Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?
If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
This is my defense to those who would examine me.
Do we not have the right to our food and drink?
Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife, a as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?
Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?
Who at any time pays the expenses for doing military service? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not get any of its milk?
Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law also say the same?
For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned?
Or does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was indeed written for our sake, for whoever plows should plow in hope and whoever threshes should thresh in hope of a share in the crop.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)