Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit


#1

I am a protestant who has started studying Catholic theology. One issue that is confusing to me is the historical origin of the doctrine of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord). I understand that the exegetical basis is Isaiah 11:2-3. But I am having difficulty understanding how theologians logically proceed from these gifts resting on the Messiah (which is what I draw from the Isaiah passage) to all Christians possessing these gifts (in contradistinction from the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit, which St. Paul explicitly discusses in the NT).

I have read the first chapter of James Stroud, STD, on this and it was helpful:
aladinrc.wrlc.org/bitstream/handle/1961/10288/Stroud_cua_0043A_10329display.pdf?sequence=1

However, I still cannot explain the logical connection between Isaiah 11:2-3 and the gifts that all Catholics are said to receive. I am sure Catholic theologians do have an argument for this and I would be grateful if someone knowledgeable would point me in the right direction with a good reference (or even explicate the details of the argument). The doctrine of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit is a beautiful teaching, but I need to be able to fully explain all the steps in the argument starting from Isaiah 11:2-3.

I fully accept that Catholic theology doesn’t only use the Bible as a source, but I need to know what the other sources are and how they fit together to make sense of this doctrine.


#2

Are you saying you don’t believe that the average Christian has:

  1. wisdom,
  2. understanding,
  3. counsel,
  4. knowledge,
  5. fortitude,
  6. piety, and
  7. fear of the Lord

I don’t feel this warrants an extra source to make a “logical connection”. I’ve read the bible through cover to cover twice now and I’m positive there’s a plethora of scriptures that would speak on each of these points individually if not all together. I’m confident enough; I assert that it isn’t even exclusive to Catholic doctrine. In fact, even children brought up with a knowledge of God would have at least some of these.

I fully accept that Catholic theology doesn’t only use the Bible as a source, but I need to know what the other sources are and how they fit together to make sense of this doctrine.

The extra source is Tradition. In fact, it was Tradition that determined what books would comprise the entirety of the Bible, because the criteria for selection of which books was, “Are they currently in use in Catholic Churches?”

Even protestants who may tout sola scriptura still attest to a tradition unbeknownst to themselves. This is because “by the Bible alone”, you cannot find a scripture that says, “by the bible alone.” The belief that the Bible is the sole source of authoritative teaching cannot be found in the Bible. In fact, you find the opposite.

Please, please, please, take the time to read: catholic.com/magazine/articles/according-to-scripture

In it’s entirety. It will only take 5 to 10 minutes at most. Let me know what you think!


#3

I dont know the full answer to your question but if you do want a great writing about the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit I would encourage you to read St.Bonaventure’s Collationes de Septem Donis S. Sancti. It may be hard to understand at times but there is a book that explaines this work better(forget the name though, its basically a collection of St.Bonaventures writings) You can read the work below (without commentary) if you scroll down to ***Collationes de Septem Donis S. Sancti *** St.Bonaventure goes through each gift with many, many scripture verses(at the bottom of each page) to go along with his writings. Actually the beginning of the Gift of Fear will help you understand where the gifts come from.

franciscan-archive.org/bonaventura/


#4

Oh yea, one more thing. For the record, myself, theologians, doctors of the church, early church fathers, etc. all frequently made errors in interpretation of scripture - as all humans do.


#5

Thanks so much for this resource! I will take a close look to see if it answers my question.


#6

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