1 Corinthians 3:6-9Context
3:6 I planted, 1 Apollos watered, but God caused it to grow. 3:7 So neither the one who plants counts for anything, 2 nor the one who waters, but God who causes the growth. 3:8 The one who plants and the one who waters work as one, 3 but each will receive his reward according to his work. 3:9 We are coworkers belonging to God. 4 You are God’s field, God’s building.
1 sn The expression I planted is generally taken to mean that Paul founded the church at Corinth. Later Apollos had a significant ministry there (watered). See also v. 10.
2 tn Grk “is anything.”
3 tn Grk “are one.” The purpose of this phrase is to portray unified action on the part of ministers underneath God’s sovereign control. Although they are in fact individuals, they are used by God with a single purpose to accomplish his will in facilitating growth. This emphasis is brought out in the translation “work as one.”
4 tn Although 1 Cor 3:9 is frequently understood to mean, “we are coworkers with God,” such a view assumes that the genitive θεοῦ (qeou) is associative because of its relationship to συνεργοί (sunergoi). However, not only is a genitive of association not required by the syntax (cf. ExSyn 130), but the context is decidedly against it: Paul and Apollos are insignificant compared to the God whom they serve (vv. 5-8).