1 Corinthians 4:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;

New Living Translation
We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us.

English Standard Version
and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;

New American Standard Bible
and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;

King James Bible
And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
we labor, working with our own hands. When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;

International Standard Version
We wear ourselves out from working with our own hands. When insulted, we bless. When persecuted, we endure.

NET Bible
We do hard work, toiling with our own hands. When we are verbally abused, we respond with a blessing, when persecuted, we endure,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And we toil as we labor with our hands. They dishonor us and we bless; they persecute us and we endure.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
We wear ourselves out doing physical labor. When people verbally abuse us, we bless them. When people persecute us, we endure it.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and labour, working with our own hands; being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it;

King James 2000 Bible
And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure it:

American King James Version
And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

American Standard Version
and we toil, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And we labour, working with our own hands: we are reviled, and we bless; we are persecuted, and we suffer it.

Darby Bible Translation
and labour, working with our own hands. Railed at, we bless; persecuted, we suffer [it];

English Revised Version
and we toil, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;

Webster's Bible Translation
And labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it;

Weymouth New Testament
Homes we have none. Wearily we toil, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we bear it patiently;

World English Bible
We toil, working with our own hands. When people curse us, we bless. Being persecuted, we endure.

Young's Literal Translation
and labour, working with our own hands; being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:7-13 We have no reason to be proud; all we have, or are, or do, that is good, is owing to the free and rich grace of God. A sinner snatched from destruction by sovereign grace alone, must be very absurd and inconsistent, if proud of the free gifts of God. St. Paul sets forth his own circumstances, ver. 9. Allusion is made to the cruel spectacles in the Roman games; where men were forced to cut one another to pieces, to divert the people; and where the victor did not escape with his life, though he should destroy his adversary, but was only kept for another combat, and must be killed at last. The thought that many eyes are upon believers, when struggling with difficulties or temptations, should encourage constancy and patience. We are weak, but ye are strong. All Christians are not alike exposed. Some suffer greater hardships than others. The apostle enters into particulars of their sufferings. And how glorious the charity and devotion that carried them through all these hardships! They suffered in their persons and characters as the worst and vilest of men; as the very dirt of the world, that was to be swept away: nay, as the offscouring of all things, the dross of all things. And every one who would be faithful in Christ Jesus, must be prepared for poverty and contempt. Whatever the disciples of Christ suffer from men, they must follow the example, and fulfil the will and precepts of their Lord. They must be content, with him and for him, to be despised and abused. It is much better to be rejected, despised, and ill used, as St. Paul was, than to have the good opinion and favour of the world. Though cast off by the world as vile, yet we may be precious to God, gathered up with his own hand, and placed upon his throne.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - Labour, working with our own hands. St. Paul supported himself by the dreary toil and scant earnings of a tent maker, in the express determination to be no burden upon his converts (Acts 18:3; Acts 20:34; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 9:6; 2 Corinthians 11:7, etc.). Such conduct was the more noble because all mechanical trades were looked down upon by the Greeks as a sort of banausia. And though it was repellent and mechanical work to be handling the strong scented black goats' hair all day, yet by this labour he maintained not only himself but also his brother missionaries (Acts 20:34). Being reviled. The early Christians were falsely accused of the most execrable crimes, so that the very name "Christian" was regarded as equivalent to "malefactor" (1 Peter 4:14, 16). We bless. Herein they obeyed the direct precept of our Lord (Matthew 5:44), as well as his example (Luke 23:44; 1 Peter 2:23; 1 Peter 3:9).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And labour, working with our own hands,.... As the apostle did at Corinth, Acts 18:3 and elsewhere; partly to minister to his own necessities, and those of others; and partly that he might not be burdensome to the churches; and also to set an example of diligence and industry to others; though he had a right and power to claim a maintenance of those to whom he ministered.

Being reviled, we bless; as Christ commanded, Matthew 5:44 and the apostle himself directed and exhorted to, Romans 12:14

being persecuted, we suffer it; that is, patiently; neither resisting our persecutors, nor murmuring and repining at our unhappy circumstances; but taking all in good part, as what is the will of God, and will make for his glory.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. working with our own hands—namely, "even unto this present hour" (1Co 4:11). This is not stated in the narrative of Paul's proceedings at Ephesus, from which city he wrote this Epistle (though it is expressly stated of him at Corinth, compare Ac 18:3, 19). But in his address to the Ephesian elders at Miletus (Ac 20:34), he says, "Ye yourselves know that these hands have ministered unto my necessities," &c. The undesignedness of the coincidence thus indirectly brought out is incompatible with forgery.

1 Corinthians 4:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
Do Not Be Proud
11To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; 12and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
Cross References
John 15:20
Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

Acts 18:3
and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Romans 12:14
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

2 Corinthians 11:8
I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you.

Ephesians 4:28
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

1 Peter 3:9
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
Treasury of Scripture

And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

labour.

1 Corinthians 9:6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?

Acts 18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he stayed with them, and worked: …

Acts 20:34 Yes, you yourselves know, that these hands have ministered to my …

1 Thessalonians 2:9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and travail: for laboring night …

2 Thessalonians 3:8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nothing; but worked with labor …

1 Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust …

being reviled.

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do …

Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which spitefully use you.

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they …

Acts 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this …

Romans 12:14,20 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not…

1 Peter 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he …

1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise …

Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed …

being persecuted.

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and …

1 Peter 3:14 But and if you suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are you: and …

1 Peter 4:12-14,19 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is …

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