1 Paul, the chosen Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes:
2 To the Church of God at Corinth; to the chosen saints who have been sanctified in the name of Jesus Christ; and to all those anywhere who invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord as well as ours:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always give thanks to God on your behalf for that divine grace which has been bestowed upon you in the name of Jesus Christ. 5 You have been enriched through him in every way, in eloquence, and in knowledge of every kind, 6 since the testimony of Christ has been confirmed among you.
7 Now there is no spiritual gift in which you are still deficient. You have only to look forward to the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 For he will strengthen you to the last and pronounce you blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God who has called you to the communion of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, will fulfill his promise.
10 Brethren, I entreat you in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ to reach an agreement, to stop your dissensions, and to be perfectly united in mind and purpose. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s household that you, my dear friends, are quarreling with each other.
12 What I mean is this, that one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” another, “I am a follower of Apollos,” another, “I am a follower of Peter,” and another, “I am a follower of Christ.”
13 Now Christ is not divided. Paul was not crucified for you. And you have not been baptized in the name of Paul.
14 I am thankful to God that I have not baptized any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15 So no one can say that I have baptized him in my name. 16 Yes, I did baptize also the members of the household of Stephanas. I do not know that I baptized anyone else.
THE CRUCIFIED MESSIAH
17 Christ has not sent me to baptize, but to preach his Gospel without any fine rhetoric, and to let the Cross of Christ reveal its full power. 18 The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. But it is the power of God to us who are being saved. 19 For the Scripture says: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the shrewdness of the shrewd.”
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? God has made their worldly wisdom sound foolish. 21 For when God showed us his divine wisdom, men with their worldly wisdom failed to know God. So God has chosen to save the believers through the Gospel message which sounds foolish to them.
22 For the Jews are demanding miracles, and the Greeks are looking for philosophy. 23 But we are preaching a Messiah who was crucified. This crucified Messiah is a stumbling-block to the Jews, and foolishness to the Gentiles. 24 But he is the power and the wisdom of God to those Jews and Gentiles who have received the heavenly call. 25 For what is called divine foolishness is superior to human wisdom, and what is called divine weakness is stronger than human strength.
THE HUMBLE AND THE PROUD
26 Consider what God has done when he called you, my brethren. According to worldly standards, very few of you were learned, influential, and well-born. 27 But God has chosen the simple men of this world to confound the learned. God has chosen the weak men of this world to confound the powerful. 28 God has chosen the humble, the despised, and the unimportant men to annihilate the important men of this world. 29 So no human creature can boast in his presence.
30 God is the source of your life, your wisdom, your consecration, and your redemption in Jesus Christ. 31 Therefore, as the Scripture says: “If anyone wants to boast, let him boast in the Lord.”
1 When I visited you, my brethren, I did not proclaim to you the Gospel of God with eloquent and sophisticated rhetoric. 2 I did not pretend to possess any other knowledge except the revelation of Jesus, the Crucified Messiah. 3 When I came to you, I was sick, agitated, and terrified. 4 I did not preach my Gospel to you with persuasive and philosophical disquisitions, but with sermons demonstrating the miraculous inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 5 Thus your faith is not founded on the wisdom of man, but on the power of God.
6 True, I impart wisdom to people of mature faith. But it is not a wisdom of this age, or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 I impart a divine wisdom, which is shrouded in mystery, which was foreordained before the ages for our glorification.
8 None of the rulers of this age has understood this wisdom. If they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 As the Scripture says: “God has prepared for those who love him what no eye ever saw, what no ear ever heard, what no human mind ever conceived.” 10 Yes, God has made these revelations to us through the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit can search everything, even the depths of God.
11 For instance, who else can know a man’s thoughts except that man’s own Spirit within him? Likewise no one knows the thoughts of God except the Holy Spirit of God.
12 We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which comes from God, and makes us realize the gifts which he has bestowed upon us. 13 We express these gifts in words not taught by human wisdom, but in words inspired by the Holy Spirit. For we can interpret spiritual truths only in spiritual language.
14 But the worldly man does not grasp the secrets of the Spirit of God. They are folly to him. He cannot understand them, because they can be scrutinized only spiritually.
15 A spiritual man can scrutinize everything. But he cannot be scrutinized by any worldly man. 16 For who can understand and interpret the mind of the Lord? We are the only ones who can do it, because we have the mind of Christ.
1 Now, brethren, I could not preach to you as to spiritual men, but as to worldly men, as to little children in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not with solid food, because you were not strong enough for it. Indeed you are not strong enough for it even now.
3 For you are still worldly men. When you are torn by jealousy, strife, and dissension, you are worldly men and behave like men of the flesh. 4 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another, “I am a follower of Apollos,” you are worldly men indeed.
5 For what is Paul? And what is Apollos? They are only missionaries of the faith through whom you believed, as the Lord gave each one an opportunity.
6 I planted, Appollos watered, but God made the plants grow. 7 So neither the planter nor the waterer counts for anything, but only God who makes the plants grow. 8 The planter and the waterer are all one. Yet each one will receive his wages according to his work.
THE MASTER BUILDER
9 We are fellow laborers in the service of God. You are the field of God, the building of God. 10 Like a skillful master builder, I laid a foundation according to the divine grace given to me, and other men are building upon it. Let each man build upon it carefully. 11 For no one can lay any other foundation than that which is laid, that is to say, Jesus Christ himself. 12 Now different men will build on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or stubble.
13 But the quality of each man’s work will become manifest. The Day of the Lord will disclose it. That Day will be revealed with fire, and that fire will test the quality of each man’s work.
14 If what a man has built on this foundation survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If a man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss. Yet he himself will be saved through that fire.
THE TEMPLE OF GOD
16 You must know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you. 17 God will destroy anyone who destroys the temple of God. For the temple of God is holy, and you are his temple.
18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone of you imagines that he is wiser than the rest of you in what the world calls wisdom, he had better become a fool. Then he may become really wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written in the Scripture: “The Lord catches the wise with their own cunning.” 20 And again: “The Lord knows that the deliberations of the wise are vain.”
21 Therefore let no one place his confidence in men. After all, everything belongs to you. 22 Whether it be Paul, or Apollos, or Peter, or the world, or life, or death, or the present, or the future, all of them belong to you. 23 And you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
CHRIST THE ONLY JUDGE
1 Every believer must regard us as missionaries of Christ and stewards of the divine sacraments. 2 The first requirement for a steward is trustworthiness. 3 So far as I am concerned, I pay no attention to the investigation which you or any human court might undertake against me on this point. In the first place, I do not see any reason to investigate myself. 4 For I am not aware of any guilt. That does not mean that I am self-righteous. But the only one who has the right to investigate me is the Lord himself.
5 Therefore do not pronounce any premature judgments. Wait until the Lord comes back. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness. He will reveal the secrets of all human minds. Then each one of us will receive his measure of praise from God.
ORDEALS OF APOSTLES
6 Now, brethren, I have applied the above-mentioned remarks to myself and to Apollos for your benefit. As I have already written to you, do not be puffed up with rivalry over one teacher against another.
7 After all, my friends, what gives you this pre-eminence? Everything came to you as a gift. If you received everything as a gift, why do you boast as if you have achieved them yourselves?
8 Already you are filled. Already you have grown rich. In our absence you have become kings. Indeed I wish you did reign. Then we would share your kingdom with you.
9 On the contrary, God has exhibited us Apostles at the end of the procession, like the men condemned to die in the arena. Indeed we have become a spectacle before the world of angels and of men.
10 We are fools in Christ, you are wise in Christ. We are weak, you are strong. You are respected, we are despised.
11 Up to this present hour we hunger. We thirst. We are ill-clad. We are buffeted. We are homeless. 12 We work like slaves. We labor with our own hands.
13 When we are reviled, we bless. When we are persecuted, we endure. When we are insulted, we entreat. We have become the refuse and the offscouring of all mankind even until now.
14 I am not writing thus to make you ashamed. I am only admonishing you as my beloved children. 15 You may have ten thousand instructors in Christ. Yet you have not many fathers. And I have become your spiritual father in Jesus Christ through the Gospel. 16 Therefore I entreat you, follow my example.
17 For this very reason I am sending you Timothy, my beloved and faithful son in the Lord. He will remind you of the Christian doctrines which I preach in all the Churches. 18 Now some of you are bragging, as if I were not coming to you again. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing. Then I will ascertain, not the empty words, but the real power of these braggers. 20 For the Kingdom of God does not consist of words, but of power. 21 What would you prefer? Do you want me to come to you with a rod, or in a spirit of charity and gentleness?
1 I am informed that a notorious immorality prevails among you. Your immorality is of a kind unknown even among pagans. For instance, a man is living with his father’s wife. 2 Now, instead of bragging, you should be overwhelmed with grief. You must expel from your company the man who is guilty of such a shameful act. 3 Indeed, though absent in body, but present in spirit, I have already passed judgement in the name of Jesus Christ on this man who is disgracing himself.
4 Therefore call an assembly at which I will be present in spirit with all the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. 5 Then in his name hand over that man to Satan to torture his corrupt nature. Thus his spirit will find salvation in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
6 You have no reason to be boastful. You know that a little yeast can ferment the entire lump of dough. 7 You must remove the old yeast and become fresh dough, since you claim that you are free of the old leaven. For our Passover Lamb, Christ himself, has been sacrificed for us. 8 So let us celebrate this festival, not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with fornicators. 10 I do not mean that you must have nothing whatever to do with anyone in the world around you who is a fornicator, miser, grafter, or idolater. For then you would have to go out of the world.
11 No, what I meant in my letter was that you must not associate with anyone who is supposed to be a Christian brother, yet is a fornicator, or miser, or idolater, or reviler, or drunkard, or grafter. With such a person you must not even sit at the table.
12 It is none of my business to judge the outsiders. No. God will judge them. 13 But you must judge the insiders yourselves. You must expel a wicked person from your community.
1 Now I understand that when anyone of you has a grievance against his neighbor, instead of laying the case before a synod of Christian saints, you dare to bring the matter to a court of profane judges.
2 Yet you know well enough that the Christian saints will judge all mankind. If you are qualified for such an enormous duty, how can you be unfit to take care of your trivial cases?
3 Moreover you know that we are going to judge even the angels in heaven. Then surely we are capable to decide mere secular matters on earth. 4 Whenever you have such ordinary cases to arbitrate, you would do better to appoint the most insignificant members of your own Church as judges.
5 To tell you the truth, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Have you really not a single man in your Church wise enough to settle a disagreement between one brother and another?
6 How is it that brother must go to court against brother, and before profane judges? 7 To begin with, having lawsuits with one another at all, means your utter failure. You must rather bear the wrong. You must rather suffer loss. 8 When you go to court, you commit wrong, you inflict loss, and at a brother’s expense.
9 You know well enough that wrong-doers will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Do not deceive yourselves. Neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers, nor effeminates, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor misers, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor grafters will inherit the Kingdom of God.
11 Some of you used to be such sinners in the past. But now you have been purified. You have been consecrated. You have been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the Holy Spirit of our God.
UNION WITH CHRIST
12 I am free to do everything, but everything is not convenient for me. Therefore I do not want to be enslaved by any passion. 13 Food is meant for the stomach, and the stomach for food. But God will destroy them both ultimately. The body is not meant for fornication but for the service of the Lord. For the Lord is the master of our body. 14 Now God raised our Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also from the dead through this power.
15 You know that your bodies are members of Christ. You must not take what belongs to Christ and hand it over to a harlot. Never! 16 For you well know that everyone who unites himself to a harlot becomes one body with her. The Scripture says: “The two will become one flesh.”
17 On the contrary, everyone who unites himself to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Therefore keep away from fornication. Any other sin which a man commits, is perpetrated outside his own body. But the fornicator is committing a crime against his own body.
19 You know that your bodies are the shrines of the Holy Spirit within you. You have obtained them from God. Consequently you are not the masters of your bodies. 20 A ransom has been paid for your redemption. Therefore glorify God in your bodies and in your spirits which belong to God.
MATRIMONY AND CELIBACY
1 In answer to the questions you asked me in your letter, let me tell you that it is preferable for a man to remain unmarried. 2 Still, in order to avoid the danger of immorality, let each man have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
3 Both husband and wife must help each other in discharging their conjugal duties. 4 Both of them must know that they belong to each other physically as well as spiritually. 5 Therefore you must not abstain from your conjugal intercourse unless you agree to do so for a while, to devote yourselves to prayer and fasting. Then come together again and do not give Satan an opportunity to tempt your weakness.
6 This is not a command. It is only a concession. 7 I wish you were all unmarried like myself. But I know that each one of us has a special gift from God for a different way of life.
8 To the bachelors and the widows I give this advice: It would be preferable for them to remain single like myself. 9 But if they do not possess self-restraint, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to torture themselves.
10 To those already married I give this command, which is not mine, but comes from the Lord: The wife must not leave her husband. 11 If she has already left him, she must either remain a widow, or go back to her own husband again. Likewise the husband must not divorce his wife.
12 To some of you I give this advice, which is mine and does not come from the Lord: If a Christian brother has a wife who is not a believer, yet she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 Likewise, if a Christian wife has a husband who is not a believer, yet he is willing to live with her, she must not part with him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his Christian wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her Christian husband. Otherwise your children will fall away, while they are not consecrated in the faith.
15 But if the unbelieving husband is in favor of separation, let them separate. In such a case, the Christian brother or sister is free from any obligation. God has commanded you to live in peace.
16 Still it is quite possible for a wife to save her husband and for a husband to save his wife. 17 Therefore everyone of you must act according to the duty which God has assigned him, and the vocation to which the Lord has called him. This is the direction I give to all members of the Church.
18 If a man was circumcized before his conversion, he must not conceal it. If he was uncircumcized, he must not undergo circumcision after his conversion. 19 Circumcision or uncircumcision does not make any difference at all. What counts is the observance of the commandments of God.
20 Let each one of you remain in the vocation he had, when he was converted. 21 If you were converted as a slave, do not worry. Your conversion will give you a better opportunity to become free. 22 For the slave who has been called to the service of the Lord, becomes automatically a free man of the Lord. Likewise a free man becomes a slave of the Lord after his conversion. 23 A price was paid to redeem you from human slavery. Do not become slaves of men again. 24 Therefore, brethren, let each one of you remain with God in the condition of life in which he was at the time of his conversion.
25 I have no commandment from the Lord about virgins. But I give you my opinion as a man who has become trustworthy through the mercy of the Lord. 26 I think that, in view of the impending upheaval, it is well for a person to remain as he is now.
27 If you are united to a wife, do not seek to be released. If you are free of wedlock, do not look for a wife. 28 If you marry, you do not commit a sin. And if a virgin marries, she does not commit a sin either. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles which I want to spare you.
29 I must warn you, brethren, that the appointed time of the upheaval is approaching shortly. So let those who have wives live as if they had none. 30 Let the mourners behave as if they were not mourning. Let the joyful look as if they had no joy. Let buyers feel as if they did not possess their goods. 31 Let those who deal with worldly affairs look as if they were not interested in them. For the present phase of the world is passing away.
32 I want you to be free of worldly anxieties. The unmarried believer is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, and how he can please the Lord. 33 But the married believer is anxious about worldly affairs, and how he can please his wife. So his interests are divided.
34 The unmarried woman or the virgin is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, and how she can be consecrated in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, and how she can please her husband.
35 I make these suggestions for your own benefit. I do not mean to lay any restraint on you. I am only concerned about what is suitable for you, and how you can serve the Lord without diversion.
36 If anyone thinks that his conduct is open to censure with regard to the girl to whom he is betrothed, in case she is of mature age, and if it is absolutely necessary, then let him do as he pleases. Let them be married, it is no sin.
37 But the man of firm purpose who has made up his mind, who is under no pressure, and who can carry out his plan of keeping his betrothed as a spiritual bride, is also doing the right thing.
38 Thus both are right in marrying and in refraining from marriage, but the man who does not marry will do better.
39 A wife is bound to her husband during his lifetime. After his death, she is free to marry anyone she pleases, but only in the name of the Lord. 40 Yet she will be happier, if she remains unmarried. That is my opinion, and I suppose that I am inspired by the Holy Spirit as well as others.
1 We all know what is the truth about meat which has been offered in pagan worship. But knowledge puffs up. Only charity builds up. 2 The only thing we know well is that we do not possess real knowledge about anything. 3 But everyone who loves God is endowed with divine knowledge.
4 We know well that the idols to whom sacrificial meat is offered have no real existence in the world, since there is only one God. 5 Pagans may speak of their so-called gods as existing either in heaven or on earth. Their gods are many and their lords are countless.
6 But for us there is only one God the Father by whom everything came into being and for whom we all exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom everything came into being and through whom we all exist.
7 Yet all men do not possess this knowledge. Some of them in their conscience still believe in idols and eat the sacrificial meat offered to them. Thus they defile their weak conscience.
8 Food cannot improve our standing in the sight of God. If we eat, we are not better off. If we do not eat, we are not worse off.
9 But you must take care that this right of yours does not become a stumbling-block to your weak brother. 10 Somebody may see you who are enlightened, attending a dinner in a pagan temple. Then he may be led by his weak conscience to eat meat offered in sacrifice to a pagan divinity.
11 Thus, through your superior knowledge, you will bring spiritual ruin to your weak brother, for whom Christ has died. 12 Now when you sin against your brethren and wound their weak consciences, you sin against Christ himself. 13 Therefore, if my food makes my brother fall, I will never eat meat again. I will not become the cause of my brother’s fall.
1 I am an Apostle. I am a free man. I have seen our Lord Jesus Christ. You yourselves are the certificate of my work in the service of the Lord. 2 If I am not an Apostle to others, I am an Apostle to you. For you are the best evidence of my Apostleship in Christ.
3 My defense to those who call me to account is the following: 4 We have the right to be provided with food and drink for our services. 5 We have the right to travel with our Christian wives like the other Apostles, like the Lord’s brethren, and like Peter.
6 Barnabas and myself must not be the only ones who have to labor for self-support. 7 No soldier serves at his own expense. No one tends a flock without drinking any of its milk. 8 This is not a plea invented by man. The Scripture tells us so also. 9 For in the Law of Moses it is written: “You must not muzzle an ox that thrashes the corn.”
10 Of course, God was not making provisions for oxen only, but also for men. Yes, this rule was written for our benefit also. The ploughman has a right to plough, and the thrasher to thrash, with the expectation of sharing the crop. 11 So it is not such a great matter to reap from you a temporal reward for the spiritual harvest we have sown among you.
12 If others enjoy such a right over you, we certainly have a still better claim. Nevertheless, we have never availed ourselves of this legitimate right. On the contrary, we endure every privation rather than put an obstacle in the way of the Gospel of Christ.
13 You know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple. Likewise, those who serve at the altar get their share from the altar offerings. 14 Therefore the Lord has ordained that those who preach the Gospel should live from the Gospel.
15 But I have not availed myself of any of these rights. And I am not writing you now to secure any such provision for myself. I would rather die than let anyone deprive me of this boast of mine.
16 There is really nothing to boast of when I preach the Gospel, for I cannot help doing it. Woe to me, if I do not preach the Gospel. 17 Now, if I do it because I like it, I have my reward. If I do it, though I do not like it, I am only executing a commission for which I feel responsible.
18 Then what is my reward? My reward is that I preach the Gospel free of charge, without using my legitimate right of living from the service of the Gospel.
LABORING FOR CHRIST
19 Though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave of everyone, because I want to save more souls. 20 So to the Jews I became like a Jew, because I wanted to convert Jews. To those under the Law of Moses I became as though I were under the Law, because I wanted to convert those who are under the Law. Yet I am not under the Law of Moses myself.
21 To the Gentiles who are outside the Law of Moses I became like a Gentile, because I wanted to convert Gentiles. Yet I am not a Gentile outside the Law of God, since I am under the Law of Christ.
22 To the distressed I became distressed, because I wanted to convert the distressed. So I have become everything to everyone, because I wanted by all means to save some of them. 23 I do it all for the sake of the Gospel, because I want to share its blessings.
24 As you know in the arena all the runners compete. But only one of them receives the prize. Try to get the prize when you compete in a race. 25 Every competitor in a contest has to undergo a strict regime of diet and training. They do it to win a perishable wreath. But we compete for an eternal crown in heaven.
26 As for me, I never run aimlessly. I never beat the air like a shadow-boxer. 27 But I pommel and subdue my body, because I do not want to lecture others and be disqualified myself.
1 I want you to bear in mind that our forefathers were all guided by the cloud in the desert. They all passed through the sea dry-shod. 2 They were all baptized in the cloud and in the sea in the name of Moses. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food. 4 They all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them. That Rock was from Christ.
5 But God was displeased with most of our forefathers. He struck them down in the desert. 6 These events are a warning for us to stop craving for evil, as they did.
7 We must not be idolaters like some of them, as it is written in the Scripture: “The people sat down to eat and drink. Then they rose up to dance.”
8 We must not commit fornication, as some of them did. For twenty-three thousand of them were killed in one day.
9 We must not try the patience of the Lord, as some of them did. For they were killed by the snakes.
10 We must not grumble, as some of them did. For they were slain by the angel of destruction.
11 All these disasters which happened to them were examples. They have been written to serve as a warning for us in these days, in which the ages have reached their climactic end. 12 Therefore everyone who thinks that he is standing firmly must be on his guard against a fall. 13 You have had only common human temptations. But God in his mercy will not let you be tempted beyond your strength. On the contrary, he will help you to endure and escape temptations.
14 Therefore my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I appeal to your good sense. Judge my advice for yourselves. 16 Remember that when we drink the Wine from the consecrated Cup, we receive the communion of the Blood of Christ. When we break the consecrated Bread, we receive the communion of the body of Christ. 17 The one Bread makes us one body, though we are many in number, because we share the same Bread.
18 Look at the rites of Israel. Those who eat the sacrifices are ministers of the altar. 19 I am not implying that a sacrifice to an idol has any meaning, or that an idol has any existence.
20 I mean that the pagans offer sacrifice to demons and not to God. Therefore I do not want you to become ministers of demons.
21 You cannot drink the Cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot share the Table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 We cannot defy the Lord, because we cannot claim to be stronger than he.
23 I am free to do everything, but everything is not convenient for me. Yes, I am free to do everything, but not everything is constructive. 24 Moreover, we must not seek our own convenience, but the benefit of our neighbor.
25 You may eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising questions of religious scruples. For the Scripture say: 26 “The earth and its contents belong to the Lord.”
27 If an unbeliever invites you to dinner and you accept his invitation, you may eat whatever is served before you without raising questions of religious scruples. 28 But if your host tells you that the meat has been offered in sacrifice to a pagan divinity, then you must refuse to eat it out of regard for your host, 29 and for his religious scruples rather than yours in this case. But as a rule there is no reason whatever why my liberty should be subject to the religious scruples of an unbeliever. 30 I cannot eat such food and give thanks to God for it. Because it would be a blasphemy to say grace over the sacrificial meat of an idol.
31 Whether you are eating, or drinking, or doing anything else, do everything for the glory of God. 32 Give no offence to Jew, or to Gentile, or to the Church of God. 33 This is my own rule, to satisfy all alike and to aim, not at my own advantage, but at the general welfare and salvation.
MEN AND WOMEN
1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 2 Brethren, I appreciate your constant memory of me and your loyalty to the traditions which I have handed on to you. 3 I want you to know that Christ is the leader of every man, that the husband is the leader of his wife, and that God is the leader of Christ.
4 Every man who keeps his head covered when he prays of prophesies is disgracing himself. 5 On the other hand, every woman is disgracing herself, if she prays or prophesies with her head unveiled. For it is just as though her head were shaved.
6 If a woman is not veiled, she might as well shave her hair also. But if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved, then she must wear a veil.
7 A man has no need to veil his head, because he is the image and the glory of God, whereas the wife is the glory of her husband. 8 For God has created woman from man, not man from woman. 9 He did not create man for woman, but woman for man. 10 For this reason a woman must wear a veil on her head, to symbolize her subjection out of respect to the angels.
11 Nevertheless, in the Lord neither woman is independent of man, nor man is independent of woman. 12 For as woman was created from man originally, so now man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
13 Judge for yourselves whether it is proper for a woman to pray to God with uncovered head. 14 Nature itself teaches you that it is a disgrace for a man to wear long hair. 15 On the contrary, long hair is an added grace to a woman, because long hair has been given to her to take the place of a veil. 16 Those who argue the matter must know that we recognize no other practice in any of the Churches of God.
17 By the way, I cannot approve of your meetings, because they are doing you more harm than good. 18 In the first place, when you meet in Church, I understand that you are divided into sects, and in a measure I believe it. 19 There must be factions among you, for that will help you to recognize those who are genuine among you.
20 When you meet together, you do not seem to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For each one of you goes ahead with his own meal, so that some go hungry, while others are drunk. 22 Have you no houses to eat and drink in? Or do you mean to show your contempt to the Church of God and shame the poor? What can I say to you? Can I approve your conduct? I certainly cannot.
23 For I received from the Lord the tradition which I handed on to you: Our Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 gave thanks, broke it, and said: “Take, eat, this is my Body, which is broken for you. Celebrate this sacrament in my commemoration.”
25 Likewise, at the end of the Supper, he took the Cup and said: “This Cup is the New Covenant, ratified with my blood. Celebrate this sacrament, and drink of it in my commemoration.”
26 For every time you eat this Bread and drink this Cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until his second coming. 27 Consequently everyone who eats this bread or drinks this Cup of the Lord unworthily commits a sin against the Body and the Blood of the Lord.
28 Therefore every man must examine his conscience before he eats this Bread and drinks this Cup. 29 Everyone who partakes of them unworthily commits a transgression, because he does not pay due respect to the Body of Christ.
30 This is why there are so many sick and ill among you, while a good many others have died. 31 If we examined our conscience, we would not commit this transgression. 32 But whenever we do commit it, we are punished by the Lord. Thus we will not be condemned along with the unbelievers.
33 Therefore, brethren, when you assemble for a common meal, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home and avoid condemnation for disturbing your meeting. When I come to you, I will give you directions about the other questions.
1 Brethren, I do not wish you to be ignorant about spiritual gifts. 2 As you remember, when you were still pagans, you allowed yourselves blindly to be misled by worshiping dumb idols.
3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one who is inspired by the Holy Spirit can say: “Anathema to Jesus.” On the other hand, no one can say: “Jesus is the Lord,” unless he is inspired by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts. But it is the same Holy Spirit who gives them. 5 There are different kinds of services, but it is the same Lord we serve. 6 There are different manifestations, but it is the same God who manifests his power everywhere in all of us. 7 Each man receives from the Holy Spirit a gift for the common good. 8 The gifts we receive from the Holy Spirit are the following: the gift of wisdom; the gift of knowledge; 9 the gift of faith; the gift of healing; 10 the gift of working miracles; the gift of prophecy; the gift of interpreting prophecies; the gift of speaking oracular languages; and the gift of interpreting oracular speech. 11 All these gifts are operated by the same Holy Spirit who distributes them to each man according to his will.
THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST
12 The body is one. Yet it has many organs. All the organs, though many, form a single body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 For we also have been baptized into a single body through the power of a single Spirit. Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free men, we have all been imbued with a single Spirit. 14 Because the body does not consist of one organ but of many.
15 If the foot should say, “I am not the hand, therefore I am not a part of the body,” that would not make it less a part of the body. 16 If the ear should say, “I am not the eye, therefore I am not a part of the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
17 If the entire body were an eye, there would be no hearing. If the entire body were an ear, there would be no sense of smell.
18 God has arranged each and all the organs in the body as he wished them to be. 19 For if the entire system were a single organ, there would be no body. 20 As it is, there are many organs, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand “I do not need you,” nor the hand to the feet, “I do not need you.”
22 On the contrary, the organs of the body which seem to be inferior, are indispensable. 23 The organs of the body which we consider less honorable, are surrounded with special honor. Thus our unpresentable organs are treated with a modesty, 24 which our presentable organs do not require. But God established a harmony in the body and gave the greater honor to the inferior organs which need it.
25 Thus there is unity. For all the organs have the same care for one another. 26 If one organ suffers, all the other organs suffer with it. If one organ is treated with honor, all the other organs rejoice with it.
27 You are the body of Christ collectively, and you are members of his body individually. 28 Now God has ordained first Apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly preachers, then wonder-workers, healers, helpers, administrators, and oracular speakers.
29 Of course, everyone is not an Apostle, a prophet, a preacher, or a wonder-worker. 30 Everyone is not a healer, an oracular speaker, or an interpreter of oracles. 31 Yet everyone should covet the highest gifts of heaven. I will show you which one is the noblest of them all.
1 I may speak all the languages of men and of angels. Yet if I have no love, I am only a booming trumpet or a tinkling cymbal.
2 I may possess prophetic inspiration. I may understand all mysteries. I may know all sciences. I may have such perfect faith that I can move mountains. Yet if I have no love, I am nothing at all.
3 I may give away all my possessions. I may deliver my body to be burned. Yet if I have no love, I gain absolutely nothing.
4 Love is long-suffering and gentle. Love is not envious, boastful, and arrogant. 5 Love is not rude, selfish, irritable, and resentful. 6 Love does not take pleasure in wrong-doing, but rejoices at the victory of truth. 7 Love always bears, always believes, always hopes, and always endures.
8 Love will never die out. But the time will come when prophecies will be abolished, when speaking in oracular languages will cease, when mystical knowledge will be swept away. 9 For our mystical knowledge and our prophecies are imperfect glimpses of the truth. 10 They will be swept away when perfect truth will be revealed.
11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
12 Now we see dimly in a mirror. Then we shall see face to face. Now I have only glimpses of knowledge. Then I will understand God fully as he understands me. 13 In the meantime, faith, hope, and love remain with us. These are the three great virtues. But the greatest of them all is love.
ORACLES AND PROPHECY
1 Cultivate love, and try to acquire all spiritual gifts, especially that of prophecy. 2 Everyone who speaks in an oracular language is not speaking to men but to God. No one understands him, because he utters spiritual mysteries.
3 But everyone who prophesies is speaking to men for their edification, encouragement, and consolation. 4 Everyone who speaks in an oracular language, is edifying himself. But everyone who prophesies is edifying the Church.
5 I want you all to speak in oracular languages, but even more to prophesy. For the man who prophesies renders a greater service than the man who speaks in an oracular language, unless someone interprets his oracles for the edification of the Church.
6 I cannot help you, if I come and preach to you in a strange language. I can benefit you only if I give you an intelligible revelation, or lecture, or prophecy, or doctrine. 7 Even inanimate instruments, like the flute and the harp, must produce distinct and connected notes. Otherwise, nobody will understand what melody they are playing.
8 If the bugle sounds an unknown call, no soldier will prepare for battle. 9 So if you preach in an oracular language, no one will understand what you mean. You will be talking into the air.
10 For instance, there are many different languages in the world. All of them are intelligible to those who know them. 11 But when I do not understand the language of the preacher, I am a foreigner to him, and he is a foreigner to me. 12 So if you are ambitious for spiritual activities, strive to excel in them by building up the Church intelligently.
13 Therefore everyone who preaches in an oracular language should pray for the power to explain what he says. 14 If I pray in an oracular language, I may pray spiritually, but not intelligently. 15 Then what should I do? I must pray both spiritually and intelligently.
16 For if you utter spiritual blessings in an oracular language, you cannot expect an ordinary man to say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, because he does not understand what you say. 17 Your thanksgiving may be perfect, but your brother is not edified at all.
18 I am thankful to God that I have a greater gift of speaking in oracular languages than any of you. 19 Nevertheless, in the Church I would rather preach a sermon of five intelligible words for your instruction than a sermon of ten thousand words in a strange language which nobody understands.
20 Brethren, you must not be mentally childish. Be babies in evil, but be mentally mature. 21 The Scripture says: “I will speak to these people in strange tongues and foreign languages. But even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.”
22 Thus oracular language is a miracle to unbelievers rather than to believers, while prophecy is a miracle to believers rather than to unbelievers. 23 For instance, if outsiders or unbelievers attend a general meeting of the Church when all speak in oracular language, they will think that you are crazy.
24 But if an unbeliever or an outsider attends a meeting when all prophesy, he will be reproached by all, he will be called to account by all. 25 The secrets of his heart will be disclosed. So he will fall on his face, he will worship God, and proclaim that God is really among you.
26 Brethren, when you meet together and each one of you has either a psalm, or a lecture, or an oracular message, or a revelation, or an interpretation, remember that everything must be done for your edification.
27 For instance, let only two, or at most three, preach in oracular languages, each one of them in turn, and let someone interpret what they say. 28 If there is no interpreter, no oracular preachers should be allowed to speak in Church. Let them speak to themselves and to God in silence.
29 Likewise, only two or three prophets should be allowed to prophesy. Let the others listen to their prophecies. 30 If a prophet sitting in the audience wants to make a revelation, he must wait until the preceding prophet is through.
31 There is room for everyone of you to prophesy one by one. In this way all the congregation receives instruction and consolation. 32 It is the duty of spiritual prophets to observe the rules of order. 33 For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace. These are the rules in all the Churches.
34 Women must be silent in the Churches. They must not talk. They must obey the rules laid down by the Scriptures.
35 If they have any questions, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is disgraceful for women to speak in church.
36 You are not the originators of the divine Gospel, and you are not the only ones who have received it. 37 Anyone among you who is a prophet or spiritual leader must know that these are the commandments of the Lord. 38 Those who disregard them should be disregarded.
39 Therefore, brethren, cultivate with zeal the gift of prophecy, and do not interfere with oracular sermons. 40 But everything must be done in a decent and orderly fashion.
1 Brethren, I want to remind you of the Gospel I preached to you. You received it. You stand in it. 2 You will be saved by it. But you must hold on, if you really believe in it.
3 In the first place, I handed on to you the doctrines which were handed on to me: According to the Scriptures, Christ has died for our sins, 4 and was buried. As the Scriptures had foretold, he rose from the dead on the third day. 5 Then he appeared to Peter and to the twelve Apostles.
6 Later on, he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some of them have gone to their rest. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the Apostles.
8 Last of all, he appeared also to me, as to an abortive man. 9 For I am the least of all the Apostles, or rather I am unfit to be called an Apostle, since there was a time when I persecuted the Church of God. 10 Only by the grace of God I have become what I am. But his grace was not in vain. For I have worked harder than any of them. Rather it was not I, but the grace of God working through me. 11 Whether it was I or they who did the work, these are the doctrines which I preach and which you believe.
12 If we preach that Christ has risen from the dead, how can some of you claim that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not risen from the dead either.
14 If Christ has not risen from the dead, our Gospel is empty, and our faith is empty also. 15 Moreover, that means that we have given false testimony about God. For we testified that God raised Christ from the dead, which he has not done, if there is no resurrection from the dead.
16 If the dead do not rise again, then Christ has not risen either. 17 If Christ has not risen from the dead, then your faith is futile, and you are back under the control of your sins. 18 Then also those who have gone to their rest in Christ have perished. 19 Indeed, if we hope in Christ only for our earthly life, we are the most miserable of all men.
THE PIONEER OF RESURRECTION
20 As a matter of fact, Jesus rose from the dead and will lead to resurrection all those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as death came to the world through a man, so the resurrection of the dead has come through a man also. 22 As all physical descendants of Adam die, so also all spiritual followers of Christ will be raised to life again.
23 The resurrection will take place in the following order: After Christ, the pioneer of resurrection, his followers will rise at his second manifestation. 24 The end will come when Jesus hands over the Kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule, authority, and power of the enemy. 25 For he must reign until he has subjected all his opponents under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed will be death.
27 According to the Scriptures, “God has subjected everything under his feet.” It is plain that God, who has subjected everything under his feet, is the only one excepted from this subjection. 28 When everything has been subjected to the Son, then the Son himself will hand over the dominion of the universe to God the Father, the source of all his power. Then God will be everything to everyone.
A FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINE
29 Now there is no sense in being baptized on behalf of the dead, if the dead do not rise again. Why should anyone be baptized on their behalf? 30 And why do I face peril every hour? 31 For I swear by my pride to you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that I am at the door of death every day.
32 If I have engaged in a wild beast fight at Ephesus for human motives only, what has been my benefit? If there is no resurrection of the dead, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
33 Do not be deceived. Bad company can corrupt noble minds. 34 Come back to your right mind, and do not sin any more. For I must tell you to your shame that some of you are utterly ignorant of God.
35 But someone may ask: “How can the dead rise again? With what kind of body do they come back?”
36 You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life, unless it dies first. 37 And what you sow is not the coming body, but a mere kernel, say of wheat or some other grain. 38 God gives it a body as he pleases, and he endows each seed with a body of its own.
39 All flesh is not alike. Men have one kind; animals, another; birds, another; and fish, another.
40 There are heavenly bodies, and there are earthly bodies. But the glory of the heavenly bodies is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly bodies is of another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor; the moon, another; and the stars another. For one star differs from another in splendor.
42 It is so with the resurrection of the dead. Buried men are perishable. Raised men are imperishable. 43 They are buried in humiliation. They are raised in glory. 44 They are buried as human flesh. They are raised by divine power. They are buried as physical bodies. They are raised as spiritual bodies. For if there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 This is what the Scripture tells us also: “The first man Adam became a living being.” The new man Adam became a life-giving spirit.
THE HEAVENLY MAN
46 It is not the spiritual man, but the physical man who came first. Then followed the spiritual man. 47 Adam, the first man, originated from the earth as a man of dust. Jesus, the second man, originated from heaven. 48 Earthly men are like Adam, men of the dust. Heavenly men are like Jesus, the man from heaven. 49 Now as we have been the image of Adam, the early man, so we shall also become the image of Jesus, the heavenly man.
50 Therefore, brethren, I must tell you again that earthly flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. For the perishable cannot inherit the imperishable.
TRIUMPH OVER DEATH
51 Listen! I will reveal to you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep. But we shall all be transformed. 52 This transformation will take place in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trumpet. Yes, the trumpet will sound. The dead will rise imperishable, for we shall be transformed. 53 Our perishable nature will assume an imperishable form. Our mortal nature will assume immortality.
54 When this transformation has taken place, then the prophecy of the Scriptures will be fulfilled: “Death has been crushed by victory.” 55 O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? 56 Now the sting of death comes from sin. And the power of sin comes from the Law of Moses. 57 But give thanks to God. He granted us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brethren, be steadfast and unshakable. Always fulfill abundantly your obligations in the service of the Lord, because you know that your labors in his service will not be in vain.
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, follow the plan which I have prescribed for the Churches of Galatia. 2 On the first day of the week, each one of you should put aside whatever he can spare and save it up. No collection should be made at the time of my visit. 3 When I arrive, I will send your accredited delegates to carry your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If you think that I should go also, I will accompany your delegates.
5 I will visit you after I have traversed Macedonia, through which I am now passing. 6 I may stay some time with you, perhaps until the winter is over. Then you may see me off on my journey wherever I may be going.
7 I do not want to pay you a mere passing visit now. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 I will spend Pentecost in Ephesus, 9 where I must work very hard, because I have many opponents.
10 When Timothy comes, be sure to make him feel at home among you. For he is working in the service of the Lord as well as I am. 11 Let no one disparage him. When he leaves to rejoin me, speed him cordially on his journey, for I am expecting him along with the other brethren.
12 As for our brother Apollos, I urged him strongly to visit you with the brethren. For the present it was not the will of God that he should come to you. But he will come as soon as he has an opportunity.
13 Brethren, watch, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Do everything with charity.
15 Now I appeal to you, brethren: You know that the household of Stephanas and of Fortunatus are the first converts of Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. 16 You must obey such men, and every fellow worker and laborer. 17 I am glad that Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus have arrived. Because they have remedied your deficiencies.18 They have brought relief to my mind as well as to yours. You must appreciate such men.
19 The Churches of Asia send you their greetings. Aquila and Prisca, along with the Church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. 20 All the brethren send you their greetings. Greet one another with a sacred kiss.
21 I, Paul, send you my greetings in my own handwriting. 22 Whoever has no love for our Lord Jesus, let him be accursed.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
24 My love be with you all in Jesus Christ. Amen.