[B-Greek] 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 and spiritual gifts/manifestations

Frank Gee frankrgee at outpost.net.au
Sat Jul 26 08:00:05 EDT 2003

While fully agreeing with the first part of Ben Crick's comment in answer to
Mike Higman, I feel constrained to caution Mike against too readily
accepting the final paragraph of Ben's posting, which seems to me to give a
confusing picture of the data in the Greek text, and to contain mutually
contradictory statements:

>  A FANERWSIS is a manifestation of a gift; the CARISMATA are grace-gifts.
>  In verse 4 there are CARISMATA; in verse 5 there are [??]  DIAKONIA; and
>  verse 6 there are ENERGHMATA. Here we may discern different categories of
>  manifestations of the Spirit. They are gifts given to enable the church
>  function as a church by equipping church members with the gifts to
>  their part in the wellbeing of the congregation as a whole.

>  Ben

As Ben correctly points out, from the way verses 4 to 6 are structured, "we
may discern
DIFFERENT CATEGORIES of manifestations of the Spirit".

CARISMA ("grace-gift") is one of those THREE DIFFERENT categories mentioned,
along with
DIAKONIA (which we might translate as "ministry", or "form of service", or
even possibly "office"),
and ENERGHMA (a "working" or "activity").
It is an open question whether all three of these categories are necessarily
manifestations of THE SPIRIT, as Ben says.  The words KURIOS (at the end of
verse 5) and QEOS (in the middle of verse 6) could point in a different
direction (ie have different referents).  That would raise interesting
theological issues, which I shall not pursue here, as my interest is in the
interpretation of the Greek text.  I am inclined to think they are, because
of the way that verse 7 reads most naturally as a summary of the three
verses immediately preceding it.  In which case, FANERWSIS is referring back
to *all three*
categories, and not just to CARISMATA.

Verse 7 gives us the writer's own reference for FANERWSIS:
    (To each             is given      the manifestation      OF THE

My point is, that the writer here links FANERWSIS primarily with TO PNEUMA,
and then with all three listed categories of the Spirit's operation:
CARISMATA, DIAKONIAI [Ben might note that this noun is feminine  :-)  ]  and

So to define FANERWSIS as the manifestation of "a gift" alone is based upon
an assumption not supported by the Greek text.  Nor does the text encourage
us to make a simple equation between the three "different categories" and
"gifts", as Ben has done.

Anyone interested in a fuller discussion of these matters is referred to the
correspondence on the subject "What to do with PNEUMATIKOS", in October

With all best wishes,

Frank Gee,

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