UPDATED AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION

Translating Truth

The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians

  • Author: Paul
  • Place Written: Ephesus
  • When Written: c. 55 C.E.

Greeting and Thanksgiving

Paul, called as an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,[1]

To the congregation[2] of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy ones together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always concerning you, because of the grace of God which was given to you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you, so that you do not lack in any spiritual gift as you eagerly await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called to fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Divisions in the Church

10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For some from the house of Chloe have informed me regarding you, my brothers, that there is quarreling among you. 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.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one should say you were baptized in my name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. As for the rest, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to proclaim the gospel, not with wisdom of words,[3] lest the cross of Christ be emptied.

Christ the Power and Wisdom of God

18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will set aside.”

20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe. 22 For indeed, Jews ask for signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block[4] and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider[5] your calling, brothers, that there were not many wise according to the flesh,[6] not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the insignificant things[7] of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that he might bring to nothing the things that are, 29 so that no flesh might boast in the sight of God. 30 But from him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”[8]

Proclaiming Christ Crucified

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

The Revelation by God’s Spirit

We speak wisdom, however, among them that are full grown,[9] but a wisdom not of this world,[10] nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God foreordained[11] before the world to our glory, which none of the rulers of this world has known, for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
all that God has prepared for those who love him.”[12]

10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

14 But the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand[13] them, because they are examined spiritually. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Fellow Workmen for God

And I, brothers, was not able to speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to fleshly men, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, for you were not yet ready. But now you are still not able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?

God Makes It Grow

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Build with Fire-Resistant Material

10 According to the grace of God that was given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will disclose it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

You Are God’s Temple

16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Worldly Wisdom Foolish to God

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness;”[14] 20 and again, “The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.”[15] 21 So then, let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come, all things are yours, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

The Ministry of the Apostles

Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, but by this I am not vindicated. But the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore, do not judge anything before the due time, until the Lord comes. He will bring the secret things of darkness to light and make known the intentions of the hearts, and then each man will receive his praise from God.

Now, brothers, these things I have applied to myself and Apollos for your good, that through us you may learn not go beyond the things that are written, so that you may not be puffed up favoring one against the other. For who makes you different from another? Indeed, what do you have that you did not receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not receive it?

Have you already been made full?[16] Are you already rich? Have you begun ruling as kings without us? I really wish that you had begun ruling as kings, so that we also might rule with you as kings. For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as condemned to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world and to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are prudent in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong. You are honored, but we are dishonored. 11 Down to this very hour we continue to hunger and thirst and are poorly clothed and are knocked about and are homeless, 12 and we toil, working with our own hands. When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat; we have become as the refuse[17] of the world, the scum[18] of all things, until now.

14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For though you have ten thousand tutors in Christ, you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have become your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I exhort you, become imitators of me. 17 That is why I sent you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every congregation. 18 Now some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will know not the words of those who are puffed up,[19] but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. 21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?

Judgment against Sexual Immorality

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality[20] among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant[21] and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.

For although absent in body, I am present in spirit, and I have already judged the man who has done this, as if I were present. When you are gathered together in the name of our Lord Jesus, and I am with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you must hand such a man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. So then, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old leaven or with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to get out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to associate with any so-called brother, who is sexually immoral[22] or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even to eat with such a man. 12 For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do you not judge those inside? 13 But those who are outside, God will judge. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

Going to Law before Unbelievers

Does anyone of you that has a case against the other dare to go to law[23] before unrighteous men, and not before the holy ones? Or do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? If then you have to judge things pertaining to this life, do you set them to judge who are of no account in the congregation? I say this to move you to shame. Is there not one wise man among you who is able to judge between his brothers? Instead brother goes to law[24] with brother, and before unbelievers at that! Indeed, it is already a defeat for you that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? Instead, you wrong and defraud, and your brothers at that!

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men of passive homosexual acts, nor men of active homosexual acts,[25] 10 nor thieves, nor greedy persons, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Flee Sexual Immorality

12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under authority[26] by anything. 13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. But the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For it says, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality.[27] Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God with your body.

Problems concerning Marriage

Now concerning the things about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.”[28] But because of sexual immorality,[29] let each man have his own wife and each woman have her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her marital due, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but her husband does. And likewise, also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but his wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

But this I say by way of concession, not of command. Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this way, another in that way.

Now I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am. But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married I give instructions, not I but the Lord, that a wife should not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does separate, let her remain unmarried or else be reconciled with her husband, and a husband should not leave his wife.

12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us in peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

The Life Which the Lord Has Assigned

17 Only as the Lord has given each one, as God has called each one, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the congregations. 18 Was any man already circumcised when he was called? Let him not undo his circumcision. Has any man been called while uncircumcised? Let him not get circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. 20 Let each man remain in the calling in which he was called. 21 Were you called when a slave? Do not let it concern you; but if you can become free, then take the opportunity. 22 For he who was called in the Lord when a slave is a freedman of the Lord; likewise anyone who was called when a freeman is a slave of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brothers, let each man, in which he was called, therein remain with God.

The Unmarried and the Widowed

25 Now concerning virgins I do not have a command from the Lord, but I am giving an opinion as one shown mercy by the Lord to be trustworthy. 26 I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you marry, you have not sinned, and if the virgin marries, she has not sinned. But such one will have tribulation in the flesh, and I would spare you. 29 But this I say, brothers, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none, 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess, 31 and those making use of the world as those not using it to the full; for the form[30] of this world is passing away.

32 But I would have you to be free from concerns. He that is unmarried is concerned for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. 33 But he that is married is concerned for the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 Now I am saying this for your own benefit, not that I may put a restriction[31] on you, but to promote appropriate and devoted service to the Lord without distraction.

36 But if any man thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, and if she is past the bloom of her youth, and it must be, let him do what he wishes. He does not sin. Let them marry. 37 But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no necessity, but has authority over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin, he will do well. 38 So, then, he who marries his own virgin does well, and the one who does not marry her will do better.

39 A wife is bound for as long a time as her husband lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry whomever she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is, and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Food Offered to Idols

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it. But if anyone loves God, he is known by him.

Therefore, concerning the eating of food sacrificed to idols, we know that “an idol is nothing in the world” and that “there is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But food does not bring us close to God. Neither if we do not eat do we lack, nor if we do eat do we have more.”[32] But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone should see you who has knowledge reclining for a meal in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

The Rights of an Apostle

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my work in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

My defense to those who examine me is this: Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a sister as wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who do not have the right to refrain from working? What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who shepherds a flock and does not drink from the milk of the flock?

Do I speak these things after the manner of men? Or does not the Law also say these things? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Or is it for our sakes that he says it? It was really written for our sakes, because the man who plows and the man who threshes ought to do so in hope of a share. 11 If we sowed spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If other men have this rightful claim over you, do we not have it much more so? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we are enduring all things so that we might not in any way hinder the gospel of Christ. 

13 Do you not know that the men performing sacred services eat the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar receive a share from the altar? 14 In this way, too, the Lord commanded those who proclaim the gospel should get their living from the gospel.

15 But I have used none of these things. And I write not these things so that it may be so done in my case. For it would be better for me rather to die than have any man make my reason for boasting void! 16 Now if I am proclaiming the good news, it is no reason for me to boast, for necessity is laid upon me. Really, woe to me if I do not proclaim the good news! 17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. 18 What then is my reward? That when I proclaim the gospel, I may offer the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may gain more. 20 And so to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those under the law I became as under the law, though I myself am not under the law, that I might gain those under the law. 21 To those without law I became as without law, although I am not without law toward God but under the law toward Christ, that I might gain those without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 But I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

24 Do you not know that those who run in the stadium all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore, the way I am running is not aimlessly; the way I am aiming my blows is so as not to be striking the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Warning Against Idolatry

10 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were struck down in the wilderness.

Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not be desirers of evil things, as they desired them. Neither become idolaters, as some of them did; just as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”[33] Neither let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed sexual immorality, only to fall, twenty-three thousand of them in one day. Neither let us put the Lord to the test, as some of them tested him, and were destroyed by serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them grumbled, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore, the one who thinks that he stands beware that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel. Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 What am I saying? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but I say that the things which the nations sacrifice they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers with the demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than he is, are we?

Do All to the Glory of God

23 All things are permissible, but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things build up. 24 Let each one keep seeking, not his own good, but that of the other person. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising questions for the sake of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If an unbeliever invites you and you want to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no questions for the sake of your conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake. 29 I do not mean your own conscience, but that of the other person. For why should my freedom be judged by another person’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks?

31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the congregation[34] of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own advantage but that of many, that they may be saved.

11 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

Head Coverings

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions[35] just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn, the head of a woman is the man; in turn, the head of the Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head, but every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for she is one and the same with the one whose head is shaved. For if a woman does not cover herself, she should have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved, she should be covered. For a man should not have his head covered, as he is God’s image and glory, but the woman is man’s glory. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. For indeed man was not created for the sake of the woman, but woman for the sake of the man. 10 This is why the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord neither is woman separate from man nor is man separate from woman. 12 For just as the woman is from the man, so also the man is through the woman; but all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: Is it fitting for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if any man seems to be quarrelsome, we have no such custom, nor do the congregations of God.

The Lord's Supper

17 Now in giving this instruction I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. 20 Therefore, when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Super. 21 For in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the congregation of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? No, I will not.

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”[36] 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”[37] 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment against himself. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number are sleeping in death.[38] 31 But if we discerned ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that when you come together it is not for judgment. But as for the remaining matters, I will put them in order when I come.

Spiritual Gifts

12 Now concerning the spiritual things,[39] brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led Therefore I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

4 Now there are different gifts, but there is the same Spirit; and there are different ministries, and yet there is the same Lord; and there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for a beneficial purpose. For to one is given speech of wisdom through the Spirit, to another speech of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophesying, to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another kinds of tongues, and to another interpretation of tongues. 11 But all these operations are performed by the very same Spirit, distributing to each one respectively just as it wills.

One Body with Many Members

12 For just as the body is one but has many members, and all the members of that body, although many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink one spirit.

14 For, indeed, the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am no part of the body,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If it were all hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body just as he wanted. 19 And if they all were one member, where would the body be? 20 But now there are many members, but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary, 23 and the parts of the body that we think to be less honorable we bestow with greater honor, so our unseemly parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has set some in the congregation,[40] first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then powerful works,[41] then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29 Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all are workers of powerful works,[42] are they? 30 Not all have gifts of healings, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all are interpreters, are they? 31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

The Way of Love

13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed others, and if I give over my body in order to boast,[43] but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is long suffering and kind; Love is not jealous, it does not brag; it is not puffed up,[44] does not behave indecently;[45] is not seeking its own interests, is not provoked, does not keep a record of wrong, does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with; if there are tongues,[46] they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away with. For we have partial knowledge and we prophesy partially, 10 but when what is complete comes, what is partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things. 12 For now we see through a mirror hazily, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know accurately, just as I have also been accurately known.

13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Prophecy and Tongues

14 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but by the Spirit he speaks mysteries. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the congregation. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the congregation may be built up.

Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? It is the same with the soulless things[47] that produce sound, whether flute or lyre, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the lyre? For indeed, if the trumpet produces an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So also you, unless you with the tongue use speech that is easily understood, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different kinds of languages in the world, none is without meaning. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me. 12 So also with you, since you eagerly desire the spiritual gifts, seek to abound in gifts that will build up the congregation.

13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 Therefore what should I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will also sing praise with my mind. 16 For otherwise, if you praise in your spirit, how will the one who fills the place of the unlearned[48] say the “amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 For indeed you are giving thanks well, but the other man is not being built up. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you; 19 nevertheless, in congregation I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

20 Brothers, do not become young children in your understanding,[49] but be babes as to badness;[50] and become mature in your understanding. 21 In the law it is written, By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers will I speak to this people; and not even then will they hear me,”[51] says the Lord. 22 So then, tongues are not a sign for the believers but for the unbelievers, whereas prophecy is not for the unbelievers but for the believers. 23 So if the whole congregation comes together and all speak in tongues, and men unlearned or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or unlearned man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God, proclaiming, “God is truly among you!”

Orderly Worship

26 What is to be done, then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things take place for building up. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, there are to be only two, or at the most three, each in turn, and let someone interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the congregation, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others discern. 30 But if a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted, 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. 33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

As in all the congregations of the holy ones, 34 let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak, but let them be in subjection, as the Law also says. 35 If they want to learn something, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the congregation.

36 Was it from you that the word of God went out, or has it come to you only? 37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should recognize that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. 38 But if any man is ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39 Therefore, my brothers, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. 40 But let all things be done decently and in order.

The Resurrection of Christ

15 Now I make known to you, brothers, the gospel which I proclaimed to you, which you have also received, in which you also stand, by which you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the message I proclaimed to you, unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom remain until now, though some have fallen asleep in death;[52] then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 Moreover, we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if after all, then, the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep in death.[53] 21 For since death came through a man, resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who belong to the Christ at his coming,[54] 24 then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when he has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For he put all things in subjection under his feet. But when he says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that he is excepted who put all things in subjection to him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.

29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized for the sake of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why indeed are they baptized for the sake of them?[55] 30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I face death every day, by my boasting in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If like other men, I fought wild beasts at Ephesus, of what good is it to me? If the dead are not to be raised up, “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.” 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Become sober-minded[56] in a righteous way, and do not go on sinning;[57] for some have no knowledge of God. I am speaking to move you to shame.

The Resurrection Body

35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of some other kind. 38 But God gives it a body just as it has pleased him, and gives to each of the seeds its own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of animals, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised up in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth and made of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Victorious Resurrection

50 Now I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Look, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep in death,[58] but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”[59]
55 “O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”[60]

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not empty.[61]

The Contribution for the Holy Ones

16 Now concerning the collection for the holy ones: as I directed the congregations of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of the week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper,[62] so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem; And if it seems advisable that I should go also, they will travel with me.

Plans for Travel

But I will come to you whenever I go through Macedonia for I am going through Macedonia, and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I may go. For I do not want to see you now in passing, for I hope to remain some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost; for a large door for effective activity has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

10 Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to fear, for he is doing the Lord’s work, as I also am. 11 Therefore, let no one look down on him. Send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers.

Final Request and Greetings

12 Now concerning Apollos our brother, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brothers. It was not his intention to come now, but he will come when he has the opportunity.

13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.

15 Now I urge you, brothers, you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to ministering to the holy ones, 16 that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who work together and labor. 17 I rejoice at the presence of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, 18 for they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore give recognition to such men.

Greetings

19 The congregations of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the congregation in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. 20 All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

21 The greeting is in my own hand, Paul. 22 If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

[1] Brothers: (Gr. adelphoi) This refers to male siblings. (Matt 4:18) It also refers to a group of persons, that is, fellow believers (male and female at times, Rom. 18:29), regardless of the masculine form. It can also refer to a fellow Jew (Ac 22:1); to fellow countryman (Ac 2:29), as well as one’s neighbor (Matt. 5:22)–Acts 1:15-16; 9:30; 11:1; Romans 1:13; 1 Corinthians 1:1, 10.

[2] Gr ekklesia (“assembly;” “congregation, i.e., of Christians”)

[3] Or with clever speech

[4] Stumble, fall away, to be offended: (Gr. skandalizomai) In Greek, “stumbling block” (skandalon) was originally a device or trap, which contained bait, to ensnare or catch something alive. (1 John 2:10) It is used in the Scriptures as a trap, obstacle, or snare that stumbles one into sinning. (Rom. 11:9; Matt. 13:41) It can also be used as an obstacle that causes offense, resulting in opposition. (1 Cor. 1:23; Gal. 5:11) The Greek, (skandalizomai) refers to one who ceases to believe because of tribulation. (Matt. 13:21) It can also refer to one who is spiritually weak, immature in the faith, resulting in their falling into sin. (2 Cor. 11:29) In addition, it can refer to one who takes offense to some action. (Matt. 15:12) It can refer to one who causes another no longer to believe (John 6:61) It can also refer to something or someone that causes another to sin because they are spiritually weak or immature in the faith. (Matt. 5:29; Rom. 14:21) It can refer to another who is angered or shocked by something or someone, which could result in their sinning.–Matt. 17:27; John 6:61.

[5] Lit see

[6] That is, human standards

[7] Or base things; Lit unborn; implying a lack of noble descent, inferior

[8] A quotation from Jer 9:24

[9] That is, the mature

[10] Or a wisdom not of this age

[11] Or decreed beforehand

[12] A quotation from Isa 64:4

[13] “The Greek word ginosko (“to understand”) does not mean comprehend intellectually; it means know by experience. The unsaved obviously do not experience God’s Word because they do not welcome it. Only the regenerate has the capacity to welcome and experience the Scriptures, by means of the Holy Spirit.”― (Zuck 1991, 23)

[14] Quotation from Job 5:13

[15] Quotation from Psalm 94:11

[16] That is, have you already been satisfied

[17] Or dirt, filth, garbage, scummy water

[18] That is, the dirt or scum scraped off of one’s skin when washing

[19] That is, arrogant

[20] Sexual Immorality: (Heb. zanah; Gr. porneia) A general term for immoral sexual acts of any kind: such as adultery, prostitution, sexual relations between people not married to each other, homosexuality, and bestiality. – Num. 25:1; Deut. 22:21; Matt. 5:32; 1 Cor. 5:1.

[21] Lit puffed up

[22] Sexual Immorality: (Heb. zanah; Gr. porneia) A general term for immoral sexual acts of any kind: such as adultery, prostitution, sexual relations between people not married to each other, homosexuality, and bestiality. – Num. 25:1; Deut. 22:21; Matt. 5:32; 1 Cor. 5:1.

[23] That is, dare to be judged in court

[24] That is, to be judge in court

[25] The two Greek terms refer to passive men partners and active men partners in consensual homosexual acts.

[26] Or controlled

[27] Sexual Immorality: (Heb. zanah; Gr. porneia) A general term for immoral sexual acts of any kind: such as adultery, prostitution, sexual relations between people not married to each other, homosexuality, and bestiality. – Num. 25:1; Deut. 22:21; Matt. 5:32; 1 Cor. 5:1.

[28] That is, not to have sexual relations with a woman

[29] Sexual Immorality: (Heb. zanah; Gr. porneia) A general term for immoral sexual acts of any kind: such as adultery, prostitution, sexual relations between people not married to each other, homosexuality, and bestiality. – Num. 25:1; Deut. 22:21; Matt. 5:32; 1 Cor. 5:1.

[30] That is, ‘the way of life in this world is passing away.’

[31] Lit put a noose [or snare] upon you

[32] Meaning “we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat.”―NASB.

[33] A quotation from Exod 32:6

[34] Gr ekklesia (“assembly;” “congregation, i.e., of Christians”)

[35] The Greek word (παράδοσις paradosis), which is here rendered “traditions,” refers to a specific practice of something handed down from respected authorities, which can include information, instructions, or practices that have been share with others that should be followed, which are sometimes beneficial (2Th 2:15; 3:6), such as the case with the apostle Paul receiving information concerning the Lord’s Super. – 1 Corinthians 11:23

[36] I.e., as my memorial

[37] I.e., as my memorial

[38] Lit (κοιμῶνται koimōntai) falls asleep, i.e., falls asleep in death

[39] That is, spiritual gifts, possibly those people who have spiritual gifts

[40] Gr ekklesia (“assembly;” “congregation, i.e., of Christians”)

[41] Or miracles

[42] Or workers of miracles

[43] Less superior testimony reads body to be burned [Ψ 1739* c Maj C D F G L  καυθησομαι]

[44] I.e., self-important or made proud

[45] Or is not rude

[46] Namely, miraculous speaking in other languages.

[47] Or lifeless things, Gr., ψυχα apsycha

[48] Or unbeliever, outsider, who has some basic knowledge of the Christian faith but is not a believer yet.

[49] Thinking, Understanding: (Gr. phren) The sense of phren is thinking, that is, using our mind to think through something carefully, implying that one is wise, a way of thinking, planning ahead.–1 Corinthians 14:20

[50] Or children as to badness

[51] A quotation from Isa 28:11–12

[52] Lit (ἐκοιμήθησαν ekoimēthēsan) fell asleep, i.e., asleep in death

[53] Lit (κεκοιμημένων kekoimēmenōn) having fallen asleep, i.e., asleep in death

[54] Presence; Coming: (Gr. parousia) The Greek word which is rendered as “presence” is derived from para, meaning “with,” and ousia, meaning “being.” It denotes both an “arrival” and a consequent “presence with.” Depending on the context, it can mean “presence,” “arrival,” “appearance,” or “coming.” In some contexts, this word is describing the presence of Jesus Christ in the last days, i.e., from his ascension in 33 C.E. up unto his second coming, with the emphasis being on his second coming, the end of the age of Satan’s reign of terror over the earth. We do not know the day nor the hours of this second coming. (Matt 24:36) It covers a marked period of time with the focus on the end of that period. – Matt. 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 1 Cor. 15:23; 16:17; 2 Cor. 7:6-7; 10:10; Php 1:26; 2:12; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:2.

[55] There is no baptism on behalf of those, who died in an unbaptized state. (1 Cor. 15:29; See Matt 28:19; Ac 2:41; 8:12; 13:24; Rom 6:3, for one must ‘accept the word,’ believe,’ and ‘repent.’) What does it mean to be “baptized for the sake of the dead”? (UASV) Paul is here speaking of the immersion of Christians who have a heavenly hope into a life course in which they maintain their righteous standing until their death and subsequent resurrection to heaven.

[56] Sober Minded: (Gr. nepho) This denotes being sound in mind, to be in control of one’s thought processes and thus not be in danger of irrational thinking, ‘to be sober-minded, to be well composed in mind.’–1 Thessalonians 5:6, 8; 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8.

[57] The Greek literally reads, “not be you sinning” (ἁμαρτάνετε, present active imperative). The UASV and ESV correctly renders this “do not go on sinning,” as the present tense often carries with it a durative or progressive sense. The Greek here brings out that there is a difference between committing a sin and willfully living in sin.

[58] lit (koimēthēsometha) sleep; i.e., sleep in death

[59] A quotation from Isa 25:8

[60] A quotation from Hos 13:14

[61] Or in vain

[62] I.e. according to his own means