1 Corinthians 9:24
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

New Living Translation
Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!

English Standard Version
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

New American Standard Bible
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

King James Bible
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Don't you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize.

International Standard Version
You know that in a race all the runners run but only one wins the prize, don't you? You must run in such a way that you may be victorious.

NET Bible
Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium compete, but only one receives the prize? So run to win.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Do you not know that those who run in the stadium all run, but there is one who takes the victory? Run in this way so that you may obtain.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't you realize that everyone who runs in a race runs to win, but only one runner gets the prize? Run like them, so that you can win.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Know ye not that those who run in a race indeed all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that ye may obtain it.

King James 2000 Bible
Know you not that they who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain.

American King James Version
Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain.

American Standard Version
Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize ? So run that you may obtain.

Darby Bible Translation
Know ye not that they who run in [the] race-course run all, but one receives the prize? Thus run in order that ye may obtain.

English Revised Version
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run, that ye may attain.

Webster's Bible Translation
Know ye not, that they who run in a race, all run, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Weymouth New Testament
Do you not know that in the foot-race the runners all run, but that only one gets the prize? You must run like him, in order to win with certainty.

World English Bible
Don't you know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run like that, that you may win.

Young's Literal Translation
have ye not known that those running in a race -- all indeed run, but one doth receive the prize? so run ye, that ye may obtain;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

9:24-27 The apostle compares himself to the racers and combatants in the Isthmian games, well known by the Corinthians. But in the Christian race all may run so as to obtain. There is the greatest encouragement, therefore, to persevere with all our strength, in this course. Those who ran in these games were kept to a spare diet. They used themselves to hardships. They practised the exercises. And those who pursue the interests of their souls, must combat hard with fleshly lusts. The body must not be suffered to rule. The apostle presses this advice on the Corinthians. He sets before himself and them the danger of yielding to fleshly desires, pampering the body, and its lusts and appetites. Holy fear of himself was needed to keep an apostle faithful: how much more is it needful for our preservation! Let us learn from hence humility and caution, and to watch against dangers which surround us while in the body.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 24-27. - Exhortation to earnestness as a corollary from the principles here stated. Verse 24. - Know ye not that they which run in a race run all? They as Corinthians would well know the full bearing of every illustration derived from the triennial Isthmian games, which were the chief glory of their city, and which at this period had even thrown the Olympic games into the shade. The words "in a race," are rather, in the stadium. The traces of the great Corinthian stadium, where the games were held and the races run, are still visible on the isthmus. This metaphor of "the race," which has pervaded the common language of Christianity, is also found in Hebrews 12:1; Philippians 3:14; 2 Timothy 4:7. The prize. The bracium was the wreath given to the victor by the judges. The Christian prize is that of "the high calling of God in Jesus Christ," towards which St. Paul himself was pressing forward.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Know ye not that they which run in a race,.... The allusion in this and the following verses is to the Grecian games, which consisted, among other things, of running of races, and of wrestling, combating, and fighting; and which are in this and the context particularly mentioned: and the apostle the rather makes use of these terms, and refers to these things, because they were well known to the Corinthians, and refers to them as well known; for the Isthmian games were performed in their neighbourhood, and doubtless had been seen by many of them, for the Corinthians were presidents of them. The race, or stadium in which they ran, was the space or interval between the place they set out from, and that which they ran unto, and consisted of 125 paces, or 625 feet; it was the space of a furlong, and about the eighth part of a mile: in this they

run all; as many as would, that came around from all parts, striving who should be foremost and get the crown;

but one receives the prize; which was held by the president of the game, or judge of the race, and received by the winner, who was judged to be so by him; and was no other in the Isthmian games, which are most likely to be referred to here, than a crown made of pine tree branches, or leaves, and sometimes of dried parsley (s):

so run that ye may obtain. The apostle accommodates or applies the above account to the Christian's course of life, and exhorts to run in it in like manner as racers do in a race. The "stadium", or "race" plot in the which the believer runs, is this world, or this present life; he is only a runner now and here, for no sooner is the time of his departure come, but his course or race is finished; and, as his forerunner Christ, sits down in full rest from all his labours as at a table, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and on a throne with Christ: the course he runs includes the exercise of every grace, particularly faith, which is expressed not only by going to Christ, walking in him, but by fleeing and running to him; and the discharge of every duty, signified by a running in the way of God's commandments; and, in a word, the whole of a Christian profession, and the holding of it fast, and holding on in it unto the end. The act of "running" is a motion forward, a following on to know the Lord, a going from strength to strength, from one degree of grace to another, a pressing forward toward the mark for the prize; and requires spiritual strength from Christ, and a daily renewal of it; is to be performed with readiness, swiftness, and cheerfulness, in opposition to a slowness of heart to believe, and a slothfulness and sluggishness in the business and service of Christ. The manner of running, "so", that is, as the Grecians ran in their races; they ran "all", so should all believers run, ministers and churches, churches and the several members thereof, old and young professors; so the church determines for herself, her members, and the daughters of Jerusalem, "we will run after thee", Sol 1:4 and they have this encouragement which the others had not, for only one received the prize with the Grecians, but here all, that run well, obtain: again, they ran and strove to be foremost, who should get to the goal first and receive the prize, so should believers be emulous to outdo each other, to go before one another, in faith and holiness; striving in the strength of Christ, who should do most service for him, and bring most glory to him: moreover, as they ran in the way that was marked out for them, not turning to the right hand or the left, so should believers run in the way of salvation, which is Christ; in the way of holiness, faith, and truth; and in the path of duty and ordinances, which are all clearly pointed out unto them: once more, as they while running kept their eye upon the mark, so should believers, while running the race set before them, be continually looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of faith: to say no more, as they kept running till they came to the end of their race, so should the saints; there is no time for stopping or looking back; remember Lot's wife. The end of running is to obtain the prize, the incorruptible crown of eternal life; not that this is to be procured in a way of merit by running; for the best services of the saints have no merit in them, they are previously due to God, nor can they be profitable to him; and besides, are done by the assistance of his own grace and strength; nor is there any proportion between the best works of men, and this crown of glory, life, and righteousness; yea, salvation, or eternal life, is expressly denied to be of him that willeth, or of him that runneth, and is always represented as this crown is, to be a free gift: the meaning of the expression is, that believers are to run on in their Christian race, that they may, and when they are come to the end of it they shall, as he that came foremost in the race did, stretch forth their hand, lay hold on, and receive the crown which the righteous Judge will give them; and is the true import of the word made use of here, and the sense the same with 1 Timothy 6:12. "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life", and denotes that the persevering saint shall enjoy the crown.

(s) Schmid. Prolegam. in Isthm. Pindar, p. 5, 6. & Not. in Olymp. p. 312. Paschalius de Coronis, l. 6. c. 27. p. 441.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

24. Know ye not—The Isthmian games, in which the foot race was a leading one, were of course well known, and a subject of patriotic pride to the Corinthians, who lived in the immediate neighborhood. These periodical games were to the Greeks rather a passion than a mere amusement: hence their suitableness as an image of Christian earnestness.

in a race—Greek, "in a race course."

all … one—Although we knew that one alone could be saved, still it Would be well worth our while to run [Bengel]. Even in the Christian race not "all" who enter on the race win (1Co 10:1-5).

So run, that ye may obtain—said parenthetically. These are the words in which the instructors of the young in the exercise schools (gymnasia) and the spectators on the race course exhorted their pupils to stimulate them to put forth all exertions. The gymnasium was a prominent feature in every Greek city. Every candidate had to take an oath that he had been ten months in training, and that he would violate none of the regulations (2Ti 2:5; compare 1Ti 4:7, 8). He lived on a strict self-denying diet, refraining from wine and pleasant foods, and enduring cold and heat and most laborious discipline. The "prize" awarded by the judge or umpire was a chaplet of green leaves; at the Isthmus, those of the indigenous pine, for which parsley leaves were temporarily substituted (1Co 9:25). The Greek for "obtain" is fully obtain. It is in vain to begin, unless we persevere to the end (Mt 10:22; 24:13; Re 2:10). The "so" expresses, Run with such perseverance in the heavenly course, as "all" the runners exhibit in the earthly "race" just spoken of: to the end that ye may attain the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:24 Additional Commentaries
Context
Run Your Race to Win
24Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.…
Cross References
Romans 6:16
Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

1 Corinthians 9:13
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 9:23
I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Galatians 2:2
I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.

Philippians 3:12
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 2:18
Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Treasury of Scripture

Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain.

they.

Hosea 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, …

run in.

Psalm 19:5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices …

Ecclesiastes 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, …

Jeremiah 12:5 If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then …

so run.

1 Corinthians 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that …

Galatians 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel …

Galatians 5:7 You did run well; who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth?

Philippians 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of …

Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God …

2 Timothy 4:7,8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith…

Hebrews 12:1 Why seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, …

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, …

Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man …

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