Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Handout for Tonight’s Class

The following is a handout I've created for tonight's class where we will be discussing the Gifts of the Spirit. It helps to have a little definition for each of the gifts. So these are culled from Joseph Fitzmyer's 2008 Anchor Bible Commentary on 1st Corinthians.


Gifts of the Spirit (pneumatikos) as found in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12 (quotes from Fitzmyer, 1 Corinthians, Anchor Yale Bible, 2008)

  • Utterance of Wisdom: would mean the power to communicate profound Christian truths to others, because Paul is not speaking merely of the internal gift, but the way it is manifested (Fitzmyer, 466).
  • Utterance of Knowledge: it is difficult to know what Paul means, how is knowledge different from wisdom. Perhaps, "knowledge may mean such elementary truths as knowing that 'an idol is nothing at all in this world'" (466)
  • Faith: not the same faith that is the response to the gospel; rather, "it is the 'faith to move mountains,' or perhaps 'a faith especially effective in sustaining others'" (466)
  • Gifts of healing: "'gifts' resulting in different kinds of cures" (467).
  • Working of mighty deeds: Grk: dynameis "is often used in the NT for the wondrous deeds or miracles of Jesus recounted in the Gospels" (467).
  • Prophecy: "dynamic, effective, and hortatory preaching of the gospel as a gift of the Spirit" (467)
  • Discernment of Spirits: "various abilities to evaluate and distinguish the origin of diverse promptings in life, whether they come from God, or Satan, or other human beings" (467).
  • Kinds of Tongues: perhaps one of the most difficult for us to understand. Two basic possibilities:
    • "As utterances made outside the normal pattern of intelligible speech, sometimes translated as 'ecstatic utterance.'
    • "Foreign, unintelligible human utterances," i.e. foreign languages.

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