1 Corinthians 9
New International Version
Paul’s Rights as an Apostle
9 Am I not free?(A) Am I not an apostle?(B) Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?(C) Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?(D) 2 Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal(E) of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. 4 Don’t we have the right to food and drink?(F) 5 Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife(G) along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers(H) and Cephas[a]?(I) 6 Or is it only I and Barnabas(J) who lack the right to not work for a living?
7 Who serves as a soldier(K) at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard(L) and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? 8 Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”[b](M) Is it about oxen that God is concerned?(N) 10 Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us,(O) because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.(P) 11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?(Q) 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?
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?(T) 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.(U)
15 But I have not used any of these rights.(V) 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.(W) 16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach.(X) Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward;(Y) if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.(Z) 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge,(AA) and so not make full use of my rights(AB) as a preacher of the gospel.
Paul’s Use of His Freedom
19 Though I am free(AC) and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone,(AD) to win as many as possible.(AE) 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews.(AF) To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law),(AG) so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law(AH) (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law),(AI) so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.(AJ) I have become all things to all people(AK) so that by all possible means I might save some.(AL) 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
The Need for Self-Discipline
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?(AM) Run(AN) in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown(AO) that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.(AP) 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly;(AQ) I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.(AR) 27 No, I strike a blow to my body(AS) and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.(AT)
1 Corinthians 9
King James Version
9 Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?
5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
9 For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
1 Corinthians 9
New King James Version
A Pattern of Self-Denial
9 Am (A)I not an apostle? Am I not free? (B)Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? (C)Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are (D)the [a]seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 (E)Do we have no [b]right to eat and drink? 5 Do we have no right to take along [c]a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, (F)the brothers of the Lord, and (G)Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I (H)who have no right to refrain from working? 7 Who ever (I)goes to war at his own expense? Who (J)plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who (K)tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?
8 Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, (L)“You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? 10 Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that (M)he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11 (N)If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? 12 If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?
(O)Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things (P)lest we hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 (Q)Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the (R)temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? 14 Even so (S)the Lord has commanded (T)that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
15 But (U)I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for (V)it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void. 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for (W)necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this willingly, (X)I have a reward; but if against my will, (Y)I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What is my reward then? That (Z)when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel [d]of Christ without charge, that I (AA)may not abuse my authority in the gospel.
Serving All Men
19 For though I am (AB)free from all men, (AC)I have made myself a servant to all, (AD)that I might win the more; 20 and (AE)to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the [e]law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 (AF)to (AG)those who are without law, as without law (AH)(not being without [f]law toward God, but under [g]law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 (AI)to the weak I became [h]as weak, that I might win the weak. (AJ)I have become all things to all men, (AK)that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
Striving for a Crown
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? (AL)Run in such a way that you may [i]obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize [j]is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for (AM)an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: (AN)not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 (AO)But I discipline my body and (AP)bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become (AQ)disqualified.
- 1 Corinthians 9:2 certification
- 1 Corinthians 9:4 authority
- 1 Corinthians 9:5 Lit. a sister, a wife
- 1 Corinthians 9:18 NU omits of Christ
- 1 Corinthians 9:20 NU adds though not being myself under the law
- 1 Corinthians 9:21 NU God’s law
- 1 Corinthians 9:21 NU Christ’s law
- 1 Corinthians 9:22 NU omits as
- 1 Corinthians 9:24 win
- 1 Corinthians 9:25 exercises self-control