Which Holy Spirit gifts are correct?


A protestant friend has asked me why the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit as: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Yet Corinthians 12:8 thru 12:11 list nine gifts as wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy,ability to distinguish between spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues. Why the difference and where is the back up for the catholic version? Their version seems to be clearly laid out in scripture.


The traditional list of the seven gifts of the Holy Sprit is derived from Isaiah 11:2-3: “And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and [piety]*. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.”

Regarding 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, the *Navarre Bible * states, “The list of special gifts which St. Paul gives here is not meant to be exhaustive, as is also true of the list in vv. 28-30, and those in other letters (cf., e.g., Rom 12:6-9 and Eph 4:11). It is in fact quite difficult to identify exactly what each gift involves. What is clear is that the action of the Holy Spirit is enormously fruitful and that in the Corinthian community of the time it took all kinds of forms, some of them quite exceptional."

*(Note: Piety is often rendered ‘fear of the Lord’ which appears to be a corruption in the Hebrew text. Per Msgr. Ronald Knox (Knox version of the Holy Bible), “The Hebrew text does not make any mention of the gift of piety; perhaps through a corruption, it seems to introduce ‘fear of the Lord’ twice over.” A footnote in the NAB states that the Septuagint reads “piety”. )

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