Parallel Bible VersionsGreek Bible Study Tools

1 Corinthians 3:5 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— What then is Apollos? and what is Paul? Ministers through whom ye believed; and each as the Lord gave to him.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Who then is Paul, and who [is] Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave [opportunity] to each one.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Who then is Paul, and who [is] Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Who then is Apollos, and who Paul? Ministering servants, through whom ye have believed, and as the Lord has given to each.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— What then is Apollos? and, what is Paul? ministers through whom ye believed, and, each, as the Lord, gave to him.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Who, then, is Paul, and who Apollos, but ministrants through whom ye did believe, and to each as the Lord gave?
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— The ministers of him whom you have believed: and to every one as the Lord hath given.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Who then is Paul? and who is Apollo? but ministers by whom ye beleeued, euen as the Lord gaue to euery man.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— For who is Paulos, or who Apollo, but ministers by whom you have believed and each as the Lord gave to him?
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— For, who is Paul, or who is Apollos, but the ministers by whom ye believed, each one as the Lord gave to him?

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Who 5101
{5101} Prime
Probably emphatic of G5100; an interrogitive pronoun, who, which or what (in direct or indirect questions).
then 3767
{3767} Prime
Apparently a primary word; (adverbially) certainly, or (conjugationally) accordingly.
is 2076
{2076} Prime
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
Paul, 3972
{3972} Prime
Of Latin origin; (little; but remotely from a derivative of G3973, meaning the same); Paulus, the name of a Roman and of an apostle.
and 1161
{1161} Prime
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
who 5101
{5101} Prime
Probably emphatic of G5100; an interrogitive pronoun, who, which or what (in direct or indirect questions).
[is] Apollos, 625
{0625} Prime
Probably from the same as G0624; Apollos, an Israelite.
but 235
{0235} Prime
Neuter plural of G0243; properly other things, that is, (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations).
{2228} Prime

A primary particle of distinction between two connected terms; disjunctive, or; comparative, than.
ministers 1249
{1249} Prime
Probably from διάκω [[diako]] (obsolete, to run on errands; compare G1377); an attendant, that is, (generally) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); specifically a Christian teacher and pastor (technically a deacon or deaconess).
by 1223
{1223} Prime
A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through (in very wide applications, local, causal or occasional). In composition it retains the same general import.
whom 3739
{3739} Prime
Probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article G3588); the relative (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that.
ye believed, 4100
{4100} Prime
From G4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), that is, credit; by implication to entrust (especially one's spiritual well being to Christ).
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
even 2532
{2532} Prime
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
as 5613
{5613} Prime
Probably adverb of comparative from G3739; which how, that is, in that manner (very variously used as shown).
the x3588
(3588) Complement

The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
Lord 2962
{2962} Prime
From κῦρος [[kuros]] (supremacy); supreme in authority, that is, (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title).
gave 1325
{1325} Prime
A prolonged form of a primary verb (which is used as an alternate in most of the tenses); to give (used in a very wide application, properly or by implication, literally or figuratively; greatly modified by the connection).
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
to every man? 1538
{1538} Prime
As if a superlative of ἕκας [[hekas]] (afar); each or every.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Corinthians 3:5

_ _ Who then — Seeing then that ye severally strive so for your favorite teachers, “Who is (of what intrinsic power and dignity) Paul?” If so great an apostle reasons so of himself, how much more does humility, rather than self-seeking, become ordinary ministers!

_ _ Paul ... Apollos — The oldest manuscripts read in the reverse order, “Apollos,” etc. Paul.” He puts Apollos before himself in humility.

_ _ but ministers, etc. — The oldest manuscripts have no “but.” “Who is Apollos ... Paul? (mere) ministers (a lowly word appropriate here, servants), by whom (not “in whom”; by whose ministrations) ye believed.”

_ _ as ... Lord gave to every man — that is, to the several hearers, for it was God that “gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Corinthians 3:5-10

_ _ Here the apostle instructs them how to cure this humour, and rectify what was amiss among them upon this head,

_ _ I. By reminding them that the ministers about whom they contended were but ministers: Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed? Even as the Lord gave to every man, 1 Corinthians 3:5. They are but ministers, mere instruments used by the God of all grace. Some of the factious people in Corinth seem to have made more of them, as if they were lords of their faith, authors of their religion. Note, We should take care not to deify ministers, nor put them into the place of God. Apostles were not the authors of our faith and religion, though they were authorized and qualified to reveal and propagate it. They acted in this office as God gave to every man. Observe, All the gifts and powers that even apostles discovered and exerted in the work of the ministry were from God. They were intended to manifest their mission and doctrine to be divine. It was perfectly wrong, upon their account, to transfer that regard to the apostles which was solely to be paid to the divine authority by which they acted, and to God, from whom they had their authority. Paul had planted and Apollos had watered, 1 Corinthians 3:6. Both were useful, one for one purpose, the other for another. Note, God makes use of variety of instruments, and fits them to their several uses and intentions. Paul was fitted for planting work, and Apollos for watering work, but God gave the increase. Note, The success of the ministry must be derived from the divine blessing: Neither he that planteth is any thing, nor he that watereth, but God who giveth the increase, 1 Corinthians 3:7. Even apostolical ministers are nothing of themselves, can do nothing with efficacy and success unless God give the increase. Note, The best qualified and most faithful ministers have a just sense of their own insufficiency, and are very desirous that God should have all the glory of their success. Paul and Apollos are nothing at all in their own account, but God is all in all.

_ _ II. By representing to them the unanimity of Christ's ministers: He that planteth and he that watereth are one (1 Corinthians 3:8), employed by one Master, entrusted with the same revelation, busied in one work, and engaged in one design — in harmony with one another, however they may be set in opposition to each other by factious party-makers. They have their different gifts from one and the same Spirit, for the very same purposes; and they heartily carry on the same design. Planters and waterers are but fellow-labourers in the same work. Note, All the faithful ministers of Christ are one in the great business and intention of their ministry. They may have differences of sentiment in minor things; they may have their debates and contests; but they heartily concur in the great design of honouring God and saving souls, by promoting true Christianity in the world. All such may expect a glorious recompence of their fidelity, and in proportion to it: Every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labour. Their business is one, but some may mind it more than others: their end or design is one, but some may pursue it more closely than others: their Master also is one, and yet this good and gracious Master may make a difference in the rewards he gives, according to the different service they do: Every one's own work shall have its own reward. Those that work hardest shall fare best. Those that are most faithful shall have the greatest reward; and glorious work it is in which all faithful ministers are employed. They are labourers with God, sunergoico-workers, fellow-labourers (1 Corinthians 3:9), not indeed in the same order and degree, but in subordination to him, as instruments in his hand. They are engaged in his business. They are working together with God, in promoting the purposes of his glory, and the salvation of precious souls; and he who knows their work will take care they do not labour in vain. Men may neglect and vilify one minister while they cry up another, and have no reason for either: they may condemn when they should commend, and applaud what they should neglect and avoid; but the judgment of God is according to truth. He never rewards but upon just reason, and he ever rewards in proportion to the diligence and faithfulness of his servants. Note, Faithful ministers, when they are ill used by men, should encourage themselves in God. And it is to God, the chief agent and director of the great work of the gospel, to whom those that labour with him should endeavour to approve themselves. They are always under his eye, employed in his husbandry and building; and therefore, to be sure, he will carefully look over them: “You are God's husbandry, you are God's building; and therefore are neither of Paul nor of Apollos; neither belong to one nor the other, but to God: they only plant and water you, but it is the divine blessing on his own husbandry that alone can make it yield fruit. You are not our husbandry, but God's. We work under him, and with him, and for him. It is all for God that we have been doing among you. You are God's husbandry and building.” He had employed the former metaphor before, and now he goes on to the other of a building: According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. Paul here calls himself a wise master-builder, a character doubly reflecting honour on him. It was honourable to be a master-builder in the edifice of God; but it added to his character to be a wise one. Persons may be in an office for which they are not qualified, or not so thoroughly qualified as this expression implies Paul was. But, though he gives himself such a character, it is not to gratify his own pride, but to magnify divine grace. He was a wise master-builder, but the grace of God made him such. Note, It is no crime in a Christian, but much to his commendation, to take notice of the good that is in him, to the praise of divine grace. Spiritual pride is abominable: it is making use of the greatest favours of God to feed our own vanity, and make idols of ourselves. But to take notice of the favours of God to promote our gratitude to him, and to speak of them to his honour (be they of what sort they will), is but a proper expression of the duty and regard we own him. Note, Ministers should not be proud of their gifts or graces; but the better qualified they are for their work, and the more success they have in it, the more thankful should they be to God for his distinguishing goodness: I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. As before he had said, I have planted, Apollos watered. It was Paul that laid the foundation of a church among them. He had begotten them through the gospel, 1 Corinthians 4:15. Whatever instructors they had besides, they had not many fathers. He would derogate from none that had done service among them, nor would he be robbed of his own honour and respect. Note, Faithful ministers may and ought to have a concern for their own reputation. Their usefulness depends much upon it. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon. This is a proper caution; there may be very indifferent building on a good foundation. It is easy to err here; and great care should be used, not only to lay a sure and right foundation, but to erect a regular building upon it. Nothing must be laid upon it but what the foundation will bear, and what is of a piece with it. Gold and dirt must not be mingled together. Note, Ministers of Christ should take great care that they do not build their own fancies or false reasonings on the foundation of divine revelation. What they preach should be the plain doctrine of their Master, or what is perfectly agreeable with it.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Corinthians 3:5

Ministers — Or servants. By whom ye believed, as the Lord, the Master of those servants, gave to every man.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Corinthians 3:5

(2) Who then is Paul, and who [is] Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

(2) After he has sufficiently reprehended ambitious teachers, and those who foolishly esteemed them, now he shows how the true ministers are to be esteemed, that we do not attribute to them more or less than we ought to do. Therefore he teaches us that they are those by whom we are brought to faith and salvation, but yet as the ministers of God, and such as do nothing of themselves, but God so working by them as it pleases him to furnish them with his gifts. Therefore we do not have to regard or consider what minister it is that speaks, but what is spoken: and we must depend only upon him who speaks by his servants.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. ... Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
Luke 1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
Romans 10:14-15 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? ... And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, [as] workers together [with him], beseech [you] also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all [things] approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
2 Corinthians 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I [am] more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.


1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1 Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation [of the gospel] is committed unto me.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. ... But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Matthew 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Romans 12:3-6 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. ... Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith;
1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Random Bible VersesNew Quotes

Chain-Reference Bible Search

Mt 25:15. Lk 1:2. Jn 3:27. Ro 10:14; 12:3. 1Co 3:7, 10; 4:1; 9:17; 12:4, 28. 2Co 3:6; 4:5, 7; 6:1, 4; 11:23. 1P 4:10.

Newest Chat Bible Comment
Comment HereComplete Biblical ResearchComplete Chat Bible Commentary
Please post your comment on 1 Corinthians 3:5.

WWW Chat Bible Commentary

User-Posted Comments on 1 Corinthians 3:5

Recent Chat Bible Comments