restricted access The Freedom of the Apostle (9)
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9 1 1 Corinthians 9 The Freedom of the Apostle Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen' our Lord Jesus? 21 Are you not my work in the Lord? If for others I am not an apostle, for you at least I surely am.2 For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. 3 I This is my defense against my critics: 4 I Have we not the right to eat and drink? 5 I Have we not the right to have a sister with us as a wife, as the other apostles also have and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 I Or are Barnabas and I the only ones who have no right not to work73 7 I Who ever serves in the army at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not enjoy the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not enjoy any of the milk of the flock? 8 I Am I saying this only in a human way, or does the Law not say the same74 9 I For it is written in the Law of Moses: "You shall not muzzle the threshing ox." Do you suppose God's concern is with oxen710 I Or is it not everywhere (or: in all circumstances) of us that he speaks? Most assuredly I For our sakes it is written that the ploughman should plough in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of having a share of the crop. 11 I If we have sown spiritual seed for you, is it then a great thing if we reap your earthly goods? 12 I If others share in rights (of disposal) over you, do not we still more? Vet we have not made use of these rights, but put up with anything so as on no account to cause an impediment to the gospel of Christ. Chap. 9 surprisingly introduces a new theme: the apostleship of Paul. Is the present context secondary from the literary standpoint, especially as there appear to be breaks also at the end of the chapter? 5 While it is certainly possible to see a comprehensive theme in the topic offreedom, yet this is not enough to explain the state not the same as in chap. 8. Its sense cannot be discovered from the connection with chap. 8, but in the first instance only from chap. 9 itself. This will depend on whether-over and above the literary breaks-we also can detect interconnections that are plainly from the hand of Paul. of the text. For in chap. 9 the freedom that is discussed is •1-2 The initial verses form the general introduction For the forms topaKa (p46 A B3 ) or EwpaKa ( N B *) see Blass-Debrunner §68. 2 a>..>..ain the apodosis, "then at least" : Blass- Debrunner §§ 439(2), 448(5); classical. 3 Lietzmann's rendering, "to refrain from working," perhaps introduces a nuance that is not entirely correct. 4 Weiss takes ov, "not," not as an interrogative partide , but as a negation: or is it perchance the case that the law does not say? Paul, he argues, is anticipating an objection on the part of his opponents. But this is surely too bombastic a rendering of the word. 5 Weiss observes that the only part of chap. 9 which is comparable with chap. 8 is the section consisting of vv 19-23; and this in turn stands out from the rest of chap. 9. Schmithals, Gnosticism in Corinth, 93 [86f], 151 and announce the theme: the apostle from the standpoint offreedom (which is purposely set in the forefront). elusive argument, inasmuch as the receiving of a commission from the risen Lord is constitutive for the concept The style-a series of questions in the first person-shows that Paul is now making his own person the subject of discussion. He does not speak about the freedom of Christians in general, but about his own particular freedom ; nor yet about apostleship in general, but about of apostleship-and yet again it is not conclusive, since it is obvious that not every vision confers this dignity. For this reason an argument ad hominem is added-one, however, which is not by any means subjective, since the relationship between apostle and community is not an arbitrary one: the community in Corinth is his work. If it denies his standing, then it abrogates its own. 8 The comprehensive...


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