Translation:1 Corinthians

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For other English-language translations of this work, see 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians by Paul of Tarsus, translated by Wikisource
Free Bible
The first of two surviving letters from Paul of Tarsus to Christians in Corinth, written in the mid 50s of the 1st century.
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Chapter 1[edit]

1Paul, called an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Sosthenes[1] the brother.

2To the church of God which is in Corinth, those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those calling on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours.

3Blessing[2] to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4I am always giving thanks to my God about you, because of the kindness[2] of God that was given to you in Christ Jesus. 5For in everything you were enriched by him, in every word and all knowledge, 6as the testimony of Christ was established among you, 7so that you would not lack any gift[2] while expecting the appearance[3] of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also establish you until the end, to be without accusation on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.[4] 9God is trustworthy. Through him you were called into the companionship[5] of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

10Now I encourage you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that you may all say the same thing, and there may not be factions among you, but that you may be restored to him in mind and share the same opinion. 11For it has been explained to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe's people, that there are arguments between you. 12What I am saying is this, that each of you says, "I am with Paul", or "I am with Apollos", or "I am with Cephas",[6] or "I am with Christ".

13Has Christ become divided? Surely Paul was not crucified for you? Or were you baptised into the name of Paul? 14I thank God[7] that I baptised none of you except Crispus[1] and Gaius, 15so that no one could say that you were baptised into my name. 16I did baptise the household of Stephanas, as for the rest, I don't know if I baptised anyone else. 17For Christ did not send me to baptise but to announce good news,[8] not with wordy wisdom, so that the cross would not become meaningless. 18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed,[9] but to those being saved, to us, it is God's power. 19For it is written,

I will destroy[9] the wisdom of the wise;
and the intelligence of the intelligent I will set aside[10].[11]

20Where is the wise, where the literate man, where the critic of this age? Hasn't God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased, through the foolishness of the proclamation, to save those who believe. 22Thus also, Jews are asking for signs and Greeks seeking wisdom, 23but we proclaim a crucified Christ—an offense to Jews and foolishness to the nations, 24except for those who are called, both Jews and Greeks—a Christ who is God's power and God's wisdom, 25because the folly of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God stronger than men.

26For example, look at your calling, brothers, because not many are wise according to the flesh, not many powerful, not many well-born. 27But the follies of the world God chose to shame the wise, and the weaknesses of the world God chose to shame the strong; 28and the indignities of the world, and the despised things—God chose things that are not, so that he would nullify those that are, 29and then all flesh could not glory before God. 30But from him you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom for us from God, also righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31so that, as it is written,

Let him who glories, in the Lord[12] have his glory.[13]

Chapter 2[edit]

1Now when I came to you, brothers, I came not with superiority of word or wisdom, as I explained the mystery of God for you. 2For I had decided not to know anything while among you, unless it be Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3So, in weakness and in fear and with much trembling I approached you, 4and my word and my proclamation were not with the persuasions of wisdom but with manifestation of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your trust would not be in men's wisdom but in God's power.

6However, we are talking about wisdom with those who are mature, though not about a wisdom of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who have been nullified. 7Rather, we are speaking about God's wisdom as a mystery, something hidden away, that God predesignated before the ages for our glory, 8that none of the rulers of this age has known. For if they knew, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But, just as it is written,

What eye saw not, and ear did not hear, and upon a man's heart never came;
that God prepared for those who love him.[14]

10So, it is for our sake God reveals through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

11For who among men has understood the issues of the man, except the spirit of the man which is in him? Thus also, no one has known the issues of God, except the Spirit of God. 12However, we did not receive the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we could understand things given freely by God to us. 13These are the things that we are also talking about, not with teachings of human wisdom, but with spiritual teachings, applying spiritual things to spiritual men. 14Yet the thoughtful man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for it is foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand, because it is investigated spiritually; 15but he who is spiritual investigates everything, while himself being investigated by no one. 16For,

Who knew the Lord's mind;[15]
who will teach him?[16]

But we have the mind of Christ.

Chapter 3[edit]

1Now, brothers, I was not enabled to speak to you as spiritual men but as worldly ones,[17] as babies in Christ. 2Milk I fed you, not meat, for you were not yet able. But, indeed, neither even now are you able, 3since you are still worldly.[17] For wherever among you is envy and argument, aren't you worldly[17] and living[18] like any man? 4For whenever someone says, "I am with Paul", and the other, "I'm with Apollos", are you not just men?

5So what is Apollos? Or what is Paul? Servants, through whom you believed, and each as the Lord gave. 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God was giving growth. 7And so neither is the planter anything, nor the waterer, rather it is the grower—God. 8In fact, the planter and the waterer are one, though each will receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9For together with God we are co-workers—you are God's field, God's building. 10According to the kindness of God that was given to me, like a wise architect I placed a foundation, then another builds. But let him watch how he builds! 11For no one is able to lay another foundation alongside what has been laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12Now if anyone builds on the foundation—gold, silver, precious stones, timber, a courtyard, thatching— 13each one's work will become apparent, since the Day will make it plain, because it is revealed by fire; and the work of each, what it is like, that fire will test. 14If the work that someone built remains, he will receive a reward. 15If someone's work is burned down, it will be lost; but he himself will be saved, though as if it were through fire. 16Don't you know that you are God's shrine and the Spirit of God lives among you? 17If anyone ruins the shrine of God, God will ruin him. For the shrine of God is holy, which is what you yourselves are.

18Let no one deceive himself; if anyone considers himself to be wise among you in this age, let him become foolish, so that he might become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness alongside God; for it has been written,

He catches the wise in their trickery.[19]

20And again,

The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise,[20] that they are empty.[21]

21And so no one should be glorying in men, for everything is yours. 22Whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas[6] or the world or life or death or what is already here or what is still to come, everything is yours. 23But you are Christ's and Christ is God's.

Chapter 4[edit]

1Thus let people consider us—as officers and managers of God's mysteries. 2Here it remains to be said that it is sought among these managers, so that a faithful one can be found. 3But to me this is least—that I am being judged by you or by people of today. Indeed, I do not even judge myself, 4for I have not become aware of anything against myself—though it is not by this that I have been justified. He who judges me is the Lord. 5So you too, do not make judgements ahead of an appropriate time—until whenever the Lord comes—who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the intentions of hearts, and then praise will come to each from God.

6But these things, brothers, I have applied to myself and Apollos for your sake, so that you would learn this from us—"Not beyond what has been written!" Then there would be no one above one other according to the rest, puffing yourselves up. 7For who decides between you? What do you have that you didn't receive? 8And if you received, why boast as though not having been receivers? Already you have become bloated! Already you had become rich. Without us you ruled! And I wish you did rule, so that we too could rule with you. 9For I think God displayed us, his emissaries, last—like men set to die—because we became a spectacle for the world and for angels and for men. 10We are fools through Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are glorious, but we are dishonourable. 11Up to the current hour we are hungry and thirsty and naked and beaten and homeless and exhausted 12and working with our own hands. While abused we bless; while persecuted we endure; 13while slandered we invite. We became the world's filth, the scum of all, even until now.

14It is not to shame you I am writing these things but, as my beloved children, to instruct you. 15For many teachers in Christ you may well have, but not many fathers. 16So I invite you to become imitators of me. 17That's why I sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved child, and trustworthy in the Lord. He will remind you about my ways which are in Christ Jesus, just as I am teaching everywhere to every congregation. 18Since while I have not been coming to you, some became puffed up, 19I will now come quickly to you, if the Lord should will. I will come to know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but their power. 20For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power. 21What do you want? With a rod should I come to you, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?

Chapter 5[edit]

1It is heard everywhere that there is sexual immorality among you, such immorality as is nowhere among the nations, since some man has his father's wife. 2And you are filled with pride! But isn't it better you grieved? So that he would have been cast from your midst, he who did this deed. 3For although being absent in the body, I am still present in the spirit. I have already decided, as though present, about him who caused this situation. 4In the name of our Lord Jesus, gather yourselves and my spirit together in the power of our Lord Jesus, 5to hand this kind of man to Satan for destruction of the flesh, so the spirit can be saved on the Day of the Lord.

6It's not good, this boasting of yours. Don't you know that a little yeast causes the whole lump of dough to rise? 7Clean out the old yeast, so that you can be a new lump of dough, as you really are—without yeast. For Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed. 8So let us also celebrate the festival, not with old yeast nor with yeast of wickedness and evil, but with unleavened bread of purity and truth.

9I wrote to you in the letter not to mix with sexually immoral men— 10not all the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and grasping, or idol worshippers, since then you would have to go out from the world. 11But now I write to you not to mix with someone if, having been called brother, he is sexually immoral or greedy or idolatrous or slanderous or a drunkard or grasping. With such a man, do not even eat. 12Why would it be up to me to judge those outside? Don't you judge those inside? 13Those outside, though, God will judge.

Cast out the evil man from among yourselves.[22]

Chapter 6[edit]

1Does any of you dare, having a case against another, to have this judged by the unrighteous, and not by the holy? 2Or don't you know that the holy will judge the world? And if it is by you the world has been judged, are you unworthy of the most trivial judgements? 3Don't you know that we will judge angels, not only issues of this life? Therefore, if you were to have a judgement on life-issues, is it the nobodies in this church that you are enthroning?

Chapter 7[edit]

1Now, about what you wrote, it is good for a woman’s man[23] not to touch her, 2but because of sexual immoralities let each man have a woman for himself, and let each woman have her own man. 3Let the man give away what he owes to the woman; but, likewise, also the woman to the man. 4The woman does not have authority over her own body, but the man; likewise, however, the man also does not have authority over his own body, but the woman. 5Stop robbing one another! Surely this is not impossible? After agreeing to an occasion so you can spend time in prayer, can’t you also be there for it[24] again? So Satan cannot tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6However, I am saying this as a concession, not as an order. 7Rather, I want every man to be even like myself, but each has his own gift from God—one like this, the other like that. 8I am saying to the unmarried men and the widows, it is good for them if they can remain like I am also; 9but if they are not being self-controlled, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to be burning.

32Now I am wanting you to be unworried. The unmarried man worries about the things of the Lord, how he can please the Lord; 33but the married man worries about the things of the world, how he can please his wife— 34and he has become divided within himself. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, also worries about the things of the Lord, so she can be holy and in the Spirit; but the married woman worries about the things of the world, how she can please her husband. 35I am saying this is for your own benefit, not so that I might throw a noose over you, but for the sake of respectability and undistracted devotion to the Lord. 36If, though, someone seems to be being indecent with his virgin,[25] he might be very passionate and so owe for it to happen, let him do what wants, he is not sinning, let them marry. 37He who, however, has set his heart firmly, not having difficulty, but having authority over his own will, and having judged this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin, does well. 38So he who marries his own virgin is doing well; and he who doesn’t marry will be doing better. 39A woman gives herself for however much time her husband lives; but if the husband should fall asleep,[26] she is free to marry whom she wants—only in the Lord. 40She is happier, however, if she can maintain herself thus, in my opinion, but I think I also have God’s Spirit.

Chapter 8[edit]

1 1 Corinthians 8

Food Sacrificed to Idols

8 Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. 2 Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. 3 But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.[a]

4 So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God. 5 There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. 6 But for us,

There is one God, the Father,

   by whom all things were created,
   and for whom we live.

And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,

   through whom all things were created,
   and through whom we live.

7 However, not all believers know this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated. 8 It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do.

9 But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. 10 For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol? 11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer[b] for whom Christ died will be destroyed. 12 And when you sin against other believers[c] by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. 13 So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.

Chapter 9[edit]

Chapter 10[edit]

Chapter 11[edit]

Chapter 12[edit]

1Now about the spiritual matters, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that, while pagans, you were captives to the mute idols, as if you were being led. 3Consequently, I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Cursed be Jesus"; and no one is able to say, "Lord Jesus", except by the Holy Spirit.

4Yet, there are different gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are different services, and the same Lord; 6and there are different workings, but the same God, who is working all things in all ways. 7So, to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8For to the one a word of wisdom is given by the Spirit, but to another a word of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9a different one faith by the same Spirit, yet another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10still another works of power, another prophecy, another discerning spirits, a different one types of tongues, yet another interpretation of tongues; 11but all these things work according to one and the same Spirit, distributing to each his own just as He wills.

12For just as the body is one and has many parts—all the parts of the body, though being many, are one body—so too is Christ. 13For by one Spirit we were also baptised into one body, whether Jews whether Greeks whether slaves whether freedmen, and all have drunk one Spirit. 14Since, again, the body is not one part but many.

15If the foot were to say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not from this body", it doesn't follow that it really is not from the body; 16and were the ear to say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not from this body", it doesn't follow that it really is not from the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where is hearing? If the whole were hearing, where is sight? 18But as it is, God has set the parts, each one of them, in the body just as he willed. 19Now if they were all one part, where would the body be? 20Though there are many parts, there's but one body.

21So the eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you"; or again, the head to the feet, "I don't need you". 22Rather, the parts of the body appearing to be weaker are much more necessary; 23and those which we consider to be dishonourable parts of the body, these we surround with greater honour; and our unpresentable parts have better presentation, 24yet our presentable parts have no such need. Rather, God co-ordinated the body, having given greater honour to the lesser parts, 25so that there would be no division within the body, but the parts would care the same for one another. 26And if it is suffering in a part, all the parts suffer together; if glorified in a part, all the parts rejoice together.

Chapter 13[edit]

1If I could speak in the languages of both men and angels, but lacked love, I would have become nothing but a loud instrument. [27] 2And if I could prophesy,[28] understand all mysteries and knowledge, and have so much faith that mountains moved, but lacked love, I would be nothing. 3And if I donated all my possessions and gave up my body so that I would be transfigured, but lacked love, I would be useless.

4Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous of others. Love is not boastful[29], proud, 5nor indecent. Love does not desire itself. It is not provoked, nor keeps count of the bad. 6It does not gloat over injustice, but congratulates sincerely. 7It overlooks all, trusts all, hopes all, sustains all. 8Love never ever fails.

Still, if there are prophecies, they will be completed. If there are tongues, they will stop. If there is knowledge, it will be completed. 9For about a part do I know, and about a part do I prophesy; 10but when fullness comes, the partial is completed. 11We were once a child, speaking as a child, thinking as a child, reasoning as a child; but now I have become a man, and have completed that childhood. 12For just now we see with a mirror indirectly; but then it will be face to face. Just now I know in part; but then I will understand, even as I am also understood.

13So now this remains—trust, hope, love—these three things, but the greatest of these is love.

Chapter 14[edit]

Chapter 15[edit]

Chapter 16[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sosthenes (#1:1) and Crispus (#1:14)—in Acts, Sosthenes (#18:17) and Crispus (#18:8) are both used of the Corinthian synagogue leader, who became Christian.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 blessing (#1:3), kindness (#1:4), gift (#1:7)—different senses of forms of Greek charis (compare "charity"), traditionally "grace".
  3. appearance (#1:7)—traditionally "revelation", for Greek apokalypsis (compare "apocalypse").
  4. Jesus Christ (#1:8)—UBS4 { C } the two earliest manuscripts have simply "Jesus".
  5. companionship (#1:9)—traditionally "fellowship".
  6. 6.0 6.1 Cephas (#1:12; #3:22)—the Aramaic form of Greek Petros, one of the original twelve followers of Jesus.
  7. I thank God (#1:14)—UBS4 { D } a few early manuscripts, translations and quotations have simply "I am thankful".
  8. announce good news (#1:17)—"evangelise", Greek euangelizomai.
  9. 9.0 9.1 destroyed (#1:18,19)—#1:18 alludes to quote in #1:19.
  10. set aside (#1:19)—MT and LXX (Greek krypto, compare "crypt") "hide".
  11. Isaiah 29:14.
  12. Lord (1:31)—LXX "this ... that he understands and knows [+me MT] that I am the Lord [/Yahweh MT]".
  13. Jeremiah 9:24, word order differs from both MT and LXX.
  14. Isaiah 64:4, poetic paraphrase.
  15. mind (2:16)—LXX; MT "Spirit".
  16. Isaiah 40:13.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 worldly (3:1,2,3)—literally "fleshly" (traditionally "carnal"), sense is simply antonym of "spiritual".
  18. living (#3:3)—literally "walking" (compare "walk the talk").
  19. Job 5:13, poetic paraphrase.
  20. the wise (3:19)—MT, LXX "men".
  21. Psalm 94:11.
  22. Deuteronomy 17:7.
  23. The Greek had no separate words for man and husband. A husband was indicated by expressions like her man. In this context, however, it is clear that intimate relationships outside marriage are being considered first. From verse 2 onwards, man and woman are interchangable with husband and wife.
  24. The Greek has only the pronoun it. From the context, Paul's readers would understand he was refering to sex.
  25. virgin (7:36)—literally "virgin", for Greek parthenos (compare parthenogenesis). The sense is probably fiancée, perhaps girlfriend in modern western culture.
  26. To fall asleep was a common euphemism for death.
  27. lit. I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal
  28. lit. if I could have the prophecy
  29. lit. does not boast