Summary of the Uses of Charism and Related Words in the New Testament

Further to my last post, I’ve categorized the use of charisma in the New Testament, along with dorea and pneumatika, since both of those words are used interchangeably with charisma at times.  After the first three tables I’ve got other uses of dorea and pneumatika, for context.

The bold references are texts that I included in more than one list.

Most of us use “charisma” and “charismatic” only in the sense of the second table – diverse gifts given to believers – but clearly the New Testament concept has broader applications.

Also notable are the two texts in Timothy, which have been used (rightly or wrongly) to defend various ordination practices.  One’s understanding of the relationship between “office” and “charism” will likely determine the way those texts are read.

GIFT OF GOD / SALVATION

REF GK MEANING
Jn. 4:10 dorea gift of God; living water
Acts 2:38 dorea gift of the HS
Acts 8:20 dorea gift of God
Acts 10:45 dorea gift of the HS
Acts 11:17 dorea gift of HS
Rom. 5:15 charisma free gift of God
Rom. 5:15 dorea free gift of God
Rom. 5:16 dorea free gift of God
Rom. 5:16 charisma free gift of God
Rom. 5:17 dorea gift of righteousness
Rom. 6:23 charisma free gift of God – eternal life
Rom. 11:29 charisma gifts and calling of God are irrevocable
2 Cor. 9:15 dorea the unspeakable gift of God
Eph. 2:8 dorea the gift of God (salvation)
Eph. 4:7 dorea each has grace given according to measure of the gift of X
Heb. 6:4 dorea tasted of the heavenly gift, and made partakers of the HS

DIVERSITY OF GIFTS GIVEN BY GOD TO BELIEVERS

REF GK MEANING
Rom. 11:29 charisma gifts and calling of God are irrevocable
Rom. 12:6 charisma gifts that differ according to the grace given us
1 Cor. 1:7 charisma so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
1 Cor. 7:7 charisma each has a particular gift (context of celibacy)
1 Cor. 12:1 pneumatikon spiritual things (spiritual gifts?)
1 Cor. 12:4 charisma varieties of gifts, but the same spirit
1 Cor. 12:9 charisma gifts of healing
1 Cor. 12:28 charisma gifts of healing
1 Cor. 12:30 charisma gifts of healing
1 Cor. 12:31 charisma strive for the greater gifts
1 Cor. 14:1 pneumatikon spiritual (gifts in context), especially prophecy
1 Cor. 14:37 pneumatikon if anyone thinks himself a prophet, or spiritual
Eph. 3:7 dorea according to the gift of grace given to me by his power
Eph. 4:7 dorea each has grace given according to measure of the gift of X
1 Tim. 4:14 charisma the gift that is in you (thru prophecy with laying of hands)
2 Tim. 1:6 charisma the gift of God that is in you (thru laying of hands)
1 Pet. 4:10 charisma whatever gift each of you has received

BLESSING

REF GK MEANING
Rom. 1:11 charisma that I may share some spiritual gift with you
1 Cor. 1:7 charisma so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
2 Cor. 1:11 charisma the blessing granted to us through the prayers of many
Jas. 1:17 dorea every good gift
Jas. 1:17 dorea every perfect gift

OTHER USES OF DOREA

RELIGIOUS OFFERING

REF GK MEANING
Mt. 2:11 dorea gifts from the Magi
Mt. 5:23 dorea gift offered on the altar
Mt. 5:24 dorea gift offered on the altar
Mt. 8:4 dorea gift that Moses commanded for one healed
Mt. 15:5 dorea gift devoted to God (corban)
Mt. 23:18 dorea gift offered on the altar
Mt. 23:19 dorea gift offered on the altar
Mk. 7:11 dorea gift devoted to God (corban)
Lk. 21:1 dorea gifts put into the treasury
Lk. 21:4 dorea gift offered by the widow
Heb. 5:1 dorea gifts offered by high priest (& sacrifices for sins)
Heb. 8:3 dorea gifts and sacrifices offered by the high priest
Heb. 8:4 dorea gifts offered on earth by priests according to the law
Heb. 9:9 dorea gifts /sacrifices offered in present age, incapable of perfecting
Heb. 11:4 dorea the accepted gifts of Abel

GIFTS EXCHANGED BETWEEN HUMANS

REF GK MEANING
Rev. 11:10 dorea they will give gifts to one another (gloating over prophets)

FREELY

REF GK MEANING
Mt. 10:8 dorea freely you have received, freely give
Rom. 3:24 dorea justified freely
2 Cor. 11:7 dorea free of charge
2 Thes. 2:8 dorea without paying for it
Rev. 21:6 dorea I will give freely to him who is thirsty
Rev. 22:17 dorea take the water of life freely

WITHOUT CAUSE / MERIT

REF GK MEANING
Jn. 15:25 dorea hated without cause
Gal. 2:21 dorea then Christ died for nothing (if righteousness is through law)

OTHER USES OF PNEUMATIKON

SPIRITUAL

REF GK MEANING
Rom. 1:11 pneumatikon that I may share some spiritual gift with you
Rom. 7:14 pneumatikon the law is spiritual
Rom. 15:27 pneumatikon gentiles have been made partakers of spiritual things
1 Cor. 2:13 pneumatikon spiritual things / truths
1 Cor. 2:13 pneumatikon spiritual people ?
1 Cor. 2:14 pneumatikon spiritually discerned
1 Cor. 2:15 pneumatikon those who are spiritual
1 Cor. 3:1 pneumatikon those who are spiritual
1 Cor. 9:11 pneumatikon spiritual things
1 Cor. 10:3 pneumatikon spiritual food
1 Cor. 10:4 pneumatikon spiritual drink
1 Cor. 10:4 pneumatikon spiritual rock (Christ)
1 Cor. 12:1 pneumatikon spiritual things (spiritual gifts?)
1 Cor. 14:1 pneumatikon spiritual (gifts in context), especially prophecy
1 Cor. 14:37 pneumatikon if anyone thinks himself a prophet, or spiritual
1 Cor. 15:44 pneumatikon spiritual body
1 Cor. 15:44 pneumatikon spiritual body
1 Cor. 15:46 pneumatikon that which is spiritual
1 Cor. 15:46 pneumatikon that which is spiritual
Gal. 6:1 pneumatikon you who are spiritual
Eph. 1:3 pneumatikon every spiritual blessing
Eph. 5:19 pneumatikon spiritual songs
Eph. 6:12 pneumatikon spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places
Col. 1:9 pneumatikon spiritual wisdom and understanding
Col. 3:16 pneumatikon spiritual songs
1 Pet. 2:5 pneumatikon spiritual house
1 Pet. 2:5 pneumatikon spiritual sacrifices

Charism in the New Testament

I’m currently working on a biblical theology of charisms for my dissertation, and so the obvious place to start is with the New Tesament use of the word charisma and its variants.

I think many are surprised to find that the use of the word is actually quite limited.  There are only 17 occurrences in the entire NT, all in Pauline epistles, except for 1 Peter 4:10 (listed below).

The term seems to be used in two senses: a) as a general term meaning “gratuitous gift,” which describes a blessing of God, and, notably in Romans 5 and 6, is used as a term for salvation; b) as a specific term describing the variety of gifts given to members of the Christian community, each bringing a particular vocational / functional obligation.   This is the way we normally think of “charisma” – but note that it does not necessarily refer to “spectacular” or unusual gifts.  These are gifts given to all, and include, for example, teaching, alongside prophecy and healing.

The other thing to note is Paul’s synonymous use of charisma and dorea in Romans 5.   This calls for a survey of the occurrences of dorea in the NT.   In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul also speaks of the pneumatika in a way that is clearly related to his understanding of the variety of charismata.   Both of these terms overlap somewhat with the concept of chrarisma, but they are also used in different contexts.  Another post would be required to cover all those texts, but for those who might be interested, I’ve got summaries of dorea here and pneumatika here.

CHARISM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

Romans 1:11 For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift (χάρισμα ~ πνευματικὸν) to strengthen you—

Romans 5:15 But the free gift (χάρισμα) is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace (χάρισ) of God and the free gift (δωρεὰ)in the grace (χάριτι) of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many.

Romans 5:16 And the free gift (δώρεμα) is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgement following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift (χάρισμα) following many trespasses brings justification.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift (χάρισμα) of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 11:29 for the gifts (χαρίσματα) and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Romans 12:6 We have gifts (χαρίσματα) that differ according to the grace (χάριν) given to us

1 Corinthians 1:7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift (χαρίσματι)  as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has a particular gift (χάρισμα) from God, one having one kind and another a different kind.

1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are varieties of gifts (χαρισμάτων), but the same Spirit;

1 Corinthians 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts (χαρίσματα) of healing by the one Spirit,

1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts (χαρίσματα) of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:30 Do all possess gifts (χαρίσματα) of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

1 Corinthians 12:31 But strive for the greater gifts (χαρίσματα). And I will show you a still more excellent way.

2 Corinthians 1:11 as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing (χάρισμα) granted to us through the prayers of many.

1 Timothy 4:14 Do not neglect the gift (χαρίσματος) that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders.

2 Timothy 1:6 For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift (χάρισμα) of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands;

1 Peter 4:10 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift (χάρισμα) each of you has received.