What Does “We are God’s fellow-workers” in 1 Corinthians 3.9 Really Mean?

Daniel B. Wallace

Translations and Commentaries

The King James Version in 1 Cor 3.9 reads, “we are labourers together with God…” This unambiguously suggests that Paul and Apollos were considered in some sense on the same level with God. Of course, ‘in some sense’ covers a multitude of possibilities, but there nevertheless seems to be an underlying tone of synergism and mutual credit. (A similar translation is in the French Nouvelle Version2: “nous sommes ouvriers avec Dieu,” and in La Sacra Bibbia: “Noi siamo infatti collaboratori di Dio.”)

Most modern translations take a more neutral stance, translating 1 Cor 3.9a as “we are God’s fellow workers” (ASV [‘fellow-workers’], RSV, NASB and NASB 1995, NKJV, ESV, NIV), “we are God’s coworkers (HCSB, TNIV, and NAB2 [‘co-workers’; 2010]), “we do share in God’s work” (NJB), “wir sind Gottes Mitarbeiter” (Luther 1985), or “nosotros somos colaboradores de Dios” (Reina Valera2).

But…

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92. “The Spirit was not yet” John 7,39

Herman Grobler demonstrates how scribes seeking to inform sometimes cause questions about what the original author said. A recognized concept is “proficiency enables clear and simple explanation.” Herman has done this with John 7.39.

Bible differences

“The Spirit was not yet” John 7,39
What should one do when the source manuscript you are copying has a sentence that is open for misinterpretation? Should you just copy what is written, or should you add that which you might suspect had been left out by the previous scribe?
Young’s Literal Translation of 1898 gives the exact words as is found in the oldest Greek manuscripts John 7,38-39: “`If any one doth thirst, let him come unto me and drink; he who is believing in me, according as the Writing said, Rivers out of his belly shall flow of living water;’ and this he said of the Spirit, which those believing in him were about to receive; for not yet was the Holy Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
These words are open to misunderstanding. Could John be thinking that the Holy Spirit did not exist until Jesus…

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