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2 Kings 1-3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 1

Reign of Ahaziah, Continued. After Ahab’s death, Moab rebelled against Israel.

Ahaziah fell through the lattice of his roof terrace at Samaria and was injured. So he sent out messengers with the instructions: “Go and inquire of Baalzebub,[a] the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury.”

Meanwhile, the messenger of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite: Go and meet the messengers of Samaria’s king, and tell them: “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baalzebub, the god of Ekron?” For this, the Lord says: You shall not leave the bed upon which you lie; instead, you shall die. And Elijah departed. The messengers then returned to Ahaziah, who asked them, “Why have you returned?” They answered, “A man met us and said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you and tell him: The Lord says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baalzebub, the god of Ekron? For this you shall not leave the bed upon which you lie; instead, you shall die.’” The king asked them, “What was the man like who met you and said these things to you?” They replied, “He wore a hairy garment[b] with a leather belt around his waist.” “It is Elijah the Tishbite!” he exclaimed.

Then the king sent a captain with his company of fifty men after Elijah. The prophet was seated on a hilltop when he found him. He said, “Man of God, the king commands you, ‘Come down.’” 10 Elijah answered the captain, “Well, if I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men. 11 The king sent another captain with his company of fifty men after Elijah. He shouted up and said, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down immediately!’” 12 Elijah answered them, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And divine fire[c] came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men. 13 The king sent a third captain with his company of fifty men. When the third captain had climbed the hill, he fell to his knees before Elijah, pleading with him. He said, “Man of God, let my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants, count for something in your sight! 14 Already fire has come down from heaven, consuming the first two captains with their companies of fifty men. But now, let my life count for something in your sight!” 15 Then the messenger of the Lord said to Elijah: Go down with him; you need not be afraid of him. So Elijah left and went down with him to the king. 16 He declared to the king: “Thus says the Lord: Because you sent messengers to inquire of Baalzebub, the god of Ekron—do you think there is no God in Israel to inquire of?—you shall not leave the bed upon which you lie; instead you shall die.”

17 Ahaziah died according to the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. Since he had no son, Joram[d] succeeded him as king, in the second year of Joram, son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.

18 The rest of the acts of Ahaziah, which he did, are recorded in the book of chronicles of the kings of Israel.

VI. Elisha Succeeds Elijah[e]

Chapter 2

Elijah’s Journey. When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.[f]

Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please. The Lord has sent me on to Bethel.” Elisha replied, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. The guild prophets who were in Bethel went out to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master from you?” He replied, “Yes, I know that. Be still.”

Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, please. The Lord has sent me on to Jericho.” Elisha replied, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The guild prophets who were in Jericho approached Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master from you?” He replied, “Yes, I know that. Be still.”

Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please. The Lord has sent me on to the Jordan.” Elisha replied, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two went on together. Fifty of the guild prophets followed and stood facing them at a distance, while the two of them stood next to the Jordan.

Elisha Succeeds Elijah. Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up and struck the water: it divided, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Request whatever I might do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.”[g] 10 He replied, “You have asked something that is not easy. Still, if you see me taken up from you, your wish will be granted; otherwise not.” 11 As they walked on still conversing, a fiery chariot and fiery horses came between the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind, 12 and Elisha saw it happen. He cried out, “My father! my father![h] Israel’s chariot and steeds!” Then he saw him no longer.

He gripped his own garment, tore it into two pieces, 13 and picked up the mantle which had fallen from Elijah. Then he went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan. 14 Wielding the mantle which had fallen from Elijah, he struck the water and said, “The Lord, the God of Elijah—where is he now?”[i] He struck the water: it divided, and he crossed over.

Elisha’s Journey. 15 The guild prophets in Jericho, who were on the other side, saw him and said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They went to meet him, bowing to the ground before him. 16 They said, “Among your servants are fifty brave men. Let them go in search of your master. Perhaps the spirit of the Lord has lifted him up and left him on some mountain or in some valley.” He answered, “Do not send them.” 17 But they kept urging him, until he was embarrassed and said, “Send them.” So they sent the fifty men, who searched for three days without finding him. 18 When they returned to Elisha in Jericho, where he was staying, he said to them, “Did I not tell you not to go?”

19 The inhabitants of the city complained to Elisha, “The site of the city is fine indeed, as my lord can see, but the water is bad and the land sterile.” 20 Elisha said, “Bring me a new bowl and put salt into it.” When they had brought it to him, 21 he went out to the spring and threw salt into it, saying, “Thus says the Lord: I have purified this water. Never again shall death or sterility come from it.” 22 And the water has stayed pure even to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.

23 [j]From there Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on the way, some little boys came out of the city and jeered at him: “Go away, baldy; go away, baldy!” 24 The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the children to pieces.

25 From there he went to Mount Carmel, and returned to Samaria from there.

VII. Stories of Elisha and Joram[k]

Chapter 3

Reign of Joram of Israel. Joram, son of Ahab, became king over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and he reigned twelve years.[l]

He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, though not like his father and mother. He did away with the pillar of Baal that his father had made, but he still held fast unceasingly to the sins which Jeroboam, son of Nebat, caused Israel to commit.

War Against Moab: Drought. [m]Now Mesha, king of Moab, who raised sheep, used to pay the king of Israel as tribute a hundred thousand lambs and the wool of a hundred thousand rams. But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. King Joram set out from Samaria and mustered all Israel. Then he sent Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, the message: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you come with me to Moab to fight?” He replied, “I will. You and I are as one, your people and my people, and your horses and my horses as well.” He said, “By what route shall we attack?” and the other said, “By way of the wilderness of Edom.”

So the king of Israel set out, accompanied by the king of Judah and the king of Edom. After a roundabout journey of seven days the water gave out for the army and for the animals with them. 10 The king of Israel exclaimed, “Alas! The Lord has called three kings together only to deliver us into the power of Moab.” 11 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here through whom we may inquire of the Lord?” One of the servants of the king of Israel replied, “Elisha, son of Shaphat, who poured water on the hands of Elijah,[n] is here.” 12 Jehoshaphat agreed, “He has the word of the Lord.” So the king of Israel, along with Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom, went down to Elisha. 13 Elisha asked the king of Israel, “What do you want with me? Go to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother.” The king of Israel replied, “No, the Lord has called these three kings together only to deliver us into the power of Moab.” 14 Then Elisha said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, whom I serve, were it not that I respect Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, I should neither look at you nor notice you at all. 15 Now get me a minstrel.” When the minstrel played, the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha, 16 and he announced: “Thus says the Lord: Provide many catch basins in this wadi. 17 For the Lord says: Though you will see neither wind nor rain, yet this wadi will be filled with water for you to drink, and for your livestock and pack animals. 18 And since the Lord does not consider this enough, he will also deliver Moab into your power. 19 You shall destroy every fortified city and every choice city, fell every fruit tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every fertile field with stones.”

20 In the morning, at the time of the sacrifice, water came from the direction of Edom and filled the land.

21 Meanwhile, all Moab had heard that the kings had come to war against them; troops from the youngest on up were mobilized and stationed at the border. 22 When they rose early that morning, the sun was shining across the water. The Moabites saw the water as red as blood, 23 and said, “This is blood! The kings have fought among themselves and killed one another. Quick! To the spoils, Moab!” 24 But when they reached the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and attacked the Moabites, who fled from them. They ranged through the countryside destroying Moab— 25 leveling the cities, each one casting the stones onto every fertile field and filling it, stopping up every spring, felling every fruit tree, until only the stones of Kir-hareseth[o] remained. Then the slingers surrounded and attacked it. 26 When he saw that the battle was going against him, the king of Moab took seven hundred swordsmen to break through to the king of Edom, but he failed. 27 So he took his firstborn, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him as a burnt offering upon the wall. The wrath against Israel[p] was so great that they gave up the siege and returned to their own land.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:2 Baalzebub: in this form, “Baal of flies.” The name in the Hebrew text is a derisive alteration of Baalzebul, “Prince Baal.” The best New Testament evidence supports the latter form in Mt 10:25; Lk 11:15.
  2. 1:8 Hairy garment: a sign of prophetic calling; see Zec 13:4. John the Baptizer wore a similarly distinctive mantle; see Mt 3:4; Mk 1:6.
  3. 1:12 Divine fire: lit., “fire of God,” which in Hebrew sounds quite like “man of God.” The play on words is the basis for Elijah’s retort. This story was told among the people to enhance the dignity of the prophet and to reflect the power of God whom he served. A similar phrase, “the Lord’s fire,” described the miraculous divine fire that fell from a cloudless sky to consume Elijah’s offering in 1 Kgs 18:38.
  4. 1:17 Joram: in 2 Kings the name “Joram” (yoram) and its variant “Jehoram” (yehoram) are used interchangeably. To avoid the impression that they are different names and designate different people, both forms are rendered “Joram” in this translation. Confusion arises, however, because the king of Israel whose reign is recounted beginning in 3:1 and the contemporary king of Judah whose reign is recounted beginning in 8:16 share this name. On the relationship of Joram of Israel to Joram of Judah, see note on 3:1.
  5. 2:1–25 The story of Elisha’s succession to Elijah’s prophetic office is oddly set between the death of Ahaziah (1:17) and the accession of his successor (3:1). The effect is to place this scene, which is the central scene in the whole of 1–2 Kings, outside of time. It thereby becomes almost mythic in its import and reminds us that, behind the transitory flow of kings and kingdoms, stand the eternal word of God and the prophets who give it voice. Just as 1–2 Kings pivots on this chapter, so this scene too is concentrically constructed. Together Elijah and Elisha journey to Bethel, thence to Jericho, and thence across the Jordan. There Elijah is taken up in the whirlwind and Elijah’s mantle of power comes to Elisha. Now alone, Elisha crosses the Jordan again, returns to Jericho and thence back to Bethel.
  6. 2:1 Gilgal: there are several places in the Hebrew Bible named Gilgal; the word probably means “circle,” viz. of stones. Here the route of the prophets’ journey rules out the most famous Gilgal (Jos 4–5), the one near Jericho. This Gilgal may have been located in the area of modern Jiljulieh, approximately seven miles north of Bethel, which seems to preserve the ancient name.
  7. 2:9 Double portion of your spirit: as the firstborn son inherited a double portion of his father’s property (Dt 21:17), so Elisha asks to inherit from Elijah his spirit of prophecy in the degree befitting his principal disciple. In Nm 11:17–25, God bestows some of the spirit of Moses on others.
  8. 2:12 My father: a religious title accorded prophetic leaders; cf. 6:21; 8:9; and 13:14, where King Joash of Israel reacts to Elisha’s own impending death with the same words Elisha uses here.
  9. 2:14 The Lord, the God of Elijah—where is he now?: the words in Hebrew have an incantatory quality, as if Elisha is invoking both the divine name and the name of his departed master in an attempt to duplicate Elijah’s miracle.
  10. 2:23–24 This story probably was told to warn children of the importance of respect for prophets.
  11. 3:1–9:13 After the formulaic introduction to the reign of Joram of Israel, this section falls into two parts. The first contains several stories about the prophet Elisha, both in private and in public life. There are four longer stories, arranged in an ABBA pattern: drought during war with Moab (vv. 4–27), restoration of the Shunammite’s son (4:8–37), healing of Naaman (5:1–27), famine during war with Aram (6:24–7:20). The last three of these stories are each preceded and followed by short anecdotal tales about Elisha. The second part of this section turns to the political realm. Elisha carries out the Lord’s commissions to Elijah (1 Kgs 19:15–17) to anoint Hazael king of Aram (2 Kgs 8:7–15) and Jehu king of Israel (9:1–13). To prepare for the story of Jehu’s insurrection (9:14–11:20), the narrator places between those two narratives notices about the royal succession in Judah (8:16–24, 25–29). The formulaic conclusions to the reigns of Joram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah (8:25–29) are missing, since the deaths of both will be recounted in the story of Jehu’s insurrection.
  12. 3:1 The contradiction between 1:17 and v. 1 regarding the year when Joram succeeded Ahaziah of Israel makes any reconstruction of the chronology of Israel’s and Judah’s kings uncertain. Some scholars think that one or the other notice is simply incorrect. Others propose to explain the discrepancy by a co-regency: Jehoshaphat of Judah would have shared the throne with his son Joram from Jehoshaphat’s seventeenth year until he died in the twenty-fifth year of his reign (1 Kgs 22:42; see also 2 Kgs 8:16). The issue is further complicated by the speculation of some historians that “Joram of Israel” (“son” of Ahab of Israel: v. 1) and “Joram of Judah” (“son-in-law” of Ahab of Israel: 8:18) were in fact the same person, in whom the royal houses and separate realms of Israel and Judah were briefly reunited.
  13. 3:4 In the period of oral tradition, it seems that stories of kings were often told without identifying the kings by name. (Vestiges of this anonymity are still visible in 1 Kgs 3:16–28; 20:4–43; 22:1–38; 2 Kgs 6:8–7:20.) Names (such as “Ahab” in 1 Kgs 20:13–14; 22:20) were added later. As a consequence, the historical attachment of such stories to the kings about whom they are told is open to question. (See note on 1 Kgs 20:1–22:54.) The present story about a campaign against Moab by Joram and Jehoshaphat has several striking similarities to the campaign against Ramoth-gilead by Ahab and Jehoshaphat in 1 Kgs 22:1–38. There exists a Moabite inscription that contains Mesha’s self-aggrandizing account of his successful rebellion against Israel, but the times and places it mentions are different from those implied in vv. 4–27.
  14. 3:11 Poured water on the hands of Elijah: possibly a metaphor for “was Elijah’s servant.” But the phrase occurs nowhere else in the Old Testament and its meaning is not certain.
  15. 3:25 Kir-hareseth: a major city of Moab, identified with modern Kerak, east of the Dead Sea; cf. Is 16:7, 11; Jer 48:31, 36.
  16. 3:27 The wrath against Israel: probably the wrath of Chemosh, the Moabite god to whom the child was offered. The Israelites, intimidated by this wrath, retreat.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Proverbs 4:1-19 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 4

The Teacher as Model Disciple[a]

Hear, O children, a father’s instruction,
    be attentive, that you may gain understanding!
Yes, excellent advice I give you;
    my teaching do not forsake.
When I was my father’s child,
    tender, the darling of my mother,
He taught me and said to me:
    “Let your heart hold fast my words:
    keep my commands, and live!
Get wisdom,[b] get understanding!
    Do not forget or turn aside from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
    love her, and she will safeguard you;
The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom;
    whatever else you get, get understanding.
Extol her, and she will exalt you;
    she will bring you honors if you embrace her;
She will put on your head a graceful diadem;
    a glorious crown will she bestow on you.”

The Two Ways[c]

10 Hear, my son, and receive my words,
    and the years of your life shall be many.
11 On the way of wisdom I direct you,
    I lead you on straight paths.
12 When you walk, your step will not be impeded,
    and should you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold fast to instruction, never let it go;
    keep it, for it is your life.
14 [d]The path of the wicked do not enter,
    nor walk in the way of the evil;
15 Shun it, do not cross it,
    turn aside from it, pass on.
16 For they cannot rest unless they have done evil;
    if they do not trip anyone they lose sleep.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the just is like shining light,
    that grows in brilliance till perfect day.[e]
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
    they do not know on what they stumble.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1–9

    The teacher draws a parallel between his teaching the disciples now and his father’s teaching him in his youth (vv. 3–4): what my father taught me about wisdom is what I am teaching you. The poem implies that the teacher has acquired wisdom and has in fact been protected and honored as his father promised long ago. Thus the teacher has the authority of someone who has been under wisdom’s sway since earliest youth.

    There are two sections, a call for attention and introduction of the speaker (vv. 1–3) and the father’s quoting of his own father’s teaching (vv. 4–9). Beginning with v. 5, the father’s words are no longer quoted, wisdom herself becoming the active agent; she becomes the subject, not the object, of the verbs. Three Hebrew verbs are repeated in the two parts, “to forsake” in vv. 2 and 6, “to keep/guard” in vv. 4 and 6, and “to give/bestow” in vv. 2 and 9. Each verb in its first appearance has the father’s words as its object; in its second appearance each verb has wisdom as its subject or object. The teaching process is like that in 2:1–22 and 3:1–12: heeding the words of one’s parent puts one in touch with wisdom, who completes the process and bestows her gifts.

  2. 4:5, 7 Get wisdom: the same Hebrew word “to get” can mean to acquire merchandise and to acquire a wife (18:22; 31:10); both meanings are in keeping with Proverbs’ metaphors of acquiring wisdom over gold and silver and of acquiring wisdom as a personified woman, a wife.
  3. 4:10–19 A central metaphor of the poem is “the way.” The way of wisdom leads directly to life (vv. 10–13); it is a light that grows brighter (v. 18). The wise are bound to shun (vv. 14–17) the dark and violent path of the wicked (v. 19). Singleness of purpose and right conduct proceed from the heart of the wise as from the source of life (vv. 23–26), saving them from destruction on evil paths (4:27; 5:21–23). As in 1:8–19 and 2:12–15, the obstacles to the quest are men and their way. Elsewhere in chaps. 1–9, the obstacle is the foreign woman (2:16–19; chap. 5; 6:20–35; chap. 7; 9:13–18).
  4. 4:14–15 One is always free to choose. The righteous may choose to leave their path to walk on the wicked path and the wicked may choose the righteous path.
  5. 4:18 Till perfect day: lit., “till the day is established”; this may refer to full daylight or to noonday.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

1 Corinthians 12 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

C. Spiritual Gifts[a]

Chapter 12

Unity and Variety. Now in regard to spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware. [b]You know how, when you were pagans, you were constantly attracted and led away to mute idols. Therefore, I tell you that nobody speaking by the spirit of God says, “Jesus be accursed.” And no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the holy Spirit.

[c]There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; 10 to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.

One Body, Many Parts.[d] 12 As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

14 Now the body is not a single part, but many. 15 If a foot should say, “Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. 16 Or if an ear should say, “Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you.” 22 Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, 23 and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety, 24 whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. 26 If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.

Application to Christ.[e] 27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it. 28 Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles;[f] second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.

The Way of Love. But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

Footnotes:

  1. 12:1–14:40 Ecstatic and charismatic activity were common in early Christian experience, as they were in other ancient religions. But the Corinthians seem to have developed a disproportionate esteem for certain phenomena, especially tongues, to the detriment of order in the liturgy. Paul’s response to this development provides us with the fullest exposition we have of his theology of the charisms.
  2. 12:2–3 There is an experience of the Spirit and an understanding of ecstatic phenomena that are specifically Christian and that differ, despite apparent similarities, from those of the pagans. It is necessary to discern which spirit is leading one; ecstatic phenomena must be judged by their effect (1 Cor 12:2). 1 Cor 12:3 illustrates this by an example: power to confess Jesus as Lord can come only from the Spirit, and it is inconceivable that the Spirit would move anyone to curse the Lord.
  3. 12:4–6 There are some features common to all charisms, despite their diversity: all are gifts (charismata), grace from outside ourselves; all are forms of service (diakoniai), an expression of their purpose and effect; and all are workings (energēmata), in which God is at work. Paul associates each of these aspects with what later theology will call one of the persons of the Trinity, an early example of “appropriation.”
  4. 12:12–26 The image of a body is introduced to explain Christ’s relationship with believers (1 Cor 12:12). 1 Cor 12:13 applies this model to the church: by baptism all, despite diversity of ethnic or social origins, are integrated into one organism. 1 Cor 12:14–26 then develop the need for diversity of function among the parts of a body without threat to its unity.
  5. 12:27–30 Paul now applies the image again to the church as a whole and its members (1 Cor 12:27). The lists in 1 Cor 12:28–30 spell out the parallelism by specifying the diversity of functions found in the church (cf. Rom 12:6–8; Eph 4:11).
  6. 12:28 First, apostles: apostleship was not mentioned in 1 Cor 12:8–10, nor is it at issue in these chapters, but Paul gives it pride of place in his listing. It is not just one gift among others but a prior and fuller gift that includes the others. They are all demonstrated in Paul’s apostolate, but he may have developed his theology of charisms by reflecting first of all on his own grace of apostleship (cf. 1 Cor 3:5–4:14; 9:1–27; 2 Cor 2:14–6:13; 10:1–13:30, esp. 1 Cor 11:23 and 12:12).
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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