1 Corinthians 9:3
Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Mine answer. . . .—The verse refers to what has gone before, and not to what follows. That (emphatic) is my answer to those who examine me as to the truth of my Apostleship. Both the words “answer” and “examine” are in the Greek the technical terms for a legal defence and examination before a tribunal.

1 Corinthians 9:3-5. Mine answer — My apology; to them that examine and censure me — As to this part of my conduct, is this which follows. Have we not power — I and my fellow-labourers; to eat and to drink — At the expense of those among whom we labour? Does our declining the use of a privilege prove that we have it not? Have we not power to lead about with us — In our apostolical travels; a sister, a wife — That is, a wife who is a sister in Christ, a believer in him, and truly pious; and to demand sustenance for her also? as well as other apostles — Who therefore, it is plain, did this: and Peter? Hence we learn, 1st, That Peter continued to live with his wife after he became an apostle; 2d, That he had no rights, as an apostle, which were not common to Paul. “In the eastern countries, when people of condition travelled, they either lodged with their acquaintance, or carried servants with them, who provided such things as were necessary for their accommodation in the public lodging-houses. In the Gentile countries, where the apostles preached, they had no acquaintance or friends with whom they could lodge, and therefore some of them, particularly the brethren of the Lord, and Peter, found it necessary to carry about with them wives to make provision for them, at the expense of those to whom they preached. This right, Paul told the Corinthians, belonged as much to him and to Barnabas as to the other apostles. But to render the gospel free of charge, he neither had used this right, 1 Corinthians 9:12, nor ever would use it, 1 Corinthians 9:15. Wherever he came he maintained himself by his own labour.” — Macknight.

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.Mine answer - Greek Ἡ ἐμὴ ἀπολογία Hē emē apologia. My "apology;" my defense. The same word occurs in Acts 22:1; Acts 25:16; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Philippians 1:7, Philippians 1:17; 2 Timothy 4:16; 1 Peter 3:15; see the note at Acts 22:1. Here it means his answer, or defense against those who sat in judgment on his claims to be an apostle.

To them that do examine me. - To those who "inquire" of me; or who "censure" and condemn me as not having any claims to the apostolic office. The word used here ἀνακρίνω anakrinō is properly a forensic term, and is usually applied to judges in courts; to those who sit in judgment, and investigate and decide in litigated cases brought before them; Luke 23:14; Acts 4:9; Acts 12:19; Acts 24:8. The apostle here may possibly allude to the arrogance and pride of those who presumed to sit as judges on his qualification for the apostolic office. It is not meant that this answer had been given by Paul before this, but that this was the defense which he had to offer.

Is this - This which follows; the statements which are made in the following verses. In these statements (1 Corinthians 9:4-6, etc.) he seems to have designed to take up their objections to his apostolic claims one by one, and to show that they were of no force.

3. to them that … examine me—that is, who call in question mine apostleship.

is this—namely, that you are the seal of mine apostleship.

These words may be understood in a double reference: either to what went before; then the sense is this: To those that examine me about my apostleship, this is my answer; That I have seen the Lord, that you are my work in the Lord, and the seal of my ministry. Or with reference to the words that follow; then the sense is this: If any man examine me, how I myself practise the doctrine which I preach to others, and determine myself as to my liberty for the good and profit of others, I give them the following answer.

Mine answer to them that do examine me is this. These words are referred by some to the following, as if the apostle's answer lay in putting the questions he does in the next verses; but they rather seem to belong to the preceding, and the meaning to be this, that when any persons called in question his apostleship, and examined him upon that head, what he thought fit to say in answer to them, and in defence of himself, was by referring them to the famous church at Corinth, who were as particular persons, and as a church, his work in the Lord, and everyone of them as so many seals of his apostleship; he being the first preacher of the Gospel to them, the founder of them as a church, and the instrument of their conversion. {3} Mine answer to them that do {c} examine me is this,

(3) He adds this by the way, as if he should say, So far it is off, that you may doubt of my apostleship, that I use it to refute those who call it into controversy, by opposing those things which the Lord has done by me among you.

(c) Which like judges examine me and my doings.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. Mine answer to them that do examine me is this] The Judaizers of whom we hear in the Epistle to the Galatians and in Acts 15, are now heard of here also, and this Epistle seems to have stirred them up to a still stronger antagonism, for St Paul is obliged to travel over the same ground in his second Epistle, and with much greater fulness. St Paul, therefore, though he ‘transferred in a figure to himself and Apollos’ what he had said with reference to the Corinthian teachers, had nevertheless in view also some who disparaged his authority. It is worthy of note that the terms answer and examine in the original are the usual legal expressions (Olshausen), as though the Apostle conceived himself to be on his trial.

1 Corinthians 9:3. ) This is an anaphora with[70] ἡ σφραγίς, 1 Corinthians 9:2ἀπολογία, a defence [or answer]) The Roman Pontiff, in his desire to be irresponsible, ἀνυπεύθυνος, assumes more to himself.—τοῖς ἐμὲ ἀνακρίνουσιν, to those who debate my case [examine me]) who have any doubt of my apostleship.

[70] See Append. The frequent repetition of the same word in the beginnings of sections.

Verse 3. - Mine answer; literally, my defence; the word "examine" is the word used for a legal inquiry. The Corinthians had as it were placed him on his defence at the bar of their criticism. Is this. That I was the cause of your conversion. In 2 Corinthians 12:12 he refers to other proofs of his apostolic power. 1 Corinthians 9:3Answer (ἀπολογία)

See on 1 Peter 3:15.

Examine (ἀνακρίνουσιν)

See on Luke 23:14.

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