I would suggest that Paul is departing somewhat from his usual
terminology to reflect that of the Corinthians. This letter was
written to respond to a series of questions asked by the Corinthians.
We can generally see where Paul answers a specific question by the
phrase PERI DE (7:1 25 8:1 12:1 16:1 12). One of those places is
12:1 (PERI DE TWN PNEUMATIKWN, ADELFOI, ...). Since Paul seems to
be directly responding to a specific question here, it would be
reasonable to think that he is echoing the terminology which the
Corinthians used in their letter.
The meaning of "spiritual gifts" in 12:1 seems to be confirmed by the
context. Paul immediately discusses glossolalia (vv2-3), and then all
the various kinds of gifts (vv4-11). Furthermore, the rest of the
questions the Corinthians posed seem to be quite practical: marriage
(7:1), virgins (7:25), food sacrificed to idols (8:1), the collection
for the saints in Jerusalem (16:1), and about Apollos (16:12). Thus,
I doubt that they would be asking about such an open-ended topic as
spirituality but rather something more concrete like the flashier gifts.
-- Stephen C. Carlson : Poetry speaks of aspirations, email@example.com : and songs chant the words. http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/ : -- Shujing 2.35