New English Translation
The Apostles' Ministry
1 One should think about us this way - as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Now what is sought in stewards is that one be found faithful. 3 So for me, it is a minor matter that I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not acquitted because of this. The one who judges me is the LORD. 5 So then, do not judge anything before the time. Wait until the LORD comes. He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the motives of hearts. Then each will receive recognition from God.
6 I have applied these things to myself and Apollos because of you, brothers and sisters, so that through us you may learn "not to go beyond what is written, " so that none of you will be puffed up in favor of the one against the other. 7 For who concedes you any superiority? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as though you did not? 8 Already you are satisfied! Already you are rich! You have become kings without us! I wish you had become kings so that we could reign with you! 9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to die, because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, poorly clothed, brutally treated, and without a roof over our heads. 12 We do hard work, toiling with our own hands. When we are verbally abused, we respond with a blessing, when persecuted, we endure, 13 when people lie about us, we answer in a friendly manner. We are the world's dirt and scum, even now.
A Father's Warning
14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to correct you as my dear children. 15 For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, because I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I encourage you, then, be imitators of me. 17 For this reason, I have sent Timothy to you, who is my dear and faithful son in the LORD. He will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18 Some have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the LORD is willing, and I will find out not only the talk of these arrogant people, but also their power. 20 For the kingdom of God is demonstrated not in idle talk but with power. 21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
King James Version
1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.
9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.
19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.
20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?