While the gifts of the Spirit or should I say gifts of the Spirit, in 1 Cor. 12:8-10 are anarthrous in Greek, many are translated with the definite article the in this passage. The use of λόγος (word or message) makes sense because the gift of the message of wisdom and message of knowledge is not complete wisdom and complete knowledge but to the extent of God's revelation. However, by adding the are we giving a lifetime permanence to gifts not intended in this passage?

For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;... (1 Cor 12:8, NASV1995)

 ᾧ μὲν γὰρ διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος δίδοται λόγος σοφίας,* ἄλλῳ δὲ λόγος γνώσεως κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα,* (1 Co 12:8, NA28)

  • Although I've seen some English translations with an indefinite article ("a") in 1 COR 12:8, there is no definite article; e.g., ὁ (𝒉𝒐) preceding any of the listed gifts in 12:8-10. Apr 19, 2023 at 12:13

1 Answer 1


In this context, adding an article before, "word", "message" (V8), "faith", "gifts" (v9), would make them very specific or even monadic.

That is, a person might be given "a word of wisdom" not, "THE word of wisdom", etc. Thus, the BLB translate 1 Cor 12:8-10 correctly as (with my set-out):

For truly,

  • to one is given a word of wisdom by the Spirit,
  • and to another a word of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
  • and to a different one faith by the same Spirit,
  • and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
  • and to another working of miracles,
  • and to another prophecy,
  • and to another distinguishing of spirits,
  • and to a different one various kinds of tongues,
  • and to another interpretation of tongues.

If these had articles, then it might imply uniqueness.

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