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1 Corinthians 8-13 Modern English Version (MEV)

Food Offered to Idols

Now as concerning food offered to idols: We know that “we all have knowledge.” Knowledge produces arrogance, but love edifies. So if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.

So concerning the eating of foods that are offered in sacrifice to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For there are those who are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, as there are many gods and many lords. But for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist. And there is one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

However, not everyone has this knowledge. Some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat the food as a thing offered to an idol. So their weak conscience is defiled. But food does not commend us to God. Neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.

But take heed, lest by any means this liberty of yours becomes a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you, who have knowledge, eating in the idol’s temple, shall the conscience of him who is weak not be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols, 11 and by your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 When you thus sin against the brothers, wounding their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to stumble.

The Rights of an Apostle

Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet indeed I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

This is my answer to those who examine me. Do we have no right to eat and to drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife as do other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?

Who goes to war at any time at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, but does not eat of its fruit? Or who feeds a flock, but does not drink of the flock’s milk? Do I say these things as a man? Or does the law not say the same thing also? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox while it treads out the grain.”[a] Is God concerned about oxen? 10 Or does He say it completely for our sake? For our sake, no doubt, this is written so that he who plows should plow in hope, and that he who threshes in hope should partake of his hope. 11 If we have sown for you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your material things? 12 If others partake of this right over you, should not we instead?

Nevertheless, we have not used this right, but suffer all things, lest we might hinder the gospel of Christ.

13 Do you not know that those who minister unto holy things live from the things of the temple? And do you not know that those who wait at the altar partake of the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has ordained that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.

15 But I have used none of these rights, nor have I written these things that it should be so done to me. For it would be better for me to die than allow anyone to make my boasting void. 16 Though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for the requirement is laid upon me. Yes, woe unto me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 So if I do this willingly, I have a reward, but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a commission. 18 What is my reward then? Truly that when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, so that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.

19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself servant to all, that I might win even more. 20 To the Jews, I became as a Jew, that I might win the Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are outside the law, as outside the law (being not without God’s law, but under Christ’s law) that I might win those who are outside the law. 22 To the weak, I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 This I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might partake of it with you.

24 Do you not know that all those who run in a race run, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain it. 25 Everyone who strives for the prize exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible one. 26 So, therefore, I run, not with uncertainty. So I fight, not as one who beats the air. 27 But I bring and keep my body under subjection, lest when preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Warning Against Idolatry

10 I would not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased, and they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things were our examples to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they lusted. Neither be idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to revel.”[b] Neither let us commit sexual immorality as some of them committed, when twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted and were destroyed by serpents. 10 Neither murmur, as some of them also murmured and were destroyed by the destroyer.

11 Now all these things happened to them for examples. They are written as an admonition to us, upon whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall. 13 No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, and He will not permit you to be tempted above what you can endure, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.

14 So, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men. Judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, being many, are one bread and one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread.

18 Consider Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19 What am I saying then, that the idol is anything or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is anything? 20 But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God. I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. 22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

Do All to the Glory of God

23 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no question for the sake of conscience, 26 for “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”[c]

27 If any of those who do not believe invite you to a feast, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for the sake of conscience. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This was offered in sacrifice to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of him that mentioned it and for the sake of conscience, for “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”[d] 29 Conscience, I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks?

31 Therefore, whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

11 Follow me as I follow Christ.

Covering the Head in Worship

I praise you, brothers, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know that the head of the woman is the man, the head of every man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying having his head covered dishonors his head, but every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is the same as if she were shaved. For if the woman is not covered, let her also cut off her hair. But if it is a shame for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved, let her be covered.

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of the man. The man is not from the woman, but the woman from the man. The man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a veil of authority over her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man in the Lord. 12 For just as the woman came from the man, so the man comes through the woman, but all things come from God.

13 Judge for yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God uncovered? 14 Does even nature itself not teach you that if a man has long hair it is a shame to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her, for her hair is given her for a covering. 16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor have the churches of God.

Abuses at the Lord’s Supper

17 Now in what I have to say to you, I do not praise you. You have come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18 First of all, when you come together as the church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you so that those who are genuine may become evident among you. 20 Therefore when you come together into one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one eats his own supper ahead of others. One goes hungry, and another becomes drunk. 22 What? Do you not have houses to eat and to drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

The Lord’s Supper

23 I have received of the Lord that which I delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus, on the night in which He was betrayed, took bread. 24 When He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take and eat. This is My body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”[e] 25 In the same manner He took the cup after He had supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”[f] 26 As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

Partaking of the Supper Unworthily

27 Therefore whoever eats this bread and drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and unhealthy among you, and many die. 31 If we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, so that we would not be condemned with the world.

33 So, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone hungers, let him eat at home, so that you may not come together into condemnation.

I will set the rest in order when I come.

Spiritual Gifts

12 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed!” And no one can say, “Jesus is the Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

There are various gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. There are various operations, but it is the same God who operates all of them in all people.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for the common good. To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But that one and very same Spirit works all these, dividing to each one individually as He will.

One Body With Many Members

12 For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the many parts of that one body are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether we are slaves or free, and we have all been made to drink of one Spirit. 14 The body is not one part, but many.

15 If the foot says, “Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has established the parts, every one of them, in the body as it has pleased Him. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 So there are many parts, yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, those parts of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those parts of the body which we think are less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor. And our less respectable parts are treated with much more respect, 24 whereas our more respectable parts have no need of this. But God has composed the body, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacks it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that the parts should have the same care for one another. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts rejoice with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and members individually. 28 God has put these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, and various tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have the gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly covet the greater gifts.

Love

Yet I show you a more excellent way.

13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. If I give all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love envies not; love flaunts not itself and is not puffed up, does not behave itself improperly, seeks not its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never fails. But if there are prophecies, they shall fail; if there are tongues, they shall cease; and if there is knowledge, it shall vanish. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect comes, then that which is imperfect shall pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, and I thought as a child. But when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see as through a glass, dimly, but then, face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know, even as I also am known.

13 So now abide faith, hope, and love, these three. But the greatest of these is love.

Modern English Version (MEV)

The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

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