Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

1 Corinthians 9:20

    1 Corinthians 9:20 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, not being myself under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And to the Jews I was as a Jew, so that I might give the good news to them; to those under the law I was the same, not as being myself under the law, but so that I might give the good news to those under the law.

    Webster's Revision

    And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, not being myself under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

    World English Bible

    To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those who are under the law;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, not being myself under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

    Definitions for 1 Corinthians 9:20

    Became - Was exactly suited for; was fitting.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 9:20

    Unto the Jews I became as a Jew - In Acts 16:3, we find that for the sake of the unconverted Jews he circumcised Timothy. See the note on Acts 16:3.

    To them that are under the law - To those who considered themselves still under obligation to observe its rites and ceremonies, though they had in the main embraced the Gospel, he became as if under the same obligations; and therefore purified himself in the temple, as we find related, Acts 21:26 (note).

    After the first clause, to them that are under the law as under the law, the following words, μη ων αυτος ὑπο νομον, not being myself under the law, are added by ABCDEFG, several others; the later Syriac, Sahidic, Armenian, Vulgate, and all the Itala; Cyril, Chrysostom, Damascenus, and others; and on this evidence Griesbach has received them into the text.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 9:20

    And unto the Jews - In this verse, and the two following, Paul states more at length the conduct which he had exhibited, and to which he refers in 1 Corinthians 9:19. He had shown this conduct to all classes of people. He had preached much to his own countrymen, and had evinnced these principles there.

    I became as a Jew - I complied with their rites, customs, prejudices, as far as I could with a good conscience. I did not needlessly offend them. I did not attack and oppose their views, when there was no danger that my conduct should be mistaken. For a full illustration of Paul's conduct in this respect, and the principles which influenced him, see the notes on Acts 16:3; Acts 18:18; Acts 21:21-27; Acts 23:1-6.

    To those that are under the law - This I understand as another form of saying that he conformed to the rites, customs, and even prejudices of the Jews. The phrase "under the law" means undoubtedly the law of Moses; and probably he here refers particularly to those Jews who lived in the land of Judea, as being more "immediately and entirely" under the law of Moses, than those who lived among the Gentiles.

    As under the law - That is, I conformed to their rites and customs as far as I could do it. I did not violate them unnecessarily. I did not disregard them for the purpose of offending them; nor refuse to observe them when it could be done with a good conscience. There can be no doubt that Paul, when he was in Judea, submitted himself to the laws, and lived in conformity with them.

    That I might gain - That I might obtain their confidence and affection. That I might not outrage their feelings, excite their prejudices, and provoke them to anger; and that I might thus have access to their minds, and be the means of converting them to the Christian faith.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 9:20

    9:20 To the Jews I became as a Jew - Conforming myself in all things to their manner of thinking and living, so far as; I could with innocence. To them that are under the law - Who apprehend themselves to be still bound by the Mosaic law. As under the law - Observing it myself, while I am among them. Not that he declared this to be necessary, or refused to converse with those who did not observe it. This was the very thing which he condemned in St. Peter, Gal 2:14.