James H. Vellenga (
Tue, 7 Jan 97 12:21:49 EST

> From: "Paul F. Evans" <>
> I have been only loosely following the posts on 1Cor. 12, but noted the use
> I am just wondering "out loud" if the idea carries too much baggage with it
> for us to objectively weigh what Paul is saying to the Corinthians about
> the "manifestations of the Holy Spirit" in the congregational worship and
> life of the church. Gordon Fee addresses this issue in "The Empowering
> Presence of God," arguing that we have narrowed the term XARISMATA to a
> concept of "gifts of the Spirit" when in fact it embraces concrete
> manifestations of God's grace in many areas of the Christian life and
> experience (in Paul anyway).

I would agree. Paul certainly uses XARISMA for other purposes.
Rom 5.15-16 seems to indicate something other than the ordinary
"spiritual gift" -- which leads to vindication/justification (DIKAIOSUNH).
And in Rom 6.23, he equates (though without an explicit linking
verb) God's XARISMA with eternal life.

Conversely, in Eph 4.8, leading into another (supposed) catalog
of spiritual gifts, Paul (assuming the traditional authorship) refers
not to XARISMATA but to DOMATA.

And in 1 Cor 12.9 (and another list) one of the "gifts" listed is
itself "XARISMATA of healings."

I puzzled over the meaning of the word sometime back, and presently
think a XARISMA is something like a royal grant or charter --
such as William the Conqueror would have given to his henchmen
after conquering England in 1066 -- i.e., a right to do something.
In the NT sense, this could be the privilege of providing healings
(with the backing of the King), or living forever, or doing any
of another of the offices authorized by the heavenly Sovereign.

> What about some of these other terms used in 1 Cor. which appear to be used
> co-equally with XARISMATWN in verses 4-5? How would this effect our
> perception of Paul's lead into chap. 13 if we conceived of the
> "manifestation of the Holy Spirit" equally in terms of DIAKONIWN, or
> ENERGHMATWN? (How uncharacteristically un-pentecostal of me!)
> And what of the term PNEUMATIKWN? Maybe we should subsume the three above
> under this heading, as further descriptions of it. In this way the whole
> tenor of Paul's writing here might shine through the fog of our eisegesis
> (I speak for over zealous Pentecostals of course, I would not presume to
> speak for anyone else).
Yes, food for thought. Especially as other earlier posts on
this list have dealt with the ambiguity of reference of PNEUMATIKWN
and its cognates -- spiritual [things], spiritual [people],
spiritual [matters].