1 Corinthians 9:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 9:11, NIV: If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?

1 Corinthians 9:11, ESV: If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?

1 Corinthians 9:11, KJV: If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

1 Corinthians 9:11, NASB: If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?

1 Corinthians 9:11, NLT: Since we have planted spiritual seed among you, aren't we entitled to a harvest of physical food and drink?

1 Corinthians 9:11, CSB: If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it too much if we reap material benefits from you?

What does 1 Corinthians 9:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul continues to use agricultural metaphors. He is illustrating his assertion that he has a right to expect financial support from the Corinthians. He has not demanded this, for reasons explained in later verses. In the simplest language of farming—sowing and reaping—Paul insists that since he and his coworkers sowed spiritual things among the Corinthians, they are entitled to reap material rewards.

This verse puts it in the form of a question, perhaps to soften the impact: "Is it too much if we reap material things from you?"

Paul made a similar connection in his letter to the Romans when discussing the money that Gentile Christians were sending in support of Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. Paul said the Gentiles owed it to them: "For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings" (Romans 15:27).

Although Paul will make it clear he is not demanding this right from the Corinthians, the Christian church has practiced this principle throughout most of its history. Those who devote their lives and abilities to the gospel have a right to be supported in that effort by other Christians.