Re: 1 Cor. 1:5-7

From: David Moore (
Date: Wed Oct 11 1995 - 13:19:29 EDT

"Carl W. Conrad" <> wrote:

>I think that this is a very reasonable view of the passage. I must say that
>when I said I think that 1 Cor 1:5-7 should be understood as ironic, I had
>no idea that anyone had ever suggested it before (although I SHOULD suppose
>that all sorts of people have said all sorts of things about Paul!). David
>Moore has responded at length to that suggestion and raised a number of
>points with which I would not disagree, although I still would not put the
>construction upon this statement in 1:5-7 that he has put--that Paul
>indicates here by his congratulation of the Corinthians his satisfaction
>that their glossolalia is a valid and important spiritual accomplishment
>(or rather _endowment_, inasmuch as Paul very clearly says this is
>something given rather than achieved). I still am not satisfied that this
>is Paul's position. And although I would agree that Paul does NOT tell the
>Corinthians that they should not practice glossolalia, I still think that
>the tenor of what he says in chapters 12-14 is that the practice needs to
>be reined in and subordinated to rational communication in the worship of
>the congregation; I still believe also that the opening of chapter 13
>relativizes both rhetoric and glossolalia to a low level among XARISMATA.


        I put my recent post on 1Cor. 1:5-7 through a search engine to see
if it contained a mention of tongues but couldn't find the word; GLOSS*
turned up empty as well. Part of the problem in dealing with the biblical
data on spiritual gifts is that some of the gifts elicit emotional
reactions which can disrupt real dialogue.

        My comments on this passage reflect (I think) my belief that Paul
sees the spiritual gifts as ideally functioning in harmonious concert for
the purpose of edifying the body of Christ. Although they were not so
functioning in Corinth when Paul wrote 1Corinthians, he appears to take as
a hopeful sign that they were at least functioning in some capacity.

        Unmentioned, but, IMHO, present in most open discussions of the
topic of the gifts of the Spirit is the fairly-widely-held cessationist
position which posits that legitimate charismatic gifts ceased to function
at the end of the apostolic period. I've traced the idea back as far as
Calvin (although Eusebius and some others might have expressed at least a
similar attitude) who had been negatively impressed by some of the
doctrines and practices of the Montanists, although they predate him by
several centuries. Sometimes, IMO, those who hold a cessationist position
find it difficult to see in the biblical data on gifts of the Spirit,
information that might tend to confirm contemporary charismatic practice.
I really don't know that anyone on the list specifically holds this
position, but felt that it should be mentioned relating to the open
discussion we've had on this topic, since it may be present here as an

        Relative to Johan D.F. (Erik) van Halsema's suggestion that 1Cor.
1:5-7 constitutes a "Table of contents," it seems unwarranted to put such
a formal name on Paul's words here. Erik is observant in noting that Paul
mentions themes that he later touches on and develops in the rest of the
letter, but there is no formal statement included in 1:5-7 and context
that he intends to so do. One would expect this latter to be present here
if really were presenting this passage as a "table of contents."

        Congratulations on your (was it) 61 years and to Edward Hobbs on
his 70; you're both considerably ahead of me since I only turn 51 later
this month.

All the best,

David L. Moore Southeastern Spanish District
Miami, Florida of the Assemblies of God Department of Education

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