1Whether I am not free? Am I not (an) apostle? Whether I saw not Jesus Christ, our Lord? Whether ye be not my work in the Lord? 2And though to others I am not (an) apostle, but nevertheless to you I am; for ye be the little sign of mine apostlehood in the Lord.
3My defence to them that ask me, that is. [My defence to them that ask me, is this.] 4Whether we have not (the) power to eat and drink? 5Whether we have not (the) power to lead about a woman, a sister, as also other apostles, and (the) brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? (and Peter?) 6Or I alone and Barnabas have not (the) power to work these things? 7Who travaileth any time with his own wages? (Who ever laboureth any time at his own expense?) Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of his fruit? Who keepeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? [+Who fighteth, or holdeth knighthood, anytime with his own soldiers? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruits? Who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?]
8Whether after man I say these things? whether also the law saith not these things? 9For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not bind [up] the mouth of the ox that thresheth. Whether of oxen is (a) charge to God? (Whether oxen be of any concern to God?) 10Whether for us he saith these things? For why those be written for us; for he that eareth, oweth to ear in hope, and he that thresheth, in hope to take (some) fruits. (Whether he saith these things for us? Yea, they be written for us; for he that ploweth, ought to plow in hope, and he that reapeth, in hope to take some fruits.) 11If we sow spiritual things to you, is it great, if we reap your fleshly things? (If we sow spiritual things for you, is it too much to expect, that we harvest your fleshly things?) 12If others be partners of your power, why not rather we? But we use not this power, but we suffer all things, that we give no hindering to the evangel of Christ. (If ye give others this right, why not also to us? But we do not need this right, rather we endure everything, so that we do not hinder the Gospel, or the Good News, of the Messiah.) 13Know ye not, that they that work in the temple, eat those things that be of the temple, and they that serve to the altar, be partners of the altar? 14So the Lord ordained to them that tell the gospel, to live off the gospel. (So the Lord hath ordained for those who tell the Gospel, to live from the Gospel.)
15But I used none of these things; and I wrote not these things, that they be done so in me (so that they be done for me); for it is good rather for me to die, than that any man should make my rejoicing, (or my glory), void. 16For if I preach the gospel, glory is not to me (there is no boasting, or any glory, for me), for need-like I must do it; for woe to me, if I preach not the gospel. 17But if I do this thing willfully, (or willingly), I have meed, (But if I do this of my own free will, I have a reward); but if against my will, dispensing, (or a dispensation), is betaken to me. 18What then is my meed? (Then what is my reward?) That I preaching the gospel, put the gospel without others' cost, (or without other’s expense, or sustenance therefore), that I use not my power in the gospel [that I mis-use not my power in the gospel] (so that I do not mis-use my power in the Gospel).
19For why when I was free of all men, I made me (a) servant of all men (I made myself a servant to all men), to win the more men [(so) that I should win more men]. 20And (so) to (the) Jews I am made as a Jew, to win the Jews; to them that be under the law, as (if) I were under the law, when I was not under the law, to win them that were under the law; 21to them that were without (the) law, as (if) I were without (the) law, when I was not without [the] law of God, but I was in the law of Christ, to win them that were without [the] law (but I was in the law of the Messiah, to win those who were without the Law, or outside of the Law). 22I am made sick to sick men, to win sick men; to all men I am made all things, to make all men safe. (I am made frail and weak, to frail and weak men, to win frail and weak men; to all men I am made all things, to save all men.) 23But I do all things for the gospel, (so) that I be made (a) partner of it.
24Know ye not, that they that run in a furlong, all run, but one taketh the prize? So run ye, that ye catch (it) (So run, so that ye win it). 25Each man that striveth in (a) fight, abstaineth him from all things; and they, that they take a corruptible crown (and they, so that they receive, or that they win, a corruptible crown), but we an uncorrupt (one). 26Therefore I run so, not as to an uncertain thing; thus I fight, not as beating the air; 27but I chastise my body, and bring it into servage, (or into servitude, or into slavery); lest peradventure when I preach to others, I myself be made reprovable.
Wycliffe’s Old Testament
Wycliffe’s New Testament
and JOHN PURVEY
A modern-spelling edition of their
14TH century Middle English translation,
the first complete English vernacular version,
with an Introduction by
TERENCE P. NOBLE
Used by Permission