1 Corinthians 12:28
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.

King James Bible
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Darby Bible Translation
And God has set certain in the assembly: first, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers; then miraculous powers; then gifts of healings; helps; governments; kinds of tongues.

World English Bible
God has set some in the assembly: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, and various kinds of languages.

Young's Literal Translation
And some, indeed, did God set in the assembly, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, afterwards powers, afterwards gifts of healings, helpings, governings, divers kinds of tongues;

1 Corinthians 12:28 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And God hath set - That is, has appointed, constituted, ordained. He has established these various orders or ranks in the church. The apostle, having illustrated the main idea that God had conferred various endowments on the members of the church, proceeds here to specify particularly what he meant, and to refer more directly to the various ranks which existed in the church.

Some in the church - The word "some," in this place ὅυς hous, seems to mean rather whom, "and whom God hath placed in the church," or, they whom God hath constituted in the church in the manner above mentioned are, first, apostles, etc.

First, apostles - In the first rank or order; or as superior in honor and in office. He has given them the highest authority in the church; he has more signally endowed them and qualified them than he has others.

Secondarily, prophets - As second in regard to endowments and importance. For the meaning of the word "prophets," see the note on Romans 12:6.

Thirdly, teachers - As occupying the third station in point of importance and valuable endowments. On the meaning of this word, and the nature of this office, see the note on Romans 12:7.

After that, miracles - Power. (δυνάμεις dunameis). Those who had the power of working miracles; referred to in 1 Corinthians 12:10.

Then gifts of healing - The power of healing those who were sick; see note on 1 Corinthians 12:9; compare James 5:14-15.

Helps - (ἀντιλήμψεις antilēmpseis). This word occurs no where else in the New Testament. It is derived from ἀντιλαμβάνω antilambanō, and denotes properly, "aid, assistance, help;" and then those who render aid, assistance, or help; helpers. Who they were is not known. They might have been those to whom was entrusted the care of the poor, and the sick, and strangers, widows, and orphans, etc.; that is, those who performed the office of deacons. Or they may have been those who attended on the apostles to aid them in their work, such as Paul refers to in Romans 16:3. "Greet Priscilla, and Aquilla, my "helpers" in Christ Jesus;" and in 1 Corinthians 12:9," Salute Urbane our helper in Christ;" see note on Romans 16:3. It is not possible, perhaps, to determine the precise meaning of the word, or the nature of the office which they discharged; but the word means, in general, those who in any way aided or rendered assistance in the church, and may refer to the temporal affairs of the church, to the care of the poor, the distribution of charity and alms, or to the instruction of the ignorant, or to aid rendered directly to the apostles. There is no evidence that it refers to a distinct and "permanent" office in the church; but may refer to aid rendered by any class in any way. Probably many persons were profitably and usefully employed in various ways as aids in promoting the temporal or spiritual welfare of the church.

Governments - (κυβερνήσεις kubernēseis). This word is derived from κυβεριάω kuberiaō, "to govern;" and is usually applied to the government or "steering" of a ship. The word occurs no where else in the New Testament, though the word κυβερνήτης kubernētēs ("governor") occurs in Acts 27:11, rendered "master," and in Revelation 18:17, rendered "shipmaster." It is not easy to determine what particular office or function is here intended. Doddridge, in accordance with Amyraut, supposes that distinct offices may not be here referred to, but that the same persons may be denoted in these expressions as being distinguished in various ways; that is, that the same persons were called helpers in reference to their skill in aiding those who were in distress, and governments in regard to their talent for doing business, and their ability in presiding in councils for deliberation, and in directing the affairs of the church.

There is no reason to think that the terms here used referred to permanent and established ranks and orders in the ministry and in the church; or in permanent offices which were to continue to all times as an essential part of its organization. It is certain that the "order" of "apostles" has ceased, and also the "order" of "miracles," and the order of "healings," and of "diversity of tongues." And it is certain that in the use of these terms of office, the apostle does not affirm that they would be permanent, and essential to the very existence of the church; and from the passage before us, therefore, it cannot be argued that there was to be an order of men in the church who were to be called "helps," or "governments." The truth probably was, that the circumstances of the primitive churches required the aid of many persons in various capacities which might not be needful or proper in other times and circumstances.

Whether, therefore, this is to be regarded as a permanent arrangement that there should be "governments" in the church, or an order of men entrusted with the sole office of governing, is to be learned not from this passage, but from other parts of the New Testament. Lightfoot contends that the word which is used here and translated "governments" does not refer to the power of ruling, but to a person endued with a deep and comprehensive mind, one who is wise and prudent; and in this view Mesheim, Macknight, and Horsley coincide. Calvin refers it to the elders to whom the exercise of discipline was entrusted. Grotius understands it of the pastors Ephesians 4:1, or of the elders who presided over particular churches; Romans 12:8. Locke supposes that they were the same as those who had the power of discerning spirits. The simple idea, however, is that of ruling, or exercising government; but whether this refers to a permanent office, or to the fact that some were specially qualified by their wisdom and prudence, and in virtue of this usually regulated or directed the affairs of the church by giving counsel, etc., or whether they were "selected" and appointed for this purpose for a time; or whether it refers to the same persons who might also have exercised other functions, and this in addition, cannot be determined from the passage before us. All that is clear is, that there were those who administered government in the church. But the passage does not determine the form, or manner; nor does it prove - whatever may be true - that such an office was to be permanent in the church.

(There can be little doubt that the κυβερνησεις kubernēseis, or governments, refer to offices of rule and authority in the church. Two things, therefore, are plain from this text:

1. That in the primitive church there were rulers distinct from the people or church members, to whom these were bound to yield obedience.

2. That these rulers were appointed of God. "God set them in the church." As to the question of "permanence," on which our author thinks this passage affirms nothing: a distinction must be made between these offices which were obviously of an extraordinary kind, and which therefore must cease; and those of an ordinary kind, which are essential to the edification of the church in all ages. "The universal commission which the apostles received from their Master to make disciples of all nations, could not be permanent as to the extent of it, because it was their practice to ordain elders in every city, and because the course of human affairs required, that after Christianity was established, the teachers of it should officiate in particular places. The infallible guidance of the Spirit was not promised in the same measure to succeeding teachers. But being, in their case, vouched by the power of working miracles, it directed the Christians of their day, to submit implicitly to their injunctions and directions; and it warrants the Christian world, in all ages, to receive with entire confidence, that system of faith and morality which they were authorised to deliver in the name of Christ. But as all protestants hold that this system was completed when the canon of scripture was closed - it is admitted by them, that a great part of the apostolical powers ceased with those to whom Jesus first committed them.

continued...

1 Corinthians 12:28 Parallel Commentaries

Library
May the Twenty-Ninth Many Gifts --One Spirit
1 CORINTHIANS xii. 1-13. There is no monotony in the workmanship of my God. The multitude of His thoughts is like the sound of the sea, and every thought commands a new creation. When He thinks upon me, the result is a creative touch never again to be repeated on land or sea. And so, when the Holy Spirit is given to the people, the ministry does not work in the suppression of individualities, but rather in their refinement and enrichment. Our gifts will be manifold, and we must not allow the difference
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Making and Breaking Connections.
Many Experiences, but One Law. In mechanics power depends on good connections. A visit to any great machine shop makes that clear. There must be good connections in two directions--inward toward the source of power, and outward for use. The same law holds true in spiritual power as in mechanical. There must be good connections. These nights we have been together a few things have seemed clear. We have seen that from the standpoint of our lives there is need of power, as well as from the standpoint
S.D. Gordon—Quiet Talks on Power

The Government of the Church.
"No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."--1 Cor. xii. 3. The last work of the Holy Spirit in the Church has reference to government. The Church is a divine institution. It is the body of Christ, even tho manifesting itself in a most defective way; for as the man whose speech is affected by a stroke of paralysis is the same friendly person as before, in spite of the defect, so is the Church, whose speech is impaired, still the same holy body of Christ. The visible and invisible
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Spiritual Gifts.
"But desire earnestly the greater gifts. And a still more excellent way show I unto you." --1 Cor. xii. 31 (R.V.). The charismata or spiritual gifts are the divinely ordained means and powers whereby the King enables His Church to perform its task on the earth. The Church has a calling in the world. It is being violently attacked not only by the powers of this world, but much more by the invisible powers of Satan. No rest is allowed. Denying that Christ has conquered, Satan believes that the time
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Cross References
Mark 16:17
"These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;

Acts 11:27
Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.

Acts 13:1
Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

Romans 12:7
if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;

Romans 12:8
or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

1 Corinthians 10:32
Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God;

1 Corinthians 12:9
to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

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