Earning a Living from Religion
info This commentary was written by a volunteer for our Bible translation project. It’s not an official view of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.
At 2 Corinthians 2:17, Paul wrote:
‘We aren’t like others that are peddlers of the word of God (Greek: kapeleuontes ton logon tou Theou). Rather, we speak sincerely through the Anointed One.’
Obviously, Paul is making the assertion here that he didn’t believe in making a comfortable living by preaching God’s Word. In fact, Paul boasted of his working as a tent maker so he could provide God’s Word without cost to the congregations. As he says here, he often did without, simply because he refused to ask for help.
However, it must be admitted that on other occasions, Paul spoke of his ‘authority’ to be supported in his preaching, proving that receiving such material support isn’t necessarily wrong.
But let us examine why Paul chose not to depend on others to support him in his service to God. Notice his reasoning:
‘Rather, we speak sincerely through the Anointed One.’
The obvious problem with trying to teach people who pay us to do so, is this matter of sincerity. If your livelihood depends on the goodwill of his/her listeners, there may be a reluctance to say what needs to be said!