1 Cor 12:8–10

12:8–10 This list of gifts is not intended as a complete catalog (others are included in v. 28); possibly it reflects gifts that were especially evident in Corinth. We need not assume that all of the gifts were manifested in every church. The list in Rom. 12:6–8, for example, includes only two of the gifts mentioned here (prophesying and faith) and omits those that might be thought of as miraculous, such as healing and tongues. In determining the character of some of the gifts listed here, we are hindered by the absence of descriptions of them anywhere in the New Testament. “The utterance of wisdom” may have been an ability to resolve difficult spiritual problems and “the utterance of knowledge” a special revelation of some sort, but we cannot be certain. Similarly, it is not clear why Paul lists separately the gifts of “faith,” “healing,” and “working of miracles.” The reference to “the ability to distinguish between spirits” perhaps should be understood in the light of 14:29. Our inability to determine the precise function of some of these gifts is not an obstacle to understanding the thrust of this passage, which aims not at giving detailed instruction about them but rather at emphasizing the variety of God’s endowments to His church (v. 11).