8 Now about food sacrificed to idols:a We know that “we all have knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up,b but lovec builds up. 2 If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it.d 3 But if anyone loves God,e he is knownf by him.
4 About eating food sacrificed to idols, then, we know that “an idol is nothing in the world,”A and that “there is no God but one.”g 5 For even if there are so-called gods,h whether in heaven or on earth—as there are many “gods” and many “lords”—6 yet for us there is one God, the Father.i All things are from him,j and we exist for him. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ. All things are through him, and we exist through him.k
7 However, not everyone has this knowledge. Some have been so used to idolatry up until now that when they eat food sacrificed to an idol, their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 Food will not bring us close to God.B We are not worse off if we don’t eat, and we are not better if we do eat.l 9 But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling blockm to the weak. 10 For if someone sees you, the one who has knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, won’t his weak conscience be encouragedC to eat food offered to idols? 11 So the weak person, the brother or sister for whom Christ died,n is ruinedD,o by your knowledge.p 12 Now when you sin like this against brothers and sisters and wound their weak conscience, you are sinning against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother or sister to fall, I will never again eat meat,q so that I won’t cause my brother or sister to fall.
9 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you, because you are the sealr of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Don’t we have the right to eat and drink?s 5 Don’t we have the right to be accompanied by a believing wifeE like the other apostles,t the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas?u 6 Or do only Barnabasv and I have no right to refrain from working? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense?w Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who shepherds a flock and does not drink the milk from the flock?
8 Am I saying this from a human perspective? Doesn’t the law also say the same thing? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Do not muzzle an oxx while it treads out grain.F,y Is God really concerned about oxen? 10 Isn’t he really saying it for our sake? Yes, this is written for our sake,z because he who plows ought to plow in hope,aa and he who threshes should thresh in hope of sharing the crop.ab 11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it too much if we reap material benefits from you? 12 If others have this right to receive benefits from you, don’t we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right; instead, we endure everythingac so that we will not hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 Don’t you know that those who perform the temple services eat the food from the temple, and those who serve at the altarad share in the offerings of the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should earn their living by the gospel.ae
15 For my part I have used none of these rights, nor have I written these things that they may be applied in my case. For it would be better for me to die than for anyone to deprive me of my boast! 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have no reason to boast, because I am compelled to preachG—and woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward, but if unwillingly, I am entrustedaf with a commission. 18 What then is my reward? To preach the gospel and offer it free of charge and not make full use of my rights in the gospel.ag
19 Although I am free from all and not anyone’s slave, I have made myself a slave to everyone, in order to winah more people. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law—though I myself am not under the lawH—to win those under the law.ai 21 To those who are without the law,aj like one without the law—though I am not without God’s law but under the law of Christ—to win those without the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some.a
Or an idol has no real existence
Or bring us before (the judgment seat of) God
Or built up
Lit a sister as a wife
Lit because necessity is laid upon me
Other mss omit though I myself am not under the law