Q&A: The Completeness of the Gift Lists in Paul's Letters

The Completeness of the Gift Lists in Paul's Letters

Does the Holy Spirit bestow spiritual gifts that aren't mentioned in Scripture?

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Answer

The Holy Spirit is free to bestow gifts that aren't specifically mentioned in Scripture, I would say because, you know, if you look at Paul's lists of gifts – Romans chapter 12 includes things like prophesying but also giving and so on. 1 Corinthians chapter 12 and actually 12 through 14, includes about three different lists of gifts. Sometimes we only look at the one in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, but you've also got 12:28, 29. You've also got 14:26 and so forth. And you have Ephesians 4 and verse 11, and that one's a little bit different. But when you compare the different lists of gifts, it looks like these are kind of random lists, that the point is that God just has different members of the body, he creates us he gifts us in different ways, and each of us is a blessing, each of us is important and we need to work together for the up-building of the body. The point isn't so much on making a particular list definitive.

Answer by Dr. Craig S. Keener

Dr. Craig Keener teaches New Testament studies at Asbury Theological Seminary.