1 Corinthians 9:22
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

New Living Translation
When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.

English Standard Version
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

Berean Study Bible
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means I might save some of them.

Berean Literal Bible
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all these things to all, so that by all means I might save some.

New American Standard Bible
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.

King James Bible
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some.

International Standard Version
To the weak I became weak in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some of them.

NET Bible
To the weak I became weak in order to gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some.

New Heart English Bible
To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I was with the weak as weak that I might gain the weak. I was everything to every person that I might give life to every person.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I became like a person weak in faith to win those who are weak in faith. I have become everything to everyone in order to save at least some of them.

New American Standard 1977
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.

Jubilee Bible 2000
To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all things to everyone, that I might by all means save some.

King James 2000 Bible
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

American King James Version
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

American Standard Version
To 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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I became all things to all men, that I might save all.

Darby Bible Translation
I became to the weak, [as] weak, in order that I might gain the weak. To all I have become all things, in order that at all events I might save some.

English Revised Version
To 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak: I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Weymouth New Testament
To the weak I have become weak, so as to gain the weak. To all men I have become all things, in the hope that in every one of these ways I may save some.

World English Bible
To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.

Young's Literal Translation
I became to the infirm as infirm, that the infirm I might gain; to all men I have become all things, that by all means I may save some.
Study Bible
Paul the Servant to All
21To those without the Law I became like one without the Law (though I am not outside the law of God but am under the law of Christ), to win those without the Law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means I might save some of them. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.…
Cross References
Romans 11:14
in the hope that I may provoke my own people to jealousy and save some of them.

Romans 14:1
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on his opinions.

Romans 14:2
For one man has faith to eat all things, while another, who is weak, eats only vegetables.

Romans 15:1
We who are strong ought to bear with the shortcomings of the weak and not to please ourselves.

Romans 15:2
Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

1 Corinthians 9:23
I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.

1 Corinthians 10:33
just as I try to please everyone in all I do. For I am not seeking my own good, but the good of many, that they may be saved.

2 Corinthians 11:29
Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with grief?
Treasury of Scripture

To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

To the weak.

1 Corinthians 8:13 Why, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while …

Romans 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, …

2 Corinthians 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you which are spiritual, …

I am.

1 Corinthians 10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, …

that I might by. See on ver.

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

1 Corinthians 7:16 For what know you, O wife, whether you shall save your husband? …

Romans 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, …

(22) To the weak.--We can scarcely take this (as some do) to refer to weak Christians, of whom he has spoken in 1 Corinthians 8. The whole passage treats of the attitude which the Apostle assumed towards various classes outside the Christian Church, that he might gain them as converts. The words "I became," which have introduced the various classes in 1Corinthians 9:20, are here again repeated, and this passage seems to be an explanation and reiteration of what had gone before. "It was to the weak points (not to the strong points) of Jews, proselytes, and Gentiles that I assimilated myself. To the weak ones among all these classes I became weak, that I might gain those weak ones."

I am made all things to all. . . .--Better, I am become all things to all men that I should save at least some. Although he had thus accommodated himself, so far as was possible, consistently with Christian duty, to the weaknesses of all, he could only hope to win some of them. The natural climax would have been--"I become all things to all men that I might win all." But the Apostle's humility could not let him dare to hope for so great a reward as that. All the self-sacrifice he could make was necessary to gain "at all events some," and that would be his ample reward. The word "save" means "win over to Christianity," as in 1Corinthians 7:16, and is used here instead of the previous word "gain," being repeated to prevent any possible perversion of the Apostle's meaning as to "gaining men." His subject was not, as enemies might suggest, to win them to himself--but to Christ.

Verse 22. - To the weak. His whole argument here is a plea for condescension to the infirmities of weak converts. A similar condescension to their prejudices might be necessary to win them to Christianity at all (1 Corinthians 8:13; "We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves," Romans 15:1). St. Paul often touches on our duties to weak brethren (1 Corinthians 8:7; Romans 14:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Acts 20:35). All things to all men. He repeats the same principle in 1 Corinthians 10:33, "I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved;" and once more, at the end of his course (2 Timothy 2:10). This condescension laid him open to the malicious attacks of religious enemies (Galatians 1:10). But not on that account would St. Paul ever be led to abandon the fruitful aid of that universal sympathy and tolerance which is one of the best tests of Christian love. That I might by all means save some. He adds this explanation of the motive of his condescension to various scruples συγατάβασις) lest any should accuse him of men pleasing, as some of his Galatian opponents had done (Galatians 1:10). In his desire to win souls he acted with the wisdom and sympathy taught by experience, suppressing himself. To the weak became I as weak,.... That is, to weak Christians, who were weak in faith, and had not such clear knowledge of Gospel liberty, and therefore scrupled the eating of some sorts of meat, and particularly meats offered to idols; and the apostle so far consulted the peace and edification of these weak brethren, and so far complied with them, and became as one of them, that, rather than offend them, he determined to eat no meat while the world stood:

that I might gain the weak; promote their edification and welfare, who otherwise might be stumbled, be in danger of falling from, and laid under a temptation to desert the faith of the Gospel:

I am made all things to all men; which is to be understood, as in all the other instances of his being so, not in cases and things criminal and sinful, contrary to the moral law, and the dictates of his own conscience, subversive of the Gospel of Christ, and of the order and discipline of it, but in cases and things of an indifferent nature:

that I might by all means save some; that is, that he might be the means of saving some of Jews and Gentiles, and of all sorts of men; by preaching the Gospel of salvation to them, and by directing them to Christ, the only Saviour of lost sinners; thus he explains what he means by so often saying that he might gain them. 22. gain the weak—that is, establish, instead of being a stumbling-block to inexperienced Christians (1Co 8:7) Ro 14:1, "Weak in the faith." Alford thinks the "weak" are not Christians at all, for these have been already "won"; but those outside the Church, who are yet "without strength" to believe (Ro 5:6). But when "weak" Christians are by the condescending love of stronger brethren kept from falling from faith, they are well said to be "gained" or won.

by all means … some—The gain of even "some" is worth the expenditure of "all means." He conformed himself to the feelings of each in the several classes, that out of them all he might gain some.9:15-23 It is the glory of a minister to deny himself, that he may serve Christ and save souls. But when a minister gives up his right for the sake of the gospel, he does more than his charge and office demands. By preaching the gospel, freely, the apostle showed that he acted from principles of zeal and love, and thus enjoyed much comfort and hope in his soul. And though he looked on the ceremonial law as a yoke taken off by Christ, yet he submitted to it, that he might work upon the Jews, do away their prejudices, prevail with them to hear the gospel, and win them over to Christ. Though he would transgress no laws of Christ, to please any man, yet he would accommodate himself to all men, where he might do it lawfully, to gain some. Doing good was the study and business of his life; and, that he might reach this end, he did not stand on privileges. We must carefully watch against extremes, and against relying on any thing but trust in Christ alone. We must not allow errors or faults, so as to hurt others, or disgrace the gospel.
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