New American Standard Bible
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?
King James Bible
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?
Darby Bible Translation
Am I not free? am I not an apostle? have I not seen Jesus our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
World English Bible
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Haven't I seen Jesus Christ, our Lord? Aren't you my work in the Lord?
Young's Literal Translation
Am not I an apostle? am not I free? Jesus Christ our Lord have I not seen? my work are not ye in the Lord?
1 Corinthians 9:1 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Am I not an apostle? - This was the point to be settled; and it is probable that some at Corinth had denied that he could be an apostle, since it was requisite, in order to that, to have seen the Lord Jesus; and since it was supposed that Paul had not been a witness of his life, doctrines, and death.
Am I not free? - Am I not a free man; have I not the liberty which all Christians possess, and especially which all the apostles possess? The "liberty" referred to here is doubtless the privilege or right of abstaining from labor; of enjoying as others did the domestic relations of life; and of a support as a public minister and apostle. Probably some had objected to his claims of apostleship that he had not used this right, and that he was conscious that he had no claim to it. By this mode of interrogation, he strongly implies that he was a freeman, and that he had this right.
Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? - Here it is implied, and seems to be admitted by Paul, that in order to be an "apostle" it was necessary to have seen the Saviour. This is often declared expressly; see the note at Acts 1:21-22. The reason of this was, that the apostles were appointed to be witnesses of the life, doctrines, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and that in their "being witnesses" consisted the uniqueness of the apostolic office. That this was the case is abundantly manifest from Matthew 28:18-19; Luke 24:48; Acts 1:21-22; Acts 2:32; Acts 10:39-41. Hence, it was essential, in order that anyone should be such a witness, and an apostle, that he should have seen the Lord Jesus. In the case of Paul, therefore, who was called to this office after the death and resurrection of the Saviour, and who had not therefore had an opportunity of seeing and hearing him when living, this was provided for by the fact that the Lord Jesus showed himself to him after his death and ascension, in order that he might have this qualification for the apostolic office, Acts 9:3-5, Acts 9:17. To the fact of his having been thus in a miraculous manner qualified for the apostolic office, Paul frequently appeals, and always with the same view that it was necessary to have seen the Lord Jesus to qualify one for this office, Acts 22:14-15; Acts 26:16; 1 Corinthians 15:8. It follows from this, therefore, that no one was an apostle in the strict and proper sense who had not seen the Lord Jesus. And it follows, also, that the apostles could have no successors in that which constituted the uniqueness of their office; and that the office must have commenced and ended with them.
Are not ye my work in the Lord? - Have you not been converted by my labors, or under my ministry; and are you not a proof that the Lord, when I have been claiminG to be an apostle, has owned me "as an apostle," and blessed me in this work? God would not give his sanction to an impostor, and a false pretender; and as Paul had labored there as an apostle, this was an argument that he had been truly commissioned of God. A minister may appeal to the blessing of God on his labors in proof that he is sent of Him. And one of the best of all arguments that a man is sent from God exists where multitudes of souls are converted from sin, and turned to holiness, by his labors. What better credentials than this can a man need that he is in the employ of God? What more consoling to his own mind? What more satisfactory to the world?
Library'Concerning the Crown'
'They do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we are incorruptible.'--1 COR. ix. 25. One of the most famous of the Greek athletic festivals was held close by Corinth. Its prize was a pine-wreath from the neighbouring sacred grove. The painful abstinence and training of ten months, and the fierce struggle of ten minutes, had for their result a twist of green leaves, that withered in a week, and a little fading fame that was worth scarcely more, and lasted scarcely longer. The struggle and the discipline …
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)
Preach the Gospel
But He Speaks More Openly in the Rest which He Subjoins...
Hence Arises Another Question; for Peradventure one May Say...
As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;
So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out
And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent;
"And he said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth.
and I saw Him saying to me, 'Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.'
But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, "Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also."
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