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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on 1 Corinthians

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9.1–27 : Paul's rights and his freedom not to exercise them.

Paul illustrates the principle in 8.13 from his nonuse of his apostolic freedom in his mission, in an emotionally charged selfdefense of his apostolic conduct.

1 :

An apostle … seen Jesus our Lord, see 15.8; Gal 1.1,11–16 .

3 :

See 4.3–4 .

4–12a :

Paul first establishes his right or liberty as an apostle, purposely using the Corinthian term for enlightened individ ual “liberty” (see 8.9n. ).

4–7 :

Paul has the same right to economic support from the communities of the movement as do Cephas (Peter) and other apostles but, since his mission with Barnabas based in Antioch (see Acts 13–14 ), has not used it.

8–10 :

The divine authority of the law of Moses (Deut 25.4 ) confirms his apostolic right to economic support.

12b–27 :

Paul comes to the main point of his autobiographical illustration of the principle in 8.13 and his selfdefense to the Corinthians who were examining him: He has not used his apostolic right.

14 :

The Lord commanded, see 7.10n.

15 :

Paul had followed the same practice in Thessalonica (1 Thess 2.7–9 ).

16–17 :

An obligation is laid on me … do this of my own will, the terms in Greek are “necessity,” the constraints of ordinary human affairs, which the enlightened Corinthians believe they have transcended in their “liberty,” and “free will” to act without the constraints of necessity, which only the wise person possesses. Paul asserts that he was entrusted with a commission, like the biblical prophets.

18 :

A paradoxical statement: His reward is to make the gospel free of charge, perhaps to make his gospel free of what would otherwise seem like patronage, which was increasingly common in the dominant society.

19–22 :

He argues that the purpose of his nonuse of his apostolic right,i.e., to win or save some, is the opposite of the potential result of the enlightened Corinthians' use of their individual “liberty.”

19 :

His metaphor of selfenslavement is specific to this argument against the enlight ened Corinthians' “liberty,” not a general understanding of Christian life or discipleship.

20–21 :

To the Jews…‐. To those under the law…‐. To those outside the law …, involves a more complex distinction than simply Jews and non‐Jews (Greeks); perhaps Jews, others who observe the (Jewish) law, and (other) Gentiles/Greeks.

24–27 :

The extended athletic metaphor alludes to the Isthmian and Imperial Games at Corinth.

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