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1 Corinthians 9:17

    1 Corinthians 9:17 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed to me.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For if I do this of mine own will, I have a reward: but if not of mine own will, I have a stewardship intrusted to me.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But if I do it gladly, I have a reward; and if not, I am under orders to do it.

    Webster's Revision

    For if I do this of mine own will, I have a reward: but if not of mine own will, I have a stewardship intrusted to me.

    World English Bible

    For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For if I do this of mine own will, I have a reward: but if not of mine own will, I have a stewardship intrusted to me.

    Definitions for 1 Corinthians 9:17

    Dispensation - An arrangement of things; a scheme.
    Gospel - Good news.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 9:17

    For if I do this thing willingly - If I be a cordial co-operator with God, I have a reward, an incorruptible crown, 1 Corinthians 9:25. Or, if I freely preach this Gospel without being burthensome to any, I have a special reward; but if I do not, I have simply an office to fulfill, into which God has put me, and may fulfill it conscientiously, and claim my privileges at the same time; but then I lose that special reward which I have in view by preaching the Gospel without charge to any.

    This and the 18th verse have been variously translated: Sir Norton Knatchbull and, after him, Mr. Wakefield translate the two passages thus: For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if I am intrusted with an office without my consent? what is my reward then? to make the Gospel of Christ, whilst I preach it, without charge, in not using to the utmost my privileges in the Gospel.

    Others render the passage thus: But if I do it merely because I am obliged to it, I only discharge an office that is committed to me, 1 Corinthians 9:18. For what then shall I be rewarded? It is for this, that, preaching the Gospel of Christ, I preach it freely, and do not insist on a claim which the Gospel itself gives me.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 9:17

    For if I do this thing willingly - If I preach so as to show that my heart is in it; that I am not compelled, If I pursue such a course as to show that I prefer it to all other employments. If Paul took a compensation for his services, he could not well do this; if he did not, he showed that his heart was in it, and that he preferred the work to all others. Even though he had been in a manner compelled to engage in that work, yet he so acted in the work as to show that it had his hearty preference. This was done by his submitting to voluntary self-denials and sacrifices in order to spread the Saviour's name.

    I have a reward - I shall meet with the approbation of my Lord, and shall obtain the reward in the world to come, which is promised to those who engage heartily, and laboriously, and successfully in turning sinners to God; Proverbs 11:30; Daniel 12:3; Matthew 13:43; Matthew 25:21-23; James 5:20.

    But if against my will - (ἄκων akōn). "If under a necessity 1 Corinthians 9:16; if by the command of another" (Grotius); if I do it by the fear of punishment, or by any strong necessity which is laid on me.

    A dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me - I am entrusted with (πεπίστευμαι pepisteumai) this dispensation, office, economy (οἰκονομίαν oikonomian) of the gospel. It has been laid upon me; I have been called to it; I must engage in this work; and if I do it from mere compulsion or in such a way that my will shall not acquiesce in it, and concur with it, I shall have no distinguished reward. The work must be done; I must preach the gospel; and it becomes me so to do it as to show that my heart and will entirely concur; that it is not a matter of compulsion, but of choice. This he proposed to do by so denying himself, and so foregoing comforts which he might lawfully enjoy, and so subjecting himself to perils and toils in preaching the gospel, as to show that his heart was in the work, and that he truly loved it.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 9:17

    9:17 Willingly - He seems to mean, without receiving anything. St. Paul here speaks in a manner peculiar to himself. Another might have preached willingly, and yet have received a maintenance from the Corinthians. But if he had received anything from them, he would have termed it preaching unwillingly. And so, in the next verse , another might have used that power without abusing it. But his own using it at all, he would have termed abusing it. A dispensation is intrusted to me - Therefore I dare not refrain.