1 Corinthians 9 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Paul Is like the Other Apostles
9 ·I am a free man [L Am I not free?]. ·I am [L Am I not…?] an apostle. ·I have [Haven’t I…?] seen Jesus our Lord. ·You people are all an example of [L Are you not…?] my work in the Lord. 2 If others do not accept me as an apostle, surely you do, because you are ·proof that I am an apostle [L the seal/verification of my apostleship] in the Lord.
3 This is the answer I give people who want to ·judge me [examine me; question my credentials]: 4 Do we not have the right to eat and drink [C receive hospitality and support for their missionary work]? 5 Do we not have the right to ·bring a believing wife with us when we travel [or be married to a believer; L take along a wife who is a sister] as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers [Matt. 13:55; Acts 1:14] and ·Peter [L Cephas; C Peter’s name in Aramaic; see 1:12]? 6 Are Barnabas [Acts 13—14] and I the only ones who ·must work to earn our living [L don’t have the authority/right not to work]? 7 ·No soldier [L Who…?] ever serves in the army and pays his own salary. ·No one [L Who…?] ever plants a vineyard without eating some of the grapes. ·No person [L Who…?] takes care of a flock without drinking some of the milk.
8 I do not say this ·by human authority [from human experience; L according to man]; God’s law also says the same thing. 9 [L For] It is written in the law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox when it is ·working in [treading; threshing] the grain [Deut. 25:4].” When God said this, was he ·thinking only [concerned] about oxen? No. 10 He was ·really [surely] talking ·about us [for our benefit]. Yes, that Scripture was written for us, because it goes on to say: “The one who plows and the one who ·works in the grain [threshes] should hope to get some of the grain for their work.” 11 ·Since [If] we ·planted [sowed] spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we should harvest material things from you [C receive support for ministry]? 12 If others have the right to get something from you, surely we have this right, ·too [or even more so]. But we ·do not use it [have not exercised this right]. No, we put up with everything ourselves so that we will not ·keep anyone from believing [L put up a hindrance to] the ·Good News [Gospel] of Christ. 13 ·Surely [L Don’t…?] you know that those who ·work at the Temple [perform priestly temple service] get their food from the Temple, and those who serve at the altar get part of what is offered at the altar. 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who ·tell the Good News [proclaim/preach the Gospel] should get their living from ·this work [L the Gospel].
15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this now to get anything from you. I would rather die than to have my reason for ·bragging [boasting] taken away. 16 ·Telling the Good News [Preaching the Gospel] does not give me any reason for ·bragging [boasting]. Telling the Good News is my duty—something I must do. And ·how terrible it will be for [L woe to] me if I do not ·tell the Good News [preach the Gospel]. 17 If I preach ·because it is my own choice [voluntarily], I have a reward. But if I preach ·and it is not my choice to do so [without volunteering], I am ·only doing the duty that was given to me [L entrusted with a stewardship/responsibility]. 18 So what ·reward [payment; wages] do I get? Only this: that when I tell the ·Good News [Gospel] I can offer it ·freely [free of charge]. I do not ·use [take advantage of; or misuse] my full rights in ·my work of preaching the Good News [L the Gospel].
19 I am free and belong to no one. But I make myself a slave to all people to win as many as I can. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew to win the Jews. I myself am not ·ruled by [subject to; L under] the law. But to those who are ·ruled by [subject to; L under] the law I became like a person who is ·ruled by [subject to; L under] the law. I did this to win those who are ·ruled by [subject to; L under] the law. 21 To those who are without the law [C Gentiles] I became like a person who is without the law. I did this to win those people who are without the law. (But really, I am not without God’s law—I am ·ruled by [L under] Christ’s law.) 22 To those who are weak [C in faith; 8:7–13], I became weak so I could win the weak. I have become all things to all people so I could save some of them in any way possible. 23 I do all this because of the ·Good News [Gospel] and so I can ·share in its blessings [or be a participant in it].
24 ·You [L Don’t you…?] know that in a ·race [L stadium] all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. So run to win! 25 All those who compete in the games ·use self-control [train with strict discipline] so they can win a ·crown [victor’s wreath]. That ·crown [victor’s wreath] is ·an earthly thing that lasts only a short time [L perishable], but our crown ·will never be destroyed [L is imperishable]. 26 So I do not run ·without a goal [aimlessly]. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air. 27 I ·treat my body hard [discipline/subdue/pummel my body] and ·make it my slave [subdue it] so that I myself will not be disqualified after I have preached to others.
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