1 Corinthians 9:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Do we not have a right to eat and drink?

King James Bible
Have we not power to eat and to drink?

Darby Bible Translation
Have we not a right to eat and to drink?

World English Bible
Have we no right to eat and to drink?

Young's Literal Translation
have we not authority to eat and to drink?

1 Corinthians 9:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Have we not power - (ἐξουσίαν exousian) Have we not the "right." The word "power" here is evidently used in the sense of "right" (compare John 1:12, "margin"); and the apostle means to say that though they had not exercised this "right by demanding" a maintenance, yet it was not because they were conscious that they had no such right, but because they chose to forego it for wise and important purposes.

To eat and to drink - To be maintained at the expense of those among whom we labor. Have we not a right to demand that they shall yield us a proper support? By the interrogative form of the statement, Paul intends more strongly to affirm that they had such a right. The interrogative mode is often adopted to express the strongest affirmation. The objection here urged seems to have been this, "You, Paul and Barnabas, labor with your own hands. Acts 18:3. Other religious teachers lay claim to maintenance, and are supported without personal labor. This is the case with pagan and Jewish priests, and with Christian teachers among us. You must be conscious, therefore, that you are not apostles, and that you have no claim or right to support." To this the answer of Paul is, "We admit that we labor with our own hands. But your inference does not follow. It is not because we have not a right to such support, and it is not because we are conscious that we have no such claim, but it is for a higher purpose. It is because it will do good if we should not urge this right, and enforce this claim." That they had such a right, Paul proves at length in the subsequent part of the chapter.

1 Corinthians 9:4 Parallel Commentaries

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
Now, these words of Paul, I trust, are applicable to many ministers in the present day; to all those who are especially called, who are directed by the inward impulse of the Holy Spirit to occupy the position of gospel ministers. In trying to consider this verse, we shall have three inquiries this morning:--First, What is it to preach the gospel? Secondly, Why is it that a minister has nothing to glorify of? And thirdly, What is that necessity and that woe, of which it is written, "Necessity is laid
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

But He Speaks More Openly in the Rest which He Subjoins...
9. But he speaks more openly in the rest which he subjoins, and altogether removes all causes of doubting. "If we unto you," saith he, "have sown spiritual things, is it a great matter if we shall reap your carnal things?" What are the spiritual things which he sowed, but the word and mystery of the sacrament of the kingdom of heaven? And what the carnal things which he saith he had a right to reap, but these temporal things which are indulged to the life and indigency of the flesh? These however
St. Augustine—Of the Work of Monks.

Hence Arises Another Question; for Peradventure one May Say...
23. Hence arises another question; for peradventure one may say, "What then? did the other Apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas, sin, in that they did not work? Or did they occasion an hindrance to the Gospel, because blessed Paul saith that he had not used this power on purpose that he might not cause any hindrance to the Gospel of Christ? For if they sinned because they wrought not, then had they not received power not to work, but to live instead by the Gospel. But if they had received
St. Augustine—Of the Work of Monks.

Cross References
Acts 20:33
"I have coveted no one's silver or gold or clothes.

1 Corinthians 9:3
My defense to those who examine me is this:

1 Corinthians 9:14
So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.

1 Thessalonians 2:6
nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority.

1 Thessalonians 2:9
For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.

2 Thessalonians 3:8
nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you;

2 Thessalonians 3:9
not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.

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