English Standard Version
Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)
King James Bible
Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
American Standard Version
Wast thou called being a bondservant? Care not for it: nay, even if thou canst become free, use it rather.
Wast thou called, being a bondman ? care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
English Revised Version
Wast thou called being a bondservant? care not for it: but if thou canst become free, use it rather.
Webster's Bible Translation
Art thou called being a servant? care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
Weymouth New Testament
Were you a slave when God called you? Let not that weigh on your mind. And yet if you can get your freedom, take advantage of the opportunity.
1 Corinthians 7:21 Parallel
CommentaryVincent's Word Studies
Use it rather
Whether the apostle means, use the bondage or use the freedom - whether, take advantage of the offer of freedom, or, remain in slavery - is, as Dean Stanley remarks, one of the most evenly balanced questions in the interpretation of the New Testament. The force of καὶ even, and the positive injunction of the apostle in 1 Corinthians 7:20 and 1 Corinthians 7:24, seem to favor the meaning, remain in slavery. The injunction is to be read in the light of 1 Corinthians 7:22, and of Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11; 1 Corinthians 12:13, that freeman and slave are one in Christ; and also of the feeling pervading the Church of the speedy termination of the present economy by the second coming of the Lord. See 1 Corinthians 7:26, 1 Corinthians 7:29. We must be careful to avoid basing our conclusion on the modern sentiment respecting freedom and slavery.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
a servant. Rather, a slave, [doulos,] the property of another, and bought with his money. In these verses the apostle shows that Christianity makes no change in our civil connections.
1 Corinthians 7:20
Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.
1 Corinthians 7:22
For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.