1 Am I not free? am I not an apostle? have I not seen the Lord Jesus? are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle to others, but I am to you at least: for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. 3 My defence to those calling me in question is this. 4 Have we not a right to eat and drink? 5 Have we not a right to lead about a sister as a wife, as the other apostles also, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Have I and Barnabas alone not the right to forbear working? 7 Whoever goes to war at his own charges? who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? or who shepherdizes a flock, and does not eat of the milk of the flock? 8 Whether do I speak these things according to a man? or does not the law indeed say these things? 9 For in the law of Moses it has been written, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that plows. Is there a care to God for oxen, 10 or does he speak it altogether on account of us? For it was written on account of us, That the one plowing ought to plow in hope, and the one threshing in hope of partaking. 11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 12 If others partake of your bounty, shall not we the more? But we have not used this privilege, but we bear all things, in order that we may not give a hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those working in the sacrifices eat those things of the temple; and those serving the altar partake of the altar? 14 So also the Lord has commanded those preaching the gospel to live of the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things. But I have not written these things that it may be so in me: for it is good for me rather to die than that any one shall make void my boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, there is no boasting to me; for necessity is laid upon me; for woe is unto me, if I may not preach the gospel. 17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward: but if unwillingly, I have been intrusted with a dispensation. 18 Then what is my reward? that preaching the gospel, I may render the gospel free from charge, in order that I may not use my right in the gospel.
19 For being free from all, I rendered myself servant to all, that I may gain the more. 20 And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I may gain the Jews; to those under the law, as under the law, not myself being under law, that I may gain those under the law; 21 to those without law, I became as without law, not being without the law of God, but under the law of Christ, that I may gain those without law. 22 To the weak I became as weak, that I may gain the weak. I became all things to all men, that I may indeed save some. 23 But I do all these things for the sake of the gospel, that I may be its fellow-partaker.
24 Do you not know that those running in the stadium, indeed all run, and one receives the prize? So run, that you may receive it. 25 But every one contesting is abstinent in all things, they indeed also that they may receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly, do I thus fight not as beating the air: 27 but I keep my body under, and enslave it, lest having preached the gospel to others, I myself may become disapproved.