1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord-? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle to others, yet certainly I am to you; for the seal of my apostleship are you in the Lord. 3 My answer to those who examine me is this: 4 Have we not the right to eat and drink? 5 Have we not the right to lead about a sister wife, as the other apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or, have I only, and Barnabas, no right to leave off working? 7 What man ever serves as a soldier, at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and eats not of its fruit? Or who tends a flock, and eats not of the milk of the flock? 8 Do I speak these things as a man? Or does not the law, also, say the same? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses: You shall not muzzle the ox that treads out the grain? Has God a care for oxen? 10 or does he say it wholly for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, it was written: that he that plows should plow in hope, and that he that thrashes should thrash in hope of partaking. 11 If we have sown, for your benefit, things that are spiritual, is it a great thing that we reap your carnal things? 12 If others partake of this right over you, should not we rather? But we have not used this right: but we endure all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of the Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are engaged about sacred rites have their living from the temple? and that those who attend upon the altar are partakers with the altar? 14 So, also, the Lord has ordained that those who preach the gospel should live by the gospel.
15 But I have availed myself of none of these things; nor do I write these things that it should be so done to me. For it would be better for me to die, than that any one should make my boasting vain. 16 For though I preach the gospel, I have no cause for boasting; for a necessity is laid upon me; yes, alas for me, if I preach not the gospel. 17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if unwillingly, an apostolic stewardship has been intrusted to me. 18 What, then, is my reward? That, while I preach, I may make the gospel of Christ to be without charge, in order that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.
19 For, though I am free from all men, yet have I made my self a servant to all, that I may gain the more. 20 And to the Jews, I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews: to those who are under law, as under law, (not being myself under law,) that I might gain those who are under law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, (not being myself without law to God, but under law to Christ,) that I might gain those who are without law: 22 to the weak I became like one who was weak, that I might gain the weak: I have become all things to all men, that I may, by all means, save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may share its benefits with you.
24 Know you not that all the runners in the race-course run the race, but that one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain the prize. 25 Every combatant in the public games is temperate in all things: they, indeed, that they may obtain a corruptible, but we, that we may obtain an incorruptible crown. 26 I, therefore, so run, not as with uncertainty; I so aim my blows, not as one that beats the air; 27 but I put my body under severe discipline, and bring it into subjection, lest, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.