1 Corinthians 9:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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?

New Living Translation
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?

English Standard Version
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord?

New American Standard Bible
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?

King James Bible
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?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?

International Standard Version
I am free, am I not? I am an apostle, am I not? I have seen Jesus our Lord, haven't I? You are the result of my work in the Lord, aren't you?

NET Bible
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Am I not a son of freedom? Am I not an Apostle? Have I not seen Yeshua The Messiah Our Lord? Are you not my work in my Lord?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't you agree that I'm a free man? Don't you agree that I'm an apostle? Haven't I seen Jesus our Lord? Aren't you the result of my work for the Lord?

Jubilee Bible 2000
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?

King James 2000 Bible
Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not you my work in the Lord?

American King James Version
Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not you my work in the Lord?

American Standard Version
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?

Douay-Rheims Bible
AM not I free? Am not I an apostle? Have not I seen Christ Jesus our Lord? Are not you my work in the Lord?

Darby Bible Translation
Am I not free? am I not an apostle? have I not seen Jesus our Lord? are not *ye* my work in [the] Lord?

English Revised Version
Am I not free? am I not an apostle? have I not seen Jesus our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

Webster's Bible Translation
Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are ye not my work in the Lord?

Weymouth New Testament
Am I not free? Am I not an Apostle? Can it be denied that I have seen Jesus, our Lord? Are not you yourselves my work in the Lord?

World English Bible
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Haven't I seen Jesus Christ, our Lord? Aren't you my work in the Lord?

Young's Literal Translation
Am not I an apostle? am not I free? Jesus Christ our Lord have I not seen? my work are not ye in the Lord?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

9:1-14 It is not new for a minister to meet with unkind returns for good-will to a people, and diligent and successful services among them. To the cavils of some, the apostle answers, so as to set forth himself as an example of self-denial, for the good of others. He had a right to marry as well as other apostles, and to claim what was needful for his wife, and his children if he had any, from the churches, without labouring with his own hands to get it. Those who seek to do our souls good, should have food provided for them. But he renounced his right, rather than hinder his success by claiming it. It is the people's duty to maintain their minister. He may wave his right, as Paul did; but those transgress a precept of Christ, who deny or withhold due support.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 1-27. - The rights and the self denial of an apostle. Verses 1-14. - An apostle's right to maintenance. Verse 1. - Am I not an apostle I am I not free? The order of the best manuscripts is, Am I not free? am I not an apostle? St. Paul designed in this chapter to show that he was not only giving a precept, but setting an example, He told the "strong" Corinthians, who had "knowledge," that they should be ready to abnegate their rights for the good of others, he now wishes to show them that, in a matter which affected his whole life, he had himself abnegated his own rights. Being free and an apostle, he could, if he had chosen, have claimed, as others had done, a right to be supported by the Churches to which he preached, he had thought it more for their good to waive this claim, and therefore he had done so at the cost (as appears in many other passages: 1 Corinthians 4:12; Acts 20:34; 1 Thessalonians 2:9) of bitter hardship to himself. But St. Paul practically "goes off" at the word "apostle." It was so essential for him to vindicate, against the subterranean malignity of hostile partisans, his dignity as an apostle, that in asserting that authority he almost loses sight for the time of the main object for which he had alluded to the fact. Hence much that he says is of the nature of a digression - though an important one - until he resumes the main thread of his subject at 1 Corinthians 11:15. Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Doubtless he mainly refers to the vision on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:8), though he received other visions and revelations also (Acts 18:9; Acts 22:14, 18; 2 Corinthians 12:1, etc.). he had probably not seen Christ during his life on earth (see my 'Life of St. Paul,' 1:73-75). The words are added to remind them that those who boasted of personal knowledge and relation with Jesus - perhaps the Christ party - had no exclusive prerogative. Are not ye my work in the Lord? I am not only an apostle, but emphatically your apostle (Acts 18:1-11; 1 Corinthians 4:15).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Am I not an apostle? am I not free?.... The Syriac, Ethiopic, and Vulgate Latin versions, put the last clause first; so the Alexandrian copy, and some other copies; and many interpreters are of opinion that it is the best order of the words; the apostle proceeding by a gradation from the less to the greater, having respect either to his freedom in the use of things indifferent, as eating of meats, &c. for though he did not think fit to use his liberty, to the wounding of weak consciences, it did not follow therefore that he was not free, as some might suggest from what he had said in the latter part of the foregoing chapter: or he may have respect to his freedom from the ceremonial law in general; for though, for the sake of gaining souls to Christ, he became all things to all men; to the Jews he became a Jew, that he might gain them; yet in such a manner as to preserve his liberty in Christ, without entangling himself with the yoke of bondage. Some have thought he intends, by his liberty, his right to insist upon a maintenance, and that he was no more obliged to work with his hands than other persons, of which he treats at large hereafter; but to me it rather seems that the words stand in their right order; and that, whereas there were some persons that either denied him to be an apostle, or at least insinuated that he was not one, nor was he to be treated as such, he goes upon the proof of it; and the first thing he mentions is his freedom, that is, from men; no man had any authority over him; he was not taught, nor sent forth, nor ordained by men as a minister, but immediately by Jesus Christ, as apostles were; they were set in the first place in the church, and had power to instruct, send forth, and ordain others; but none had power over them; and this being the apostle's case, proved him to be one; he was an apostle, because he was free:

have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? He had a spiritual sight of him by faith, but that did not show him to be an apostle; this is what he had in common with other believers: whether he saw him in the flesh, before his crucifixion and death, is not certain; it is very probable he might; yet this was no more than what Herod and Pontius Pilate did; but he saw him after his resurrection from the dead, to which he refers, 1 Corinthians 15:8 and designs here, as a proof of his apostleship, this being what the apostles were chosen to be eyewitnesses of, Acts 10:41 and publish to the world: now our apostle saw him several times; first at the time of his conversion, next when in a trance at Jerusalem, and again in the castle where the chief captain put him for security, and very probably also when he was caught up into the third heaven:

are not you my work in the Lord? as they were regenerated, converted persons, and were become new creatures; not efficiently, but instrumentally; they were God's workmanship, as he was the efficient cause of their conversion and faith; his only, as an instrument by whom they believed; and therefore he adds, "in the Lord"; ascribing the whole to his power and grace: however, as he had been the happy instrument of first preaching the Gospel to them, and of begetting them again through it; of founding and raising such a large flourishing church as they were; it was no inconsiderable proof of his apostleship.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 9

1Co 9:1-27. He Confirms His Teaching as to Not Putting a Stumbling-block in a Brother's Way (1Co 8:13) BY His Own Example in Not Using His Undoubted Rights as an Apostle, so as to Win Men to Christ.

1. Am I not an apostle? am I not free?—The oldest manuscripts read the order thus, "Am I not free? am I not an apostle?" He alludes to 1Co 8:9, "this liberty of yours": If you claim it, I appeal to yourselves as the witnesses, have not I also it? "Am I not free?" If you be so, much more I. For "am I not an apostle?" so that I can claim not only Christian, but also apostolic, liberty.

have I not seen Jesus—corporeally, not in a mere vision: compare 1Co 15:8, where the fact of the resurrection, which he wishes to prove, could only be established by an actual bodily appearance, such as was vouchsafed to Peter and the other apostles. In Ac 9:7, 17 the contrast between "the men with him seeing no man," and "Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way," shows that Jesus actually appeared to him in going to Damascus. His vision of Christ in the temple (Ac 22:17) was "in a trance." To be a witness of Christ's resurrection was a leading function of an apostle (Ac 1:22). The best manuscripts omit "Christ."

ye my work in the Lord—Your conversion is His workmanship (Eph 2:10) through my instrumentality: the "seal of mine apostleship" (1Co 9:2).

1 Corinthians 9:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Rights of the Apostles
1Am 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, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.…
Cross References
Acts 9:3
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.

Acts 9:17
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord--Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here--has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit."

Acts 14:14
But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:

Acts 18:9
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.

Acts 22:14
"Then he said: 'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth.

Acts 22:18
and saw the Lord speaking to me. 'Quick!' he said. 'Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.'

Acts 23:11
The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome."

Romans 1:1
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God--

1 Corinthians 3:6
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.

1 Corinthians 4:15
Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

1 Corinthians 9:19
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.

1 Corinthians 10:29
I am referring to the other person's conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another's conscience?

1 Corinthians 10:30
If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

1 Corinthians 11:16
If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice--nor do the churches of God.

1 Corinthians 15:8
and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

2 Corinthians 10:7
You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do.

2 Corinthians 12:12
I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.

1 Thessalonians 2:6
We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.

1 Timothy 2:7
And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle--I am telling the truth, I am not lying--and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

2 Timothy 1:11
And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.
Treasury of Scripture

Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not you my work in the Lord?

I not an.

1 Corinthians 9:2,3 If I be not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you: for …

1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of …

1 Corinthians 15:8,9 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time…

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, Go your way: for he is a chosen vessel …

Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said…

Acts 14:4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the …

Acts 22:14,15 And he said, The God of our fathers has chosen you, that you should …

Acts 16:17,18 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the …

Romans 1:1,5 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated …

Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the …

2 Corinthians 11:5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very most chief apostles.

2 Corinthians 12:11,12 I am become a fool in glorying; you have compelled me: for I ought …

Galatians 1:1,15-17 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, …

Galatians 2:7,8 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision …

1 Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the …

2 Timothy 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher …

Titus 1:1-3 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according …

am I not free.

1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant …

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us …

have.

1 Corinthians 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Acts 9:3,5,17 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined …

Acts 18:9 Then spoke the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, …

Acts 22:6-8,14-21 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come near …

Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good …

Acts 26:16-18 But rise, and stand on your feet: for I have appeared to you for this purpose…

are.

1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

1 Corinthians 4:14,15 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you…

Acts 18:8-11 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord …

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

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