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1 Corinthians 9:19

    1 Corinthians 9:19 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant to all, that I might gain the more.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For though I was free from all men, I made myself a servant to all, so that more might have salvation.

    Webster's Revision

    For though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more.

    World English Bible

    For though I was free from all, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 9:19

    For though I be free - Although I am under no obligation to any man, yet I act as if every individual had a particular property in me, and as if I were the slave of the public.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 9:19

    For though I be free - I am a freeman. I am under obligation to none. I am not bound to. give them my labors, and at the same time to toil for my own support. I have claims like others, and could urge them; and no man could demand that I should give myself to a life of servitude, and comply with their prejudices and wishes, as if I were a "slave," in order to their conversion; compare 1 Corinthians 9:1; see the notes at 1 Corinthians 6:12.

    From all men - (ἐκ πάντων ek pantōn). This may either refer to all "persons" or to all "things." The word "men" is not in the original. The connection, however, seems to fix the signification to "persons." "I am a freeman. And although I have conducted like a slave, yet it has been done voluntarily."

    I have made myself the servant of all - Greek, "I have 'enslaved myself' (ἐμαυτὸν ἐδούλωσα emauton edoulōsa) unto all." That is:

    (1) I labor for them, or in their service, and to promote their welfare.

    (2) I do it, as the slave does, without reward or hire. I am not paid for it, but submit to the toil, and do it without receiving pay.

    (3) like the slave who wishes to gratify his master, or who is compelled from the necessity of the case, I comply with the prejudices, habits, customs, and opinions of others as far as I can with a good conscience. The "slave" is subject to the master's will. That will must be obeyed. The whims, prejudices, caprices of the master must be submitted to, even if they are "mere" caprice, and wholly unreasonable. So Paul says that he had voluntarily put himself into this condition, a condition making it necessary for him to suit himself to the opinions, prejudices, caprices, and feelings of all people, so far as he could do it with a good conscience, in order that he might save them. We are not to understand here that Paul embraced any opinions which were false in order to do this, or that he submitted to anything which is morally wrong. But he complied with their customs, and habits, and feelings, as far as it could lawfully be done. He did not needlessly offend them, or run counter to their prejudices.

    That I might gain the more - That I might gain more to Christ; that I might be the means of saving more souls. What a noble instance of self-denial and true greatness is here! How worthy of religion! How elevated the conduct! How magnanimous, and how benevolent! No man would do this who had not a greatness of intellect that would rise above narrow prejudices; and who had not a nobleness of heart that would seek at personal sacrifice the happiness of all people. It is said that not a few early Christians, in illustration of this principle of conduct, actually sold themselves into slavery in order that they might have access to and benefit slaves, an act to which nothing would prompt a man but the religion of the cross; compare the note at Romans 1:14.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 9:19

    9:19 I made myself the servant of all - I acted with as self - denying a regard to their interest, and as much caution not to offend them, as if I had been literally their servant or slave. Where is the preacher of the gospel who treads in the same steps?