1 Corinthians 9:1-27

9  Am I not a free man? am I not an apostle? have I not seen our Lord Jesus? are not you in the Lord my work? 2  If for others I am not an apostle, for you anyhow I am; for you in the Lord are the seal of my apostleship. 3  My defense to my examiners is this: 4  Do we not have the right to eat and drink? 5  do we not have the right to take around a wife who is one of the sisters, the same as the rest of the apostles do, and the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas? 6  or do Barnabas and I alone have no right not to work? 7  Whoever serves in the army and pays his own expenses? who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it, or who tends a flock and does not eat any of the milk of the flock? 8  Am I talking like this from a human point of view, or does not the law too say this? 9 * For in the law of Moses it says “You shall not muzzle a threshing beast.” Does God care for the beasts, 10  or is it distinctly on our account that he says it? Why, it was put in on our account, because the plower ought to plow in hope, and the thresher in hope of coming in for a share. 11 * If we sowed the spiritual things for you, is it anything great if we are to harvest the material things from you? 12  If others come in for a share of rights over you, do not we all the more?But we did not use those rights, but are putting up with everything in order that we may not cause any obstruction to the gospel of the Christ. 13 * Do you not know that those who do the sacred work eat the sanctuary’s supplies, those who attend the altar participate with the altar? 14 * in the same way the Lord prescribed to those who were announcing the gospel that they should live by the gospel. 15  But I have not availed myself of any of this. And I did not write this in order that it should come so in my case, for I had better die sooner than—nobody shall make my boast an empty one. 16 * For if I preach the gospel it is no boast for me, for I am under compulsion; for there is a woe for me if I do not. 17 * For if I do this voluntarily I get pay, but if involuntarily I have a stewardship entrusted to me. 18  What is my pay then? that in my preaching I shall render the gospel free of expense, so as to make no use of my rights as preacher. 19  For when I was free from everybody I enslaved myself to everybody in order to get the greatest number; 20 * and I behaved to the Jews like a Jew in order to get Jews, to those under the law like one under the law when I was not myself under the law, in order to get those under the law, 21  to the lawless like a lawless man when I was not lawless for God but law-abiding for Christ, in order to get the lawless; 22  I became anything to anybody in order anyhow to save some. 23  And I do everything on account of the gospel, in order to become a fellow-participant in it. 24  Do you not know that those who run in the races all run, but one gets the prize? Run in such a way that you may arrive. 25  And everybody who goes into the contests masters himself in every respect; they, indeed, aiming to win a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 * Well, then, I run not in aimless fashion; I spar not in the way of shadowboxing, 27 * but bang my body about and make a slave of it, for fear that after I had been herald to others I should myself fail to make good.


9:9 The word translated beast means a bull or cow
9:11 Lit. harvest the carnal things of yours
9:13 Lit. eat the things out of the sanctuary
9:14 Lit. live out of the gospel
9:16 Lit. a compulsion lies upon me
9:17 Lit. I have pay
9:20 Lit. became to the Jews
9:26 Lit. I box not in the way of punching air
9:27 Lit. give black eyes to my body