New American Standard Bible
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.
King James Bible
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
Darby Bible Translation
For being free from all, I have made myself bondman to all, that I might gain the most possible.
World English Bible
For though I was free from all, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more.
Young's Literal Translation
for being free from all men, to all men I made myself servant, that the more I might gain;
1 Corinthians 9:19 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
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.
Library'Concerning the Crown'
'They do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we are incorruptible.'--1 COR. ix. 25. One of the most famous of the Greek athletic festivals was held close by Corinth. Its prize was a pine-wreath from the neighbouring sacred grove. The painful abstinence and training of ten months, and the fierce struggle of ten minutes, had for their result a twist of green leaves, that withered in a week, and a little fading fame that was worth scarcely more, and lasted scarcely longer. The struggle and the discipline …
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)
Preach the Gospel
But He Speaks More Openly in the Rest which He Subjoins...
Hence Arises Another Question; for Peradventure one May Say...
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.
"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
1 Corinthians 9:1
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?
1 Corinthians 10:29
I mean not your own conscience, but the other man's; for why is my freedom judged by another's conscience?
2 Corinthians 4:5
For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake.
2 Corinthians 4:15
For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 12:14
Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.
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