1 Corinthians 3:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task.

New Living Translation
After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God's servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.

English Standard Version
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.

New American Standard Bible
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.

King James Bible
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given.

International Standard Version
Who is Apollos, anyhow? Or who is Paul? They're merely servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord gave to each of us his task.

NET Bible
What is Apollos, really? Or what is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, and each of us in the ministry the Lord gave us.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For who is Paulus or who is Apollo, but Ministers by whom you have believed? And each man is according to what THE LORD JEHOVAH has given him.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Who is Apollos? Who is Paul? They are servants who helped you come to faith. Each did what the Lord gave him to do.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Who then is Paul? and who is Apollos? but servants by whom ye believed, each one according to that which the Lord gave.

King James 2000 Bible
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

American King James Version
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

American Standard Version
What then is Apollos? and what is Paul? Ministers through whom ye believed; and each as the Lord gave to him.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The ministers of him whom you have believed; and to every one as the Lord hath given.

Darby Bible Translation
Who then is Apollos, and who Paul? Ministering servants, through whom ye have believed, and as the Lord has given to each.

English Revised Version
What then is Apollos? and what is Paul? Ministers through whom ye believed; and each as the Lord gave to him.

Webster's Bible Translation
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

Weymouth New Testament
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are just God's servants, through whose efforts, and as the Lord granted power to each, you accepted the faith.

World English Bible
Who then is Apollos, and who is Paul, but servants through whom you believed; and each as the Lord gave to him?

Young's Literal Translation
Who, then, is Paul, and who Apollos, but ministrants through whom ye did believe, and to each as the Lord gave?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:5-9 The ministers about whom the Corinthians contended, were only instruments used by God. We should not put ministers into the place of God. He that planteth and he that watereth are one, employed by one Master, trusted with the same revelation, busied in one work, and engaged in one design. They have their different gifts from one and the same Spirit, for the very same purposes; and should carry on the same design heartily. Those who work hardest shall fare best. Those who are most faithful shall have the greatest reward. They work together with God, in promoting the purposes of his glory, and the salvation of precious souls; and He who knows their work, will take care they do not labour in vain. They are employed in his husbandry and building; and He will carefully look over them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 5-15. - The one foundation and the diverse superstructure. Verse 5. - Who then is Paul? The better reading is what? (א, A, B). The neuter would imply a still greater depreciation of the importance of human ministers. Ministers. The same word as that rendered "deacons" (diakonoi); "ministers of Christ on your behalf" (Colossians 1:7). Through whom ye believed. Through whom," not "in whom" (Bengel). They were merely the instruments of your conversion. In the second Epistle (2 Corinthians 3:3) he calls them "the epistle of Christ ministered by us written... with the Spirit of the living God." As the Lord gave to him. The gifts differ according to the grace given (Romans 12:6).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Who then is Paul? and who is Apollos?.... The apostle's name being used, and he a party concerned, could speak the more freely upon this head, and ask what they thought of himself, and other preachers, whether they were more than men? what authority and power they had, whether they looked upon them as the authors of a new religion, or the founders of a new sect, that were to go by their names? and directs them what light to consider them in, how that they were

but ministers by whom ye believed: they were servants to Christ and to his churches, and not lords; they did not assume any dominion over men, or pretend to lord it over God's heritage; there is but one Lord and master, and that is Christ, whom they served, and taught others to obey; they were only instrumental in the hand of God, by whom souls were directed, encouraged, and brought to believe in Christ; as for faith itself, that is the gift of God, the operation of his power, and of which Christ is the author and finisher; they laid no claim to this as their work, or imagined they had any dominion over it; that they could either implant it, or increase it of themselves; but thought it honour enough done them, that it came by their ministry; and that that, and the joy of it, were helped and furthered by their means: the Vulgate Latin version reads, "his ministers whom ye believed"; that is, the ministers of Christ, whom they believed in; not in the ministers, but Christ; the Arabic version renders it, "but two ministers, by whom ye believed"; referring to Paul and Apollos, who are meant:

even as the Lord gave to every man; gifts to minister with, and success to his ministry; making him useful to this and the other man, to bring him to the faith of Christ; all which is owing to the free grace and sovereign good will and pleasure of God.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. Who then—Seeing then that ye severally strive so for your favorite teachers, "Who is (of what intrinsic power and dignity) Paul?" If so great an apostle reasons so of himself, how much more does humility, rather than self-seeking, become ordinary ministers!

Paul … Apollos—The oldest manuscripts read in the reverse order, "Apollos," &c. Paul." He puts Apollos before himself in humility.

but ministers, &c.—The oldest manuscripts have no "but." "Who is Apollos … Paul? (mere) ministers (a lowly word appropriate here, servants), by whom (not "in whom"; by whose ministrations) ye believed."

as … Lord gave to every man—that is, to the several hearers, for it was God that "gave the increase" (1Co 3:6).

1 Corinthians 3:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul and Apollos God's Fellow Workers
4For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not mere men? 5What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.…
Cross References
Acts 18:24
Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.

Acts 19:1
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples

Romans 12:6
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;

Romans 15:16
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:10
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.

1 Corinthians 3:22
whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all are yours,

1 Corinthians 16:12
Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.

2 Corinthians 3:3
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

2 Corinthians 3:6
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 4:1
Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.

2 Corinthians 5:18
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

2 Corinthians 6:4
Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;

2 Corinthians 11:23
Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.

Ephesians 3:7
I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power.

Colossians 1:23
if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Colossians 1:25
I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness--

1 Timothy 1:12
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.
Treasury of Scripture

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

ministers.

1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither is he that plants any thing, neither he that waters; …

1 Corinthians 4:1,2 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards …

Luke 1:2 Even as they delivered them to us, which from the beginning were …

Romans 10:14,15 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and …

2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also has made us able ministers of the new testament; not of …

2 Corinthians 4:5,7 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves …

2 Corinthians 6:1,4 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that you …

2 Corinthians 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors …

even.

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given to me, as a wise master …

1 Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against …

1 Corinthians 12:4-11,28 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit…

Matthew 25:15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; …

John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given …

Romans 12:3-6 For I say, through the grace given to me, to every man that is among …

1 Peter 4:10 As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one …

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