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"In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should earn their living by the gospel." 1 Corinthians 9:14

QUESTION: Is Paul referring only to the example in the previous verse of the servants in the temple (verse 13) or to this and all the other examples he gave earlier (shepherd, soldier, farmer, oxen in verses 7-10)? What evidence is there of how many examples Paul is including when he says "in the same way"?

vs13 "Don’t you know that those who perform the temple services eat the food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the offerings of the altar?"

Also

vs7-10 "Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who shepherds a flock and does not drink the milk from the flock? Am I saying this from a human perspective? Doesn’t the law also say the same thing? For it is written in the law of Moses, Do not muzzle an ox while it treads out grain..."

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οὕτως καὶ ὁ κύριος διέταξεν τοῖς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον καταγγέλλουσιν ἐκ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ζῆν

The bolded expression in the Greek text is what the translation in question has converted to "in the same way." It could also be said as:

  • and so
  • and thus
  • and therefore
  • even so
  • therefore

The KJV has it as:

Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:14, KJV)

Paul is simply drawing a conclusion based on what he has already said. There is no clear antecedent or referent to his conclusion that is discernible from the grammar. The interpretation, therefore, is left to the deduction or inference of the reader.

Based on the rhetorical questions and the citation of the Mosaic law that come before this, we could properly conclude that Paul is making a statement that those who preach the gospel are entitled to the support of those among whom they are working.

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  • Good answer +1.
    – Dottard
    Aug 18 at 3:29
  • I asked the question because some claim verse 14 refers to all previous examples whereas others claim the οὕτως καὶ only refers to verse 13. Ciampa in his commentary on this wrote "The parallel suggested between v. 14 and v. 13 by in the same way is reinforced by a syntactical parallelism between the verses as well. The parallel highlights the relationship between preaching the gospel and serving in the temple." However I am not a trained exegete so I don't understand the parallel. [quote: CIAMPA, ROY, PNTC commentary]
    – Derek
    Aug 18 at 4:30
  • @Derek One must always keep in mind when using commentaries that they represent the interpretations and/or opinions of people who, though educated and well-meaning, are not inspired, nor on par with the Biblical text itself. Commentaries can sometimes help us look at something in a way we may not have otherwise considered, but they should always be compared against a clear "thus saith the Lord." The Scripture itself is our only safe guide, and it can be used to explain itself in most cases. In this particular case, your commentarian has given his opinion, as seen by his word "suggested."
    – Polyhat
    Aug 18 at 4:49
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οὕτως is the adverbial form of the demonstrative pronoun meaning this, with the meaning thisly, in this manner, in this way. There is no difference whether it only applies to the immediate example or the list illustrating the same thing. It is all to make one point.

 This is my defense to those who would examine me. 4 Do we not have the right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? 8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. (1 Cor. 9:3–14, ESV)

Paul's point was just because he didn't use this source of income doesn't mean he had less authority as an apostle, and that he didn't preach for the monetary benefit.

But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. (1 Cor. 9:15–18, ESV)

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