1 Corinthians 3:5
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.

King James Bible
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

Darby Bible Translation
Who then is Apollos, and who Paul? Ministering servants, through whom ye have believed, and as the Lord has given to each.

World English Bible
Who then is Apollos, and who is Paul, but servants through whom you believed; and each as the Lord gave to him?

Young's Literal Translation
Who, then, is Paul, and who Apollos, but ministrants through whom ye did believe, and to each as the Lord gave?

1 Corinthians 3:5 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Who then is Paul ... - See the notes at 1 Corinthians 1:13. Why should a party be formed which should be named after Paul? What has he done or taught that should lead to this? What eminence has he that should induce any to call themselves by his name? He is on a level with the other apostles; and all are but ministers, or servants, and have no claim to the honor of giving names to sects and parties. God is the fountain of all your blessings, and whoever may have been the "instrument" by whom you have believed, it is improper to regard them as, in any sense the fountain of your blessings, or to arrange yourselves under their name.

But ministers - Our word minister, as now used, does not express the proper force of this word. We in applying it to preachers of the gospel do not usually advert to the original sense of the word, and the reasons why it was given to them. The original word διάκονοι diakonoi denotes properly "servants" in contradistinction from "masters" Matthew 20:26; Matthew 23:11; Mark 9:35; Mark 10:43; and denotes those of course who are in an inferior rank of life. They did not have command, or authority, but were subject to the command of others. It is applied to the preachers of the gospel because they are employed in the service of God; because they go at his command, and are subject to his control and direction. They did not have original authority, nor are they the source of influence or power. The idea here is, that they were the mere instruments or servants by whom God conveyed all blessings to the Corinthians; that they as ministers were on a level, were engaged in the same work, and that therefore, it was improper for them to form parties that should be called by their names.

By whom - Through whom δἰ ὥν di' hōn, by whose instrumentality. They were not the original source of faith, but were the mere servants of God in conveying to them the knowledge of that truth by which they were to be saved.

Even as the Lord gave to every man - God is the original source of faith; and it is by his influence that anyone is brought to believe; see the note at Romans 12:3, note at Romans 12:6. There were diversities of gifts among the Corinthian Christians, as there are in all Christians. And it is here implied:

(1) That all that anyone had was to be traced to God as its author;

(2) That he is a sovereign, and dispenses his favors to all as he pleases;

(3) That since God had conferred those favors, it was improper for the Corinthians to divide themselves into sects and call themselves by the name of their teachers, for all that they had was to be traced to God alone.

This idea, that all the gifts and graces which Christians had, were to be traced to God alone, was one which the apostle Paul often insisted on; and if this idea had been kept before the minds and hearts of all Christians, it would have prevented no small part of the contentions in the church, and the formation of no small part of the sects in the Christian world.

1 Corinthians 3:5 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Temples of God
'Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?'--1 COR. iii. 16 The great purpose of Christianity is to make men like Jesus Christ. As He is the image of the invisible God we are to be the images of the unseen Christ. The Scripture is very bold and emphatic in attributing to Christ's followers likeness to Him, in nature, in character, in relation to the world, in office, and in ultimate destiny. Is He the anointed of God? We are anointed--Christs in Him. Is He the Son of God? We in Him receive the
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Servants and Lords
'All things are yours; 22. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23. And ye are Christ's.'--1 COR. iii. 21-23. The Corinthian Christians seem to have carried into the Church some of the worst vices of Greek--and English--political life. They were split up into wrangling factions, each swearing by the name of some person. Paul was the battle-cry of one set; Apollos of another. Paul and Apollos were very good friends,
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Alcuin on True Missionary Labours.
THE cause of the first failure of the mission amongst the Saxons, may serve as a lesson and a warning to all times. It was this: that they sought to introduce from without what can only be effected from within; that worldly aims were blended with the diffusion of Christianity; that men did not follow the example of the Apostle Paul, who, in preaching the Gospel, allowed the Jews to remain Jews, and the Greeks, Greeks, and knew how to become to the Jews as a Jew, and to the Greeks as a Greek. The
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

Certain it Is, Albeit all this Disputation Go from Side to Side...
38. Certain it is, albeit all this disputation go from side to side, some asserting that it is never right to lie, and to this effect reciting divine testimonies: others gainsaying, and even in the midst of the very words of the divine testimonies seeking place for a lie; yet no man can say, that he finds this either in example or in word of the Scriptures, that any lie should seem a thing to be loved, or not had in hatred; howbeit sometimes by telling a lie thou must do that thou hatest, that what
St. Augustine—On Lying

Cross References
Acts 18:24
Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures.

Acts 19:1
It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples.

Romans 12:6
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;

Romans 15:16
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:10
According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.

1 Corinthians 3:22
whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you,

1 Corinthians 16:12
But concerning Apollos our brother, I encouraged him greatly to come to you with the brethren; and it was not at all his desire to come now, but he will come when he has opportunity.

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