Why Does It Seem Like Paul Is Mentioning Three Miraculous Gifts As Only Ceasing?

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 mentions nine miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed among the early church for edification and maturity. Yet 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 mentions only three miraculous gifts as ceasing: prophecies, tongues, and knowledge. Why?

In the original Greek language, the apostle Paul places these nine miraculous gifts found in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 into three distinctive categories. He does this by using the word "another", except that there are two Greek words for "another" that are found in this passage: (1) allos and (2) heteros. When Paul uses the word allos, he is conveying that some of these miraculous gifts are connected to one another in the same category. When he uses heteros, he is switching to a new category. Notice the category switch down below.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 states: "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another (allo) the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another (hetero) faith by the same Spirit, to another (allo) gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another (allo) the working of miracles, to another (allo) prophecy, to another (allo) discerning of spirits, to another (hetero) different kinds of tongues, to another (allo) the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills."

This explains why in 1 Corinthians 13 the nine miraculous are only listed in three different categories. These three categories (all miraculous gifts) will cease when the New Testament (the perfect law of liberty) in perfected or completed (James 1:25; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13).

 



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