1 AM I not an apostle? am I not a free man? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle unto others, doubtless I am to you: for ye are the seal of my apostolic mission in the Lord. 3 My apology to those who interrogate me is this, 4 Have we not power to eat and drink? 5 Have we not power to carry about with us a sister wife, as do also the other apostles, even the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 or I alone and Barnabas, have we not power to forbear labour? 7 Who goeth at any time to war at his own expences? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit of it? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8 Speak I these things [rationally] as a man, or doth not the law speak the same things? 9 for in the law of Moses it is written, "Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox which treadeth out the corn." Doth God take care for oxen? 10 or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes doubtless it was written; because he who ploweth ought to plow in hope, and he who soweth in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we should reap your corporal things? 12 if others partake of this power over you, ought not we much more? But we have not used this power, and we suffer all things, that we might not put any obstruction in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Know ye not that they who are employed about the holy things, are fed from the temple? and they who serve at the altar, partake with the altar? 14 So also the Lord hath commanded to those who preach the gospel, that they should live by the gospel.
15 But I have used nothing of these things, nor have I written indeed these things, that it should be so done respecting me; for it would become me to die rather than that any man should make my glorying void. 16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me, yea verily woe is to me if I preach not the gospel. 17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if unwillingly, I am entrusted with the dispensation [of it]. 18 What then is my reward? That when I preach the gospel, I may put the gospel of Christ to no expence, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men, I have made myself the servant of all, that I might gain the more. 20 And I became to the Jews as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to those under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not as being without law to God, but under the law to Christ), that I might gain those who were without law. 22 I became to the weak as weak, that I might gain the weak; I became all things to all men, that by every means I might save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be a partaker of it with you.
24 Know ye not that they who run on the course, all run indeed, yet but one obtaineth the price? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every one who contendeth [in the games] is temperate in all things: they indeed therefore do it that they may receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run not as uncertainly; so do I exercise with my fists, not as striking the air: 27 but I beat down my body, and bring it into subjection, that I may not by any means, after having preached to others, myself become reprobate.