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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - 1 Corinthians 9:27


    CHAPTERS: 1 Corinthians 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16     
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27

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    King James Bible - 1 Corinthians 9:27

    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.

    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.

    Douay-Rheims - 1 Corinthians 9:27

    But I chastise my
    body, and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    But I keep under my
    body, and bring it into subjection: lest by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away.

    Greek Textus Receptus


    αλλ
    235 CONJ υπωπιαζω 5299 5719 V-PAI-1S μου 3450 P-1GS το 3588 T-ASN σωμα 4983 N-ASN και 2532 CONJ δουλαγωγω 1396 5719 V-PAI-1S-C μηπως 3381 CONJ αλλοις 243 A-DPM κηρυξας 2784 5660 V-AAP-NSM αυτος 846 P-NSM αδοκιμος 96 A-NSM γενωμαι 1096 5638 V-2ADS-1S

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (27) -
    :25; 4:11,12; 6:12,13; 8:13 Ro 8:13 2Co 6:4,5; 11:27 Col 3:5 2Ti 2:22

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 9:27

    antes sujeto mi cuerpo, y lo pongo en servidumbre; para que predicando a los otros, no me haga yo reprobado.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - 1 Corinthians 9:27

    Verse 27. But I keep under my
    body, &c.] This is an allusion, not only to boxers, but also to wrestlers in the same games, as we learn from the word upwpiazw, which signifies to hit in the eyes; and doulagwgw, 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 labour; 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 khruxav, which we translate having preached, refers to the office of the khrux, 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 Matt. iii. 17.

    Should be a castaway.] The word adokimov signifies such a person as the brabeutai, 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 labour 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 labour 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 labourer 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 labour 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 neighbour 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, ver. 24: KNOW ye not, &c.

    2. Of the five games there used, the apostle speaks only of three.

    RUNNING; ver. 24: They which run in a race; and 1 Cor. ix. x16: I therefore so run, not as uncertainly. WRESTLING, ver. 25: Every man that striveth; o agwnizomenov, he who wrestleth.

    BOXING, ver. 26, x17: So fight I, not as one that beateth the air; outw pukteuw, so fist I, so I hit; but I keep my body under; upwpiazw, I hit in the eye, I make the face black and blue.

    3. He who won the race by running was to observe the laws of racing-keeping within the white line which marked out the path or compass in which they ran; and he was also to outrun the rest, and to come first to the goal; otherwise he ran uncertainly, 1 Cor. ix. 24, 26, and was adokimov, one to whom the prize could not be judged by the judges of the games.

    4. The athletic combatants, or wrestlers, observed a set diet. See the quotation from Epictetus, under ver. 25. And this was a regimen both for quantity and quality; and they carefully abstained from all things that might render them less able for the combat; whence the apostle says they were temperate in all things, ver. 25.

    5. No person who was not of respectable family and connections was permitted to be a competitor at the Olympic games. St. Chrysostom, in whose time these games were still celebrated, assures us that no man was suffered to enter the lists who was either a servant or a slave, oudeiv agwnizetai doulov, oudeiv strateuetai oikethv? and if any such was found who had got himself inserted on the military list, his name was erased, and he was expelled and punished. all ean alw doulov wn, meta timeriav ekballetai tou twn stratiwtwn kataolou. To prevent any person of bad character from entering the list at the Olympic games, the kerux, or herald, was accustomed to proclaim aloud in the theater when the combatant was brought forth: mh toutou kathgorei; wste auton aposkeuasamenon thv douleiav thn upoyian outwv eiv touv agwnav embhnai: Who can accuse this man? For which he gives this reason: "that being free from all suspicion of being in a state of slavery, (and elsewhere he says of being a thief, or of corrupt morals,) he might enter the lists with credit." Chrysost. Homil. in Inscript. Altaris, &c., vol. iii. page 59, Edit. Benedict.

    6. The boxers used to prepare themselves by a sort of skiamacia, or going through all their postures of defense and attack when no adversary was before them. This was termed beating the air, 1 Cor. ix. 26; but when such came to the combat, they endeavoured to blind their adversaries by hitting them in the eye, which is the meaning of upwpiazein, as we have seen under 1 Cor. ix. 27.

    7. The rewards of all these exercises were only a crown made of the leaves of some plant, or the bough of some tree; the olive, bay, laurel, parsley, &c., called here by the apostle fqarton stefanon, a corruptible, withering, and fading crown; while he and his fellow Christians expected a crown incorruptible and immortal, and that could not fade away.

    8. On the subject of the possibility of St. Paul becoming a castaway, much has been said in contradiction to his own words. HE most absolutely states the possibility of the case: and who has a right to call this in question? The ancient Greek commentators, as Whitby has remarked, have made a good use of the apostle's saying, ei de paulov touto dedoiken o tosoutouv didaxav, ti an eipoimen hmeiv; "If Paul, so great a man, one who had preached and laboured so much, dreaded this, what cause have we to fear lest this should befall us?" 9. On the necessity of being workers together with God, in order to avoid apostasy, Clemens Alexandrinus has some useful observations in his Stromata, lib. vii., page 448, Edit. Oberthur: wv de, says he, o iatrov ugeian parexetai toiv sunergousi prov ugeian, outwv kai o qeov thn aidion swthrian toiv sunergousi prov gnwsin te kai eupragian? "As a physician gives health to those who cooperate with him in their cure; so God also gives eternal salvation to them who are workers together with him in knowledge and a godly life." "Therefore," says he, "it is well said among the Greeks, that when a certain wrestler, who had long inured his body to manly exercises, was going to the Olympic games, as he was passing by the statue of Jupiter he offered up this prayer: ei panta, w zeu, deontwv moi ta prov ton agwna taoeskeuastai, apodov ferwn dikaiwv thn nikhn emoi? 'O Jupiter, if I have performed every thing as I ought in reference to this contest, grant me the victory!'" May we not feel something of this spirit in seeking the kingdom of God? And can any thing of this kind be supposed to derogate from the glory of Christ? St. Paul himself says, if a man contend for the mastery, yet is he not crowned except he strive lawfully. Shall we pretend to be wiser than the apostle; and say, that we may gain the crown, though we neither fight the good fight nor finish the course?


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 27. But I keep under my body , etc.] The allusion is still to fighters, who, by cuffing and boxing, give their antagonists black and blue eyes, which is the proper signification of the word here used: so it is said of Menedemus, that in questions or scholastic exercises, he was so vehement and pugnacious, that he never departed without upwpia ferwn , carrying away black and blue eyes. This is not to be understood by the apostle of his natural body, and of his keeping it under by immoderate watchings, fastings, and labours, or by whipping and scourging, and lying upon the bare ground, and other such practices; but of the body of sin, the corruption of nature, and of that being laid under some restraints; of the mortifying the deeds of the body through the Spirit, of crucifying the affections with the lusts, of putting off the old man with his deeds, as concerning the former conversation, and of making no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof: it seems to be the same with what the Jews call f164 , wrxy bwk , a subduing of a mans evil concupiscence: who is a strong man? they say f165 , wrxy ta bwkh , he that subdues his corruption, according to ( Proverbs 16:32) and again f166 the sons of Ulam were mighty and powerful men, whyrxy ybk , subduing their corruptions, as man that draws a bow with wisdom. And bring it into subjection ; so as not to serve and obey it in the lusts thereof; but to have the ascendant of it, and government over it, that it does not, and cannot reign as it formerly did: the allusion is still to the combatant, who gets and keeps his antagonist under him, and has the command of him, and throws him on the ground, or drags him about at pleasure: lest that by any means when I have preached to others ; the Gospel of the grace of God, for their souls profit and advantage, to gain and save them; and have called upon them so to run, that they might receive and enjoy the incorruptible crown: I myself should be a castaway , or rejected, or disapproved of; that is, by men: the apostles concern is, lest he should do anything that might bring a reproach on the Gospel; lest some corruption of his nature or other should break out, and thereby his ministry be justly blamed, and be brought under contempt; and so he be rejected and disapproved of by men, and become useless as a preacher: not that he feared he should become a reprobate, as the word is opposed to an elect person; or that he should be a castaway eternally, or be everlastingly damned; for he knew in whom he had believed, and was persuaded of his interest in the love of God, and that he was a chosen vessel of salvation, that could not be eternally lost: though supposing that this is his sense, and these his fears and concern, it follows not as neither that he was, so neither that he could be a lost and damned person: the fears of the saints, their godly jealousies of themselves, and pious care that they be not lost, are not at all inconsistent with the firmness of their election, their security in Christ, and the impossibility of their final and total falling away; but on the contrary are overruled, and made use of by the Spirit of God, for their final perseverance in grace and holiness.

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 24-27 - The
    apostle compares himself to the racers and combatants in the Isthmian games, well known by the Corinthians. But in the Christia race all may run so as to obtain. There is the greatest encouragement therefore, to persevere with all our strength, in this course. Thos who ran in these games were kept to a spare diet. They used themselve to hardships. They practised the exercises. And those who pursue the interests of their souls, must combat hard with fleshly lusts. The bod must not be suffered to rule. The apostle presses this advice on the Corinthians. He sets before himself and them the danger of yielding to fleshly desires, pampering the body, and its lusts and appetites. Holy fear of himself was needed to keep an apostle faithful: how much mor is it needful for our preservation! Let us learn from hence humilit and caution, and to watch against dangers which surround us while in the body __________________________________________________________________


    Greek Textus Receptus


    αλλ
    235 CONJ υπωπιαζω 5299 5719 V-PAI-1S μου 3450 P-1GS το 3588 T-ASN σωμα 4983 N-ASN και 2532 CONJ δουλαγωγω 1396 5719 V-PAI-1S-C μηπως 3381 CONJ αλλοις 243 A-DPM κηρυξας 2784 5660 V-AAP-NSM αυτος 846 P-NSM αδοκιμος 96 A-NSM γενωμαι 1096 5638 V-2ADS-1S

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    27. I keep under (upwpiazw). A
    feeble translation, and missing the metaphor. The word means to strike under the eye; to give one a black eye. It occurs elsewhere in the New Testament but once, Luke xviii. 5 (see note). Rev., I buffet. The blow of the trained boxer was the more formidable from the use of the cestus, consisting of ox-hide bands covered with knots and nails, and loaded with lead and iron. So Entellus throws his boxing-gloves into the ring, formed of seven bulls' hides with lead and iron sewed into them (Virgil, "Aeneid," v., 405). They were sometimes called guiotoroi limb-breakers. A most interesting account is given by Rodolfo Lanziani, "Ancient Rome in the Light of Recent Discoveries," of the exhuming at the foundation of the Temple of the Sun, erected by Aurelian, of a sitting bronze statue of a boxer. The accompanying photograph shows the construction of the fur-lined boxing-gloves secured by thongs wound round the forearm half-way to the elbow. The gloves cover the thumb and the hand to the first finger-joints. The writer says; "The nose is swollen from the effects of the last blow received; the ears resemble a flat and shapeless piece of leather; the neck, the shoulders, the breast, are seamed with scars.... The details of the fur-lined boxing-gloves are also interesting, and one wonders how any human being, no matter how strong and powerful, could stand the blows from such weapons as these gloves, made of four or five thicknesses of leather, and fortified with brass knuckles." Bring it into subjection (doulagwgw). Rev., bring in into bondage. Metaphor of captives after battle. Not of leading the vanquished round the arena (so Godet), a custom of which there is no trace, and which, in most cases, the condition of the vanquished would render impossible. It is rather one of those sudden changes and mixtures of metaphor so frequent in Paul's writings. See, for instance, 2 Cor. v. 1, 2.

    Having preached (khruxav). See on 2 Pet. ii. 5. Some find in the word an allusion to the herald (khrux) who summoned the contestants and proclaimed the prizes.

    Castaway (adokimov). See on Rom. i. 28. Better, as Rev., rejected, as unworthy of the prize.


    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    9:27 {But I buffet my body} (alla hupwpiazw mou to swma). In Aristophanes, Aristotle, Plutarch, from hupwpion, and that from hupo and oy (in papyri), the part of the face under the eyes, a blow in the face, to beat black and blue. In N.T. only here and #Lu 18:5 which see. Paul does not, like the Gnostics, consider his sarx or his swma sinful and evil. But "it is like the horses in a chariot race, which must be kept well in hand by whip and rein if the prize is to be secured" (Robertson and Plummer). The boxers often used boxing gloves (cestus, of ox-hide bands) which gave telling blows. Paul was not willing for his body to be his master. He found good as the outcome of this self-discipline (#2Co 12:7; Ro 8:13; Col 2:23; 3:5). {And bring it into bondage} (kai doulagwgw). Late compound verb from doulagwgos, in Diodorus Siculus, Epictetus and substantive in papyri. It is the metaphor of the victor leading the vanquished as captive and slave. {Lest by any means} (me pws). Common conjunction for negative purpose with subjunctive as here (genwmai, second aorist middle). {After that I have preached to others} (allois ker-xas). First aorist active participle of kerussw (see on 1:23), common verb to preach, from word kerux (herald) and that is probably the idea here. A kerux at the games announced the rules of the game and called out the competitors. So Paul is not merely a herald, but a competitor also. {I myself should be rejected} (autos adokimos genwmai). Literally, "I myself should become rejected." adokimos is an old adjective used of metals, coin, soil (#Heb 6:8) and in a moral sense only by Paul in N.T. (#1Co 9:27; 2Co 13:5-7; Ro 1:28; Tit 1:16; 2Ti 3:8). It means not standing the test (dokimos from dokimazw). Paul means rejected for the {prize}, not for the entrance to the race. He will fail to win if he breaks the rules of the game (#Mt 7:22f.). What is the prize before Paul? Is it that {reward} (misqos) of which he spoke in verse #18, his glorying of preaching a free gospel? So Edwards argues. Most writers take Paul to refer to the possibility of his rejection in his personal salvation at the end of the race. He does not claim absolute perfection (#Php 3:12) and so he presses on. At the end he has serene confidence (#2Ti 4:7) with the race run and won. It is a humbling thought for us all to see this wholesome fear instead of smug complacency in this greatest of all heralds of Christ.


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