Paul’s Rights as an Apostle

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) 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.

This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. Don’t we have the right to food and drink?(F) 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) Or is it only I and Barnabas(J) who lack the right to not work for a living?

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? 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](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?

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

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 9:5 That is, Peter
  2. 1 Corinthians 9:9 Deut. 25:4

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