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1Am I not free? am I not an apostle? have I not seen Jesus our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? 2If to others I am not an apostle, yet at least I am to you; for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. 3My defence to them that examine me is this. 4Have we no right to eat and to drink? 5Have we no right to lead about a wife that is a believer, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? 6Or I only and Barnabas, have we not a right to forbear working? 7What soldier ever serveth at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8Do I speak these things after the manner of men? or saith not the law also the same? 9For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. Is it for the oxen that God careth, 10or saith he it assuredly for our sake? Yea, for our sake it was written: because he that ploweth ought to plow in hope, and he that thresheth, to thresh in hope of partaking. 11If we sowed unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we shall reap your carnal things? 12If others partake of this right over you, do not we yet more? Nevertheless we did not use this right; but we bear all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 13Know ye not that they that minister about sacred things eat of the things of the temple, and they that wait upon the altar have their portion with the altar? 14Even so did the Lord ordain that they that proclaim the gospel should live of the gospel. 15But I have used none of these things: and I write not these things that it may be so done in my case; for it were good for me rather to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. 16For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of; for necessity is laid upon me; for woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel. 17For if I do this of mine own will, I have a reward: but if not of mine own will, I have a stewardship intrusted to me. 18What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel without charge, so as not to use to the full my right in the gospel. 19For though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more. 20And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, not being myself under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21to them that are without law, as without law, not being without law to God, but under law to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law. 22To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak: I am become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. 23And I do all things for the gospel’s sake, that I may be a joint partaker thereof. 24Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain. 25And every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore so run, as not uncertainly; so fight I, as not beating the air: 27but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.
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Paul Gives Up His 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? 2If to others I am not an apostle, yet indeed I am to you, for you are my seal of apostleship in the Lord. 3My defense to those who examine me is this: 4Do we not have the right to eat and drink? 5Do we not have the right to take along a sister as wife, like the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6Or do only I and Barnabas not have the right to refrain from working#Literally “not to work”? 7Who ever serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Who#Some manuscripts have “Or who” shepherds a flock and does not drink#Literally “eat” from the milk of the flock? 8I am not saying these things according to a human perspective. Or does the law not also say these things? 9For in the law of Moses it is written, “You must not muzzle an ox while it#*Here “while” is supplied as a component of the participle (“threshing”) which is understood as temporal is threshing.”#A quotation from Deut 25:4 It is not about oxen God is concerned, is it?#*The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here 10Or doubtless does he speak for our sake#Literally “for the sake of us”? For it is written for our sake#Literally “for the sake of us”, because the one who plows ought to plow in hope and the one who threshes ought to do so in hope of a share. 11If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too great a thing if we reap material things from you? 12If others share this right over you, do we not do so even more? Yet we have not made use of this right, but we endure all things, in order that we may not cause any hindrance to the gospel of Christ.
13Do you not know that those performing the holy services eat the things from the temple, and those attending to the altar have a share with the altar? 14In the same way also the Lord ordered those who proclaim the gospel to live from the gospel. 15But I have not made use of any of these rights. And I am not writing these things in order that it may be thus with me. For it would be better to me rather to die than for anyone to deprive me of my reason for boasting. 16For if I proclaim the gospel, it is not to me a reason for boasting, for necessity is imposed on me. For woe is to me if I do not proclaim the gospel. 17For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward, but if I do so unwillingly, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 18What then is my reward? That when I#*Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“proclaim the gospel”) which is understood as temporal proclaim the gospel, I may offer the gospel free of charge, in order not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
19For although I#*Here “although” is supplied as a component of the participle (“am”) which is understood as concessive am free from all people, I have enslaved myself to all, in order that I may gain more. 20I have become like a Jew to the Jews, in order that I may gain the Jews. To those under the law I became as under the law (although I#*Here “although” is supplied as a component of the participle (“am”) which is understood as concessive myself am not under the law) in order that I may gain those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as outside the law (although I#*Here “although” is supplied as a component of the participle (“am”) which is understood as concessive am not outside the law of God, but subject to the law of Christ) in order that I may gain those outside the law. 22To the weak I became weak, in order that I may gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, in order that by all means I may save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, in order that I may become a participant with it.
24Do you not know that those who run in the stadium all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25And everyone who competes exercises self-control in all things. Thus those do so in order that they may receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. 26Therefore I run in this way, not as running aimlessly; I box in this way, not as beating the air. 27But I discipline my body and subjugate it, lest somehow after#*Here “after” is supplied as a component of the participle (“preaching”) which is understood as temporal preaching to others, I myself should become disqualified.