1 Corinthians 12:10

Workings of miracles (energhmata dunamewn). Workings of powers. Cf. energwn dunamei in Galatians 3:5 ; Hebrews 2:4 where all three words are used (shmeia, signs, terata, wonders, dunamei, powers). Some of the miracles were not healings as the blindness on Elymas the sorcerer. Prophecy (prophteia). Late word from prophth and prophmi, to speak forth. Common in papyri. This gift Paul will praise most (chapter 1 Corinthians 14:1 ff.). Not always prediction, but a speaking forth of God's message under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Discernings of spirits (diakrisei pneumatwn). Diakrisi is old word from diakrinw (see 1 Corinthians 11:29 ) and in N.T. only here; Romans 14:1 ; Hebrews 5:14 . A most needed gift to tell whether the gifts were really of the Holy Spirit and supernatural (cf. so-called "gifts" today) or merely strange though natural or even diabolical ( 1 Timothy 4:1 ; 1 John 4:1 ). Divers kinds of tongues (genh glwsswn). No word for "divers" in the Greek. There has arisen a great deal of confusion concerning the gift of tongues as found in Corinth. They prided themselves chiefly on this gift which had become a source of confusion and disorder. There were varieties (kinds, genh) in this gift, but the gift was essentially an ecstatic utterance of highly wrought emotion that edified the speaker ( 1 John 14:4 ) and was intelligible to God ( 1 John 14:2 1 John 14:28 ). It was not always true that the speaker in tongues could make clear what he had said to those who did not know the tongue ( 1 John 14:13 ): It was not mere gibberish or jargon like the modern "tongues," but in a real language that could be understood by one familiar with that tongue as was seen on the great Day of Pentecost when people who spoke different languages were present. In Corinth, where no such variety of people existed, it required an interpreter to explain the tongue to those who knew it not. Hence Paul placed this gift lowest of all. It created wonder, but did little real good. This is the error of the Irvingites and others who have tried to reproduce this early gift of the Holy Spirit which was clearly for a special emergency and which was not designed to help spread the gospel among men. See on Acts 2:13-21 ; Acts 10:44-46 ; Acts 19:6 . The interpretation of tongues (ermhneia glwsswn). Old word, here only and 1 Corinthians 14:26 in N.T., from ermhneuw from Hermh (the god of speech). Cf. on diermhneuw in Luke 24:27 ; Acts 9:36 . In case there was no one present who understood the particular tongue it required a special gift of the Spirit to some one to interpret it if any one was to receive benefit from it.