"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Gifts of the Spirit
Acts 2:1-4 Commentary
by Shively Smith
Given all the gifts Paul named as active, the Corinthian church certainly raised a ruckus.
It must have been a noisy place full of different sounds, moving bodies, shifting actions. After all, in 1 Corinthians 12 Paul distinguishes classes and forms of God’s active work in the community, calling it gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4), services (1 Corinthians 12:5), and activities (1 Corinthians 12:6). All are active in tandem among the membership and Paul calls the collective, “one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13).
One productive way of interpreting 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 is to view it as prescribing divisions of labor or duty rather than cataloguing a diversity of spiritual possibilities. The word, diairesis, appears only in this passage and nowhere else in the New Testament (NT). In the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Septuagint (LXX), its occurrences are limited to 33 references. In most of those occurrences, it connotes distinct groupings based on military (Judges 5:15), family (Joshua 19:51; 1 Chronicles 24:1), religious function (2 Chronicles 8:14; ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL227: Gifts of the Spirit
May 15, 2016
This podcast discusses Acts 2:1-4 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-13, the Narrative Lectionary readings for May 15, 2016.