Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm not concerned with anything but what 1 Corinthians 12:11 and the immediate context states.

Greek text of Stephanus 1550:

πάντα δὲ ταῦτα ἐνεργεῖ τὸ ἓν καὶ τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα διαιροῦν ἰδίᾳ ἑκάστῳ καθὼς βούλεται

English translation (my own):

But the one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each individually as he wills.

It is advised that you read the preceding verses, so please click here. I'm not posting them all in this one thread, but you may read them at your leisure.

My question is simply whether βούλεται ("he wills") is referring to the Holy Spirit, or to God (the Father) (cp. 1 Cor. 12:6)?

share|improve this question
    
It seems that "God" and "Lord" in 1 Cor 12 are both referring to the Third Person of the Trinity, who is an actual person ("He" and not an "It"). Please see Hebrews 2:4 where Holy Spirit = God, whose "gifts" are given according to his own will. –  Joseph Feb 24 '13 at 0:04
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

In verse six of the same chapter it is ‘God’ that ‘operates’ or empowers (Θεος ο ενεργων).

and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. (1 Cor 12:4, ESV)

In verse 13, it is the ‘Spirit’ that ‘operates’ ενεργει. The Spirit here appears as a creative power. In extension of the Spirit's role, as distinct from the Father, it is also ‘he’ the Spirit (πνευμα) who apportions to each one individually as he wills (πνευμα διαιρουν ιδια εκαστω καθως βουλεται). It would require additional identification of the Father with an additional word, in order to transition from the Spirit (πνευμα) to God (Θεος), otherwise, there is a sudden break in thought without any reasonable trigger. It is more natural to continue in the verse with 'he' being the Spirit.

Charles Hodge makes a clear argument in favor of assuming ‘he’ is the Spirit:

But all these. &c, i. e. notwithstanding the diversity of these gifts they have a common origin. They are wrought by the same Spirit. What therefore in v. 6 is referred to the efficiency of God, is here referred to the efficiency of the Spirit. This is in accordance with constant scriptural usage. The same effect is sometimes attributed to one, and sometimes to another of the persons of the Holy Trinity. This supposes that, being the same in substance (or essence) in which divines power inheres, they cooperate in the production of these effects. Whatever the Father does, he does through the Spirit. The Holy Ghost not only produces these gifts in the minds of men, but he distributes them severally (ἰδίᾳ) to every man as he will, i. e. not according to the merits or wishes of men, but according to his own will. This passage clearly proves that the Holy Spirit is a person. Will is here attributed to him, which is one of the distinctive attributes of a person. Both the divinity and personality of the Holy Ghost are therefore involved in the nature of the work here ascribed to him. (AN EXPOSITION OF THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS BY CHARLES HODGE)

share|improve this answer
    
Have you read Gill's belief on 1 Cor. 12:6? biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/… What do you think about it? –  H3br3wHamm3r81 Feb 23 '13 at 8:25
1  
I like Gill but disagree with his comments, but he also sees verse 12 as the Spirit. He admits in v6 that he is departing from most commentators; so let him depart. The ‘same Spirit’ and ‘same Lord’ and ‘same God’ I do think refer to the Trinity. The Spirit is the immediate author of gifts. It is the Lord Jesus whose authority and redemptive work opened the way for they’re being given. It is God the Father, who having exalted the Lord Jesus as the head of the church, sent the Holy Ghost, working all these blessings according to his originating predetermined will and eternal purposes. –  Mike Feb 23 '13 at 8:48
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.