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1 Corinthians 9:1

    1 Corinthians 9:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not you my work in the Lord?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Am I not free? am I not an Apostle? have I not seen Jesus our Lord? are you not my work in the Lord?

    Webster's Revision

    Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?

    World English Bible

    Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Haven't I seen Jesus Christ, our Lord? Aren't you my work in the Lord?

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Am I not free? am I not an apostle? have I not seen Jesus our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

    Definitions for 1 Corinthians 9:1

    Apostle - Messenger; one who has been sent.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 9:1

    Am I not an apostle? - It is sufficiently evident that there were persons at Corinth who questioned the apostleship of St. Paul; and he was obliged to walk very circumspectly that they might not find any occasion against him. It appears also that he had given them all his apostolical labors gratis; and even this, which was the highest proof of his disinterested benevolence, was produced by his opposers as an argument against him. "Prophets, and all divinely commissioned men, have a right to their secular support; you take nothing: - is not this from a conviction that you have no apostolical right?" On this point the apostle immediately enters on his own defense.

    Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? - These questions are all designed as assertions of the affirmative: I am an apostle; and I am free - possessed of all the rights and privileges of an apostle.

    Have I not seen Jesus Christ - From whom in his personal appearance to me, I have received my apostolic commission. This was judged essentially necessary to constitute an apostle. See Acts 22:14, Acts 22:15; Acts 26:16.

    Are not ye my work - Your conversion from heathenism is the proof that I have preached with the Divine unction and authority.

    Several good MSS. and versions transpose the two first questions in this verse, thus: Am I not free? am I not an apostle? But I cannot see that either perspicuity or sense gains any thing by this arrangement. On the contrary, it appears to me that his being an apostle gave him the freedom or rights to which he refers, and therefore the common arrangement I judge to be the best.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 9:1

    Am I not an apostle? - This was the point to be settled; and it is probable that some at Corinth had denied that he could be an apostle, since it was requisite, in order to that, to have seen the Lord Jesus; and since it was supposed that Paul had not been a witness of his life, doctrines, and death.

    Am I not free? - Am I not a free man; have I not the liberty which all Christians possess, and especially which all the apostles possess? The "liberty" referred to here is doubtless the privilege or right of abstaining from labor; of enjoying as others did the domestic relations of life; and of a support as a public minister and apostle. Probably some had objected to his claims of apostleship that he had not used this right, and that he was conscious that he had no claim to it. By this mode of interrogation, he strongly implies that he was a freeman, and that he had this right.

    Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? - Here it is implied, and seems to be admitted by Paul, that in order to be an "apostle" it was necessary to have seen the Saviour. This is often declared expressly; see the note at Acts 1:21-22. The reason of this was, that the apostles were appointed to be witnesses of the life, doctrines, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and that in their "being witnesses" consisted the uniqueness of the apostolic office. That this was the case is abundantly manifest from Matthew 28:18-19; Luke 24:48; Acts 1:21-22; Acts 2:32; Acts 10:39-41. Hence, it was essential, in order that anyone should be such a witness, and an apostle, that he should have seen the Lord Jesus. In the case of Paul, therefore, who was called to this office after the death and resurrection of the Saviour, and who had not therefore had an opportunity of seeing and hearing him when living, this was provided for by the fact that the Lord Jesus showed himself to him after his death and ascension, in order that he might have this qualification for the apostolic office, Acts 9:3-5, Acts 9:17. To the fact of his having been thus in a miraculous manner qualified for the apostolic office, Paul frequently appeals, and always with the same view that it was necessary to have seen the Lord Jesus to qualify one for this office, Acts 22:14-15; Acts 26:16; 1 Corinthians 15:8. It follows from this, therefore, that no one was an apostle in the strict and proper sense who had not seen the Lord Jesus. And it follows, also, that the apostles could have no successors in that which constituted the uniqueness of their office; and that the office must have commenced and ended with them.

    Are not ye my work in the Lord? - Have you not been converted by my labors, or under my ministry; and are you not a proof that the Lord, when I have been claiminG to be an apostle, has owned me "as an apostle," and blessed me in this work? God would not give his sanction to an impostor, and a false pretender; and as Paul had labored there as an apostle, this was an argument that he had been truly commissioned of God. A minister may appeal to the blessing of God on his labors in proof that he is sent of Him. And one of the best of all arguments that a man is sent from God exists where multitudes of souls are converted from sin, and turned to holiness, by his labors. What better credentials than this can a man need that he is in the employ of God? What more consoling to his own mind? What more satisfactory to the world?

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 9:1

    9:1 Am I not free? am I not an apostle? - That is, Have not I the liberty of a common Christian? yea, that of an apostle? He vindicates his apostleship, 1Co 9:1 - 3: his apostolical liberty, 1Co 9:4 - 19. Have I not seen Jesus Christ? - Without this he could not have been one of those first grand witnesses. Are not ye my work in the Lord - A full evidence that God hath sent me? And yet some, it seems, objected to his being an apostle, because he had not asserted his privilege in demanding and receiving such maintenance from the churches as was due to that office.