1 Corinthians 8-10 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
B. Offerings to Idols[a]
Knowledge Insufficient. 1 Now in regard to meat sacrificed to idols:[b] we realize that “all of us have knowledge”; knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up. 2 If anyone supposes he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But if one loves God, one is known by him.
4 So about the eating of meat sacrificed to idols: we know that “there is no idol in the world,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5 Indeed, even though there are so-called gods in heaven and on earth (there are, to be sure, many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 [c]yet for us there is
one God, the Father,
Practical Rules. 7 But not all have this knowledge. There are some who have been so used to idolatry up until now that, when they eat meat sacrificed to idols, their conscience, which is weak, is defiled.
8 [d]Now food will not bring us closer to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, nor are we better off if we do. 9 But make sure that this liberty of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak. 10 If someone sees you, with your knowledge, reclining at table in the temple of an idol, may not his conscience too, weak as it is, be “built up” to eat the meat sacrificed to idols? 11 Thus through your knowledge, the weak person is brought to destruction, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 When you sin in this way against your brothers and wound their consciences, weak as they are, you are sinning against Christ. 13 [e]Therefore, if food causes my brother to sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I may not cause my brother to sin.
Paul’s Rights as an Apostle. 1 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 Although I may not be an apostle for others, certainly I am for you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 My defense against those who would pass judgment on me[g] is this. 4 [h]Do we not have the right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have the right to take along a Christian wife, as do the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or is it only myself and Barnabas who do not have the right not to work? 7 Who ever serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating its produce? Or who shepherds a flock without using some of the milk from the flock? 8 Am I saying this on human authority, or does not the law also speak of these things? 9 It is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is God concerned about oxen, 10 or is he not really speaking for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope, and the thresher in hope of receiving a share. 11 If we have sown spiritual seed for you, is it a great thing that we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we still more?
Reason for Not Using His Rights. Yet we have not used this right.[i] On the contrary, we endure everything so as not to place an obstacle to the gospel of Christ. 13 [j]Do you not know that those who perform the temple services eat [what] belongs to the temple, and those who minister at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the gospel should live by the gospel.
15 [k]I have not used any of these rights, however, nor do I write this that it be done so in my case. I would rather die. Certainly no one is going to nullify my boast. 16 If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! 17 If I do so willingly, I have a recompense, but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my recompense? That, when I preach, I offer the gospel free of charge so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
All Things to All. 19 [l]Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew to win over Jews; to those under the law I became like one under the law—though I myself am not under the law—to win over those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became like one outside the law—though I am not outside God’s law but within the law of Christ—to win over those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. 23 All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.
24 [m]Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. 25 Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. 26 Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. 27 No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.[n]
Warning Against Overconfidence. 1 [o]I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea, 2 and all of them were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 All ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them,[p] and the rock was the Christ. 5 Yet God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert.
6 [q]These things happened as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil things, as they did. 7 And do not become idolaters, as some of them did, as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel.” 8 Let us not indulge in immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell within a single day. 9 Let us not test Christ[r] as some of them did, and suffered death by serpents. 10 Do not grumble as some of them did, and suffered death by the destroyer. 11 These things happened to them as an example, and they have been written down as a warning to us, upon whom the end of the ages has come.[s] 12 Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.[t] 13 No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.
Warning Against Idolatry.[u] 14 Therefore, my beloved, avoid idolatry. 15 I am speaking as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
18 Look at Israel according to the flesh; are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 So what am I saying? That meat sacrificed to idols is anything? Or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I mean that what they sacrifice, [they sacrifice] to demons,[v] not to God, and I do not want you to become participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons. 22 Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger? Are we stronger than he?
Seek the Good of Others.[w] 23 “Everything is lawful,” but not everything is beneficial.[x] “Everything is lawful,” but not everything builds up. 24 No one should seek his own advantage, but that of his neighbor. 25 [y]Eat anything sold in the market, without raising questions on grounds of conscience, 26 for “the earth and its fullness are the Lord’s.” 27 If an unbeliever invites you and you want to go, eat whatever is placed before you, without raising questions on grounds of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This was offered in sacrifice,” do not eat it on account of the one who called attention to it and on account of conscience; 29 I mean not your own conscience, but the other’s. For why should my freedom be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I partake thankfully, why am I reviled for that over which I give thanks?
31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 32 [z]Avoid giving offense, whether to Jews or Greeks or the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in every way, not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that they may be saved.