1 Corinthians 3:12
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—

King James Bible
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

American Standard Version
But if any man buildeth on the foundation gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble:

English Revised Version
But if any man buildeth on the foundation gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Webster's Bible Translation
Now if any man buildeth upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Weymouth New Testament
And whether the building which any one is erecting on that foundation be of gold or silver or costly stones, of timber or hay or straw--

1 Corinthians 3:12 Parallel
Vincent's Word Studies

If any man build, etc.

It is important to have a clear conception of Paul's figure, which must be taken in a large and free sense, and not pressed into detail. He speaks of the body of truth and doctrine which different teachers may erect on the one true foundation - Jesus Christ. This body is the building. The reference is to a single building, as is shown by 1 Corinthians 3:16; not to a city with different buildings of different materials. The figure of Christ as the foundation of a city does not occur in the New Testament. To this structure different teachers (builders) bring contributions of more or less value, represented by gold, wood, hay, etc. These are not intended to represent specific forms of truth or of error, but none of them are to be regarded as anti-Christian, which would be inconsistent with building on the true foundation. It is plainly implied that teachers may build upon the true foundation with perishable or worthless materials. This appears in the history of the Church in the false interpretations of scripture, and the crude or fanatical preaching of sincere but ignorant men. The whole structure will be brought to a final and decisive test at the day of judgment, when the true value of each teacher's work shall be manifested, and that which is worthless shall be destroyed. The distinction is clearly made between the teacher and the matter of his teaching. The sincere but mistaken teacher's work will be shown to be worthless in itself, but the teacher himself will be saved and will receive the reward of personal character, and not of good building. Luther alluded to this verse in his unfortunate description of the Epistle of James as "an epistle of straw."

Stubble (καλάμην)

Not the same as κάλαμος a reed. See Revelation 11:1; Revelation 21:15; and on 3 John 1:13. This word means a stalk of grain after the ears have been cut off. It was used for thatch in building. Virgil, "Aeneid," 654, alludes to the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus with its roof bristling with stubble.

1 Corinthians 3:12 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Psalm 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Psalm 119:72 The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver.

Proverbs 8:10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

Isaiah 60:17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron...

1 Timothy 4:6 If you put the brothers in remembrance of these things, you shall be a good minister of Jesus Christ...

2 Timothy 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor...

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire...

Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed...


Isaiah 54:11-13 O you afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with fair colors...

Revelation 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like to clear glass.


Proverbs 30:6 Add you not to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar.

Jeremiah 23:28 The prophet that has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that has my word, let him speak my word faithfully...

Matthew 15:6-9 And honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition...

Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brothers, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned...

2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully...

Colossians 2:8,18-23 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world...

1 Timothy 4:1-3,7 Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits...

1 Timothy 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ...

2 Timothy 2:16-18 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase to more ungodliness...

2 Timothy 3:7,13 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth...

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers...

Titus 1:9-11 Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the disputers...

Titus 3:9-11 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain...

Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats...

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam...

Cross References
Jeremiah 23:28
Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD.

1 Corinthians 3:11
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:13
each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.

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