Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

1 Corinthians 3:22

    1 Corinthians 3:22 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

    Webster's Revision

    whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

    World English Bible

    whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come. All are yours,

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:22

    Whether Paul, or Apollos - As if he had said: God designs to help you by all things and persons; every teacher sent from him will become a blessing to you, if you abide faithful to your calling. God will press every thing into the service of his followers. The ministers of the Church of Christ are appointed for the hearers, not the hearers for the ministers. In like manner, all the ordinances of grace and mercy are appointed for them, not they for the ordinances.

    Or the world - The word κοσμος, here, means rather the inhabitants of the world than what we commonly understand by the world itself; and this is its meaning in John 3:16, John 3:17; John 6:33; John 14:31; John 17:21. See particularly John 12:19 : Ὁ κοσμοσοπισω αυτου απηλθεν, the World is gone after him - the great mass of the people believe on him. The Greek word has the same meaning, in a variety of places, both in the sacred and the profane writers, as le monde, the world, literally has in French, where it signifies, not only the system of created things, but, by metonomy, the people - every body, the mass, the populace. In the same sense it is often found in English. The apostle's meaning evidently is: Not only Paul, Apollos, and Kephas, are yours - appointed for and employed in your service; but every person besides with whom you may have any intercourse or connection, whether Jew or Greek, whether enemy or friend. God will cause every person, as well as every thing to work for your good, while you love, cleave to, and obey Him.

    Or life - With all its trials and advantages, every hour of it, every tribulation in it, the whole course of it, as the grand state of your probation, is a general blessing to you: and you have life, and that life preserved in order to prepare for an eternity of blessedness.

    Or death - That solemn hour, so dreadful to the wicked; and so hateful to those who live without God: that is yours. Death is your servant; he comes a special messenger from God for you; he comes to undo a knot that now connects body and soul, which it would be unlawful for yourselves to untie; he comes to take your souls to glory; and he cannot come before his due time to those who are waiting for the salvation of God. A saint wishes to live only to glorify God; and he who wishes to live longer than he can get and do good, is not worthy of life.

    Or things present - Every occurrence in providence in the present life; for God rules in providence as well as in grace.

    Or things to come - The whole order and economy of the eternal world; all in heaven and all in earth are even now working together for your good.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 3:22

    Whether Paul, or Apollos - The sense of this is clear. Whatever advantages result from the piety, self-denials, and labors of Paul, Apollos, or any other preacher of the gospel, are yours - you have the benefit of them. One is as much entitled to the benefit as another; and all partake alike in the results of their ministration. You should therefore neither range yourselves into parties with their names given to the parties, nor suppose that one has any special interest in Paul, or another in Apollos. Their labors belonged to the church in general. they had no partialities - no rivalship - no desire to make parties. They were united, and desirous of promoting the welfare of the whole church of God. The doctrine is, that ministers belong to the church, and should devote themselves to its welfare; and that the church enjoys, in common, the benefits of the learning, zeal, piety, eloquence, talents, example of the ministers of God. And it may be observed, that it is no small privilege thus to be permitted to regard all the labors of the most eminent servants of God as designed for our welfare; and for the humblest saint to feel that the labors of apostles, the self-denials and sufferings, the pains and dying agonies of martyrs, have been for his advantage.

    Or Cephas - Or Peter. John 1:42.

    Or the world - This word is doubtless used, in its common signification, to denote the things which God has made; the universe, the things which pertain to this life. And the meaning of the apostle probably is, that all things pertaining to this world which God has made - all the events which are occurring in his providence were so far theirs, that they would contribute to their advantage, and their enjoyment. This general idea may be thus expressed:

    (1) The world was made by God their common Father, and they have an interest in it as his children, regarding it as the work of His hand, and seeing Him present in all His works. Nothing contributes so much to the true enjoyment of the world - to comfort in surveying the heavens, the earth, the ocean, hills, vales, plants, flowers, streams, in partaking of the gifts of Providence, as this feeling, that all are the works of the Christian's Father, and that they may all partake of these favors as His children.

    (2) the frame of the universe is sustained and upheld for their sake. The universe is kept by God; and one design of God in keeping it is to protect, preserve, and redeem his church and people. To this end He defends it by day and night; He orders all things; He keeps it from the storm and tempest; from flood and fire; and from annihilation. The sun, and moon, and stars - the times and seasons, are all thus ordered, that His church may be guarded, and brought to heaven.

    (3) the course of providential events are ordered for their welfare also, Romans 8:28. The revolutions of kingdoms - the various persecutions and trials, even the rage and fury of wicked people, are all overruled, to the advancement of the cause of truth, and the welfare of the church.

    (4) Christians have the promise of as much of this world as shall be needful for them; and in this sense "the world" is theirs. See Matthew 6:33; Mark 10:29-30; 1 Timothy 4:8, "Godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." And such was the result of the long experience and observation of David, Psalm 37:25, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." See Isaiah 33:16.

    Or life - Life is theirs, because:

    (1) They enjoy life. It is real life to them, and not a vain show. They live for a real object, and not for vanity. Others live for parade and ambition - Christians live for the great purposes of life; and life to them has reality, as being a state preparatory to another and a higher world. Their life is not an endless circle of unmeaning ceremonies - of false and hollow pretensions to friendship - of a vain pursuit of happiness, which is never found, but is passed in a manner that is rational, and sober, and that truly deserves to be called life.

    (2) the various events and occurrences of life shall all tend to promote their welfare, and advance their salvation.

    Death - They have an "interest," or "property" even in death, usually regarded as a calamity and a curse. But it is theirs:

    (1) Because they shall have "peace" and support in the dying hour.

    (2) because it has no terrors for them. It shall take away nothing which they are not willing to resign.

    (3) because it is the avenue which leads to their rest; and it is theirs just in the same sense in which we say that "this is our road" when we have been long absent, and are inquiring the way to our homes.

    continued...