1 Corinthians 9:5
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

King James Bible
Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

Darby Bible Translation
have we not a right to take round a sister as wife, as also the other apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

World English Bible
Have we no right to take along a wife who is a believer, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?

Young's Literal Translation
have we not authority a sister -- a wife -- to lead about, as also the other apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

1 Corinthians 9:5 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Have we not power? - Have we not a right? The objection here seems to have been, that Paul and Barnabas were unmarried, or at least that they traveled without wives. The objectors urged that others had wives, and that they took them with them, and expected provision to be made for them as well as for themselves. They therefore showed that they felt that they had a claim to support for their families, and that they were conscious that they were sent of God. But Paul and Barnabas had no families. And the objectors inferred that they were conscious that they had no claim to the apostleship, and no right to support. To this Paul replies as before, that they had a right to do as others did, but they chose not to do it for other reasons than that they were conscious that they had no such right.

To lead about - To have in attendance with us; to conduct from place to place; and to have them maintained at the expense of the churches amongst which we labor.

A sister, a wife - Margin, "or woman." This phrase has much perplexed commentators. But the simple meaning seems to be, A wife who should be a Christian, and regarded as sustaining the relation of a Christian sister." Probably Paul meant to advert to the fact that the wives of the apostles were and should be Christians; and that it was a matter of course, that if an apostle led about a wife she would be a Christian; or that he would marry no other; compare 1 Corinthians 3:11.

As well as other apostles - It is evident from this that the apostles generally were married. The phrase used here is οἱ λοιποὶ ἀπόστολοι hoi loipoi apostoloi ("the remaining apostles," or the other apostles). And if they were married, it is right and proper for ministers to marry now, whatever the papist may say to the contrary. It is safer to follow the example of the apostles than the opinions of the papal church. The reasons why the apostles had wives with them on their journeys may have been various. They may have been either to give instruction and counsel to those of their own sex to whom the apostles could not have access, or to minister to the needs of their husbands as they traveled. It is to be remembered that they traveled among pagans; they had no acquaintance and no friends there; they therefore took with them their female friends and wives to minister to them, and sustain them in sickness, trial, etc. Paul says that he and Barnabas had a right to do this; but they had not used this right because they chose rather to make the gospel without charge 1 Corinthians 9:18, and that thus they judged they could do more good. It follows from this:

(1) That it is right for ministers to marry, and that the papal doctrine of the celibacy of the clergy is contrary to apostolic example.

(2) it is right for missionaries to marry, and to take their wives with them to pagan lands. The apostles were missionaries, and spent their lives in pagan nations as missionaries do now, and there may be as good reasons for missionaries marrying now as there were then.

(3) yet there are people, like Paul, who can do more good without being married. There are circumstances, like his, where it is not advisable that they should marry, and there can be no doubt that Paul regarded the unmarried state for a missionary as preferable and advisable. Probably the same is to be said of most missionaries at the present day, that they could do more good if unmarried, than they can if burdened with the cares of families.

And as the brethren of the Lord - The brothers of the Lord Jesus, James and Joses, and Simon and Judas, Matthew 13:55. It seems from this, that although at first they did not believe in him John 7:5, and had regarded him as disgraced Mark 3:21, yet that they had subsequently become converted, and were employed as ministers and evangelists. It is evident also from this statement that they were married, and were attended with their wives in their travels.

And Cephas - Peter; see the note at John 1:42. This proves:

(1) as well as the declaration in Matthew 8:14, that Peter had been married.

(2) that he had a wife after he became an apostle, and while engaged in the work of the ministry.

(3) that his wife accompanied him in his travels.

(4) that it is right and proper for ministers and missionaries to be married now.

Is it not strange that the pretended successor of Peter, the pope of Rome, should forbid marriage when Peter himself was married? Is it not a proof how little the papacy regards the Bible, and the example and authority of those from whom it pretends to derive its power? And is it not strange that this doctrine of the celibacy of the clergy, which has been the source of abomination, impurity, and licentiousness everywhere, should have been sustained and countenanced at all by the Christian world? And is it not strange that this, with all the other corrupt doctrines of the papacy, should be attempted to be imposed on the enlightened people of the United States, or of Great Britain, as a part of the religion of Christ?

1 Corinthians 9:5 Parallel Commentaries

'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
Now, these words of Paul, I trust, are applicable to many ministers in the present day; to all those who are especially called, who are directed by the inward impulse of the Holy Spirit to occupy the position of gospel ministers. In trying to consider this verse, we shall have three inquiries this morning:--First, What is it to preach the gospel? Secondly, Why is it that a minister has nothing to glorify of? And thirdly, What is that necessity and that woe, of which it is written, "Necessity is laid
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

But He Speaks More Openly in the Rest which He Subjoins...
9. But he speaks more openly in the rest which he subjoins, and altogether removes all causes of doubting. "If we unto you," saith he, "have sown spiritual things, is it a great matter if we shall reap your carnal things?" What are the spiritual things which he sowed, but the word and mystery of the sacrament of the kingdom of heaven? And what the carnal things which he saith he had a right to reap, but these temporal things which are indulged to the life and indigency of the flesh? These however
St. Augustine—Of the Work of Monks.

Hence Arises Another Question; for Peradventure one May Say...
23. Hence arises another question; for peradventure one may say, "What then? did the other Apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas, sin, in that they did not work? Or did they occasion an hindrance to the Gospel, because blessed Paul saith that he had not used this power on purpose that he might not cause any hindrance to the Gospel of Christ? For if they sinned because they wrought not, then had they not received power not to work, but to live instead by the Gospel. But if they had received
St. Augustine—Of the Work of Monks.

Cross References
Matthew 8:14
When Jesus came into Peter's home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever.

Matthew 12:46
While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him.

John 1:42
He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas " (which is translated Peter).

1 Corinthians 1:12
Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ."

1 Corinthians 7:7
Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.

1 Corinthians 7:8
But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I.

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