Lange Commentary - 1 Corinthians 12:1 - 12:31

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Lange Commentary - 1 Corinthians 12:1 - 12:31


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

C. The church in general, and the possessor of spiritual gifts in their right estimate and application

1 Corinthians 12-14

1. These gifts—their ground and aim and hence their unity in manifoldness, suitably to the organic character of the Church

1 Corinthians 12

1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not nave you ignorant. Ye know 2that [when, ὅôå ] ye were Gentiles, [ye were] carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed [says, ‘Cursed is Jesus:’ ’ ÁíÜèåìá ̓ Éçóïῦò ], and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, [say ‘Lord Jesus,’ Êõñßïó Éçóïῦò ] but by the Holy Ghost. 4Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are differences of administrations, but [ministries and, äéá÷ïíéῶí ÷áὶ ] the same Lord. 6And there are diversities of operations, but it is [om. but it is, ins. and] the same God which worketh all in all. 7But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal [for some profit, ðñὸò ôὸ óõìöÝñïí ]. 8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge 9by [according to, ÷áôὰ ] the same spirit; [But, äὲ ] To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing [healings, ἰáìὰôùí ] by the same [in the one ἐí 10 ôῷ ἑíὶ ] Spirit; [But, äὲ ] To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; [but, äὲ ] to another the interpretation of tongues: 11But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 12For as the body is one, and [yet] hath many members, and [but, äὲ ] all the members of that one [om. that one, ins. the] 8 body, 13being [although] many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by [in, ἐí ] one Spirit are [also were, ÷áὶ - ἐâáðôὶóèçìåí ] we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles [Greeks, ’ Åëëçíåò ] whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into 14[om. into] 9 one spirit. For the body [also, ÷áὶ ] is not one member, but many. 15If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it there fore not of the body? [it is not therefore not of the body]. 16And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? [it is not therefore not of the body]. 17If the whole body were an eye, where were the hear ing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18But now hath God set 19the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And [But, òὲ ] 20if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they [indeed, ìὲí ] 21many members, yet [om. yet] but one body. And [But, äὲ ] the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more 23feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon [around ðåñéôèåìåí ] these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered [combined, óõíåêÝñáóåí ] the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for 26another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular [severally, ἐ÷ ìÝñïõò ]. 28And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then [after that, åðåßôá ] gifts of healings, helps [helpings, ἀíôéëÞöåéò ] governments 29[governings, ÷õâåñíÞóåéò ] diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31But covet earnestly [be zealous for, æçëï ͂ õôå ] the best [superior, ÷ñåßôôïíá ] gifts: and yet [moreover, ἔôé ] shew I unto you a more excellent way [way according to excellence, ÷áè ὑðåñâïëὴí ].

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

[“The ancient prophets had clearly predicted that the Messianic period should be attended by a remarkable effusion of the Holy Spirit (Joe_2:28). Our Lord, before His crucifixion, promised to send the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost, to instruct and guide His Church (John 14.). And after His resurrection He said to His disciples, “These signs shall follow them that believe. In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mar_16:17-18). And immediately before His ascension He said to the disciples, “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Act_1:5). Accordingly, on the day of Pentecost, these promises and prophecies were literally fulfilled. The peculiarity of the new dispensation consisted, in the first place, in the general diffusion of these gifts. They were not confined to any one class of the people, but extended to all classes—male and female, young and old; and secondly, in the wonderful diversity of these supernatural endowments. Under circumstances so extraordinary, it was unavoidable that many disorders should arise. Some men would claim to be the organs of the Spirit, who were deluded or impostors; some would be dissatisfied with the gifts which they had received, and envy those whom they regarded as more highly favored; others would be inflated, and make an ostentatious display of their extraordinary powers; and in the public assemblies it might be expected that the greatest confusion would arise from so many persons being desirous to exercise their gifts at the same time. To the correction of these evils, all of which had manifested themselves in the church of Corinth, the Apostle devotes this and the two following chapters.” Hodge].

1Co_12:1-3. His instructions in regard to spiritual gifts, especially in regard to such discourses as proceeded from the special influence of the Spirit, Paul introduces by a statement of the chief token by which any genuine spiritual utterance may be known, viz., ‘the acknowledgment of Jesus as Lord.’ Whether he had been particularly questioned on this point, as in the instances mentioned 1Co_7:1 and 1Co_8:1, [and which are by some supposed to be continued here; or whether this is the second of the points alluded to in 1Co_11:16, concerning which he had heard,] is uncertain. At any rate, what he is laboring for is the removal of abuses which had crept into the didactical and lyrical portions of Divine worship, occasioned by these extraordinary phenomena (comp. 14.). “The Corinthians having turned aside from a plain, practical Christianity, were employing the gifts of the Spirit without regard to church edification, putting the greatest value on their most striking features, and prizing most such as were best calculated to impress the senses. Hence Paul felt constrained to instruct them in the ‘true end and right use of these gifts, and to warn them against confounding a genuine inspiration with fanatical excitement.’ ” Neander. These abuses have, without good reason, been put in connection with the party divisions at Corinth, mentioned in chap. 1. Baur and Räbiger reckon those who prophesied among the followers of Paul, and those speaking with tongues among the followers of Peter; while Dähne regards the latter as Alexandrine fanatics of the Christ-party.—Now concerning spiritual things. ôῶí ðíåõìáôéêῶí is to be construed as neuter, according to the analogy of 1Co_14:1; and is not to be interpreted solely of the gift of tongues [as Billr., de Wette, Stanley], concerning which he is not now speaking exclusively; but of spiritual things generally, i.e., of such effects as were wrought by the Holy Ghost, whether ordinary graces and virtues, or supernatural phenomena proceeding from Him and belonging within His sphere. What is said in 1Co_14:37 [to which Grot., Ham., Locke, allude], might seem to sustain the masculine construction here, making the word apply to inspired persons in general ( ðíåῦìá ἔ÷ïíôåò ), or those speaking with tongues ( ãëþóóáéò ëáëïῦíôåò ), provided the Corinthians had been wont to designate them especially by this term. But the predominant reference is, on the whole, to the phenomenon itself (comp. 1Co_12:31; 1Co_14:1; 1Co_14:39); and to restrict it to one class of persons is demanded neither by the allusion to dumb idols in 1Co_12:2, nor by the drift of the whole paragraph, which aims to correct the excessive estimation of that gift.—brethren, I would not have you ignorant.—Comp. on 1Co_10:1. He here gives them to understand both the subject of his instructions, and also that they needed enlightenment respecting the nature, origin, worth and use of these operations of the Spirit. To this necessity he points in the following verse, where he reminds the Corinthian converts (who formed the main body of the Church) of their former heathen state—a state of inexperience in regard to the revelation of the living God and the Spirit’s influences, and of a blind passivity in religious things—a state which disqualified them for an accurate judgment respecting these new experiences, unless carefully instructed. Burger states the connection thus: ‘the power which once influenced you as heathen is now broken; another influence has now poured itself forth upon you, of which you are made aware by these gifts of the Spirit. And now, be it understood, that this Spirit has fixed and uniform purposes and signs, and does not scatter itself in a variety of discordant relations and services such as you were involved in amid the distractions of heathenism. The one abiding centre of all spiritual operations is Jesus.—Ye know that when.—In the best authorities the reading is or ὄôé ὄôå , that when. If we adopt this, we must either suppose an anacoluthon here, on the assumption that after writing ὄôå , when, Paul lost sight of the ὄôé , that, and proceeded directly with the following words in connection with ὄôå , when; so that the construction would be—ye know that when ye were Gentiles, carried away to dumb idols as ye were led—( ὡò ᾶí ἤãåóèå , where the ᾶí indicates what ordinarily happens; comp. Passow I., p. 156). Or, with Bengel, we may construe the ὡò ᾶí , as in 2Co_10:9, by tanquam, quasi, as it were, thus softening the strong expression ἤãåóèå ,were led, which would then be taken in connection with ὄôé , that, as the predicate of the main clause; while ἀðáãüìåíïé would come in as a side qualification, indicating that they suffered themselves to be thus led. In this case the sentence would read—‘that ye, when ye were Gentiles, were in a manner led away to dumb idols.’—[Alford supposes an ellipsis of ôüí ÷ñüíïí , the time, while ὄôé virtually drops away as a part of the formula, ïἴäáôåὄôé , q. d., ‘ye remember the time when ye were’]. At all events, the word ἤãåóèå [which here expresses the main point to which he would call attention] indicates a power foreign to one’s own conscious self-determination, whether it be that of a blind enthusiasm, or of some impulse of nature not as yet overruled by what is truly Divine, or even of demoniac influence. The last agrees well with 1Co_8:5; 1Co_10:20; Eph_2:2, and can be assumed to co-exist with blind enthusiasm and natural impulse. To imagine any reference to the blinding influence of priestcraft would hardly do, since there was very little of this apparent in the religion of the Greeks. In the expression, ἀðáãüìåíïé , being carried away, we are not to suppose any figurative allusion, either as to a criminal led to execution, or to a victim reluctantly dragged to the slaughter, thereby showing the worthlessness or the unluckiness of the sacrifice. It is not to this that the context points, but rather to the readiness with which they allowed themselves to be led aside from the right into the wrong way—a matter which needed not to be directly stated in the context, but which lies in the very nature of the case, as the Apostle regards it, and as he teaches those whom he instructed to regard it. So the term is used also in classic writers (comp. Passow I., p. 292). The idols to whose altars and temples they were led, whether to sacrifice, or to pray, or to consult, are termed ἄöùíá voiceless, dumb (comp. Hab_2:18 f.; Psa_115:5; Psa_135:16) in contrast with the living God who reveals Himself by word, and through His Spirit imparts the gift of speaking in prophecy.—Whereforei.e., suitably to their necessities. In order that they may form a correct judgment in relation to the Spirit’s operations, especially in relation to utterances proceeding from this source, he gives them the chief token of speaking by the Holy Ghost; and first, negatively,—no man speaking by the Spirit of God saith, ‘cursed is Jesus,’i.e., speaking in the Spirit excludes all cursing of Jesus; hence, where this takes place, there can be no speaking in the Spirit; next positively,—no man is able to say ‘Lord Jesus,’ save in the Holy Spirit.—The confession of Jesus as Lord is to be attributed to the Holy Spirit as its source, since only in Him is such a thing possible (comp. 1Jn_4:2 ff.). The distinction between the text here and that in John, according to Bengel, is that Paul furnishes a token of the true inspiration as against the heathen; but John, as against false prophets. The expression “in the Spirit,” ἐí ðíåýìáôé (comp. Mat_22:43; Mar_12:36) indicates the conscious exercise of our faculties in the element of the Spirit—a thorough pervading of the soul by the Spirit in the act of speaking. “’ ÁíÜèåìá Éçóïῦí , anathema Jesus, is an expression of the fanatical rejection of Christ, such as might occur in moments of devilish excitement in Jews or heathen.’ ÁíÜèåìá , in its original signification, is the same as ἀíÜèçìá , any thing devoted; but it is especially used in a bad sense, denoting that which is devoted to destruction by God, just like çøí in the O. T., and sacer among the Romans. In the synagogue it designated that which was doomed to utter excommunication; hence its meaning is accursed.” Neander. [“He says, not Christ, which term designates the office, and is in some measure the object of faith, but Jesus, the personal name designating the historical person whose life was matter of fact. The curse and the confession are in this way far deeper”]. The idea that in the latter clause it was Paul’s intention to avert contempt from those speaking with tongues, is a groundless assumption, since no trace of such contempt appears; and it belongs with the arbitrary supposition that he here had especially in mind the gift of tongues. In 3 Ed. Meyer says: “It is possible that amid the various forms and even distortions of spiritual discourse at Corinth, public opinion may have varied as to who could be properly regarded as the speaker of the Spirit, and who not. Over against all arbitrary, ambitious and exclusive judgments on this point the Apostle expresses himself the more forcibly the broader he makes the specific sphere of spiritual discourse to appear, and the more simply and definitely he lays down its specific characteristic.” The expression “anathema Jesus” may be taken either as a wish, ‘let him be anathema,’ or as a declaration: ‘he is anathema,’ thus referring to the fact that He suffered death upon the cross as one accursed (comp. Gal_3:13). Then it would essentially agree with the term “blaspheme” in Act_26:11. The contrast with this extreme of unbelief is given in the key-word of faith “Jesus is Lord,” wherein the Messiahship of Jesus is acknowledged, and that too as a dignity divine (comp. Rom_10:9). [“The confession includes the acknowledgment that He is truly God and truly man. What the Apostle says is, that no man can make this acknowledgment, but by the Holy Ghost. This of course does not mean that no one can utter these words unless under special Divine influence; but it means that no one can truly believe and openly confess that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh, unless he is enlightened by the Spirit of God. This is precisely what our Lord Himself said when Peter confessed Him to be the Son of God. “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven,” Mat_16:17. Hodge].

1Co_12:4-7. He here enters upon the more definite exposition of his subject. After having presented a true test of a genuine utterance by the spirit, he points to the diversity of the spirit’s operations, which yet converge to one end, even as they all have but one actuating principle. The advance in his argument, or perhaps, also, the contrast between the diversity he is about to speak of with the one fundamental characteristic mentioned in 1Co_12:3, is denoted by a äἐ .—But there are distributions.—By äéáéñÝóåéò is meant either distributions (comp. äéáéñïῦí 1Co_12:11) which would make this clause imply that one gift was imparted to one person, and another to another; or distinctions, diversities (comp. Rom_12:6, ÷áñßóìáôá äéÜöïñá ). Both renderings amount to about the same thing. The former, however, which ought to be preferred on account of 1Co_12:11, involves the latter. [This expression is repeated three times in connection with three different classes of objects— ÷áñßóìáôá , äéáêïíßáé , åíåñãí ́ ìáôá severally rendered gifts, ministries, operations]. But what are we to understand by these terms? Much the same thing? as though the Christian virtues, of which he speaks afterwards, were contemplated from three different points of view; first, as gifts of divine grace, as elements of the new life which, with all its varied capacities, is mediated by the indwelling Spirit of God; secondly, as ministries,—means or instruments by which one member contributes to the good of another; or, as Meyer says, wherewith Christ is served—“that same Lord to whom service is thus rendered,”—contrary to the analogy of the other clauses; thirdly, as effects in which the gifts manifest their efficiency? Or thus, that the second and third classes are subordinated to the first—“services” and “operations” being the two characteristic forms in which the “gifts” are exercised, and in which these exhibit themselves, viz., as services in their relation to Christ, and as operations in relation to their effects, whether miraculous or not? (Meyer).—Or does the Apostle allude to various sorts of the Spirit’s operations, such are afterwards particularly specified in 1Co_12:8 ff.—so that by “gifts” we are to understand “the word of wisdom and of knowledge, prophecy, divers kinds of tongues,” and the capabilities belonging thereto, and intended for instruction; and by “services,” “the helps and governments,” &c., appertaining to the management and polity of the’ church (1Co_12:28); and by “operations,” the miraculous powers mentioned in 1Co_12:10, and the faith of 1Co_12:9, among which we find the gifts of healing reckoned, but which are expressly referred back to the first class of “gifts,” showing by this very circumstance the arbitrariness of the interpretation? Since the first of these methods of construction has also its difficulties, and “ministries” cannot be included under the head of “gifts,” another mode of interpretation and arrangement is required. The ÷áñßóìáôá , gifts are qualifications or capabilities peculiar to Christianity (comp. on 1Co_1:7)—[“Eminent endowments of individuals in and by which the Spirit dwelling in them manifested Himself:—and these either directly be stowed by the Holy Ghost Himself, as in the case of healing, miracles, tongues, and prophesying, or previously granted them by God in their unconverted state, and now inspired, hallowed, and potentiated for the work of building up the church, as in the case of teaching, exhortation, knowledge. Of all these gifts faith working by love was the necessary substratum or condition.” Alford].—” And here we must distinguish between such gifts as are repeated throughout all time, and such as involved the supernatural also in form according to the peculiarity of the first century. Hence we see the erroneousness of Living’s stand-point by whom the restoration of all the gifts collectively was desired for the regeneration of the church, just as they existed in the apostolic period. But we, at any rate, will recognize in those gifts the types of such as shall exist always in the Christian church, only, indeed, in another form.” Neander. The äéáêïíßáé , ministries, are the manifold offices or functions in the church, (understood in their widest sense) in which these “gifts” were employed, and which indicate a division in the spheres of labor corresponding with these “gifts.” [“These must not be narrowed to the ecclesiastical orders, but kept commensurate in extent with the gifts which are to find scope by these means, see 1Co_12:7-10.” Alford]. Finally the ἐíåñãÞìáôá , operations are the various effects resulting from the exercise of the “gifts” in these particular “ministries.” [“These are not to be limited to miraculous effects, but understood commensurately with the gifts of whose working they are the results.” Alford]. Very instructive is the reference of the first of these classes—the gifts—to the Spirit as the principle which reforms the inward man, and qualifies and disposes our natural endowments for carrying forward the objects of God’s kingdom, awakening, developing, and sanctifying them for their several uses—but the same Spirit,—sc., ὁ äéáéñῶí comp. 1Co_5:11, who distributes them as He will; and so also the reference of the various ministries or offices to Christ as the Head of the Church from whom its organization and regulation proceed (comp. Eph_4:11),—but the same Lord,—sc., ὁ äéáéñῶí , who appoints and assigns individuals to them as He will; and not less that of the operations to the all-working God,—but the same God.—And He in consistency with the term “operations” ( ἐíåñãÞìáôá ) is represented as the one who worketh ( ὁ ἐíåñãῶí ) all things in all.—This clause may be taken in its widest sense, as referring to God’s activity in the universe; or it may be interpreted more restrictedly, in relation to the gifts and ministries above specified; or, which might be more correct, in relation solely to the operations spoken of in this clause; since God is the efficient cause of all the effects which are produced by those who, by virtue of the gifts of the Spirit, work in the various offices of the church. What is here affirmed of God is not in conflict with that asserted in 1Co_12:24, where God is said to be the one who tempers the body together; since it is God who ordains and fixes all things, even what the Spirit inwardly works, and what Christ ordains in the church. Nor, in like manner does that which is said of Christ in Eph_4:7., that “grace is given to every one according to the measure of the gift of Christ,” derogate from what is here ascribed to the Spirit. Christ is the one who commissions the Spirit (Joh_15:26) and all the effects of the Spirit refer back to Him. [“Thus we have God the Father, the First Source and Operator of all spiritual influence in all; God the Son, the Ordainer in His Church, of all ministries by which this influence may be legitimately brought out for edification; God the Holy Ghost, dwelling and working in the Church, and effectuating in each man such measure of His gifts as He sees fit.” Alford. “Once are these Three known thus solemnly to have met, at the creating of the world. Once again, at the Baptism of Christ, the new creating it. And here now the third time, at the Baptism of the Church with the Holy Ghost. Where, as the manner is at all baptisms, each bestoweth a several gift or largess on the party baptized, that is, on the church; for whom and for whose good all this dividing and all this manifesting is. Nay, for whom and for whose good the world itself was created, Christ Himself baptized, and the Holy Ghost visibly sent down.” Wordsworth]. Having thus set forth the diversities and the one fixed ground of these gifts, he proceeds to point out the one chief end of the manifold operations of the Spirit.—But to each one,i.e. , who is endowed. This stands first by way of emphasis. With this, again, the idea of diversified allotments is again taken up, but only as related to the unity of purpose. That which is given to each one He calls—the manifestation of the Spirit,—by which the unity of the actuating principle is again specified. But it is doubtful whether the Spirit is to be regarded as manifesting Himself, or as being manifested. The latter accords with the use of the word in 2Co_4:2, the only place where öáíÝñùóéò elsewhere occurs in the New Testament. That in this way too much would be conceded to human self-activity, is a groundless objection, which is already set aside by the use of the verb “is given,” with which also the other construction better suits. What is meant is, that each one manifests the Spirit dwelling and working in him through the exercise of gifts. [Wordsworth unites both ideas. “These spiritual gifts are the manifestations of the Spirit actively, because by these the Spirit manifesteth the will of God unto the church, these being the instruments and means of conveying the knowledge of salvation unto the people of God. And they are the manifestations of the Spirit passively too; because where any of these gifts, especially in any eminent sort, appeared in any person, it was a manifest evidence that the Spirit of God wrought in him. As we read in Act_10:45-46, They of the circumcision were astonished when they saw that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. If it be demanded. But how did that appear? It followeth in the next verse, For they heard them speak with tongues, etc. The spiritual gift, then, is a manifestation of the Spirit, as every other sensible effect is a manifestation of its proper cause”].—for the common profit. óõìöÝñïí denotes: the good of the Church, its edification. [“This is the common object of all these gifts. They are not designed exclusively or mainly for the benefit, much less for the gratification of their recipients; but for the good of the Church. Just as the power of vision is not for the benefit of the eye, but for the man. When, therefore, the gifts of God, natural or supernatural, are perverted as means of self-exaltation or aggrandizement, it is a sin against their giver, as well as against those for whose benefit they were intended.”—Hodge]. ðñüò as in 1Co_7:35.

1Co_12:8-11. He here proceeds to unfold in detail what is said in 1Co_12:7, appealing to facts as they existed in the Church. Hence the ãἀñ , which is explanatory.—For to one indeed.—In ᾧ ìÝí = ôῷ ìÝí the old demonstrative use of ὁò appears (comp. passow. II, p. 1545). In what follows the expressions denoting the various parties to whom the distribution has been made, occur interchangeably. We have ἐôÝñùäÝ and ἀëëù ̣ äὲ . Since the former indicates a stronger difference than the latter, there is a disposition to mark out the chief divisions according to these, so as to make three classes of gifts in the enumeration (see Meyer). [I. Gifts having reference to intellectual power: 1, the “word of wisdom;” 2, “the word of knowledge.” II. Gifts conditioned on an exalted faith: 1, faith itself; 2, practical workings of faith—viz.: a. healings; b. powers; 3, oral working of the same—viz.: prophecy; 4, critical working of the same—viz.: the discernment of Spirits. III. Gifts having reference to tongues: 1, speaking with tongues; 2, interpretation of tongues]. But shall we assign prophecy and the discernment of spirits to that class of gifts which are conditioned on a heroic faith? This will hardly do. We will here state in advance our ideas of whether and how the classification can be made. First, we have two gifts evidently belonging together, or nearly related, viz.: “the word of wisdom” and “the word of knowledge.”— Ëüãïò thus rendered “word” means lit. discourse; according to the sense here, a capacity for discoursing; and the words in connection denote the subject matter of discourse. But there is a difficulty in distinguishing between wisdom and knowledge. Certainly we cannot admit the view which takes ëüãïò óïößáò , the discourse of wisdom, as=to óïößá ëüãïõ , the wisdom of discourse, 1Co_1:17, and which interprets ëüãïò ãíþóåùò as meaning knowledge communicated in the simplest style. Rather, we might take the distinction between these two to be that of theoretical and practical knowledge. But then it would be doubtful by which term the one and the other was denoted. Paul’s usage declares for our taking ãíþóéò , knowledge, theoretically (in opposition to which the practical import is plainly to be assumed in 1Pe_3:7; 2Pe_1:5 f.); but óïößá , wisdom, can by no means be understood in a practical sense; in support of which only Col_4:5 may possibly be adduced, and also the adjective “wise” ( óüöïò ) in Rom_16:19; 1Co_3:10; Eph_5:15. According to Meyer, óïößá denotes the higher Christian wisdom in and for itself, which is not to cease, even at the coming of our Lord; while ãíþóéò (1Co_13:8), knowledge, denotes a speculative insight into truths, their philosophical exposition through the processes of the intellect. According to Osiander, “wisdom” is the apprehension of Divine truth in its totality—of the aims and purposes of God, of the plans and operations of salvation, of the entire scheme of redemption in its inward connection as a well organized Divine system; but “knowledge” is the clear apprehension of particular things Divinely imparted through an inward appropriation and experimental acquaintance (comp. Joh_6:69; Joh_17:3; Php_3:8)—the former being rather the objective, extensive, all-comprehensive form of knowledge, the latter the subjective, intensive, and special form. Adhering now essentially to both these interpretations, we take “wisdom” to denote the direct intuition into Divine mysteries, and “knowledge” as that kind of apprehension which is gained by reflection, and which therefore belongs only to the present dispensation. [So substantially Hodge and Alford. “According to Neander, ‘wisdom’ is the skill which is able to reduce the whole practical Christian life into its due order, in accordance with its foundation principles (see Plant. and Train., p. 444, 445); ‘knowledge,’ the theoretical insight into Divine things; and similarly Olsh. and Billroth. But Bengel, et al., take them conversely—‘knowledge’ for the practical, ‘wisdom’ for the theoretical. Both, as de Wette remarks, have their grounds in usage. ‘Wisdom’ is practical, Col_1:9, as is ‘knowledge’ in Rom_15:14, but they are theoretical respectively in 1Co_1:17 ff; 1Co_8:1. Estius explains ‘the discourse of wisdom,’ gratiam de iis quæ ad doctrinam religionis ac pietatis spectant disserendi ex causis supremis,—as 1Co_2:6 f.;—and ‘the word of knowledge,’ he says, ‘gratia est disserendi de rebus Christians religionis, ex iis quæ sunt humanæ scientiæ vel experientiæ.” Alford].—To another ἐôåñῷ äÝfaith.—Not that faith which receives salvation in Christ, i.e., justifying faith, but a strong confidence in the Divine omnipotence, or in the power of Christ, as able to make itself manifest in extraordinary deeds, or to afford and insure help of a supernatural kind; or, in other words, a confidence which shall enable a man to perform these deeds or to afford this help (comp. 1Co_13:2; Mat_17:20; Mat_21:21). Osiander says, “the fides miraculosa, which could display itself in fervent effectual prayer, also in extraordinary joyfulness and confidence amid dangers and sufferings, or in readiness to undergo the same. Bengel defines it as “a very earnest and most present apprehension of God, chiefly in His will as to the effects particularly conspicuous either in the kingdom of nature or of grace.” [Alford says, “a faith enabling a man to place himself beyond the region of mere moral certainty, in the actual realization of things believed, in a high and unusual manner.” Hodge: “A higher measure of the ordinary grace of faith. Such a faith as enabled men to become confessors and martyrs, and which is so fully illustrated in Heb_11:33-40. This is something as truly wonderful as the gift of miracles ”].—To another ἄëëù äὲthe gifts of healings,i.e. , for healing divers diseases, hence the plural ἰáìÜôùí , of healings. In one a capacity for healing one class of diseases, and in another for healing another class, by word and prayer, and the laying on of hands (comp. Mar_16:18; Act_4:18, ἐí ).—and to another ἀëëù ̣ äὲthe workings of miracles. ἐíåñãÞìáôá a passive noun, which, if construed strictly, would denote the things wrought by miraculous power; Hodge translates the clause, effects which are miraculous, and here the effect is put for the cause, viz., the ability to work miracles]. The miracles here are of a still different kind from those of healing, such as the expulsion of devils, raising the dead, and, according to Calvin and others, judicial inflictions also, as in Act_5:5; Act_5:9; according to Olshausen, operations as in Mar_16:18; Act_28:5 [the safe handling of serpents and deadly things]. Meyer understands it of miraculous effects of all kinds (comp. Act_4:30), and not simply healings. How a speculative rationalism interprets these charisms or gifts, may be seen from Dr. Baur’s Paulus, p. 559 f. “Faith,” he explains as a peculiarly strong trust in Providence; “gifts of healing” mean no more than the ability to pray with peculiar power and earnestness in behalf of the sick, with more or less assurance of their recovery, if they please God; and the “operations of miracles,” are the proofs of extraordinary strength of soul and vital power in respect to the deeper things of Christianity. The relation of these three charisms to the Spirit is expressed by three different prepositions: äéÜ , through; êáôÜ , according to; ἐí , in. The phrase—through the Spirit—then designates the Spirit as the power which mediates the Divine bestowments,—according to the same spirit—as the power which disposes and regulates them,—in the same spirit—as the power in which the charism is founded.—Distinct from these three Charisms are the two following,—and to another prophecy, and to another discerning of spirits,—the latter corresponding with the former. These cannot in any case be referred, as by Meyer, to a heroic faith; for the prophecy alluded to in Rom_12:6, “whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the analogy of faith,” is of a different sort. Prophecy here (comp. 1Co_11:3) means the announcement of things hidden by means of a Divine revelation or inspiration—in other words, the ability obtained by the illumination of the Spirit, or through the opening of the spiritual vision by Him, to unfold the onward progress of the kingdom of God,—especially its future developments, or even to open up the mysteries of the inner and outer life. The inspiration in this case is not a blind rhapsodic excitement, but one united with a clear self-consciousness and the free exercise of the faculties (comp. 1Co_14:32 f.); and the discourse is carried on in an exalted and earnest, yet perfectly intelligible strain. By the side of this enlightening (1Co_14:24), awakening, invigorating, inspiring operation of the Spirit, there stands a judicial and critical power, “discerning of Spirits,” i. e., an ability to distinguish true prophecy from the false, in the same or in different subjects,—to discern between the pure inspiration of the divine Spirit and the impure excitements either of the natural man or of demoniac agencies—an ability which includes in itself a susceptibility for prophecy and an ability to enter into prophetic ecstasy. The demand for such discrimination is indicated in 1Th_5:21; 1Jn_4:1. “[It appears, especially from the epistles of the Apostle John that pretenders to inspiration were numerous in the apostolic age. He therefore exhorts his readers, “to try the Spirits, whether they be of God; for many false prophets are gone out into the world.” It was therefore of importance to have a class of men with the gift of discernment, who could determine whether a man was really inspired, or spoke only either from the impulse of his own mind or from the dictation of some evil Spirit.” Hodge]. The plural “spirits” is to be referred either to different agencies at work in prophecy, viz., the divine, the human, the demonic; or to the manifold operations of the Spirit and by metonymy, to those inspired by the Spirit. The correct interpretation is problematical. The enumeration concludes,—and to another, divers kinds of tongues and to another the interpretation of tongues.—By ãÝíç , kinds, he indicates the diversity there was in the tongues—a diversity of race, family, species and modes. But what is meant by the word “tongues” ( ãëῶóóáé ) is much disputed. I. The older exposition proceeds from the definition language, and appeals for support to the promise of Christ, Mar_16:17 “they shall speak with now tongues” and to the miracle of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2. It understands this gift to be an ability to speak in various unacquired foreign languages under the influence of the Spirit which for the moment dissolved all bounds of language, and transported the subjects of it into a state of ecstasy, thereby symbolizing the universality of the Gospel. This view later commentators have modified; some explaining the circumstance to be a speaking or worshipping in acquired languages, falsely regarded as a charism (Fritzsche); and others asserting that by the power of the Spirit these Christians had been qualified to speak in the original language—a language which contained the elements or rudiments of the various historical languages, and was the type of the broad general character of Christianity (Bilroth).—Others, who reject the older interpretation as not well sustained, partly because of the impossibility of the thing itself, or at least because it was wholly uncalled for by the circumstances of the Corinthians, and partly because irreconcilable with the various expressions and statements of our paragraph (comp. on chap. 14.), have abandoned the meaning language, on the assumption either that the phenomenon at Pentecost was different in kind from that here spoken of [that being evidently a speaking in foreign languages, intelligible to the hearers, while this needed interpretation], or that the account in Acts [being much later than our epistle] was a perverted tradition of the original facts. But these interpreters themselves start from different significations of the word in question. II. Some take it to mean glosses, i.e.., highly poetic words and forms that are obsolete or provincial, [(a sense in which the term is used by the Greek grammarians; see Arist. Rhet. iii. 2. § 14)] (Bleek); or, uncommon and striking expressions, differing from common usage and partly taken from foreign languages, employed to assist the utterance of the Spirit which was struggling for expression under the stress of overflowing feelings (Baur)—an interpretation which is certainly foreign to the New Testament, and which in particular passages is fraught with great difficulties. III. Others, hold fast to the other fundamental meaning of the term, viz., tongue as the organ of speech. In their view the gift implied the special use of this organ for expression, 1. either in its cruder form, as the babbling of inarticulate tones [where the tongue moved and not the lips] (Eichhorn and others); or 2. as an ecstatic speaking in low, scarcely audible, inarticulate words, tones, sounds, whereby the inspired Spirit gave vent to itself (Wieseler)—a view which is decisively opposed by 1Co_14:18; or 3. as an act of worship by means of ecstatic exclamations, and snatches of hymns of praise and other outbursts of prayer, where the tongue no longer served as an organ of conscious intelligence, but moved independently and involuntarily under the impulse of the Spirit (Dr. Schultz, de Wette, Meyer and others); or 4 as an inspired utterance in which the conscious intellect was held in abeyance and the spirit of the worshipper overpowered and ravished by the might of the Spirit, gushed forth in words and sentences involuntarily forced upon him, which were unintelligible to those of his hearers who were not possessed of the same inspiration. We shall revert to this point hereafter, [see chap. 14]. Since this speaking with tongues was unintelligible to the congregation, it was necessarily supplemented by another gift, viz., “the interpretation of tongues.” This was the ability to translate this unintelligible utterance into a language known to all, and so to explain its meaning—an ability which implied the power of bringing the understanding ( õïῦò ) to bear upon the meaning of the things wrought by the Spirit, and thus to consciously apprehend them. This charism belonged either to the person himself who spoke with tongues (comp. 1Co_14:5; 1Co_14:13), or, as one passage intimates, to a distinct class.

Having thus enumerated the several gifts, he once more refers in 1Co_12:11 to the one original principle from which they proceeded, the oneness of which is brought out emphatically in the expression “the one and the same.”—All these things works one and the same Spirit.—What he asserted of God in 1Co_12:6, he here ascribes to the Spirit,— ἐíåñãåῖ , he works, so that the Spirit here appears as a creative power—as the Spirit of God working divinely. As in this verb we have the import of the prepositions “in” and “through” (1Co_12:9; 1Co_12:8) again brought out, so that of the other preposition “according to,” 1Co_12:8, is again resumed in the participial clause,—distributing, etc.—The Spirit is here represented as a voluntary regulating power, in terms which show Him to be not a blind energy, but a self-conscious, intelligent agent.—As he wills—not arbitrarily, but, in perfect consistency with classic usage, according to a rational and discriminating self-determination which decides its action upon the grounds and purposes of a divine wisdom and love.—to each one severally,—in so far as He imparts to each one something special, so that each one has a charism of his own by which he is distinguished from others with their endowments. This is in accordance with that principle of individualization which pervades the whole economy of creation. The divine idea pours itself forth in a rich variety of forms which again combine to supplement each other in the exercise of that same divine love which ruled in their creation. This is what the apostle further sets forth in an instructive analogy, whereby it would seem he aimed to counteract alike the disparagement as well as the overestimate of particular gifts—shall we add also, the misapprehension of the divine principle therein? At any rate there is no argument here against referring the gifts to a variety of originating causes or principles (Mosheim).

1Co_12:12-13. He here proceeds to explain or confirm what is stated in 1Co_12:11. The unity of the in-working Spirit in the variety of His gifts to the Church corresponds to the unity of the Church itself in the variety of its members as typified in our physical organization. [This thought is again further developed in 1Co_12:14, so as to exhibit the organic character of the spiritual gifts, and their supplementary connection with each other. First, the organic unity of the church is likened to that of the body, showing that the unity is one which does not exclude diversity, and, on the other hand, diversity as not conflicting with unity.—For as the body is one, and yet.—By reason of the contrast between the one and the many the êáß should be rendered, and yet,—has many members, and all members of the body.—The word “body” is here repeated by way of emphasis, in order to indicate in advance the unity of the members amid the plurality,—(although) being many ðïëëὰ ὄíôá —is to be translated concessively,—are one body.—Short and pregnant is the concluding clause,—so also is Christ,—not Christ in His distinctive personality, but as including the church in Himself as His living organism. As Augustine says, totus Christus caput et corpus est. “The whole Christ includes both head and body.” “What the state is in its own sphere as a moral person possessed of corporate rights, that the church is in its sphere; and the name of its collective personality is Christ.”. W. F. Besser. “In the view of the Apostle, Christ is the archetype of a new and glorified humanity as it is developed in the church. Hence the development of the Christian Church is nothing less than the progressive development of the image of Christ.” Neander. (Comp. Eph_1:23; Eph_5:30). That here the plurality constitutes a unity is exhibited by a reference to the facts by which a church-life is constituted. The first and foremost of these is baptism (comp. Eph_4:5)—a transaction which involves also the dispensation of the Spirit. (Comp. Joh_1:33; Joh_3:5; Tit_3:5).—for also—The êáß belongs either to the whole clause, or to the words immediately following, q. d., ‘the union is not simply by external bonds, but also through the Spirit.’ (Meyer).—in one Spirit have we all been baptized.—The Spirit is here represented as the element into which the baptized have been transferred, and in which as the result of their baptism they ever after live and move (Act_2:38; Act_19:5-6).—A further consequence of this is the formation of one body;—into one bodyi.e., ‘so as to become one body;’ or, ‘in order to become one body;’ thus stating the object for which the Spirit wrought in it. The latter is to be preferred as the simpler form.—whether Jews or Greeks, bond or free.—Here the strongest contrasts of national, religious, and social life are specially mentioned as illustrating the mighty unific power of the Spirit in abolishing them.—“The higher unity designated is an all comprehensive one. It does not destroy the distinctions of race and condition, but it assigns to them a suitable order, and overcomes them in their sharp and selfish antagonisms. Jews and Greeks are to remain Jews and Greeks, yet they are to subordinate their national peculiarities to a higher Christian unity.” Neander.—and we all were made to drink one Spirit.—[ å ͂ í ðíåῦ ìá ἐðïôßóèçìåí , for the construction of the ace, with a passive verb, see Jelf. § 545, 8, or Winer, P. III. § 32, 3; for the omission of the åἰò into, see critical notes]. This statement is parallel to the former. Accordingly some think they discover here a reference to the mystery of the Holy Supper as associated with baptism, [and helping to blend believers into one body], (comp. 1Co_10:4; 1Co_11:2). This reference is to be recognized in the reading åἰò ἕí ðíå ͂ ìá and ἕí ðüìá . The objections to this are: 1, the praeterite ἐðïôßóèçìåí , were made to drink, [which denotes a past event],—and cannot be regarded as the aorist of custom, since it must be taken analogously with ἕâáðôßóèçìåí were baptized; (so Billroth, Olsh. [Hodge]). 2, the contents of the clause itself; since nowhere else do we read of the Lord’s Supper, and still less of the drinking of the cup, as a means of partaking of one Spirit:—But if a union with Christ is effected in the Supper, and if the communion of His bodily life offered up for us cannot be separated from the communion of His divine life, then must there be in it also an imparting of the Spirit as in baptism; and, moreover, since the Spirit is exhibited to us under the figure of a flowing stream, e.g., ‘the outpouring of the Spirit,’ Acts 2; ‘the living water which Christ gives,’ Joh_7:37, ff. (comp. 1Co_4:14) it was natural that Paul should select this part of the supper, and not the eating of t