Berean Literal Bible
The Rights of an Apostle
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 I am not an apostle to others, yet at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
3This is my defense to those examining me: 4Have we no authority to eat and to drink? 5Have we no authority to take about a believer as a wife, as also the other apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?a 6Or only I and Barnabas, have we no authority not to work?
7Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who shepherds a flock and does not drink from the milk of the flock?
8Do I speak these things according to man? Or does the Law not also say these things? 9For in the Law of Moses it has been written: “You shall not muzzle an ox treading out grain.”b Is there care for the oxen with God? 10Or is He speaking because of us entirely? For it was written for us, because in hope the one plowing ought to plow, and the one threshing, in hope to partake.
11If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it a great thing if we will reap material things from you? 12If others partake of the authority over you, should we not more? But we did not use this right. Instead, we bear all things, so that we should not place any hindrance to the gospel of Christ.
13Do you not know that those working in the temple eat the things of the temple; those attending at the altar partake in the altar? 14So also, the Lord has prescribed to those proclaiming the gospel to live from the gospel. 15But I have not used any of these. And neither have I written these things that it should be thus with me; for it would be better to me to die, rather than that anyone will make void my boasting.
16For if I preach the gospel, there is no boasting to me, for necessity is laid upon me. But woe be to me if I should not preach the gospel. 17For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if unwillingly, I am entrusted with a stewardship. 18What then is my reward? That in preaching the gospel, I should offer the gospel free of charge, so as not to use up my right in the gospel.
Paul the Servant to All
19For being free from all, I myself became servant to all, so that I might win the more. 20And to the Jews I became like a Jew, so that I might win the Jews. To those under the Law, as under the Law (myself not being under the Law) so that I might win those under the Law. 21To those outside the Law, as outside the Law (not being outside the law of God, but under the law of Christ) so that I might win those outside the Law. 22To 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.
23Now I do all things on account of the gospel, that I might become a fellow partaker with it.
Run Your Race to Win
24Do you not know that those running in a race course, indeed all run, but one receives the prize? Run thus, that you might obtain it.
25Now everyone striving controls himself in all things; then indeed they, that they might receive a perishable crown; but we, an imperishable.
26Therefore I run thus, not as uncertainly; I fight thus, not as beating the air.
27But I batter my body and bring it into servitude, lest having preached to others, I myself might be disqualified.
b 9 Deuteronomy 25:4