Paul Schmehl p.l.schmehl at worldnet.att.net
Wed Oct 3 00:26:14 EDT 2001

Dr. Powers, you asked if any versions did not translate PNEUMATIKOS and
PNEUMATIKA as "spiritual gifts".

The Revised Version, Oxford University Press has "gifts" in italics, as does
the 1599 Geneva Bible.
Young's Literal Translation renders it "spiritual things" in both 1 Cor 12:1
and 14:1.
The 1889 Darby Bible renders it "spiritual" and then in italics
The 1965 Bible in Basic English renders it "things of the spirit" in 12:1
and "things which the spirit gives" in 14:1.

I've always understood PNEUMATIKOS to mean "things of the spirit" or
"spiritual matters".

Paul Schmehl pauls at utdallas.edu
p.l.schmehl at worldnet.att.net

----- Original Message -----
From: "B. Ward Powers" <bwpowers at optusnet.com.au>
To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2001 9:31 PM
Subject: [b-greek] What To Do With PNEUMATIKOS

> Fellow b-greekers:
> A couple of questions about what to do with PNEUMATIKOS.
> The adjective PNEUMATIKOS is found in 1 Corinthians 12:1 and 14:1 in the
> plural forms PNEUMATIKWN and PNEUMATIKA respectively, where this is almost
> universally rendered, in the different translations, as "spiritual gifts".
> Ditto lots of commentaries on this epistle. The first of these forms,
> PNEUMATIKWN, is thus being taken as neuter (the same form is also
> masculine), apparently on the basis that the second use is unambiguously
> neuter. The word also occurs in this epistle unambiguously in the
> masculine, with the meaning "spiritual person" (see 2:15, 14:37); and with
> the general meaning "spiritual" (see 10:3-4). See also its wider use in
> (e.g.) Ephesians 6:12.
> The standard lexica give as one of its meanings, "spiritual gift". Is this
> a case of circular reasoning? (Thusly: In 1 Corinthians 12:1 and 14:1 the
> word PNEUMATIKOS is being used to mean "spiritual gift". Therefore
> "spiritual gift" is part of its area of meaning. That is how we know it is
> valid to translate it in 12:1 and 14:1 as "spiritual gift".)
> Now a conclusion reached by a circular argument may possibly be correct.
> But it has to be established as correct by something outside of and
> independent of such circular reasoning: the circular reasoning does not
> establish it.
> Which leads to my first question:
> Is there any use of the word PNEUMATIKOS (of course, outside of 1
> Corinthians 12:1 and 14:1) where it clearly has the meaning "spiritual
> gift"? In this connection one will need to note that when Paul wanted to
> express the meaning "spiritual gift" he explicitly added in the word
> As noted above, almost all translations give "spiritual gifts" as its
> translation in 1 Corinthians 12:1 and 14:1. Those that insert section
> headings then almost all go further and insert here also "Spiritual Gifts"
> as the heading at the top of chapter 12. I am aware of only two exceptions
> to this pattern.
> J B Phillips's version translates in 12:1 as "in spiritual matters"
> in 14:1 he has "gifts of the Spirit").
> Richmond Lattimore, the renowned Classical scholar, renders 12:1 thusly:
> "But concerning matters of the spirit, brothers, I would not have you
> ignorant"; and for 14:1: "Pursue love, aspire to things spiritual".
> Here then is my second question:
> Are any b-greekers able to point me to any other translations which do NOT
> render PNEUMATIKOS in either 12:1 or 14:1 as "spiritual gifts"?

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