1 Corinthians 9:1-13

1 Corinthians 9:1-2-12-14 The Message (MSG)

And don’t tell me that I have no authority to write like this. I’m perfectly free to do this—isn’t that obvious? Haven’t I been given a job to do? Wasn’t I commissioned to this work in a face-to-face meeting with Jesus, our Master? Aren’t you yourselves proof of the good work that I’ve done for the Master? Even if no one else admits the authority of my commission, you can’t deny it. Why, my work with you is living proof of my authority! I’m not shy in standing up to my critics. We who are on missionary assignments for God have a right to decent accommodations, and we have a right to support for us and our families. You don’t seem to have raised questions with the other apostles and our Master’s brothers and Peter in these matters. So, why me? Is it just Barnabas and I who have to go it alone and pay our own way? Are soldiers self-employed? Are gardeners forbidden to eat vegetables from their own gardens? Don’t milkmaids get to drink their fill from the pail? I’m not just sounding off because I’m irritated. This is all written in the scriptural law. Moses wrote, “Don’t muzzle an ox to keep it from eating the grain when it’s threshing.” Do you think Moses’ primary concern was the care of farm animals? Don’t you think his concern extends to us? Of course. Farmers plow and thresh expecting something when the crop comes in. So if we have planted spiritual seed among you, is it out of line to expect a meal or two from you? Others demand plenty from you in these ways. Don’t we who have never demanded deserve even more? But we’re not going to start demanding now what we’ve always had a perfect right to. Our decision all along has been to put up with anything rather than to get in the way or detract from the Message of Christ. All I’m concerned with right now is that you not use our decision to take advantage of others, depriving them of what is rightly theirs. You know, don’t you, that it’s always been taken for granted that those who work in the Temple live off the proceeds of the Temple, and that those who offer sacrifices at the altar eat their meals from what has been sacrificed? Along the same lines, the Master directed that those who spread the Message be supported by those who believe the Message.

1 CORINTHIANS 9:1-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 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. My defense to those who examine me is this: Do we not have a right to eat and drink? Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 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 use the milk of the flock? I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 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? 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. If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 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. 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 from the altar?

1 Corinthians 9:1-13 New Living Translation (NLT)

Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves are proof that I am the Lord’s apostle. This is my answer to those who question my authority. Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? Don’t we have the right to bring a believing wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter does? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves? What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard and doesn’t have the right to eat some of its fruit? What shepherd cares for a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk? Am I expressing merely a human opinion, or does the law say the same thing? For the law of Moses says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” Was God thinking only about oxen when he said this? Wasn’t he actually speaking to us? Yes, it was written for us, so that the one who plows and the one who threshes the grain might both expect a share of the harvest. Since we have planted spiritual seed among you, aren’t we entitled to a harvest of physical food and drink? If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ. Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings.

1 Corinthians 9:1-13 King James Version (KJV)

Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

1 Corinthians 9:1-13 New Century Version (NCV)

I am a free man. I am an apostle. I have seen Jesus our Lord. You people are all an example of my work in the Lord. If others do not accept me as an apostle, surely you do, because you are proof that I am an apostle in the Lord. This is the answer I give people who want to judge me: Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to bring a believing wife with us when we travel as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Peter? Are Barnabas and I the only ones who must work to earn our living? No soldier ever serves in the army and pays his own salary. No one ever plants a vineyard without eating some of the grapes. No person takes care of a flock without drinking some of the milk. I do not say this by human authority; God’s law also says the same thing. It is written in the law of Moses: “When an ox is working in the grain, do not cover its mouth to keep it from eating.” When God said this, was he thinking only about oxen? No. He was really talking about us. Yes, that Scripture was written for us, because it goes on to say: “The one who plows and the one who works in the grain should hope to get some of the grain for their work.” Since we planted spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we should harvest material things? If others have the right to get something from you, surely we have this right, too. But we do not use it. No, we put up with everything ourselves so that we will not keep anyone from believing the Good News of Christ. Surely you know that those who work at the Temple get their food from the Temple, and those who serve at the altar get part of what is offered at the altar.

1 Corinthians 9:1-13 American Standard Version (ASV)

Am I not free? am I not an apostle? have I not seen Jesus our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? If 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. My defence to them that examine me is this. Have we no right to eat and to drink? Have 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? Or I only and Barnabas, have we not a right to forbear working? What 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? Do I speak these things after the manner of men? or saith not the law also the same? For 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, or 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. If we sowed unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we shall reap your carnal things? If 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. Know 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?

1 Corinthians 9:1-13 New International Version (NIV)

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal 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? Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard 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.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?

1 CORINTHIANS 9:1-13 The Amplified Bible (AMP)

Am I not free [unrestrained and exempt from any obligation]? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our [risen] Lord [in person]? Are you not [the result and proof of] my work in the Lord? If I am not [considered] an apostle to others, at least I am one to you; for you are the seal and the certificate and the living evidence of my apostleship in the Lord [confirming and authenticating it]. This is my defense to those who would put me on trial and interrogate me [concerning my authority as an apostle]: Have we not the right to our food and drink [at the expense of the churches]? Have we not the right to take along with us a believing wife, as do the rest of the apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas (Peter)? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to stop doing manual labor [in order to support our ministry]? [Consider this:] Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? Do I say these things only from a man’s perspective? Does the Law not endorse the same principles? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE AN OX WHILE IT IS TREADING OUT THE GRAIN [to keep it from eating the grain].” Is it [only] for oxen that God cares? Or does He speak entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake: The plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the harvest. If we have sown [the good seed of] spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share in this rightful claim over you, do not we even more? However, we did not exercise this right, but we put up with everything so that we will not hinder [the spread of] the good news of Christ. Do you not know that those who officiate in the sacred services of the temple eat from the temple [offerings of meat and bread] and those who regularly attend the altar have their share from the [offerings brought to the] altar?

1 Corinthians 9:1-13 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Am I not completely free and unrestrained? Absolutely! Am I not an apostle? Of course! Haven’t I had a personal encounter with our Jesus face-to-face—and continue to see him? Emphatically yes! Aren’t you all the proof of my ministry in the Lord? Certainly! If others do not recognize me as their apostle, at least you are bound to do so, for now your lives are joined to the Lord. You are the living proof, the certificate of my apostleship. So to those who want to continually criticize my apostolic ministry, here’s my statement of defense. Don’t we apostles have the right to be supported financially? Don’t we have the right to travel accompanied by our believing wives and be supported as a couple, as do the other apostles, such as Peter the Rock and the Lord’s brothers? Of course we do! Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to stop working for a living? Who serves in the military at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not enjoy the grapes for himself? Who would nurture and shepherd a flock and never get to drink its fresh milk? Am I merely giving you my own opinions, or does the Torah teach the same things? For it is written in the law of Moses: You should never put a muzzle over the mouth of an ox while he is treading out the grain. Tell me, is God only talking about oxen here? Doesn’t he also give us this principle so that we won’t withhold support from his workers? It was written so that we would understand that the one spiritually “plowing” and spiritually “treading out the grain” also labors with the expectation of enjoying the harvest. So, if we’ve sowed many spiritual gifts among you, is it too much to expect to reap material gifts from you? And if you have supported others, don’t we rightfully deserve this privilege even more? But as you know, we haven’t used that right. Instead, we have continued to support ourselves so that we would never be a hindrance to the spread of the gospel of Christ. Don’t you know that the priests employed in sacred duty in the temple are provided for by temple resources? And the priests who serve at the altar receive a portion of the offerings?

1 Corinthians 9:1-13 English Standard Version (ESV)

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? 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. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings?