The List of Nine Manifestations of the Spirit


How to Categorize or Classify these Nine Gifts

All of these have been suggested as ways of organizing the gifts in this list:

  1. The list is written in descending order of value (Origen, Bruce)
  2. Four Groups (Jones)
    1. Intelligible Utterance – wisdom, knowledge, prophecy
    2. Power – faith, healings, miracles
    3. Spiritual Discernment – discerning of spirits
    4. Ecstatic utterance – tongues, interpretation
  3. Three Divisions (Brewster)
    1. Illumination – wisdom, knowledge, discernment
    2. Action – faith, miracles, healings
    3. Communication – prophecy, tongues, interpretation
  4. Three Groups
    1. Gifts of Instruction – wisdom, knowledge
    2. Gifts of Supernatural Power – faith, healings, miracles
    3. Gifts of Inspired Utterance – prophecy, discerning prophecies, tongues, interpretation of tongues
  5. Charismatic List
    1. Gifts of Revelation – wisdom, knowledge, discerning of spirits
    2. Gifts of Power – faith, miracles, healings
    3. Gifts of Inspiration – prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues
  6. Pairs of Gifts
    1. Tongues and interpretation
    2. Prophecy and discernment of spirits (spirits of the prophets)
    3. Wisdom and knowledge
    4. Healing and miracles
  7. Peter’s Classification from 1 Peter 4:11 “If anyone speaks., let it be as words coming from God; if anyone ministers, let it be out of the strength God provides”
    1. Speaking Gifts – wisdom, knowledge, prophecy, discerning, tongues, interpretation
    2. Action Gifts (or, power gifts)– faith, healing, miracles,
  8. The list is random – a couple of special named gifts for Corinth: wisdom and knowledge; a couple of typical manifestations like faith, healing, miracles; a couple of gifts that are causing the  Corinthians problems: prophecy, tongues, interpretation
  9. The list is not systematic, it is simply a sampling
  10. The list is not exhaustive; the list could have been much longer, possibly endless.
  11. Paul is grabbing at a list that is truly diverse to prove his point
  12. Paul’s List taken from Paul’s clues in his writing
    1. The third (faith) and eighth (tongues) gifts start with a different word for “another”.
    2. The first two – wisdom and knowledge are important to Corinthian thinking.
    3. Numbers three – seven (five gifts) all have a supernatural element
    4. The last two – are the problem and the cause of these chapters




To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit


w    men     gar     dia     tou     pneumatoV     didotai     logoV          sofiaV

      for to     one    through  the           spirit             is given       a word          of wisdom


allw     de      logoV       gnwsewV       kata      to        auto        pneuma,

and to  another  a word     of knowledge  according   to the    same           spirit


  1. Word of wisdom  logoV          sofiaV



  1. Word of knowledge “logoV       gnwsewV









to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit


eterw      pistiV    en     tw       autw      pneumati       allw   de         carismata

to another   faith       by      the       same         spirit             and to another           gifts


iamatwn       en       tw          eni            pneumati,

of cures            by        the         one                spirit


  1. faithpistiV


  1. gifts of healing  carismata   iamatwn






to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.


allw     de        energhmata      dunamewn       allw       [de]         profhteia

and to another        operations          of powers       to another    and            prophecy


allw     [de]       diakriseiV       pneumatwn,     eterw       genh        glwsswn

and to another        discernings           of spirits       to  another     kinds         of tongues


allw      de         ermhneia          glwsswn

and to    another  interpretation         of tongues



  1. miraculous powers  energhmata      dunamewn

“energamata” – means “workings”

“dunameon” – “miracles”

  1. prophecyprofhteia

“propheteia” – is the declaration of that which cannot be known by natural means.  It comes from God and is the forth telling of the will of God concerning the past, present or the future.

  1. discernings of spirits diakriseiV       pneumatwn

“diakriseis” – means “judging between things, distinguish, discerning”

“pneuma” –  means “current of air, breath, breeze.  Used to refer to spirit of men or man’s soul, man’s disposition.  Also refers to angels, demons or God’s Spirit.

  1. kinds of tongues genh        glwsswn

“yenos” – means “a generation, kind, stock”.  Translated as “kind, kindred, offspring, nation, stock, born, diversity, country, countryman, generation.”

“glossa” it means tongue as in the organ and by implication it means language

  1. interpretation of tongues ermhneia          glwsswn

“hermeneia” – “interpretation, translation. It means to interpret what has been spoken obscurely by others.

“glossa” it means tongue as in the organ and by implication it means language



“All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”


panta     de     tauta        energei    to    en     kai     to     auto        pneuma

and all             these things    operates    the  one   and      the     same            spirit


diairoun     idia              ekastw          kaqwV          bouletai

distributing   separately      to each one          as                he purposes


The Spiritual Charisma of 1 Corinthians 12:8-10:

  1. Word of Wisdom
    1. “logos sophia”

                                                              i.      logos means it is a word and probably spoken meaning “message” or “utterance” of wisdom.

                                                            ii.      Sophia is wisdom, which is the correct application of facts or knowledge.

    1. This phrase means “message full of wisdom” or “message characterized by wisdom.”
    2. This phrase has nothing to do with our modern idea of giving wise advice or counseling.  The use of sophia in Corinth and in the Greek word itself does not allow this phrase to mean “the ability to give wise advice.” (The new International Commentary of the NT, The First Epistle to the Corinthians by Gordan D. Fee, p. 592 footnotes.)
    3. Since Paul does not elaborate on this here or elsewhere in scripture this gift is open to a variety of interpretations many of which are simply hopeful or fanciful guesses.
    4. Since it is only mentioned here to the Corinthians Paul may be countering the Corinthian’s obsession with the status symbol philosophical wisdom (1:22; 26-27)
    5. Since Paul writes “word of wisdom” he is probably not referring to “wisdom” in general, but a special, momentary word or message of wisdom given by the Spirit.
    6. This is not an academic wisdom or wisdom gain from experience since these are attained naturally.  The “word of wisdom” would be a “charisma” from the Spirit (12:4) to “serve” the church or its purpose (12:5) and “accomplish” God’s “work” (12:6).
    7. Pentecostals understand this to be a “word of revelation” to the church that applies scripture to a present situation.
    8. Old Testament examples may include Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams in Gen. 41 and Daniel interpreting dreams in Daniel 1:17 and 2:27-45.  There could have been hundreds of meanings and ways of interpreting these dreams. 
    9. New Testament examples may include
    10. Jesus promised this gift would manifest for his disciples in Luke 21:15 “For I will give you words (stoma “stoma” “a mouth”) and wisdom (sofia “sophia” “wisdom”) that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.” And Matt. 10:19-20: “When they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it.  At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
    11. A dangerous or false view would include the concept that a word of wisdom reveals God’s thoughts, attitudes or will in a particular situation.  For example, in 1883 the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith received a word or wisdom announcing to the church that tobacco, wine and hot drinks (coffee, tea, etc.) were evil.
    12. This view is held by Pentecostals such as Harold Horton who believes that the word of wisdom is a word of revelation speaking forth God’s purpose for individuals, the church or events.
    13. A more acceptable possibility is to consider the “word” to refer to “teaching” which would have the meaning of “teaching of wisdom.”  This would occur while the teacher was presenting scripture and received insight or wisdom to understand, explain or apply the already revealed word of God.
    14. Word of wisdom may be found in Paul’s list of spiritual gifts in 1 Cor. 13 in verse 2 as “can fathom all mysteries” or literally, “know all the mysteries.”
    15. Again, we are working with very little information when we try to describe the word of wisdom from the Greek phrase “logos sophias”
  1. Word of Knowledge
    1. “logos gnoseos”

                                                              i.      “Logos” means it is a word and probably spoken meaning “message” or “utterance” of wisdom.

                                                            ii.      “Gnosis” means “knowledge”. “Gnosis is used 29 times in the NT, 21 of those by Paul and 16 of those in First and Second Corinthians.  Interestingly “epignosis” is never used in First and Second Corinthians.

    1. This would appear to be a compatible gift with word of wisdom. 
    2. The emphasis is on “logos” or “word” and indicates it is the ability to express knowledge verbally
    3. It would involve saying or speaking or teaching because of “logos”
    4. Like above, what this gift actually involves is hard to define.  Although this has not stopped commentators and teachers from sharing their guesses.
    5. The gift of knowledge appears three more times in 1 Co. 12-14:

                                                              i.      13:2 – Knowledge is mentioned along with the gifts of tongues, prophecy, faith and, potentially, the word of wisdom.

                                                            ii.      13:8-12 – It is said that the gift of knowledge will pass away along with prophecy and tongues

                                                          iii.      14:6 – Knowledge is listed along with revelation (Word of wisdom, maybe), prophecy and word of instruction (gift of teaching?) as being a byproduct of tongues.

    1. The gift of knowledge is the ability to assimilate and explain the practical working out of God’s plan concerning natural things in the here and now.  The gift of wisdom then would be the ability to explain mysteries that go beyond our natural world.
  1. Faith
    1. “pistis” means “faith”
    2. “faith” is followed by “gifts of healings” and “working of miracles”
    3. It is agreed universally that this is not the “faith” in Christ that leads to salvation.
    4. This is the faith that empowers someone to be used by the Holy Spirit to believe, perform or endure.
    5. This gift of faith goes beyond the normal and gives God a place in the human heart to perform a work through an individual
    6. It has been described as an invincible confidence.”  This of course, also goes beyond the normal development of one’s faith from hearing and understanding the written word of God.


  1. Gifts of Healings
    1. “charismata iamaton”

                                                              i.      “charismata”

                                                            ii.      “iamaton”

    1. Sin and sickness are related in the Hebrew scriptures just as sin and death are associated.
    2. An experience with sickness is an experience with sin either directly or indirectly.

                                                              i.      Prayers for deliverance from sickness include a confession of sin

1.      Ps. 38:2-6

2.      Ps. 39:9-12

                                                            ii.      Praise for deliverance from sickness include a recognition of having been forgiven

1.      Ps. 30:2-5

2.      Ps. 32:1-11

3.      Ps. 103:3

    1. OT prophecy promised that in the future when God dwelt in Zion that “No one living in Zion will say, ‘I am sick; for the people who dwell there will have their sins forgiven.” (Isaiah 33:24)
    2. Jesus began his ministry by going through out Galilee teaching, preaching and healing (Matt. 4:23).  Then again in 8:16-17; 12:15-16; 15:29-31)
    3. Isaiah 61:1-2 promised the good news and the results of the Messiah’s arrival and Jesus claimed this for himself in Luke 4:17-21
    4. The disciples were given the same ministry of healing in Matthew 10:1, 7-8 (Mark 6:7-12; Luke 9:1-6) during Jesus’ ministry.
    5. The apostles continued to preach the good news and heal.
    6. 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28, 30 is the only place in the epistles that the gifts of healings are explicitly mentioned.
    7. James 5:13-16 describes the function of the elders of a local church to pray over and anoint with oil the weak or sick person.  Again forgiveness of sins and healing are associated with this event.  But, it should be noted that James does not call this the “gift of healing” but refers to the prayer of faith.
    8. These are some of the ways healing occurred in the NT scriptures:

                                                              i.      The teaching and preaching of the word brought healing (and salvation)

                                                            ii.      The apostles were empowered with the gift of healing to draw attention to or confirm their message.

                                                          iii.      The prayer of faith by the elders would raise the sick person up.

                                                           iv.      The gift of healing was possessed by some but not all believers apparently beyond the scope of the apostles since Paul is listing it as a potential gift for the Corinthians.


  1. Miraculous Powers
    1. “energemata dynameon”  or “operations or workings of powerful deeds”        

                                                              i.      “energemata”

                                                            ii.      “dynameon” – the root word “dyn” means “ability, capacity, power” and is used to translate the Hebrew word “gbr” which is used in the OT to convey the power of God to effect his will.  (Note English word “dynamite”)

    1. Miracles are listed separately from the gifts of healing possibly for these reasons:

                                                              i.      Healings were permanent changes where a miracle could be a momentary suspending of the laws of nature.

                                                            ii.      Healings are heavily connected with salvation but miracles could be for a variety of reasons: adjust a situation, assist a believer, convince a skeptic, bring judgment on a person or group, confirm a message, etc.

    1. Miracles are mentioned in the epistles:

                                                              i.      2 Corinthians 12:12

                                                            ii.      Hebrews 2:4

                                                          iii.      Galatians 3:5

                                                           iv.      1 Thessalonians 1:5 – here the use of the phrase “God’s power” indicates another aspect of God’s miraculous power which is the changing of the human heart and nature.  This is also mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:5 where the Corinthians are told there faith did “not rest on men’s wisdom but on God’s power”

  1. Prophecy
    1. “prophetia”
    2. The concept that prophecy is a form of expositional preaching from the bible is a laughable position and clearly indicates that the person presenting this idea is neither practicing expositional preaching nor exegetical teaching.
    3. Biblical prophecy (OT and NT) is much more than predicting future events.  Read the OT prophets and you will see they were speaking more to the people of their generation than they were about eschatological events.  Most often when the OT prophets spoke of eschatological events it was to encourage or warn the people of their generation.
    4. The practice of prophecy has been recorded as early as 1800 BC in the Near East.  It was also practiced in Babylon and Assyria.  Homer (700’s BC) mentions the practice of prophecy in Delphi (Apollo) and Dodona (Zeus) among the Greeks. 
       Veiw Delphi photos here:,4,257,258
    5. In Delphi two prophetesses worked fulltime for the multitudes who visited. The young virgins would sit on a tripod in a cave near the temple.  Cave gases would surround the priestess.  She would receive additional stimulus from chewed laurel leaves and a drink from the underground fountain.  Soon the spirit of prophecy would come upon her and she would be overtaken with the spirit of Apollo.  With her own voice and her own words the priestess/prophetess would express the non-verbal message given within her by Apollo.  It was normal for these prophecies to be interpreted so that the individual who had come to worship at the temple and inquire of Apollo in the cave could understand the message.  Many recorded questions and prophetic responses plus historical accounts of great men visiting this temple remain today.
  2. Discernings of Spirits
  3. Kinds of Tongues
  4. Interpretation of Tongues


The Multiple Lists of Spiritual Activities Fade into Each other as Gifts:


  • message of wisdom
  • message of knowledge
  • faith
  • gifts of healings
  • miraculous power
  • prophecy
  • distinguishing between spirits
  • different kinds of tongues
  • interpretation of tongues


  • apostles
  • prophets
  • teachers
  • workers of miracles
  • gifts of healings
  • help others
  • gifts of administration
  • different kinds of tongues


  • apostles
  • prophets
  • teachers
  • work miracles
  • gifts of healings
  • tongues
  • interpret tongues


  • tongues
  • prophecy
  • fathom all mysteries (word of wisdom?)
  • knowledge (word of knowledge?)
  • faith (gift of miracles??)
  • giving (gift of helps?)
  • martyrdom (gift of faith??)


  • prophecies (gift of prophecy)
  • tongues (gift of tongues)
  • knowledge (word of knowledge)


  • tongues
  • revelation (word of wisdom)
  • knowledge (word of knowledge)
  • prophecy (gift of prophecy)
  • word of instruction (teaching)


  • hymn
    • “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. . .” Colossians 3:16    
    • “be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord. . .” Ephesians 5:19)
  • word of instruction (teaching)
  • revelation (word of wisdom)
  • tongue
  • interpretation


  • tongue
  • interpret
  • prophets
  • others weigh carefully (discerning of spirits?)
  • speaker (teacher, tongues, prophecy, word of wisdom, word of instruction, word of knowledge, etc.)
  • revelation (word of wisdom?)
  • prophecy (revelation?)