good News to get their living from the Good News.

15 But I have used none of these things, and I am not writing these things so it will happen this way in my case—for I would rather die than let anyone deprive me of my reason to boast. 16 For if I proclaim the Good News, I have no reason to boast—for pressure is put on me and woe to me if I don’t proclaim the Good News! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have been entrusted with a commission. 18 What then is my reward? That when I preach, I may present the Good News free of charge, not making use of my right[c] in the Good News.

Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

1 Corinthians 9:4-18 New International Version (NIV)

Don’t we have the right to food and drink? Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas[a]? Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living?

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”[b] Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10 Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?

But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.

13 Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast. 16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 9:5 That is, Peter
  2. 1 Corinthians 9:9 Deut. 25:4
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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