1 Corinthians

Written to the congregation in Corinth, Greece for the Apostle Paul, possibly by Sosthenes and possibly in Aramaic, sometime between 53 and 60-CE.

Chapter 1

1 Paul, who by the Will of God is a called Apostle of the Anointed Jesus, and [your] brother Sosthenes, 2 to the congregation of God in Corinth╔ to you who have been made holy in the Anointed Jesus and who are called to be Holy Ones along with all those who call on the name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed everywhere (their Lord and ours); 3 may you receive loving care and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus, the Anointed.

4 I always thank God for you, because in His loving care (through the Anointed Jesus), God has given you 5 everything that you need to make you rich in Him. [He has given you] all the words and a complete knowledge, 6 while the testimony about the Anointed One is being made firm in you, 7 so you haven't lagged behind in any gift as you eagerly await the revelation of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, 8 who will make you strong to the end and keep you free from any accusations into the Day of our Lord Jesus the Anointed. 9 For God, who called you to have a share with His Son (our Lord Jesus the Anointed) is faithful.

10 Now, through the name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, I want to encourage you brothers to all teach the same things╔ there shouldn't be any divisions among you. Rather, you must all learn to think the same way and to share the same opinions. 11 For those of the house of Chloe have told me that you do a lot of arguing, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that some of you are saying, 'I follow Paul,' or 'I follow Apollos,' or 'I follow Cephas,' or 'I follow the Anointed One;' 13 so the Anointed One is being divided. However, Paul wasn't hung on a pole for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I'm thankful that I didn't baptize any of you (other than Crispus and Gaius), 15 so that no one can say that they were baptized in my name.

16 Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; but as for the rest, I don't think that I baptized anyone else, 17 because the Anointed One didn't send me to baptize, but to preach the good news. [And I wasn't sent] with many wise words, because that would make the Anointed One's impaling pole less important. 18 For the message about the impaling pole is just a lot of foolishness to those who are dying╔ but to those of us who are being saved, it's the power of God. 19 As it's written:
I'll destroy the wisdom of their wise,
And the understanding of their discerning, I'll hide.'

20 So, where are all the wise men? Where are all the writers? Where are all the great debaters of this age? Didn't God make the world's wisdom foolish? 21 And since the world doesn't understand the wisdom of God, He saw that it was good for us to preach foolishness in order to save those who would believe! 22 So while the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks look for wisdom, 23 we preach the Anointed One as having been hung on a pole. [Of course], this is a trap to the Jews and a lot of foolishness to the nations. 24 But to those who are called (both Jews and Greeks), the Anointed One is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because, a foolish thing from God is wiser than men, and a weak thing from God is mightier than men.

26 Now, notice this about your calling, my brothers: Not many were called who were wise in a fleshly way, not many were called who had power, and not many were called from important families. 27 Rather, God chose the foolish things of the world to put its wise men to shame, He chose the weak things of the world to put the mighty to shame, 28 and He chose the common things of the world and the things that are looked down on – the things that aren't – in order to make the things that are, worthless. 29 The reason why He did this was so that no flesh can boast before God. 30 And because you are in the Anointed Jesus, he has become God's wisdom to us, as well as His righteousness, His holiness, and our ransom. 31 As it is written: 'Whoever boasts; let him boast about Jehovah!'

Chapter 2

1 So when I came to you, brothers, I didn't bring you the mysteries of God with high-sounding words of wisdom. 2 In fact, I decided not to teach you about anything other than Jesus the Anointed, and about how he was hung on a pole. 3 I came to you as weak, afraid, and trembling. 4 And what I said and preached wasn't done with persuasive wise words, but with Spirit and power, 5 so you wouldn't believe because of the wisdom of men, but because of the power of God.

6 Yes, we do use wisdom when we're speaking to those who aren't mature╔ but not the wisdom of this age or that of the rulers of this age who are coming to nothing. 7 Rather, we speak God's wisdom as a mystery (hidden wisdom), when it comes to the things that God planned for our glory long before this age arrived. 8 This is the type of wisdom that none of the rulers of this age understand, because if they understood it, they wouldn't have hung our glorious Lord on a pole. 9 As it's written:
'Eyes haven't seen and ears haven't heard,
Nor have the hearts of men even thought about the things
That God has prepared for the ones who love Him.'

10 Yes, these are the types of things that have been revealed to us by God's Spirit, because His Spirit searches through all things╔ even through the deep things of God. 11 For, just as no man really understands another man better than the spirit within him; nobody understands the things of God better than the Spirit of God. 12 This is why we don't really have the spirit of this world╔ because we've received the Spirit that comes from The God (gr. Tou Theou), through which we can understand the things that He has so kindly given to us. 13 Therefore, we don't speak with words that come from human wisdom. Rather, we are taught by the Spirit in spiritual ways that communicate spiritual things to us. 14 For physical men don't recognize the Spirit of The God, because these are just foolishness to them and they can't understand them, since such things can only be understood spiritually. 15 And since a spiritual man can judge everything, no one can pass judgment on him. [As the scripture says:]
16 'Who can know the mind of Jehovah
And who has become His advisor?'
So, we now have the mind of the Anointed One.

Chapter 3

1 However, brothers, I can't talk to you as I would to spiritual men. Rather, [I must speak] as I would to fleshly men (as babies in the Anointed One), 2 for I've had to feed you milk, not solid food, because you weren't strong enough╔ and you're still not strong enough, 3 since you're men of the flesh! For whenever you're jealous and arguing, aren't you fleshly╔ aren't you acting like men of the flesh? 4 And when one of you says, 'I follow Paul,' and another says, 'I follow Apollos,' aren't you [proving yourselves] to be men of the flesh? 5 For what is Apollos and what is Paul? [We're just] servants through whom you became believers, since each of you was given to us by the Lord. 6 Though I planted and Apollos watered, it's God who makes it grow! 7 So the one who plants is nothing and the one who waters is nothing, for it's God who makes it all grow! 8 However, those who plant and those who water will each be rewarded for the work that they've done.

9 Understand that we are just God's field hands, while you are God's field and God's house! 10 And it was only through the loving care of The God that I was assigned to be a wise chief craftsman. So although I laid the foundation, someone else is actually doing the building╔ and he must keep an eye on how he's doing his building, 11 because no one can lay a foundation other than that has already been laid, Jesus the Anointed.

12 Now, whether someone builds on that foundation using gold, silver, and precious stones, or with wood, hay, and stalks, 13 [the quality of] his work will show up and be seen in the daytime, since it will be exposed by fire╔ and that fire will prove what kind of work each one has done. 14 Then if his construction remains, he'll be rewarded. 15 But if his construction burns down, he'll be damaged by the loss╔ though he'll still be saved. However, it will be as though he came through fire.

16 Don't you know that you are God's Holiest of Holies? For God's Breath is dwelling within you! 17 And if someone should destroy God's Most Holy, God will destroy him╔ yes, you're God's Holiest of Holies! 18 Therefore, don't try to fool yourselves. If you are thought of as being wise in this age, then you should become morons so you can be [truly] wise. 19 For the wisdom of this system of things is just silliness to God. As it's written:
'He catches the wise in their cunning deeds.'
20 And again:
'God knows the ways that men think,
And that the things they ponder are foolish.'

21 Therefore, nobody should boast about [being followers of] men, since everything already belongs to you, 22 whether [it came from] Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or from this system of things, or from life, or from death, or from what's here or what's about to come╔ all of this already belongs to you! 23 Rather, you belong to the Anointed One, and the Anointed One belongs to God.

Chapter 4

1 So, you should think of [such] men as just galley rowers of the Anointed One and as house servants to whom the mysteries of God have been entrusted. 2 And when it comes to house servants; all that is required of them is just to be found faithful.

3 Now, it really isn't too important to me if I'm being judged by you or by some human court╔ for I don't even judge myself, 5 since I'm unaware of anything against myself. However, this doesn't mean that I'm righteous, because Jehovah is my judge.

4 So, we shouldn't be judging anything before its time. For when the Lord's Day arrives, the secret things that are done in darkness [will be brought] into the light and the secret thoughts of hearts will be put on public display╔ then each ones' commendations will come from God.

6 Now brothers; if I've overstated these things about Apollos and me, I've done it for your own good so that you'd learn the rule: Don't go beyond the things that are written! And don't get all puffed up by showing more favor for the one than for the other. 7 [After all,] who really knows us╔ and what do we have that wasn't given to us? So, since these things were just given to us; why should you be boasting over things that were given as gifts?

8 Are you already satisfied? Are you already rich? Have you started ruling without us? Oh, I wish that you had already started ruling so that we could be ruling along with you! 9 For I think that God has put us (the Apostles) last on display as men who are condemned to death╔ yes, we've become theatrical spectacles in this world to both men and angels! 10 Yet, while we are viewed as fools because of the Anointed One, you are wise in the Anointed One╔ we're weak, but you're strong╔ we're dishonorable, but you're the glorious ones. 11 However down to this very hour we've been hungry, thirsty, almost naked, beaten up, homeless╔ 12 and we've had to work for a living. But when we're being shouted at, we praise; when we're being persecuted, we bear it; 13 and when we're being slandered, we offer encouragement. Yet until now, we've been considered the world's refuse and scum!

14 Understand that I'm not writing this way to shame you, but to teach you as my loved children. 15 For though you could have thousands of tutors in the Anointed One, you don't have many fathers╔ and since I became your father in the good news through the Anointed One, 16 I beg you to start imitating me!

17 This is why I'm sending Timothy to you. He's my loved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of the ways that I'm teaching in all the congregations everywhere, through the Anointed Jesus.

18 Now, I know that some [of you] are all puffed up as though I weren't coming to you. 19 But I'll be there shortly (if it's the Lord's will), and I won't pay any attention to what those who are puffed up have to say. However, [I will pay attention] to their power, 20 because the Kingdom of God doesn't have anything to do with words, but with power.

21 So, which would you prefer? Should I come to you with a stick, or with a loving and mild spirit?

Chapter 5

1 However, I've actually heard that there is sexual immorality among you, and it's a type of immorality that isn't even [heard of] among the gentiles╔ that someone has taken his father's woman! 2 Are you proud of this? Shouldn't you mourn instead, and shouldn't the man who committed this act be removed from your midst?

3 Although I'm not there physically, I am there in spirit, and I've already judged the man who has done this thing as though I were there. 4 My spirit and the power of our Lord Jesus agree that 5 in the name of our Lord Jesus, you should hand such a man over to the Opposer for the destruction of his flesh, so that the spirit within him may be saved in the Day of the Lord.

6 There's nothing for you to boast about here! Don't you know that a little [yeast] ferments the whole ball [of dough]? 7 So you must clean out the old fermentation in order to become something that's new and unfermented! For since the Anointed One (who is our Passover) has already been sacrificed, 8 we shouldn't be observing this Festival with old fermentation or with the fermentation of badness and wickedness, but with the unfermented bread of sincerity and truth!

9 Didn't I write you in my [last] letter to say that you must stop associating with those who are sexually immoral? 10 [Of course, I wasn't telling you to] completely avoid the immoral [people] of this system of things, or the greedy, or the extortionists, or the idol worshipers╔ otherwise, you'd actually have to get out of the world. 11 But I'm now writing to tell you this: Stop associating with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idol worshiper, or shouts insults, or is a drunk or an extortionist╔ don't even eat with people like that!

12 Indeed, how much can the judgment of outsiders mean to us when you aren't judging those who are in your midst? 13 For God is going to judge those on the outside╔ however, you should expel any among you that are wicked!

Chapter 6

1 Would any of you who think you've been [wronged] by another dare to take it to court [to be tried by] unrighteous men rather than by the Holy Ones? 2 Don't you know that the Holy Ones will judge the world? So if you're going to judge the whole world, aren't you qualified to judge small matters?

3 Don't you know that we're going to judge angels? And if so, then how much more the things of this life! 4 Or would you rather bring them before those whom the congregation views with little regard?

5 I'm saying this to shame you! For isn't there at least one wise man among you who can [serve as] judge between his brothers? 6 Or must a brother take a brother to court to be judged by unbelievers? 7 Really, if you're bringing lawsuits against each other, you've already lost the battle! Why wouldn't you rather allow yourselves to be mistreated or defrauded? 8 Yet [it's a fact that] some of you are in fact mistreating and cheating others╔ including your own brothers!

9 Don't you know that the unrighteous won't inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't make any mistakes about this; sexually immoral people, idol worshipers, adulterers, gays, men who have sex with men, 10 thieves, greedy people, drunkards, insulters, and extortionists won't inherit God's Kingdom╔ 11 and that's what some of you once were! However, you've been washed clean, you've been made holy, and you've been found righteous through the name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed and by the Breath of our God.

12 Yet everything is legal for me, though not everything is good for me. And even though everything's legal for me, I won't allow anything to become my master. 13 For example, food is for the belly and the belly's for food; however, God is going to bring [the belly] and [food] to nothing. The same is true of the body╔ the body isn't for sexual immorality, it's for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14 Therefore, just as God raised our Lord, He will use His power to raise us.

15 Don't you know that your bodies are all a part of the Anointed One? [And if this is so,] should I take one of the Anointed One's body parts and give it to a whore? May that never happen! 16 For whoever joins himself to a whore becomes one with her body, since [God] said, 'The two will become one flesh.' 17 Understand that those who share his Spirit are also in the Lord, 18 and this is why you should flee from sexual immorality!

Every other sin that a man commits is outside of his body; but when he has immoral sex, he's sinning against his own body! 19 And don't you know that your bodies are the Divine Habitation of the Holy Spirit within you that you received from God? So you no longer belong to yourselves, 20 and since you were bought and paid for, you must use your bodies to glorify God!

Chapter 7

1 Now, concerning those things that you wrote to me about:

It's best for a man not to even touch a woman. 2 However, because of all the immorality, each man should be allowed to have his own woman and each woman her own man. 3 Then every man should give his woman what she's due, and every woman should do the same for her man. 4 Women don't have authority (gr. exousiazei) over their own bodies, their men do. And men don't have authority over their own bodies, their women do. 5 So don't deprive each other, except for set periods that you may agree on to devote time to prayer╔ then come together again. Don't allow the Opposer to tempt you by your lack of self control (gr. akrasian). 6 However, this is just my opinion, it's not a commandment.

7 I wish that all were as I am. However, everyone has his own gift from God, and each in a different way. 8 I'm telling unmarried people and widows that it's best for them to be like me. 9 But if they don't have self control, let them marry, because it's better to marry than to burn [with passion].

10 To married people I give this warning (not really me, but the Lord): A woman shouldn't leave her man. 11 But if she does, she must either remain unmarried or make up with him╔ and men shouldn't leave their women.

12 To the rest I say this (yes me, not the Lord): If any brother has an unbelieving woman who agrees to live with him, he should never leave her. 13 And if a woman has an unbelieving man who agrees to live with her, she shouldn't leave him, 14 because the woman makes [her] unbelieving man holy, and the brother makes [his] unbelieving woman holy. Otherwise, their children would be unclean╔ but now they are holy. 15 However, if the unbelieving one wants to leave, let him go, because a brother or a sister isn't a slave to such matters, since God has called us to peace. 16 But woman; how do you know that you won't save your man? Or man; how do you know that you won't save your woman?

17 Also, as the Lord has given each one his share and as God has called each one, let him follow in that same path. This is what I'm teaching in all the congregations. 18 Was any man called when he was circumcised? Then he shouldn't act like someone who's uncircumcised. Has any man been called when he was uncircumcised? Then he shouldn't be circumcised. 19 For circumcision doesn't mean anything and uncircumcision doesn't mean anything; [what's important] is obeying God's commandments! 20 So it doesn't matter what state you were in when you were called╔ just stay that way.

21 Were you called when you were a slave? Don't let that bother you╔ but if you can become free, seize the opportunity, 22 because anyone in the Lord who was called [when he was] a slave has already become a free man in the Lord. And anyone who was free when he was called has become a slave of the Anointed One. 23 So since you've already been bought and paid for; stop becoming slaves to men!

24 Therefore, brothers; it doesn't matter what condition each [of you] were in when you were called╔ just stay that way, living to God.

25 Now, when it comes to virgins, I don't have any commands from the Lord. However, I'll give you my own opinion (as one who by the Lord's mercy, has been faithful). 26 I think that it's best for anyone who's had a reason to stay one way, to continue as he [or she] is. 27 [For example], are you tied to a woman? Stop trying to get free! Are you free from a woman? Stop searching for a woman! 28 However even if you marry, you aren't sinning. And if a virgin marries, she hasn't sinned.

Remember that those who [marry] will have fleshly problems, and I'm just trying to save you [from this].

29 Let me say this brothers╔ the season has been shortened! Therefore,
Let those who have women act as though they have none;
30 Let those who are crying act like those who don't cry;
Let those who are rejoicing act like those who don't rejoice;
Let those who are buying act like those who own nothing;
31 And let those who are using this system of things act like those who don't use it╔ because the ways of this world are about to change.

32 [You see], I don't want you to worry about anything. A single man worries about the things of the Lord and winning His approval, 33 while a married man worries about worldly things and winning his woman's approval╔ so he's divided. 34 Also, single women and virgins just worry about the things of the Lord╔ about how they can be holy in their bodies and who they are on the inside. However, a married woman must worry about worldly things and winning the approval of her man.

35 Now, I'm just describing the best situation╔ I'm not trying to hang you, I'm just trying to move you to do things that work out well and sit well with the Lord, and which won't distract you. 36 But if anyone thinks his virginity isn't working out and he's past the bloom of youth, this is what should happen: Allow him to do whatever he wishes, for he isn't sinning if he marries! 37 However, if someone is settled in heart, doesn't have any [sexual] needs, has self-control, and has decided in his heart to keep his virginity, he'll do better. 38 Yes, although the one who gives up his [or her] virginity and marries does well, the one who doesn't marry does better. 39 For a woman is tied down for as long as her man is alive. But if her man falls asleep [in death], she can marry whomever she wishes (but only in the Lord). 40 However, it's my opinion that she'll be happier if she stays [single]╔ and I consider myself as having God's Spirit.

Chapter 8

1 Now, regarding things that have been sacrificed to idols; We realize that everyone knows something [about this]╔ but knowledge puffs up, while love builds up. 2 So if anyone thinks he already knows everything about this, he doesn't really understand it as well as he should yet. 3 However, God knows those who love Him.

4 So, when it comes to eating food that has been offered to idols; We know that idols are really nothing in this world, and that there is no God but the One. 5 And though there are some that are called gods, whether heavenly or earthly (there are many gods and many lords), 6 we have just one God, the Father, through whom everything has come, and we are in Him. There is also just one Lord, Jesus the Anointed, through whom everything came to be, and we are through him.

7 However, not everyone fully understands this. For up until now, some have followed the practice of eating food to an idol as a sacrifice to that idol╔ and this damaged their consciences and made them weak. 8 But understand that what we eat doesn't affect out standing with God; so if we choose not to eat [food that was sacrificed to idols], we aren't sinning╔ nor will we be blest if we eat it. 9 But be careful that this power of yours doesn't become a trap to those who are weak. 10 Because, if they see you (the one who knows) dining in a temple; won't the weak one's conscience be built up to the point where he starts eating things as a sacrifice to idols? 11 So because of your knowledge, you will have ruined the man who is weak╔ your brother for whom the Anointed One died! 12 And when you sin against your brother in this way and wound his weak conscience, you're sinning against the Anointed One. 13 Therefore, if food is a trap to my brother, I'll not eat the meat [of idols] through [the rest of] the age, so I don't turn myself into a snare for my brother.

Chapter 9

1 Am I not free? Am I not an Apostle? Haven't I seen our Lord Jesus, and aren't you my works in the Lord? 2 If I weren't an Apostle to all the rest, I certainly am to you, because you're the seal that confirms my Apostleship in the Lord! 3 So I say this in my defense before those who would judge me: 4 I can eat or drink whatever I wish, 5 and I could also take a sister as my woman [if I wished], as did the other Apostles, the Lord's brothers, and Cephas (Peter).

6 Also, are BarNabas and I [the only ones] who have to work for a living? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense╔ who plants a vineyard and doesn't eat its fruit╔ who shepherds a flock and doesn't drink some of the [sheep's] milk? 8 Is this just human reasoning, or doesn't the Law say the same thing? 9 For it's written in the Law of Moses: 'You must not muzzle a bull when it's threshing the grain.'

So, does God just care about bulls, 10 or didn't he say that for all our sakes? Really, it was written for all of us, because the man who plows ought to plow in hope, and the man who threshes ought to do so in hope of eating [the grain]. 11 Therefore, if we've planted things of the Spirit within you, is it such a big thing for us to harvest things of the flesh from you? 12 And if the people you work for are benefiting from your efforts, shouldn't we [benefit] from them even more? Yet, we haven't really used the [full] authority that we have, for we've been taking care of ourselves so that we don't get in the way of the good news about the Anointed One.

13 Don't you know that those who serve in the Temple also eat the things that are [contributed], and that those who serve at the Altar also share in the things that are sacrificed? 14 So the Lord meant for those who preach the good news to be provided for by means of this good news. 15 However, I haven't used any of those provisions, and I'm not writing this so that will to happen to me╔ for I'd rather die than allow someone to take away my reason for boasting!

16 Now, there's no reason for me to boast when it comes to preaching the good news, because it's something that I must to do╔ in fact, woe to me if I don't preach the good news! 17 If I do this willingly, I'll receive my wages. However, if I don't do it willingly, it's still my assignment. 18 Then what is my pay? It's my ability to preach the good news free of charge. And by doing this, I'm not abusing the authority that I have in the good news, 19 which leaves me free from being indebted to anyone.

Yes, I've made myself a slave to everyone so that I can gain more. 20 I became a Jew to Jews, so I could gain Jews; I became as under the Law to those who are under the Law (although I'm not under the Law), so I could gain those who are under the Law; 21 I became as someone who is without the Law to those who aren't under the Law (although I'm not without law toward God and I'm under the law of the Anointed One), so I could gain those who are without the Law; 22 and I became weak to those who are weak, so I could gain the weak. Yes, I've become everything to everyone and used every means to save some of them, 23 doing it all for the sake of the good news, so that I might share it with others!

24 Don't you know that although all who [enter a] race in the stadium must run, only one gets the prize? So run to win! 25 And every fighter has to maintain full control of himself just to win a garland that rots away╔ but we will receive one that doesn't rot. 26 As the result, I'm not running timidly nor am I just swinging my arms, I'm boxing27 I beat my body and treat it as a slave so that after I've preached to others, I won't be rejected!

Chapter 10

1 Now, I don't want you to miss this point, brothers: Our ancestors were under the cloud and they all passed through the sea, 2 so they were all baptized into Moses because of the cloud and the sea. 3 They all also ate the same food from [God's] Spirit, 4 and they all drank the same spiritual drink, because they drank from the spirit of the rock╔ and that rock was the Anointed One. 5 However, because God wasn't pleased with most of them, He left [their bodies] spread across the desert.

6 Now, things like this should serve as examples to us, so we won't become people who desire bad things as they did╔ 7 and we don't want to become idol worshipers, as some of them did!

Notice that it's written: 'The people sat down to eat and drink, and then they got up to play.' 8 So we shouldn't commit sexual immorality as some of them did, because twenty-three thousand of them fell in just one day! 9 And we don't want to put Jehovah to the test as some of them did, because they were destroyed by snakes. 10 Nor do we want to complain as some of them did, because they were killed by the destroyer!

11 Recognize that these things that happened to them [should serve as] examples to us, for they were written as warnings to us upon whom the end of the age has arrived. 12 So let those who think they are standing be careful that they don't fall! 13 For none of you have faced any temptations yet, other than the things that are common to all men. And since God is faithful, He won't allow you to be tested beyond what you can bear╔ for with every temptation He provides a way out, so you can hang on. 14 However, my loved ones; Flee from idol worship! 15 And since I'm talking as I would to people with good sense; figure out for yourselves whether the things that I'm saying are the truth.

16 Now, when we [say a]╩blessing over the cup of blessings, aren't we sharing in the blood of the Anointed One? And when we break the loaf, aren't we sharing in the body of the Anointed One? 17 So although and there are many [of us], there's just one loaf╔ and we are all one body, since we all eat from that same loaf. 18 And as in fleshly Israel; don't those who eat the sacrifices also share part of it with the Altar?

19 So what am I saying╔ that idols are anything, or that things sacrificed to idols are anything? 20 No, I'm telling you that the things the nations offer as sacrifices are really being offered to the demons, not to God╔ and I don't want you to become sharers with the demons! 21 For you can't drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, nor can you eat at the table of the Lord and at the table of the demons. 22 We aren't trying to make the Lord jealous, are we? For we aren't mightier than he is, are we?

23 Recognize that although everything is legal, not everything is good for us╔ yes, everything is legal, but not everything makes us stronger. 24 So let's not just be watching out for our own interests, but [also for the best interests] of others.

25 The fact is, you can eat whatever is sold at the meat markets without it bothering your consciences, 26 for the earth and everything in it belongs to the Lord! 27 And if an unbeliever invites you [for a meal] and you wish to accept, you can eat whatever is set before you and not let it bother your consciences. 28 But if someone should say, 'This was offered as a sacrifice,' don't eat it. You should do this for the sake of the one who said that, because of conscience╔ 29 not your conscience, that of the other person.

But [you might ask], 'Why should anyone else judge my freedom? 30 If I'm eating thankfully, why should I be slandered over something for which I've given thanks?' 31 Well, whether you're eating, drinking, or doing anything else, you should be doing everything for God's glory. 32 So you shouldn't want to do anything that would stumble Jews, Greeks, or the Called Ones of God. 33 And this is why I'm trying to please everyone in everything and not just doing what's best for myself╔ I'm [trying to do] what's best for others, so I can save them!

Chapter 11

1 I'm asking you to imitate me as I'm [imitating] the Anointed One2 although I also praise you for remembering me and all the things that I've given to you, and for holding onto the things that I taught you. 3 But I want you to recognize this: The head of the woman is the man, the head of every man is the Anointed One, and the head of the Anointed One is God. 4 So every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head shames his head. 5 And every woman who prays or prophesies without something on her head shames her head, for it's the same as if she had her head shaved.

6 Indeed, if a woman doesn't wish to cover her head, she should have her hair cut off. But if cutting her hair short or shaving her head would shame a woman, then she should cover her head. 7 However, a man shouldn't cover his head, since he [was created in] the image and glory of God╔ while a woman is the glory of man, 8 since the man didn't come from the woman, the woman came from the man. 9 Also, the man wasn't created for the woman, the woman [was created] for the man. 10 So that's why the woman should have [a sign of] authority on her head╔ as well as [for the sake of God's] messengers. 11 Yet there really isn't any difference between males and females in the Lord; 12 for as the female came through the male, the male came through the female╔ though everything really comes from God.

13 So judge it for yourselves; Is it becoming for a woman to pray revealed before God? 14 Doesn't physical nature teach us that if a man has long hair it dishonors him, 15 but if a woman has long hair it glorifies her? Yes, that's why women were given longer hair. 16 However if anyone wants to argue about this, we don't have any other custom, nor do the congregations of God.

17 But when it comes to your meetings, I'm not praising anyone, for they seem to be doing more harm than good. 18 First, I hear that when you meet as a congregation, there are divisions among you╔ and I believe that's partly true, 19 because there had to be sects among you so that those who are approved could be clearly identified.

20 However, when we meet in our gatherings, isn't it to eat the Lord's Supper? 21 Yet [I'm hearing that] some of you are bringing your own meals and eating, drinking, and getting drunk, while others go hungry! 22 Don't you have homes where you can eat and drink╔ or are you condemning the congregation of God by shaming those who don't have anything?

What should I say to you? Should I praise you in this? No, I don't praise you!

23 Let me tell you something that I received from the Lord, and which I want to share with you╔ it's that the Lord Jesus (on the very night that he was going to be handed over) took a loaf, 24 and after giving thanks he broke it and said, 'This is my body that I'm giving for you. Keep on doing this in remembrance of me.' 25 And after the meal he did the same thing with the cup, saying, 'In this cup is the blood of my New Sacred Agreement. Keep on doing this╔ and as often as you drink it, think of me.'

26 Therefore, as often as you eat from the loaf and drink from the cup you will keep proclaiming the death of the Lord until he arrives. 27 But recognize that anyone who eats the loaf and drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy condition will also be judged by the Lord's body and blood. 28 Therefore, each person should examine himself before eating from the loaf or drinking from the cup; 29 for those who eat and drink are eating and drinking judgment on themselves if they don't judge [the worthiness of] their own flesh. 30 And this is why so many of you are weak and unhealthy╔ and quite a few have fallen asleep! 31 Understand that if you would judge yourselves, you wouldn't have to be judged. 32 But [if you leave that] judgment to the Lord, you'll have to be disciplined so that you aren't condemned along with this system of things!

33 So my brothers; when you come together to eat, wait for each other! 34 And if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so you don't meet for judgment.

As for the rest of the matters; I'll straighten them out when I get there.

Chapter 12

1 Now brothers; I don't want you to be ignorant when it comes to spiritual things. 2 For you know that when you were 'gentiles,' you were led to be followers of dumb idols. 3 But now I want you to understand that nobody, when they're speaking through the power of God's Breath, can say that Jesus is cursed or that Jesus is Lord, other than by Holy Spirit. 4 For no matter how many types of gifts there are, they all come from the same Spirit. 5 And no matter how many types of services there are, [they all come from] the same Lord. 6 So although there are many types of manifestations, they all come from the same God who provides the outworking of everything for each person. 7 And it's all these many ways that the Spirit expresses itself through different people that brings it all together.

8 Therefore, through the same Spirit one is given words of wisdom, while another is given words of knowledge. 9 It gives words of faith to some, while others get the gift of healing, 10 or the ability to perform powerful deeds, or of prophesying, or of distinguishing different spirits, or of speaking different languages, or of interpreting the languages╔ 11 yet they all come from the same Spirit, which works in many ways (as it wishes) through each person.

12 So just as the body is a single thing that has many members, and all the members (while being many) make up that one body╔ this is how the Anointed One is. 13 For through the same Spirit we were all baptized into that one body, whether we are Jews or Greeks, slaves or free men╔ and we were all made to drink from this Spirit. 14 So understand that this body isn't one part, but many. 15 Therefore, if the foot should say, 'Because I'm not a hand, I'm no part of the body,' that doesn't mean it's no part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, 'Because I'm not an eye, I'm no part of the body,' that doesn't mean it's no part of the body either. 17 For if the whole body were just an eye, how would it hear? And if it could just hear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 Therefore, God has placed each part in the body as He pleases. 19 And if all parts were the same, how could there be a body?

20 So understand that although there are many body parts, there's just one body; 21 and the eye can't say to the hand, 'I don't need you,' nor can the head say to the feet, 'I don't need you.' 22 And notice that the weaker each body part seems to be, the more it is needed. 23 For the body parts that we consider the least honorable are the ones that we surround with the most honor. And our unattractive parts were made more attractive 24 because our attractive parts don't need any help. For when God assembled the body, He gave more honor to the parts that have less 25 so there would be no divisions in the body, and all the parts would show the same loving care for each other. 26 As the result, if one body part suffers, all the other body parts suffer along with it. Or if a body part is glorified, all the other body parts rejoice along with it.

27 Therefore, you should realize that you're all the Anointed One's body and body parts, 28 and that God has designated each of your places in the congregation╔ first the Apostles, second the Prophets, and third the teachers. Then come [those with] powerful works, or the gifts of healing, or performing helpful services, or the ability to direct, or speaking different languages. 29 Not all are Apostles, are they? Not all are Prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all can perform powerful works, can they? 30 And not all have the gift of healing, or can speak different languages, or can serve as translators. 31 However, zealously keep seeking the greater gifts.

Yet now I'm going to show you something that's even better.

Chapter 13

1 If I could speak the languages of both men and angels but didn't have love, I'd be the sound of [clanging] brass or a clashing cymbal. 2 If I could prophesy, understand all the mysteries, had all knowledge and enough faith to move mountains, but didn't have love, I'd be nothing at all. 3 And if I were to give everything that I own to feed others or hand over my body so that I could boast, but didn't have love, none of this would have any value.

4 However, love is patient and kind. It isn't envious, it doesn't brag, it isn't conceited, 5 it doesn't scheme, it doesn't watch out for just itself, it doesn't stir things up, it doesn't hold grudges, 6 and it doesn't rejoice over unrighteous things; rather, it rejoices over the truth. 7 It covers everything, believes everything, hopes everything, and endures everything╔ 8 love never fails.

However, the [gift of] prophesying will be done away with, the [gift of] speaking [in foreign] languages will end, and the [gift of miraculous] knowledge will pass away, 9 because we now have just a partial knowledge and we can just prophesy partially. 10 But when the perfect thing arrives, the partial thing will be done away with.

11 Back when I was a baby, I talked like a baby, thought like a baby, and reasoned like a baby. But now that I've become a [grown] man, I'm finished with baby's things. 12 So the things we see here today are like looking into a metal mirror╔ but then it will be face to face. And though I can only understand partially now╔ then I will have a complete understanding and I will be completely understood! 13 And at that time, only these three things will remain: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of them is love.

Chapter 14

1 Therefore we should pursue love, as we also zealously seek the [gifts] of the Spirit╔ and I prefer that you prophesy. 2 For those who speak in tongues aren't talking to men but to God, since nobody else is listening╔ so by the Spirit they're speaking mysteries. 3 On the other hand, those who prophesy are building up, encouraging, and bringing comfort to others. 4 So while the one who speaks in tongues builds himself up, the one who prophesies builds up [the whole] congregation. 5 And while I would like all of you to [be able to] speak in tongues, I would prefer that you prophesy, because the one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues╔ unless he can also translate, so the whole congregation can be built up.

6 Brothers, if I were to come to you right now and speak to you in a foreign tongue, what good would it do if I didn't also speak to you with a revelation, or with knowledge, or with a prophecy, or with something that I can teach you?

7 It's the same as with inanimate things that make sounds, like flutes or harps. If you can't distinguish the difference between the notes, how can you tell what's being played? 8 Also, if a trumpet blows an unrecognizable signal, who will prepare for war? 9 So unless you use your tongues to say things that are easily understood, how will anyone know what you're saying? You will for a fact just be speaking into the air!

10 There are many kinds of vocalizations in the world, and they all mean something. 11 However, if I don't understand the meaning of the sound, I'm a foreigner to the one who is speaking, and the one who is speaking will be a foreigner to me.

12 Therefore, if you have a zeal for the Spirit, use it in ways that build up the congregation so that everyone can prosper╔ 13 let the one who speaks in tongues pray that he can also translate! 14 For when I pray in a foreign language; although my spirit may be praying, my mind isn't receiving any benefit.

15 Then what should we do? If I pray by the Spirit, I'll also pray in my mind. And if I sing praises by the Spirit, I'll sing praises in my mind. 16 For if we're only offering praise by the Spirit, how will any ordinary man who is there and doesn't understand us say 'May it be so,' when we're giving thanks? 17 For though it may be true that we're giving thanks in a fine way, this person isn't being built up.

18 I thank God that I can speak more languages than all of you. 19 However, I would rather speak five words using my mind so that I can teach others when I'm in a congregation, than ten thousand words in a foreign language.

20 Brothers, don't be like children when it comes to [using] the power of your minds╔ be babies when it comes to badness as you perfect your abilities to reason! 21 For it's written in the Law: 'Though I speak to these people in other tongues and with other lips, they still won't listen to me, says the Lord.'

22 Understand that speaking in a foreign tongue isn't a sign to unbelievers but to believers, while prophesying isn't for believers, it's for unbelievers. 23 For if the whole congregation is speaking in tongues when some ordinary person or unbeliever comes into your meeting place, won't he just think you're crazy? 24 However, if everyone is prophesying when an unbeliever or ordinary person enters, he is corrected and judged by them all. 25 Then as the secrets in his heart are revealed, he will fall to his face before God and say, 'God is truly among you!'

26 Therefore, what should happen, brothers? When you're meeting, one should have a psalm, another should have a teaching, another should have a revelation, and another should speak in a foreign language╔ that is, as long as someone else interprets it. Because everything that's done there should be for [the purpose of] building up!

27 So if some are speaking in tongues; limit it to two or three at the most, and do it in turns╔ then have someone do the translating. 28 However if no one can translate it, such people should be silent in the congregation, speaking just to themselves and to God. 29 Let two or three Prophets speak instead, and allow the rest to judge the meaning of what they're saying. 30 Then if someone else has a revelation while he's sitting there, the first one should [yield to him]. 31 This way, when each of them prophesy in turns, everyone can learn and be encouraged. 32 For the spirits of the Prophets should be controlled by the Prophets, 33 because God doesn't send us confusion, [He sends] peace!

(Disputed Verses) And as [is true] in all the congregations of Holy Ones; 34 the women should remain silent in the congregation╔ they shouldn't be allowed to speak out. Rather (as the Law says), they should be submissive. 35 And if they wish to know something, let them ask their men [when they get] home; for it's disgraceful for a woman to speak out in a congregation.

36 [Do you think that] the Word of God is coming from just you, and that you are the only one who understands it? 37 Well if someone thinks he's a Prophet and that he's under the influence of [God's] Spirit, then he should agree with these things that I'm writing to you, because these are the Lord's commandments! 38 However, if someone chooses to be ignorant, let him remain ignorant.

39 My brothers; Keep on zealously seeking the [gift of] prophesying, but don't forbid the speaking in tongues. 40 Just make sure that everything is conducted in a tasteful and orderly way.

Chapter 15

1 Now brothers; I want you to understand this about the good news that I preached to you (which you received, in which you are standing, 2 and through which you are being saved):
If you are still holding onto this good news that I preached to you, your faith hasn't been wasted, 3 because what I passed along to you was the first thing that I learned╔ that the Anointed One died for our sins (just as the Scriptures foretold), 4 and he was buried and then raised on the third day, 5 where he appeared first to Cephas (Peter), then to the rest of the twelve. 6 And after that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive today (although some have fallen asleep), 7 and he appeared to James and to all the Apostles. 8 But lastly – like some miscarriage – he appeared to me╔ 9 for I'm the least of the Apostles, and I'm unfit to even be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Called Ones of God. 10 Yet through the loving care of God, I am what I am. And the loving-care that He showed me hasn't been wasted, because I've worked harder than all the rest╔ and not just for my own benefit, but because of God's loving care that's now in me. 11 However, whether it was from me or from some other source; we have all preached and you have believed.

12 Now, if we're preaching that the Anointed One was raised from the dead, then why are some of you saying there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there was no resurrection of the dead, then the Anointed One couldn't have been raised either. 14 And if the Anointed One hasn't been raised, our preaching and our faith is all in vain 15 and we've proven to be false witnesses of God, because we've testified concerning God that He raised the Anointed One╔ who couldn't have really been raised if the dead won't be raised!

16 Indeed, if the dead won't be raised, the Anointed One hasn't been raised either! 17 And if the Anointed One hasn't been raised, our faith is useless and we're all still sinners. 18 Also, all those who have fallen asleep in the Anointed One are just gone! 19 So if we've been putting our hope in the Anointed One while this life all there is, we're the most pitiful of all men!

20 However, the Anointed One has been raised from the dead, and he's the first fruit of those who have fallen asleep [in death]. 21 For though death came through a man, resurrection from the dead has also come through a man. 22 And as all are dying because of Adam, all will be made alive in the Anointed One╔ 23 but each one in his own order, [starting with] the first fruits of the Anointed One, followed by those who belong to the Anointed One when he arrives. 24 Then in the end, after he has brought all governments, authorities, and powers to nothing, he will hand over the Kingdom to his God and Father. 25 For he must rule [as king] until he has put all his enemies under his feet 26 and the final enemy, the death, has come to an end.

27 Yes, he will indeed put everything under his feet! However, when it says that everything will be put under his feet, it's evident that the exception is the One who put everything under him. 28 For after everything has been put under him, the Son will submit to the One who put everything under him, so that God can be everything to everyone.

29 Also, if none of the dead will be raised, what good would it do for us to be baptized into [Jesus'] death? Yes, why [are we] being baptized for that purpose╔ 30 and why are we in danger every hour? 31 For I'm dying every day just prove that you are worthy of all my boasting about you╔ you whom I [call] my brothers through the Anointed Jesus our Lord.

32 And if the dead aren't going to be raised, and if it was just as a man that I fought wild animals at Ephesus, what good did it do me? Why, 'Let's eat and drink, for tomorrow we'll die!'

33 So, don't allow [anyone] to mislead you about this╔ remember that bad companions spoil good habits!

34 Brothers, become more serious about being righteous and stop sinning! For some [of you] know nothing at all about God (yes, I'm saying this to embarrass you)! 35 Because, some have been asking, 'Just how will the dead be raised╔ in what sort of bodies will they return?' 36 You foolish people! Those who plant seeds know that they can't live unless they die first; 37 for whatever is planted isn't the body that it's going to become╔ it's just a naked grain of wheat, or whatever. 38 So understand that God will give us any [type of] body He wishes, just as He gives each seed its own body.

39 Realize that not all flesh is the same! There is one type of flesh of men, another of cattle, another of birds, and another of fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies╔ and the glory of heavenly bodies is different from that of earthly bodies. 41 The glory of the sun is one type, the glory of the moon is another, and the glory of the stars is yet another. In fact, stars differ from other stars in their glory. 42 So, that's how it will be with the resurrection of the dead:
'It's planted in decay and then raised as clean.
43 It's planted without honor, and then raised in glory.
It's planted as weak, and then raised in power.'
44 Therefore, what's planted as a breather's body will be raised as a spiritual body╔ as there's a breather's body, there is also a spiritual [one].

45 It's written that the first man (Adam) became a living soul. However, the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 Thus the first [body] is human, not spiritual, for the spiritual one comes later. 47 Likewise, as the first man came from the dust of the ground and the second man came from heaven; 48 those that come from the dust are like the one who came from the dust, while those that are heavenly are like the heavenly one. 49 Therefore, as we've worn the shape of the one who was made from the dust of the ground, we'll also wear the image of the Celestial One.

50 Let me tell you this brothers: Flesh and blood cannot inherit God's Kingdom, nor can [something] that's corruptible inherit something that's incorruptible.

51 Look, I'm going to explain a mystery to you: Not all of us will be laid to rest; rather, we'll be changed 52 in a moment – in the twinkling of an eye – during the last trumpet! For the trumpet will be blown and the dead will be raised incorruptible╔ yes we will be changed. 53 Then that which is corruptible will put on incorruptibility, and that which is dying will put on immortality. 54 But when that which is dying puts on immortality, the words that were written will be fulfilled: 'Death, which prevails, will be swallowed.'

55 'So where is your victory, O death╔ yes, where is your sting, O death?' 56 The sting that brings death is sin, and the power for sin comes from the Law. 57 But thanks to God, each of us will see victory through our Lord Jesus the Anointed One!

58 So my loved brothers; become settled, immovable, and always have plenty to do in the work of the Lord, since [you] know that the things you do in the Lord are never done in vain.

Chapter 16

1 Now, regarding the collection for the Holy Ones: Do the same thing that I told the congregations in Galatia. 2 On each Sabbath day, you should set something aside in your savings, as you are prospering, so we won't have to take up a collection after I arrive. 3 Then when I get there, I'll send whichever men you select and write letters about to carry your kind gift to Jerusalem. 4 And if I'm found worthy to go myself, they can travel with me.

5 I will come and [visit] you after I go to Macedonia, because I'll be traveling through Macedonia. 6 And if things turn out well, perhaps I can stay [with you] for a while, or even spend the winter with you. Then you can escort me part of the way to wherever I'll be going.

7 I don't want to see you as I'm passing through right now, because I hope to spend more time with you, if Jehovah allows it. 8 I'll be staying in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 because a large door of opportunity has opened to me there. However, there are also many opposers.

10 When Timothy gets there, make sure that he has nothing to fear while he's with you, because he's doing the Lord's work the same as I am╔ 11 don't allow anyone to treat him disrespectfully! Then escort him part of the way in peace, so he can come here to me, because I'm waiting for him with the brothers.

12 Now, regarding our brother Apollos; I begged him to come to you with the brothers, but he doesn't want to do that right now. However he will come when he has the opportunity.

13 So stay awake, stand firm in the faith, carry on as men, and grow mighty. 14 And may everything you do be accomplished in love.

15 Now, I want to encourage you to do this, brothers: You know that the household of Stephanas is the first fruit of Achaia, and that they've been serving the needs of the Holy Ones. 16 Follow the instructions of such people, and all of you should labor and work hard together.

17 I'm very grateful that Stephanas, Fortunatus, and AchaiKus are here, because they've made up for your not being here. 18 They are a breath of fresh air in my life and in yours, so give special recognition to such men.

19 The congregations of [the Province of] Asia send you their greetings. Aquila, Priska, and the called ones in their home send you hearty greetings in the Lord. 20 In fact, all the brothers send their greetings! So, greet each other with a holy kiss. 21 [Here are] my greetings (Paul's), written in my own hand.

22 May all those who don't care for the Lord be cursed. Come, O Lord! 23 May the loving care of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 And may my love be with all of you, in the Anointed Jesus.

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