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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 3:6

 

 

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

Adam Clarke Commentary

I have planted - I first sowed the seed of the Gospel at Corinth, and in the region of Achaia.

Apollos watered - Apollos came after me, and, by his preachings and exhortations, watered the seed which I had sowed; but God gave the increase. The seed has taken root, has sprung up, and borne much fruit; but this was by the especial blessing of God. As in the natural so in the spiritual world; it is by the especial blessing of God that the grain which is sown in the ground brings forth thirty, sixty, or a hundred fold: it is neither the sower nor the waterer that produces this strange and inexplicable multiplication; it is God alone. So it is by the particular agency of the Spirit of God that even good seed, sown in good ground, the purest doctrine conveyed to the honest heart, produces the salvation of the soul.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I have planted - The apostle here compares the establishment of the church at Corinth to the planting of a vine, a tree, or of grain. The figure is taken from agriculture, and the meaning is obvious. Paul established the church. He was the first preacher in Corinth; and if any distinction was due to anyone, it was rather to him than to the teachers who had labored there subsequently; but he regarded himself as worthy of no such honor as to be the head of a party, for it was not himself, but God who had given the increase.

Apollos watered - This figure is taken from the practice of watering a tender plant, or of watering a garden or field. This was necessary in a special manner in Eastern countries. Their fields became parched and dry from their long droughts, and it was necessary to irrigate them by artificial means. The sense here is, that Paul had labored in establishing the church at Corinth; but that subsequently Apollos had labored to increase it, and to build it, up. It is certain that Apollos did not go to Corinth until after Paul had left it; see Acts 18:18; compare Acts 18:27.

God gave the increase - God caused the seed sown to take root and spring up; and God blessed the irrigation of the tender plants as they sprung up, and caused them to grow. This idea is still taken from the farmer. It would be vain for the farmer to sow his seed unless God would give it life. There is no life in the seed, nor is there any inherent power in the earth to make it grow. Only God, the Giver of all life, can quicken the germ in the seed, and make it live. So it would be in vain for the farmer to water his plant unless God would bless it. There is no living principle in the water; no inherent power in the rains of heaven to make the plant grow. It is adapted, indeed, to this, and the seed would not germinate if it was not planted, nor grow if it was not watered; but the life is still from God. He arranged these means, and he gives life to the tender blade, and sustains it. And so it is with the word of life. It has no inherent power to produce effect by itself. The power is not in the naked word, nor in him that plants, nor in him that waters, nor in the heart where it is sown, but in God. But there is a Fitness of the means to the end. The word is adapted to save the soul. The seed must be sown or it will not germinate. Truth must be sown in the heart, and the heart must be prepared for it - as the earth must be plowed and made mellow, or it will not spring up. It must be cultivated with assiduous care, or it will produce nothing. But still it is all of God - as much so as the yellow harvest of the field, after all the toils of the farmer is of God. And as the farmer who has just views, will take no praise to himself because his grain and his vine start up and grow after all his care, but will ascribe all to God‘s unceasing, beneficent agency; so will the minister of religion, and so will every Christian, after all their care, ascribe all to God.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

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.

The location depicted here is fully identified later as "God's field" (1 Corinthians 3:9). The thought is that Paul planted the crop; Apollos cultivated and watered it. There is no reference to baptism in "watered."

Are one ... They were one in mutual love and respect for each other, one in purpose, one in status as God's servants, and one in their reliance upon the Lord who would reward both.

According to his own labor ... reveals that the gospel preacher's reward will be measured according to his work, and not according to his success. The injunction of God is not that men shall go and "convert" all nations, but that they shall "preach the gospel to the whole creation."


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-corinthians-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I have planted,.... That is, ministerially; otherwise the planting of souls in Christ, and the implanting of grace in them, are things purely divine, and peculiar to God, and the power of his grace; but his meaning is, that he was at Corinth, as in other places, the first that preached the Gospel to them; and was an instrument of the conversion of many souls, and of laying the foundation, and of raising and forming a Gospel church state, and of planting them in it;

Apollos watered; he followed after, and his ministry was blessed for edification; he was a means of carrying on the superstructure, and of building up souls in faith and holiness, and of making them fruitful in every good word and work: each minister of the Gospel has his proper gifts, work, and usefulness; some are planters, others waterers; some are employed in hewing down the sturdy oaks, and others in squaring and fitting, and laying them in the building; some are "Boanergeses", sons of thunder, and are mostly useful in conviction and conversion; and others are "Barnabases", sons of consolation, who are chiefly made use of in comforting and edifying the saints: but God gave the increase: for as the gardener may put his plants into the earth, and water them when he has so done, but cannot cause them to grow, this is owing to a divine blessing; and as the husbandman tills his ground, casts the seed into it, and waits for the former and latter rain, but cannot cause it to spring up, or increase to perfection, this is done by a superior influence; so ministers of the Gospel plant and water, cast in the seed of the word, preach the Gospel, but all the success is from the Lord; God only causes it to spring up and grow; it is he that gives it its increasing, spreading, fructifying virtue and efficacy.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

3 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

(3) He beautifies the former sentence, with two similarities: first comparing the company of the faithful to a field which God makes fruitful, when it is sown and watered through the labour of his servants. Second, be comparing it to a house, which indeed the Lord builds, but by the hands of his workmen, some of whom he uses in laying the foundation, others in building it up. Now, both these similarities are for this purpose, to show that all things are wholly accomplished only by God's authority and might, so that we must only have an eye to him. Moreover, although God uses some in the better part of the work, we must not therefore condemn others, in respect of them, and much less may we divide or set them apart (as these factious men did) seeing that all of them labour in God's business. They work in such a way, that they serve to finish the very same work, although by a different manner of working, in so much that they all need one another's help.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

planted, Apollos watered — (Acts 18:1; Acts 19:1). Apollos at his own desire (Acts 18:27) was sent by the brethren to Corinth, and there followed up the work which Paul had begun.

God gave the increase — that is, the growth (1 Corinthians 3:10; Acts 18:27). “Believed through grace.” Though ministers are nothing, and God all in all, yet God works by instruments, and promises the Holy Spirit in the faithful use of means. This is the dispensation of the Spirit, and ours is the ministry of the Spirit.


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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

I planted (εγω επυτευσαegō ephuteusa). First aorist active indicative of old verb πυτευωphuteuō This Paul did as Luke tells us in Acts 18:1-18.

Apollos watered (Απολλως εποτισενApollōs epotisen). Apollos irrigated the church there as is seen in Acts 18:24-19:1. Another aorist tense as in 1 Corinthians 3:2.

But God gave the increase (αλλα ο τεος ηυχανενalla ho theos ēuxanen). Imperfect tense here (active indicative) for the continuous blessing of God both on the work of Paul and Apollos, Corinthians-labourers with God in God‘s field (1 Corinthians 3:9). Reports of revivals sometimes give the glory to the evangelist or to both evangelist and pastor. Paul gives it all to God. He and Apollos cooperated as successive pastors.


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-corinthians-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Planted - watered - gave the increase ( ἐφύτευσα - ἐπότισεν - ηὔξανεν )

The first two verbs are in the aorist tense, marking definite acts; the third is in the imperfect, marking the continued gracious agency of God, and possibly the simultaneousness of His work with that of the two preachers. God was giving the increase while we planted and watered. There is a parallel in the simultaneous work of Satan with that of the preachers of the word as indicated by the continuous presents in Matthew 13:19. See note there.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/1-corinthians-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

It will be seen by the account in Acts 18:24,27,28, that Apollos commenced his ministry in Corinth, after Paul had left it.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/1-corinthians-3.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

6.I have planted, Apollos watered He unfolds more clearly the nature of that ministry by a similitude, in which the nature of the word and the use of preaching are most appropriately depicted. That the earth may bring forth fruit, there is need of ploughing and sowing, and other means of culture; but after all this has been carefully done, the husbandman’s labor would be of no avail, did not the Lord from heaven give the increase, by the breaking forth of the sun, and still more by his wonderful and secret influence. Hence, although the diligence of the husbandman is not in vain, nor the seed that he throws in useless, yet it is only by the blessing of God that they are made to prosper, for what is more wonderful than that the seed, after it has rotted, springs up again! In like manner, the word of the Lord is seed that is in its own nature fruitful: ministers are as it were husbandmen, that plough and sow. Then follow other helps, as for example, irrigation. Ministers, too, act a corresponding part when, after casting the seed into the ground, they give help to the earth as much as is in their power, until it bring forth what it has conceived: but as for making their labor actually productive, that is a miracle of divine grace — not a work of human industry.

Observe, however, in this passage, how necessary the preaching of the word is, and how necessary the continuance of it. (158) It were, undoubtedly, as easy a thing for God to bless the earth without diligence on the part of men, so as to make it bring forth fruit of its own accord, as to draw out, or rather press out (159) its increase, at the expense of much assiduity on the part of men, and much sweat and sorrow; but as the Lord hath so ordained (1 Corinthians 9:14) that man should labor, and that the earth, on its part, yield a return to his culture, let us take care to act accordingly. In like manner, it were perfectly in the power of God, without the aid of men, if it so pleased him, to produce faith in persons while asleep; but he has appointed it otherwise, so that faith is produced by hearing. (Romans 10:17.) That man, then, who, in the neglect of this means, expects to attain faith, acts just as if the husbandman, throwing aside the plough, taking no care to sow; and leaving off all the labor of husbandry, were to open his mouth, expecting food to drop into it from heaven.

As to continuance (160) we see what Paul says here — that it is not enough that the seed be sown, if it is not brought forward from time to time by new helps. He, then, who has already received the seed, has still need of watering, nor must endeavors be left off, until full maturity has been attained, or in other words, till life is ended. Apollos, then, who succeeded Paul in the ministry of the word at Corinth, is said to have watered what he had sown.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-corinthians-3.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

CHRISTIAN UNITY

‘I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.’

1 Corinthians 3:6

St. Paul pleaded with the Corinthians for unity of spirit. Had he lived now, I do not think he would have hoped for immediate unity of organisation—however much to be desired—but one feels that he would have written a letter breathing the spirit of this Epistle to the Corinthians ‘to the saints who are of the Church in England, together with all those who call on the Name of the Lord Jesus’—a splendid definition of God’s universal Church! St. Paul well knew how to denounce and oppose strenuously what he thought would undermine Christianity and the Church. Witness the Epistle to the Galatians, witness him withstanding St. Peter to the face! St. Paul was no invertebrate-minded man, incapable of conviction, and so equally complacent to all forms of thought. But while strenuously opposing at one time what he knew to be subversive of Christianity, upholding the great broad principle of the universality of the Church—a vital point—he equally strenuously condemns the partisanship of Christians on matters not fundamental, not indispensable to the existence of Christianity.

I. Is not this the position that we should adopt to-day?—To anything that threatens the groundwork of our faith, the foundation of Jesus Christ, we must offer a Pauline opposition. But what we must shun as radically opposed to the spirit of Christ and the teaching of St. Paul is mere partisanship, which exalts the means into the end. The avoidance of this spirit does not preclude devotion to our own great district of the Catholic Church, or a life’s work for it as a noble part of God’s husbandry, God’s building; but the spirit of Christian sympathy does exclude antagonism to other bodies and other lines of work. Strong resistance to tampering with fundamental truth, and sympathetic tolerance of other consciences and positions seem to be the Pauline teaching. Only, I think, St. Paul would say, ‘Do not with insincere sincerity exaggerate the indifferent into the fundamental.’

II. God’s building should be like one of our glorious cathedrals, to which many centuries, many tastes, many types of mind have contributed their quota of beauty. There is no monotony of style, and the variety is the chief cause of picturesqueness. But the whole of the noble fabric rears up its majestic structure to the glory of one Almighty God; every part shows forth His praise; all is united by one spirit of reverent piety.

III. What we need, as the universal Church of Christ, is absorption in the grand idea of catholicity of spirit—union in love. And I believe that unity of organisation would follow real unity of spirit. Raised on a Christ foundation, one dreams of a Church of God composed of all nations of the earth, worshipping the one God, perhaps in varying form and organisation, but animated by the one thing that is the hall-mark of true Christianity—the Spirit of Christ.

—Rev. St. J. B. Wynne Wilson.

Illustration

‘St. Paul is writing to the Corinthian Church in a tone of rebuke for the divisions among them. The Church had been founded by Paul, and afterwards Apollos, the learned, eloquent Alexandrine Jew, had been sent from Ephesus thither. Now Corinth was a great mercantile, cosmopolitan centre, containing much active, vigorous life, and minds of varying shades. Naturally men approached Christianity from different mental standpoints, influenced by different moods generated by difference of birth and environment. Paul and Apollos, though animated by the same root-ideas, differed apparently in their presentment of them. Not unnaturally the converts divided, expressing preference for one or other, and adopting him as their teacher. Paul and Apollos did not found sects, but sects attached themselves to their names, and made them the rallying-point. “I am of Paul, I of Apollos,” they said. A third party rejected all human teaching, and went, as they maintained, straight to Christ’s doctrine, uninterpreted by men, “I am of Christ.” The divisions grew heated: they were not healthy rivalry or holy warfare of different ideas, but the contention of unhallowed strife of interest, and of a wholly unchristian spirit which forgot the principle of their faith in adhesion to a partisan presentation of it. The spirit was lost in the institution or party. This contentious strife, says Paul, is carnal, or sensuous, the lowest grade of the three with which he is dealing, spiritual, natural, carnal.’


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Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

Ver. 6. But God gave the increase] The harp yields no sound till it be touched by the hand of the musician. The heart is never made good till the heavens answer the earth, Hosea 2:21, till God strikes the stroke. Holy Melancthon, being newly converted, thought it impossible for his hearers to withstand the evidence of the gospel. But soon after he complained that old Adam was too hard for young Melancthon. No man can run the point aright, except God give wind to his sails; as, if he speak the word, our words shall not be only like Peter’s angle, which took a fish, but like Peter’s net, which enclosed a multitude of fishes.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

I planted; That is, I first preached the gospel among you, and first instructed you in the principles of Christ. I converted you to Christ: after me came Apollos, and watered the seed which I had sown: but God it was, and God alone, that caused the seed (which I sowed, and Apollos watered) to fructify and increase.

Learn, 1. That it is an act of discriminating grace and favour in God, to send out his ministers to plant the gospel amongst a people that never before heard it.

2. That it is an act of farther favour and grace in God, to follow a people with a succession of ministers in order to the watering of the seed formerly sown amongst them.

Learn, 3. That all that ministers can do, is but to plant and water; they cannot give increase, nor procure the success of their ministerial endeavours.

Blessed be God that he doth not require the success of their ministerial endeavours.

Blessed be God that he doth not require the success of our labours at our hands.

Woe unto us, should he say, "Either reconcile my people to me, or I will never be reconciled unto you." Diligence and endeavour is ours, the blessing and success is God's: he will never blame us for not doing his work.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

6.] The similitude is to a tilled field ( γεώργιον, 1 Corinthians 3:9): the plants are the Corinthians, as members of Christ, vines bearing fruit: these do not yet appear in the construction: so that I prefer, with De Wette, supplying nothing after ἐφύτευσα and ἐπότισεν, regarding merely the acts themselves, as in E. V. If any thing be supplied, it must be ὑμᾶς, which would but ill fit 1 Corinthians 3:7.

Apollos was sent over to Corinth after Paul had left it (Acts 18:27), at his own request, and remained there preaching during Paul’s journey through Upper Asia (ib. Acts 19:1).


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-corinthians-3.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 Corinthians 3:6. ἐφύτευσαἐπότισεν, I planted—he watered) Acts 18:1; Acts 19:1. Afterwards with the same view, he speaks of the foundation and what is reared upon it; of a father, and instructors [ch. 1 Corinthians 4:15].— ηὔξανεν, gave the increase) 1 Corinthians 3:10, at the beginning; Acts 18:27, at the end.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-corinthians-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

God honoured me first to preach the gospel amongst you, Acts 18:1-28 &c., and blessed my preaching to convert you unto Christ; then I left you: Apollos stayed behind, and he watered what I had planted, daily preaching amongst you; see Acts 18:24-26; he was a further means to build you up in faith and holiness; but God increased, or

gave the increase, God gave the power by which you brought forth any fruit. The similitude is drawn from planters, whether husbandmen or gardeners; they plant, they water, but the growing, the budding, the bringing forth flowers or fruit by the plant, doth much more depend upon the soil in which it stands, the influence of heaven upon it, by the beams of the sun, and the drops of the dew and rain, and the internal virtue which the God of nature hath created in the plant, than upon the hand of him that planteth, or him who useth his watering pot to water it. So it is with souls; one minister is used for conversion, or the first changing of souls; another is used for edification, or further building up of souls; but both conversion and edification are infinitely more from the new heart and new nature, which God giveth to souls, and from the influence of the Sun of righteousness by the Spirit of grace, working in and upon the soul, than from any minister, who is but God’s instrument in those works.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

I have planted; Paul first preached the gospel to the Corinthians and gathered the church.

Apollos watered; he came after Paul and further instructed the people.

God gave the increase; all the success of both was from God.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-corinthians-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

6. ἐγὼ ἐφύτευσα, Ἀπολλὼς ἐπότισεν, ἀλλὰ ὁ θεὸς ηὔξανεν. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. The Apostle would lead his converts from the thought of those who had ministered the Gospel to them, to the thought of Him Whom they ministered. Man does but obey the Divine command in his ministerial work, the results are God’s. See note on 1 Corinthians 3:9. There is also (see ch. 1 Corinthians 4:6) a general reference to the Corinthian teachers intended here. But the Apostle desires to eschew personalities. It is to be observed that both here and in chap. 1 Corinthians 1:12, St Paul’s account of himself and Apollos is in precise agreement with that of St Luke in the Acts. In Acts 18 we read of the Church of Corinth being founded by St Paul. In the latter part of that chapter and in ch. Acts 19:1, we read of Apollos’ visit to Greece, and his stay at Corinth. The remark in this Epistle is a purely incidental one, but it agrees exactly with the history. St Paul founded the Church, Apollos ‘mightily convinced the Jews and that publicly,’ thus carrying on the work St Paul had begun. See Paley, Horae Paulinae, 1st Ep. to Corinthians 5, who points out the argument derivable from hence for the genuineness of both this Epistle and the Acts. For ἐπότισεν see 1 Corinthians 3:2.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-corinthians-3.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

6. Planted—It was Paul’s pre-eminent gift to be a founder. His was the rare power, less conspicuous in Apollos and John, to convince the unbeliever, and create a new Church. Hence he sought new fields, and avoided to build on any other man’s foundation. Note on Romans 15:20.

Increase—Growth. As the seed planted in the earth produces no herb or fruit without the showers and sunshine from above, so the preached Gospel, sown in the soul or in the world, produces no increase without God’s gracious aid.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-corinthians-3.html. 1874-1909.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

6. I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase:


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Godbey, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/1-corinthians-3.html.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

1 Corinthians 3:6. I planted: Yes; the first ground at Corinth was indeed broken by me, and I am your spiritual father.

Apollos watered—following up what I began. But though in husbandry planting goes before watering, each is necessary at its proper stage. Yet something above both was needed.—but God gave the increase.


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Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/1-corinthians-3.html. 1879-90.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

"Paul got the work of redemption going among the Corinthians and Apollos followed up on it and "watered it" (Acts 18:27). But in it all, the increase was given by God." [Note: _ McGuiggan p. 51]

"Increase"-"was causing the growth" (NASV)

"We must be careful to avoid a Calvinistic conclusion from this illustration. One must not hastily jump to the conclusion that the seed will not grow in the heart of the individual unless God enlightens the man"s heart. The figure is easily understood. The farmer may plant and water but God"s power is what causes the growth. We do not imagine that God must miraculously operate on the soil before the plant will grow. The point is that the power of life which is in the seed is put there by God; our works would be useless had God not put the life producing power in the seed...Similarly, Paul relates, the power of God is in the gospel (Romans 1:16). The life which is produced through preaching it is no less the power of God at work than when a seed grows." [Note: _ Willis p. 100]


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Bibliography
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/1-corinthians-3.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

have planted = planted. See Acts 18:1-18.

watered. Greek. potizo, as in 1 Corinthians 3:2. See Acts 18:27, Acts 19:1.

God. App-98.

gave the increase = was causing it to grow. Imperf. because God"s work was continuing, Paul"s or any other"s only temporary.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-corinthians-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. I ... planted, Apollos watered (Acts 18:1; Acts 19:1). Apollos was born in the learned city Alexandria: he originally "knew only the baptism of John;" but subsequently being taught in the Gospel by Aquila and Priscilla at Ephesus, he, at his own desire, was sent by the brethren to Corinth, and there followed up the work which Paul had begun. Eloquent and mighty in the Scripture, "he mightily convinced the Jews ... publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ." Paul's forte was in planting new churches.

God gave the increase - i:e., the growth (1 Corinthians 3:10; Acts 18:27). "He helped them much which had believed through grace." Ministers are nothing, and God is all in all; yet God works by instruments, and promises the Spirit in the faithful use of means. This is the dispensation of the Spirit: ours is the ministry of the Spirit.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-corinthians-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(6) I have planted, Apollos watered.—By an image borrowed from the processes of agriculture the Apostle explains the relation in which his teaching stood to that of Apollos—and how all the results were from God. This indication of St. Paul having been the founder, and Apollos the subsequent instructor, of the Corinthian Church, is in complete harmony with what we read of the early history of that Church in Acts 18:27; Acts 19:1. After St. Paul had been at Corinth (Acts 18:1), Apollos, who had been taught by Aquila and Priscilla at Ephesus, came there and “helped them much which had already believed.”


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
I
9,10; 4:14,15; 9:1,7-11; 15:1-11; Acts 18:4-11; 2 Corinthians 10:14,15
Apollos
Proverbs 11:25; Acts 18:24,26,27; 19:1
God
1:30; 15:10; Psalms 62:9,11; 92:13-15; 127:1; Isaiah 55:10,11; 61:11; Acts 11:18; 14:27; 16:14; 21:19; Romans 15:18; 2 Corinthians 3:2-5; 1 Thessalonians 1:5

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-corinthians-3.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

I have planted, Apollos watered: but God gave the increase.

This illustrates two points; first, the diversity of service on the part of ministers, spoken of in 1 Corinthians 3:5, one plants and another waters; and secondly, the entirely subordinate and instrumental character of their service. As in nature, planting and watering are not the efficient causes of vegetation; so in the church, ministerial acts are not the efficient causes of grace. In both cases all the efficiency is of God. And as in nature, planting and watering by human instrumentality, are not the necessary conditions of vegetation, so neither are ministerial acts the necessary conditions of faith. On the other hand, however, as the work of the husbandman is the ordinary and appointed means of securing a harvest, so the work of the ministry is the ordinary means of conversion.


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/1-corinthians-3.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

I planted the seed. "I planted you in God's field, Apollos (and others) watered you, by teaching you, but it was God who made you grow." [This shows there are two basic kinds of preachers: planting preachers and watering preachers.]


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:6". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-corinthians-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

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