1 Corinthians 9
Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary - Alford
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?
'9:1-27.] He digressively illustrates the spirit of self-denial which he professed in the resolution of ch. 8:13,—by contrasting his rights as an Apostle with his actual conduct in abstaining from demanding them (vv. 1-22). This self-denying conduct he further exemplifies, vv. 23-27, for their imitation. See Stanley’s introductory note; and Conyb. and Howson, vol. i. pp. 61, 457, edn. 2.

1.] He sets forth, (1) his independence of men (contrast ver. 19); (2) his apostolic office (for the order, see var. readd.):—(3) his dignity as an Apostle, in having been vouchsafed a sight of Christ Jesus our Lord;—(4) his efficiency in the office, as having converted them to God.

ἐλεύθ.] So that the resolution of ch. 8:13 is not necessitated by any dependence on my part on the opinion of others.

ἑώρακα] Not, during the life of our Lord on earth, as Schrader, nor is such an idea supported by 2Corinthians 5:16; see note there;—but, in the appearance of the Lord to him by the way to Damascus (Acts 9:17; ch. 15:8: see Neand. Pfl. u. Leit. p. 151, note); and also, secondarily, in those other visions and appearance,—recorded by him, Acts 18:9 (?), 22:18,—and possibly on other occasions since his conversion. οὐ μικρὸν δὲ καὶ τοῦτο ἀξίωμα ἦν, Chrys. Hom. xxi. p.180.

ἐν κυρίῳ is not a mere humble qualification of τὸ ἔργον μου, as Chrys. ib., τουτέστι τοῦ θεοῦ τὸ ἔργον ἐστίν, οὐκ ἐμοῦ,—but designates, as elsewhere, the element, in which the work is done: they were his work as an Apostle, i.e. as the servant of the Lord enabled by the Lord, and so in the Lord. See ch. 4:15.

2.] At least my apostleship cannot be denied by you of all men, who are its seal and proof.

εἰ.… οὐκ εἰμί] οὐκ, because it belongs closely to the hypothesis: ‘if I am no-Apostle,’ see ch. 7:9.

ἄλλοις, to others, i.e. in the estimation of others.

ἀλλά γε, yet at least, is stronger than ἀλλά alone. The particle shews that the sentiment which it introduces has more weight than the other to which the ἀλλά is a reply. See Hartung, Partikellehre, i. 385. Meyer (after Klotz) remarks that “in the classics ἀλλά γε is never found without one or more words intervening:” those words being emphatic: e.g. Aristoph. Nub. 399, πῶς οὐχὶ Σίμωνʼ ἐνέπρησεν.… ἀλλὰ τὸν αὑτοῦ γε νεὼν βάλλει

Henry Alford - Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

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