1 Corinthians 12:8
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) For to one is given by the Spirit.1Corinthians 12:8-10 illustrate the former statements as to varieties of endowments for the object of the manifestation of the Spirit, still, however, emphasising the unity of their origin, viz., the Holy Spirit. The following division (Meyer’s) of the gifts which are here mentioned is, perhaps, the best approach to a classification which can be made. In the Greek the genera (so to speak) are divided by the word hetero, the species by allo, both words being rendered in the English by the one word “another “:—

I.Gifts which have reference to intellectual power.

(1)The word of wisdom.

(2)The word of knowledge.

II.Gifts which depend upon special energy of faith.

(1) The faith itself.

(2) Operating in deeds.

(a)Healings.

(b)Miracles.

12:1-11 Spiritual gifts were extraordinary powers bestowed in the first ages, to convince unbelievers, and to spread the gospel. Gifts and graces greatly differ. Both were freely given of God. But where grace is given, it is for the salvation of those who have it. Gifts are for the advantage and salvation of others; and there may be great gifts where there is no grace. The extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were chiefly exercised in the public assemblies, where the Corinthians seem to have made displays of them, wanting in the spirit of piety, and of Christian love. While heathens, they had not been influenced by the Spirit of Christ. No man can call Christ Lord, with believing dependence upon him, unless that faith is wrought by the Holy Ghost. No man could believe with his heart, or prove by a miracle, that Jesus was Christ, unless by the Holy Ghost. There are various gifts, and various offices to perform, but all proceed from one God, one Lord, one Spirit; that is, from the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the origin of all spiritual blessings. No man has them merely for himself. The more he profits others, the more will they turn to his own account. The gifts mentioned appear to mean exact understanding, and uttering the doctrines of the Christian religion; the knowledge of mysteries, and skill to give advice and counsel. Also the gift of healing the sick, the working of miracles, and to explain Scripture by a peculiar gift of the Spirit, and ability to speak and interpret languages. If we have any knowledge of the truth, or any power to make it known, we must give all the glory of God. The greater the gifts are, the more the possessor is exposed to temptations, and the larger is the measure of grace needed to keep him humble and spiritual; and he will meet with more painful experiences and humbling dispensations. We have little cause to glory in any gifts bestowed on us, or to despise those who have them not.For to one is given - In order to show what endowments he refers to, the apostle here particularizes the various gifts which the Holy Spirit imparts in the church.

By the Spirit - By the Holy Spirit; by his agency on the mind and heart.

The word of wisdom - One he has endowed with wisdom, or has made distinguished for wise, and prudent, and comprehensive views of the scheme of redemption, and with a faculty of clearly explaining it to the apprehension of people. It is not certain that the apostle meant to say that this was the most important or most elevated endowment because he places it first in order. His design does not seem to be to observe the order of importance and value, but to state, as it occurred to him, the fact that these various endowments had been conferred on different people in the church. The sense is, that one man would be prominent and distinguished as a wise man - a prudent counsellor, instructor, and adviser.

To another the word of knowledge - Another would be distinguished for knowledge. He would be learned; would have a clear view of the plan of salvation, and of the doctrines and duties of religion. The same variety is observed in the ministry at all times. One man is eminent as a wise man; another as a man of intelligence and knowledge; and both may be equally useful in their place in the church.

By the same Spirit - All is to be traced to the same Spirit; all, therefore, may be really useful and necessary; and the one should not pride himself in his endowments above the other.

8-10. Three classes of gifts are distinguished by a distinct Greek word for "another" (a distinct class), marking the three several genera: allo marks the species, hetero the genera (compare Greek, 1Co 15:39-41). I. Gifts of intellect, namely, (1) wisdom; (2) knowledge. II. Gifts dependent on a special faith, namely, that of miracles (Mt 17:20): (1) healings; (2) workings of miracles; (3) prophecy of future events; (4) discerning of spirits, or the divinely given faculty of distinguishing between those really inspired, and those who pretended to inspiration. III. Gifts referring to the tongues: (1) diverse kinds of tongues; (2) interpretation of tongues. The catalogue in 1Co 12:28 is not meant strictly to harmonize with the one here, though there are some particulars in which they correspond. The three genera are summarily referred to by single instances of each in 1Co 13:8. The first genus refers more to believers; the second, to unbelievers.

by … by … by—The first in Greek is, "By means of," or "through the operation of"; the second is, "according to" the disposing of (compare 1Co 12:11); the third is, "in," that is, under the influence of (so the Greek, Mt 22:43; Lu 2:27).

word of wisdom—the ready utterance of (for imparting to others, Eph 6:19) wisdom, namely, new revelations of the divine wisdom in redemption, as contrasted with human philosophy (1Co 1:24; 2:6, 7; Eph 1:8; 3:10; Col 2:3).

word of knowledge—ready utterance supernaturally imparted of truths ALREADY REVEALED (in this it is distinguished from "the word of wisdom," which related to NEW revelations). Compare 1Co 14:6, where "revelation" (answering to "wisdom" here) is distinguished from "knowledge" [Henderson]. Wisdom or revelation belonged to the "prophets"; knowledge, to the "teachers." Wisdom penetrates deeper than knowledge. Knowledge relates to things that are to be done. Wisdom, to things eternal: hence, wisdom is not, like knowledge, said to "pass away" (1Co 13:8), [Bengel].

There are different apprehensions as to the particular gifts here enumerated, and it is no wonder, these extraordinary gifts being ceased, if we be now at a loss to determine what is to be understood by the terms whereby they are expressed. Some by

the word of wisdom, here, understand a faculty to deliver grave sentences; others, an ability to open the deep mysteries of religion; others, a singular knowledge of spiritual things, joined with a great authority, &c.; others, an ability to explain the deep wisdom of God. But it is most probable, that he meaneth by it what we ordinarily understand by wisdom, viz. a faculty, from a good judgment of the circumstances of actions, to do them at the best time, and in the best manner, wherein they may be serviceable to their ends. It is as uncertain, whether by

the word of knowledge he meaneth a capacity to comprehend things in our knowledge, or to communicate it to others, or the actual communication of it by preaching, which was the work of the pastors and teachers; or the prophetical knowledge of future contingencies; or an ability to speak of spiritual things doctrinally, without any great faculty of applying them. For to one is given by the Spirit,.... Now follows a distinct and particular enumeration of the operations of the Spirit, though not all of them, yet as many as the apostle thought necessary; and which are called the manifestation of him, and which most clearly show him to be the author of them to different persons;

the word of wisdom: by which is meant "the manifold wisdom of God"; the wonderful scheme of salvation through the incarnation, sufferings, and death of Christ, in which God has "abounded in all wisdom and prudence"; together with all other deep, mysterious, and sublime doctrines of the Gospel, the knowledge of which were peculiarly given to the apostles in the first place, who have the first office or ministry in the church, by "the spirit of wisdom"; and which they had a faculty, a gift of declaring, opening, and explaining unto others.

To another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; meaning either knowledge of future events; or an universal knowledge of the Scriptures of truth, and the doctrines contained in them, of the whole mind and will of God therein, which is a distinct thing from saving grace: see 1 Corinthians 13:2 and is what was given to the prophets, the second office in the church, by him who is the spirit of prophecy, and by whom the prophetical writings were dictated; and therefore he is the best interpreter of them, and who only can lead into the true knowledge thereof.

{5} For to one is given by the Spirit the word of {h} wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

(5) He declares this manifold diversity, and reckons up the principal gifts, beating that into their heads which he said before, that is, that all these things proceeded from one and the very same Spirit.

(h) Wisdom is a most excellent gift, and very needed, not only for those who teach, but also for those that exhort and comfort. And this thing is proper to the pastor's office, as the word of knowledge agrees to the teachers.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 12:8 ff. Now one man may receive one, and another another endowment from the same Spirit. The following nine charismata, enumerated in a preliminary way up to 1 Corinthians 12:10 (besides which, others are afterwards mentioned, 1 Corinthians 12:28), are divided into three classes, which cannot, however, correspond to the three διαιρέσεις, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, because there each sentence comprises all charismata. The external division is distinctly marked by Paul himself in this way, namely, that he notes the transition to a new category by ἑτέρῳ[1938] (while for subdivision within the classes he uses ἄλλῳ), thus: (1) 1 Corinthians 12:8, by ᾯ ΜΈΝ; (2) 1 Corinthians 12:9, by ἙΤΈΡῼ ΔΈ; (3) 1 Corinthians 12:10, by ἙΤΈΡῼ ΔΈ. The logical division again, although not rigidly carried out, presents itself without constraint as follows:

[1938] Whether after ἑτέρῳ, vv. 9 and 10, we read δέ or not (which Lachmann brackets in ver. 9 and deletes in ver. 10) makes no difference at all as regards the marking of the divisions (in opposition to Hofmann); the divisions mark themselves by the way in which the ἑτέρῳ stands out from the many repetitions of ἄλλῳ. In several cases the δέ too, after ἄλλῳ, is wanting in important witnesses.

  I.  Charismata which have reference to intellectual power:

1.  λόγος σοφίας.

2.  λόγος γνώσεως.

  II.  Charismata which depend upon special energy of faith:

1.  The πίστις itself.

2.  Its agency in deeds, namely,

a.  ἰάματα.

b.  δυνάμεις.

3.  Its agency in words, namely, the προφητεία.

4.  Its critical agency, the διάκρισις πνευμ.

  III.  Charismata which have reference to the γλῶσσαι:

1.  Speaking with tongues.

2.  Interpretation of tongues.[1939]

[1939] Other modes of division may be seen in Kling, Stud. u. Krit. 1839, p. 477 ff.; Englmann, von d. Charismen, 1848, who, however, divides them into official and non-official, which does not correspond with the conception and nature of the gifts; Krumm, l.c., who bases his division on the categories πνεῦμα, καρδία, νοῦς; de Wette renounces any arrangement; Hofmann divides according to the categories of the cognitive faculty (λόγ. σοφ. and λόγ. γνώσεως), of the volitional faculty (πίστις, ἰάματα, δυνάμεις), and of the power of the Holy Spirit (προφητεία κ.τ.λ.). Bengel puts it aptly: “· ἑτέρῳ· ἑτέρῳ: huic, alteri, alteri,—genera tria.”—The distinction between II. and III. arises from the fact that the γλῶσσαι were an entirely peculiar χάρισμα, in connection with which the agency of the νοῦς was absent. In ver. 28 also the glossolalia is ranked in a class by itself.

1 Corinthians 12:8. Ὧ μέν] This is followed by ἄλλῳ δέ instead of ᾧ δέ. An unexact expression, as in 1 Corinthians 12:28. Comp Xen. Anab. iii. 1. 35; Hermes in Stob. Ecl. phys. 52, p. 1082.

λόγος σοφίας] Discourse of wisdom, discourse the contents of which are ΣΟΦΊΑ. The distinction drawn by many (including Schulz, Neander, Billroth, Olshausen, comp also Froschammer, von d. Charismen, 1850, p. 28 ff.) between this and λόγος γνώσεως, according to which the former is a more practical, the latter a more theoretical method of teaching (Bengel, Storr, Rosenmüller, Flatt reverse it, comp Cornelius a Lapide), is an unlikely one, seeing that the separation between theory and practice is not in keeping with the nature of inspired discourse. The more correct view is indicated by 1 Corinthians 2:6 f. compared with 1 Corinthians 13:2; ΣΟΦΊΑ, namely, is the higher Christian wisdom (see on 1 Corinthians 2:6, comp Ephesians 1:17) in and by itself, so that discourse, which enunciates its doctrines (mysteries), elucidates, applies them, etc., is ΛΌΓΟς ΣΟΦΊΑς. This, however, does not yet imply the deep and thorough knowledge of these doctrines, the speculative insight into, and apprehension and elaboration of, their connection, of their grounds, of their deeper ideas, of their proofs, of their ends, etc., and a discourse which treats of these matters is λόγος γνώσεως.[1944] Accordingly the σοφία cannot cease at the Parousia, but the γνῶσις ceases, 1 Corinthians 13:8, because it belongs to the category of imperfect temporal things. Others interpret otherwise. Chrysostom,[1945] Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact are wrong in holding that the possession or the want of the teaching faculty makes the difference between σοφία and ΓΝῶΣΙς. See, on the contrary, 1 Corinthians 13:8; 2 Corinthians 11:6. Baur makes ΓΝῶΣΙς refer to the unfolding of the deeper meaning of Scripture chiefly through allegorical exegesis, which is totally without proof. De Wette gives no explanation: Osiander explains as we do. Hofmann makes ΣΟΦΊΑ a property of the subject (see in opposition to this, 1 Corinthians 2:6 : σοφίαν λαλοῦμεν), one, namely, which qualifies for right judgment in general; ΓΝῶΣΙς, again, a relation to an object, namely, the thorough mastery of it in the particular instance in hand. But in that case the γνῶσις would only be the application of the σοφία in concreto, and Paul would thus not be adducing two χαρίσματα distinct in character from each other.

ΚΑΤᾺ ΤῸ ΑὐΤῸ ΠΝΕῦΜΑ] according to the same Spirit. Comp 1 Corinthians 12:11, and the classical ΚΑΤᾺ ΘΕΌΝ, according to divine destination (Valckenaer, a[1947] Herod. iii. 153). The prepositions ΔΙΆ, ΚΑΤΆ, ἘΝ, are not equivalent in meaning (Rückert), but they so express the relation of the Spirit to the divine bestowal (ΔΊΔΟΤΑΙ), according to the different aspects of His participation therein, as to show that He is medians, normans, or continens, with respect to the different gifts in question.

[1944] According to Ewald, λόγος σοφίας embraces more the intelligent explanation and establishment of recognised truths, with a view to profit in life; λόγος γνώσεως, more the treatment of obscurer and more hidden portions of knowledge. But 1 Corinthians 2:6 ff. shows that the latter also are included under the σοφία.

[1945] Paul and John, he says, had the λόγος σοφίας; the λόγος γνώσεως was possessed by οἱ πολλοὶ τῶν πιστῶν, γνῶσιν μὲν ἔχοντες, διδάσκειν δὲ οὕτως οὐ δυνάμενοι. In like manner now Krumm asserts, “γνώσεως, proprietatem in argumentis, σοφίας, in forma positam esse.”

[1947] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.1 Corinthians 12:8-10 exhibit by way of example (γάρ) nine chief manifestations in which the Holy Spirit was displayed: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healings, powers, prophecy, discernings of spirits, kinds of tongues, interpreting of tongues. The fourth and fifth are specially marked as χαρίσματα and ἐνεργήματα respectively; the first is said to be given “through,” the second “according to,” the third and fourth “in the same” (or “the one) Spirit,” whose operation in the whole is collectively reaffirmed in 1 Corinthians 12:12. In distinguishing the recipients, P. begins with the colourless ᾧ μέν (for the rel[1851] pr[1852] in this use, cf. 1 Corinthians 11:21); but in continuation ἄλλῳ δέ (to another) is varied with ἑτέρῳ (to some one else); the latter seems to mark a more specific, qualitative difference: cf. the interchange in 1 Corinthians 15:39 ff., also in 2 Corinthians 11:4, and ἕτερος in 1 Corinthians 14:21, Romans 7:23; ἕτερος moreover dispenses with the contrastive δέ, as conveying its own antithesis (Hn[1853] however, against Mr[1854], takes the prons. to be used indifferently). Accordingly, the third (faith) and eighth (tongues) in the chain of gifts indicate points of transition, in the writer’s thought, from one sort of endowment to another; and the nine thus fall into three divisions, of two, fire, and two members respectively, with λόγος, πίστις, γλῶσσαι for their titles, the first of which exhibits the Πνεῦμα working through the νοῦς, the second in distinction from the νοῦς, and the third in supersession of the νοῦς: for this basis of discrimination, cf. 1 Corinthians 14:14-20; also 1 Corinthians 13:8, where the like threefold distinction appears in another order. The above arrangement is that of Mr[1855]; Ed[1856] gives a more elaborate and somewhat diff[1857] analysis.—(a) λόγος σοφίας and γνώσεως were the charisms most abounding at Cor[1858]: see 1 Corinthians 1:5, and the relevant notes on 1 Corinthians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 1:30, 1 Corinthians 2:1, “Wisdom” is the larger acquisition,—the truth of God wrought into the man; “knowledge” is that truth intellectually apprehended and objectified: see Ed[1859] ad loc[1860], who says, “The παρέκβασις of σοφία is mysticism, of γνώσεως is rationalism”. Expressed in λόγος, both gifts serve the Church πρὸς τὸ συμφέρον (1 Corinthians 12:7); they are the qualifications of pastor and teacher respectively. “The Spirit” is the channel (διά) conveying Wisdom; “the same Spirit” is the standard (κατά) regulating Knowledge.—(b) πίστις impresses its character on the whole second series: standing alone, with emphasis, it implies an energy and demonstrativeness of faith (cf. πᾶσα πίστις 1 Corinthians 13:2), ein Glaubensheroismus (Mr[1861]): ἰάματα and δυνάμεις are operations of such faith in the material sphere, by way of miracle; προφητεία and διάκρισις πνευμάτων, in the purely spiritual sphere, by way of revelation. Faith however may be exhibited in conspicuous degree apart from these particular demonstrations (cf. Matthew 17:20; Matthew 21:21, Mark 16:17 f.). The first two of the five are imparted “in (i.e., grounded upon, exercised in the sphere of) the same (the one) Spirit”; what is said of these is understood of the other three (cf. ἐν in 1 Corinthians 12:3): “in the same Spirit” dwell the endowments of a fruitful understanding and of a potent faith; “in the one Spirit”—in His power and bestowment alone—all “gifts of healings” lie (cf. Mark 3:28 ff.). The ἰάματα (acts of healing; see parls.) are χαρίσματα by eminence—gracious acts (cf. Luke 7:21, ἐχαρίσατο): the δυναμεις (powers; see parls.) display strength rather than grace, e.g., in the sentence of 1 Corinthians 5:5 above, or that contemplated in 2 Corinthians 13:2 ff., 2 Corinthians 13:10; they are “acts of energy”.—Προφητεία, as an edifying gift of speech, is akin to the λόγος graces of (a); it is contrasted with γλῶσσαι (c) in 14, as being an intelligent exercise. But prophecy, while employing the νοῦς, has a deeper seat; it is no branch of σοφία or γνῶσις as though coming by rational insight, but an ἀποκάλυψις of hidden things of God realised through a peculiar clearness and intensity of faith (2 Corinthians 4:13 f; Hebrews 11:1; Hebrews 11:13; Luke 10:2 f., etc.), and is in line therefore with the miraculous powers preceding; hence “the prophet” is regularly distinguished from “the teacher”.—“Discernment of spirits” is the counterpart and safeguard of “prophesying,” demanding the like super-rational penetration; the true critic may not have originative faculty, but his mind moves in the same region with that of the originator and tracks his steps. διακρίσεις, pl[1862], for this gift had many and various occasions of exercise: see parls., also for διακρίνω, 1 Corinthians 6:5, etc.; as to the power itself and the need for its exercise; cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:20 ff., 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:9 ff., 1 John 2:18 ff; 1 John 4:1-6, Matthew 24:11 f. P. exhibits this διάκρισις admirably in 1 Corinthians 12:3 above; it displays itself in Acts 13:8 ff., along with ἐνέργημα δυνάμεως; cf. Acts 5:1-11.—(c) The “kinds of tongues,” with their attendant “interpretation,” constitute the third order of specific charisms; in this exercise the intelligence of the speaker is suspended. The γλῶσσαι, ranked first by the Cor[1863] because of their sensational character, P. enumerates last in regard of “profiting” (1 Corinthians 12:7); ch. 14 will justify this relative depreciation. The “tongues” of this Ep. cannot have signified the power to speak strange languages in missionary preaching, as many have inferred from the terms used in the account of the manifestation of the Day of Pentecost; see notes on Acts 2:4-11. γένη implies that this ecstatic phenomenon was far from uniform; the “new tongues” of Mark 16:17, together with the indications of Mark 16:1, and 1 Corinthians 12:14 of this Ep., point to the breaking out of an exalted and mystical utterance differing from all recognised human speech; this utterance varied at diff[1864] times and places in its mode and attendant conditions, and in the impression it produced on the hearers; it is regularly spoken of in the pl[1865] The necessity of ἑρμηνεία for the extraction of any benefit to the Church from the Tongues will be shown in ch. 14; sometimes the possessor of the Tongue became interpreter also (1 Corinthians 14:13). On the γλῶσσαι generally, see Ed[1866], ad loc[1867]; also Hn[1868]

[1851] relative pronoun.

[1852] present tense.

[1853] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

[1854] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1855] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1856] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.2

[1857] difference, different, differently.

[1858] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1859] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.2

[1860] ad locum, on this passage.

[1861] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1862] plural.

[1863] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1864] difference, different, differently.

[1865] plural.

[1866] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.2

[1867] ad locum, on this passage.

[1868] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).8. the word of wisdom] Rather, discourse of wisdom, i.e. discourse characterized by and disseminating wisdom. See note on ch. 1 Corinthians 2:7. I have ventured to regard wisdom as the direct effect of intuition, knowledge as the result of a process. See ch. 1 Corinthians 8:1. This was the view taken by St Paul’s contemporary Philo, and by the Gnostics who immediately succeeded him. Wisdom, according to Philo, was the highest of the Divine attributes, and human wisdom a reflection of the Divine. Wisdom, according to the Gnostics, was an Æon or emanation from Divinity; Gnosis or knowledge the process whereby man attained to the comprehension of things Divine. Clement of Alexandria, however, reverses the definition. Knowledge, according to him, comes directly from God, wisdom is the result of teaching. Stromata vii: 10. St Chrysostom takes the view which has been taken above.

the word of knowledge] See last note. See also ch. 1 Corinthians 13:2, where knowledge is distinguished from the perception of mysteries. For other interpretations consult Alford’s note.1 Corinthians 12:8-10. · ἑτέρῳ· ἑτέρῳ, to one, to another, to another) Three Genera: comp. ch. 1 Corinthians 13:8, and among these the expression, to another, denotes many species, each one under its own genus. So also 1 Corinthians 15:39-41. ἄλλος in turn is used for distinguishing the species; ἕτερος, the genera. By a change, ἄλλος is used to distinguish genera, ἕτερος, species: Hebrews 11:35. Prophecy is put here under the second genus, rather than under the first, because under the second such things are stated, as are more applicable to those, that are without, viz., to unbelievers, than to such as are stated under the first genus, viz., to believers.—διὰ, by) presently after follows κατὰ, according to; ἐν, in; which are severally used with great propriety. [The Engl. Vers, loses this nice distinction by translating the διὰ, κατὰ, and ἐν all alike ‘by’.]—λόγος, the word) Both wisdom and knowledge are set forth in the church by the word.—σοφίαςγνώσεως, of wisdom, of knowledge) Paul in various ways mentions knowledge, especially to the Corinthians, either by itself, 2 Corinthians 6:6, or with things closely connected with it; in word [utterance] and knowledge, 1 Corinthians 1:5; comp. 2 Corinthians 11:6; in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all diligence, 2 Corinthians 8:7; prophecy (concerning mysteries) and knowledge, tongues being added, 1 Corinthians 13:2; 1 Corinthians 13:8; either by revelation or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine, ch. 1 Corinthians 14:6 : and here of wisdom and knowledge; Colossians 2:3; Ephesians 1:17; Ephesians 3:19. He speaks as of things, which are of daily occurrence among the Corinthians; at present we are in doubt as to the meaning and distinction of the words themselves. This is certain, that when they are ascribed to God, they differ only in their objects: see Romans 11:33, note; when they are attributed to believers, wisdom penetrates the length, the breadth, the depth and height, more than knowledge. Knowledge is, so to speak, sight; wisdom is sight coupled with taste.[109] Knowledge relates to things that are to be done; wisdom, to things eternal; hence also wisdom is not said to pass away; ch. 1 Corinthians 13:8, and knowledge is of more frequent occurrence; so Paul does not so much predicate the former as the latter concerning the Corinthians, ch. 1 Corinthians 8:1, 1 Corinthians 2:6. Prophecy belongs to the prophets; wisdom to the wise; what is left, viz., knowledge, to the scribes, Matthew 23:34; Luke 11:52.—τὸ αὐτὸ) the same, by whom the word of wisdom is given.

[109] ‘Sapor,’ akin to sapientia.—ED.Verse 8. - The word of wisdom... the word of knowledge. In modern usage, "knowledge" is the learning which we by use and effort acquire; "wisdom" is the insight which gradually dawns upon us from thought and experience. In the language of the New Testament, the distinction between the two words is not so clearly marked, but" wisdom" seems to belong more to the human spirit, and "knowledge "to the intellect. The "discourse of wisdom" would be that which sets forth the truth of the gospel persuasively to work conversion (1 Corinthians 2:6, 7); the "discourse of knowledge" would be that which enters into the speculative and theoretical elaboration of systematic theology. The first might find its illustration in the 'Imitatio Christi;' the second in the 'Summa Theologiae.'
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