New International Version
No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
King James Bible
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Darby Bible Translation
But I buffet my body, and lead it captive, lest [after] having preached to others I should be myself rejected.
World English Bible
but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.
Young's Literal Translation
but I chastise my body, and bring it into servitude, lest by any means, having preached to others -- I myself may become disapproved.
1 Corinthians 9:27 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
But I keep under my body, etc. - This is an allusion, not only to boxers, but also to wrestlers in the same games, as we learn from the word ὑπωπιαζω, which signifies to hit in the eyes; and δουλαγωγω, which signifies to trip, and give the antagonist a fall, and then keep him down when he was down, and having obliged him to acknowledge himself conquered, make him a slave. The apostle considers his body as an enemy with which he must contend; he must mortify it by self-denial, abstinence, and severe labor; it must be the slave of his soul, and not the soul the slave of the body, which in all unregenerate men is the case.
Lest - having preached to others - The word κηρυξας, which we translate having preached, refers to the office of the κηρυξ, or herald, at these games, whose business it was to proclaim the conditions of the games, display the prizes, exhort the combatants, excite the emulation of those who were to contend, declare the terms of each contest, pronounce the name of the victors, and put the crown on their heads. See my observations on this office in the notes at Matthew 3:17.
Should be a castaway - The word αδοκιμος signifies such a person as the βραβευται, or judges of the games, reject as not having deserved the prize. So Paul himself might be rejected by the great Judge; and to prevent this, he ran, he contended, he denied himself, and brought his body into subjection to his spirit, and had his spirit governed by the Spirit of God. Had this heavenly man lived in our days, he would by a certain class of people have been deemed a legalist; a people who widely differ from the practice of the apostle, for they are conformed to the world, and they feed themselves without fear.
On the various important subjects in this chapter I have already spoken in great detail; not, indeed, all that might be said, but as much as is necessary. A few general observations will serve to recapitulate and impress what has been already said.
1. St. Paul contends that a preacher of the Gospel has a right to his support; and he has proved this from the law, from the Gospel, and from the common sense and consent of men. If a man who does not labor takes his maintenance from the Church of God, it is not only a domestic theft but a sacrilege. He that gives up his time to this labor has a right to the support of himself and family: he who takes more than is sufficient for this purpose is a covetous hireling. He who does nothing for the cause of God and religion, and yet obliges the Church to support him, and minister to his idleness, irregularities, luxury, avarice, and ambition, is a monster for whom human language has not yet got a name.
2. Those who refuse the laborer his hire are condemned by God and by good men. How liberal are many to public places of amusement, or to some popular charity, where their names are sure to be published abroad; while the man who watches over their souls is fed with the most parsimonious hand! Will not God abate this pride and reprove this hard-heartedness?
3. As the husbandman plows and sows in hope, and the God of providence makes him a partaker of his hope, let the upright preachers of God's word take example and encouragement by him. Let them labor in hope; God will not permit them to spend their strength for nought. Though much of their seed, through the fault of the bad ground, may be unfruitful, yet some will spring up unto eternal life.
4. St. Paul became all things to all men, that he might gain all. This was not the effect of a fickle or man-pleasing disposition; no man was ever of a more firm or decided character than St. Paul; but whenever he could with a good conscience yield so as to please his neighbor for his good to edification, he did so; and his yielding disposition was a proof of the greatness of his soul. The unyielding and obstinate mind is always a little mind: a want of true greatness always produces obstinacy and peevishness. Such a person as St. Paul is a blessing wherever he goes: on the contrary, the obstinate, hoggish man, is either a general curse, or a general cross; and if a preacher of the Gospel, his is a burthensome ministry. Reader, let me ask thee a question: If there be no gentleness in thy manners, is there any in thy heart? If there be little of Christ without, can there be much of Christ within?
5. A few general observations on the Grecian games may serve to recapitulate the subject in the four last verses.
1. The Isthmian games were celebrated among the Corinthians; and therefore the apostle addresses them, 1 Corinthians 9:24 : Know ye not, etc.
2. Of the five games there used, the apostle speaks only of three.
Wrestling, 1 Corinthians 9:25 : Every man that striveth; ὁ αγωνιζομενος, he who wrestleth.
Boxing, 1 Corinthians 9:26, 1 Corinthians 9:27 : So fight I, not as one that beateth the air; οὑτω πυκτευω, so fist I, so I hit; but I keep my body under; ὑπωπιαζω, I hit in the eye, I make the face black and blue.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryThird Sunday Before Lent
Text: First Corinthians 9, 24-27; 10, 1-5. 24 Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain. 25 And every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, as not uncertainly; so fight I, as not beating the air: 27 but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II
The Sin of Silence
Though in Order to Establish this Suitable Difference Between the Fruits or Effects of virtue and vice,
An Essay on the Scriptural Doctrine of Immortality
yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually come and attack me!'"
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?
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