Don't we have the right to food and drink?15
Don't we have the right to take a believing wife2 along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers3 and Cephasa ?46
Or is it only I and Barnabas5 who must work for a living?
Who serves as a soldier6 at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard7 and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk?
Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn't the Law say the same thing?
For it is written in the Law of Moses: "Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain."b8 Is it about oxen that God is concerned?910
Surely he says this for us, doesn't he? Yes, this was written for us,10 because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.1111
If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?1212
If others have this right of support from you, shouldn't we have it all the more? But we did not use this right.13 On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder14 the gospel of Christ.
Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?1514
In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.1615
But I have not used any of these rights.17 And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast.1816
Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach.19 Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward;20 if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.2118
What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge,22 and so not make use of my rights23 in preaching it.