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1 Corinthians 3:1–9

Sectarianism is Carnal

3 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to ababes in Christ. I fed you with bmilk and not with solid food; cfor until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and 1behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?

Watering, Working, Warning

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but dministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? eI planted, fApollos watered, gbut God gave the increase. So then hneither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, iand each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

For jwe are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are kGod’s building.

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1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — The New International Version (NIV)

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — English Standard Version (ESV)

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — New Living Translation (NLT)

Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?

After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — New Century Version (NCV)

Brothers and sisters, in the past I could not talk to you as I talk to spiritual people. I had to talk to you as I would to people without the Spirit—babies in Christ. The teaching I gave you was like milk, not solid food, because you were not able to take solid food. And even now you are not ready. You are still not spiritual, because there is jealousy and quarreling among you, and this shows that you are not spiritual. You are acting like people of the world. One of you says, “I belong to Paul,” and another says, “I belong to Apollos.” When you say things like this, you are acting like people of the world.

Is Apollos important? No! Is Paul important? No! We are only servants of God who helped you believe. Each one of us did the work God gave us to do. I planted the seed, and Apollos watered it. But God is the One who made it grow. So the one who plants is not important, and the one who waters is not important. Only God, who makes things grow, is important. The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose, and each will be rewarded for his own work. We are God’s workers, working together; you are like God’s farm, God’s house.

1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, not with meat; for ye were not yet able to bear it: nay, not even now are ye able; for ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you jealousy and strife, are ye not carnal, and do ye not walk after the manner of men? For when one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not men? What then is Apollos? and what is Paul? Ministers through whom ye believed; and each as the Lord gave to him. I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: but each shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow-workers: ye are God’s husbandry, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

And I, brethren, have not been able to speak to you as to spiritual, but as to fleshly; as to babes in Christ. I have given you milk to drink, not meat, for ye have not yet been able, nor indeed are ye yet able; for ye are yet carnal. For whereas there are among you emulation and strife, are ye not carnal, and walk according to man? For when one says, I am of Paul, and another, I of Apollos, are ye not men?

Who then is Apollos, and who Paul? Ministering servants, through whom ye have believed, and as the Lord has given to each. I have planted; Apollos watered; but God has given the increase. So that neither the planter is anything, nor the waterer; but God the giver of the increase. But the planter and the waterer are one; but each shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are God’s fellow-workmen; ye are God’s husbandry, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Brothers and sisters, I couldn’t talk to you as spiritual people but as people still influenced by your corrupt nature. You were infants in your faith in Christ. I gave you milk to drink. I didn’t give you solid food because you weren’t ready for it. Even now you aren’t ready for it because you’re still influenced by your corrupt nature.

When you are jealous and quarrel among yourselves, aren’t you influenced by your corrupt nature and living by human standards? When some of you say, “I follow Paul” and others say, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting like sinful humans? Who is Apollos? Who is Paul? They are servants who helped you come to faith. Each did what the Lord gave him to do. I planted, and Apollos watered, but God made it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is important because only God makes it grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have the same goal, and each will receive a reward for his own work. We are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field.

You are God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like unbelievers? For whenever someone says, “I’m with Paul,” and another, “I’m with Apollos,” are you not unspiritual people?

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. Now the one planting and the one watering are one in purpose, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

And so, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations? For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely human?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

And I, brothers, was not able to speak to you as to spiritual people, but as to fleshly people, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, for you were not yet able to eat it. But now you are still not able, for you are still fleshly. For where there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and do you not live like unregenerate people? For whenever anyone says, “I am with Paul,” and another, “I am with Apollos,” are you not merely human?

Therefore, what is Apollos and what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, and to each as the Lord gave. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing it to grow. So then, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who is causing it to grow. Now the one who plants and the one who waters are one, but each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — New International Reader’s Version, 1998 ed. (NIrV) (NIrV)

Brothers and sisters, I couldn’t speak to you as if you were guided by the Holy Spirit. I had to speak to you as if you were following the ways of the world. You aren’t growing as Christ wants you to. You are still like babies. The words I spoke to you were like milk, not like solid food. You weren’t ready for solid food yet. And you still aren’t ready for it.

You are still following the ways of the world. Some of you are jealous. Some of you argue. So aren’t you following the ways of the world? Aren’t you acting like ordinary human beings? One of you says, “I follow Paul.” Another says, “I follow Apollos.” Aren’t you acting like ordinary human beings?

After all, what is Apollos? And what is Paul? We are only people who serve. We helped you to believe. The Lord has given each of us our own work to do. I planted the seed. Apollos watered it. But God made it grow.

So the one who plants is not important. The one who waters is not important. It is God who makes things grow. He is the One who is important. The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose. The Lord will give each of us a reward for our work. We work together with God. You are like God’s field. You are like his building.

1 Corinthians 3:1–9 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,

for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.

So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.

Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.