1 Corinthians 9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Paul’s Use of Liberty
9 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 [a]Do we not have a right to eat and drink? 5 [b]Do we not have a right to take along a [c]believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 Or do only [d]Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 7 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not [e]use the milk of the flock?
8 I am not speaking these things according to [f]human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. 11 If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share [g]from the altar? 14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one. 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. 17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. 18 What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under [h]the Law, as under [i]the Law though not being myself under [j]the Law, so that I might win those who are under [k]the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I [l]discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9 Young's Literal Translation (YLT)
9 Am not I an apostle? am not I free? Jesus Christ our Lord have I not seen? my work are not ye in the Lord?
2 if to others I am not an apostle -- yet doubtless to you I am; for the seal of my apostleship are ye in the Lord.
3 My defence to those who examine me in this;
4 have we not authority to eat and to drink?
5 have we not authority a sister -- a wife -- to lead about, as also the other apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
6 or only I and Barnabas, have we not authority -- not to work?
7 who doth serve as a soldier at his own charges at any time? who doth plant a vineyard, and of its fruit doth not eat? or who doth feed a flock, and of the milk of the flock doth not eat?
8 According to man do I speak these things? or doth not also the law say these things?
9 for in the law of Moses it hath been written, `thou shalt not muzzle an ox treading out corn;' for the oxen doth God care?
10 or because of us by all means doth He say [it]? yes, because of us it was written, because in hope ought the plower to plow, and he who is treading [ought] of his hope to partake in hope.
11 If we to you the spiritual things did sow -- great [is it] if we your fleshly things do reap?
12 if others do partake of the authority over you -- not we more? but we did not use this authority, but all things we bear, that we may give no hindrance to the good news of the Christ.
13 Have ye not known that those working about the things of the temple -- of the temple do eat, and those waiting at the altar -- with the altar are partakers?
14 so also did the Lord direct to those proclaiming the good news: of the good news to live.
15 And I have used none of these things; neither did I write these things that it may be so done in my case, for [it is] good for me rather to die, than that any one may make my glorying void;
16 for if I may proclaim good news, it is no glorying for me, for necessity is laid upon me, and wo is to me if I may not proclaim good news;
17 for if willing I do this, I have a reward; and if unwillingly -- with a stewardship I have been entrusted!
18 What, then, is my reward? -- that proclaiming good news, without charge I shall make the good news of the Christ, not to abuse my authority in the good news;
19 for being free from all men, to all men I made myself servant, that the more I might gain;
20 and I became to the Jews as a Jew, that Jews I might gain; to those under law as under law, that those under law I might gain;
21 to those without law, as without law -- (not being without law to God, but within law to Christ) -- that I might gain those without law;
22 I became to the infirm as infirm, that the infirm I might gain; to all men I have become all things, that by all means I may save some.
23 And this I do because of the good news, that a fellow-partaker of it I may become;
24 have ye not known that those running in a race -- all indeed run, but one doth receive the prize? so run ye, that ye may obtain;
25 and every one who is striving, is in all things temperate; these, indeed, then, that a corruptible crown they may receive, but we an incorruptible;
26 I, therefore, thus run, not as uncertainly, thus I fight, as not beating air;
27 but I chastise my body, and bring [it] into servitude, lest by any means, having preached to others -- I myself may become disapproved.