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1 Corinthians 4:1–6

The Ministry of Apostles

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and nstewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. oFor I am not aware of anything against myself, pbut I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore qdo not pronounce judgment before the time, rbefore the Lord comes, swho will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. tThen each one will receive his commendation from God.

I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers,1 that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may ube puffed up in favor of one against another.

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1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — The New International Version (NIV)

This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.

1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

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. 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. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 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.

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.

1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — New Living Translation (NLT)

So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.

Dear brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I’ve been saying. If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures, you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another.

1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.

1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — New Century Version (NCV)

People should think of us as servants of Christ, the ones God has trusted with his secrets. Now in this way those who are trusted with something valuable must show they are worthy of that trust. As for myself, I do not care if I am judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I know of no wrong I have done, but this does not make me right before the Lord. The Lord is the One who judges me. So do not judge before the right time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light things that are now hidden in darkness, and will make known the secret purposes of people’s hearts. Then God will praise each one of them.

Brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself as examples so you could learn through us the meaning of the saying, “Follow only what is written in the Scriptures.” Then you will not be more proud of one person than another.

1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — American Standard Version (ASV)

Let a man so account of us, as of ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Here, moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 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. For I know nothing against myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Wherefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall each man have his praise from God.

Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not to go beyond the things which are written; that no one of you be puffed up for the one against the other.

1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

Let a man so account of us as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Here, further, it is sought in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But for me it is the very smallest matter that I be examined of you or of man’s day. Nor do I even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing in myself; but I am not justified by this: but he that examines me is the Lord. So that do not judge anything before the time, until the Lord shall come, who shall also both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and shall make manifest the counsels of hearts; and then shall each have his praise from God. Now these things, brethren, I have transferred, in their application, to myself and Apollos, for your sakes, that ye may learn in us the lesson of not letting your thoughts go above what is written, that ye may not be puffed up one for such a one against another.

1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

People should think of us as servants of Christ and managers who are entrusted with God’s mysteries. Managers are required to be trustworthy. 

It means very little to me that you or any human court should cross-examine me. I don’t even ask myself questions. I have a clear conscience, but that doesn’t mean I have God’s approval. It is the Lord who cross-examines me. Therefore, don’t judge anything before the appointed time. Wait until the Lord comes. He will also bring to light what is hidden in the dark and reveal people’s motives. Then each person will receive praise from God. 

Brothers and sisters, I have applied this to Apollos and myself for your sake. You should learn from us not to go beyond what is written in Scripture. Then you won’t arrogantly place one of us in opposition to the other. 

1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

A person should consider us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of God’s mysteries. In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one of them be found faithful. It is of little importance to me that I should be evaluated by you or by any human court. In fact, I don’t even evaluate myself. For I am not conscious of anything against myself, but I am not justified by this. The One who evaluates me is the Lord. Therefore don’t judge anything prematurely, before the Lord comes, who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God.

Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the saying: “Nothing beyond what is written.” The purpose is that none of you will be inflated with pride in favor of one person over another.

1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.

I have applied all this to Apollos and myself for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so that you may learn through us the meaning of the saying, “Nothing beyond what is written,” so that none of you will be puffed up in favor of one against another.

1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Thus let a person consider us as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. In this case, moreover, it is sought in stewards that one be found faithful. But to me it is a very little matter that I be judged by you or by a human court, but I do not even judge myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, but not by this am I vindicated. But the one who judges me is the Lord. Therefore do not judge anything before the time, until the Lord should come, who will both enlighten the hidden things of darkness and will reveal the counsels of hearts, and then praise will come to each one from God.

Now I have applied these things, brothers, to myself and Apollos for your sake, in order that in us you may learn not to go beyond what is written, lest someone be inflated with pride on behalf of one person against the other.

1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — New International Reader’s Version (1998) (NIrV)

Here is how you should think of us. We serve Christ. We are trusted with God’s secret truth. Those who have been given a trust must prove that they are faithful.

I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court. I don’t even judge myself. I don’t feel I have done anything wrong. But that doesn’t mean I’m not guilty. The Lord judges me.

So don’t judge anything before the appointed time. Wait until the Lord returns. He will bring to light what is hidden in the dark. He will show the real reasons why people do what they do. At that time each person will receive praise from God.

Brothers and sisters, I have used myself and Apollos as examples to help you. You can learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Don’t go beyond what is written.” Then you won’t be proud that you follow one person instead of another.

1 Corinthians 4:1–6 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.

But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.

For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.

Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.

Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.