Gifts of the Holy Spirit

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As gifts of the Holy Spirit in to Christianity particular, by the Holy Spirit bestowed talents referred. Equivalent terms are charisma colloquially or charisms (singular charisma , [ çarɪsma, çarɪsma, karɪsma or karɪsma ] of ancient Greek χάρισμα charisma , German , gift of grace ' , free gift', donated from goodwill gift 'of ancient Greek χάρις charismatic , German , Grace ' ).

Outpouring of the Holy Spirit, illumination from the Ingeborg Psalter (around 1200)

Bible passages on the gifts of the Spirit

Old testament

  • The Old Testament prophet Isaiah foretold six characteristics of the Holy Spirit: “But from the stump of Jesse a rice grows, a young shoot from its roots bears fruit. The spirit of the Lord settles on him: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of advice and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of God. "( Isa 11 : 1-2  EU )
    Compare with Isaiah the following order: “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God […]” ( Prov 9.10  EU ), “But I realized that I could only receive wisdom as a gift from God […] Therefore I turned to the Lord […] ”( Wis 8.20–21 EU ),“ But if one of you lacks  wisdom, then he should ask it from God […] ”( Jak 1,5  EU )
  • Gift of prophecy ( 1 Sam 10.11  EU )
  • Gift to work miracles ( 1 Kings 17:16  EU )
  • Gift of wisdom ( 1 Kings 3.5–28  EU )
  • Gift of faith and prayer ( Dan 3.17  EU and Dan 6.11-23  EU )

New Testament

There are several different lists of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament , namely in Rom 12.6–8  EU , 1 Cor 12.8–10  EU , 12.28–31 EU , Eph 4.7.11f  EU , 1 Petr 4.10-11  EU . According to 1 Cor 12.8-10  EU, the gifts of the Holy Spirit include :

  • Communication of wisdom
  • Mediation of knowledge
  • Power of faith
  • heal diseases
  • Miraculous powers
  • Prophetic speaking
  • Discrimination of spirits
  • Tongues and its interpretation

When using the various spiritual gifts, the apostle emphasizes the indispensability of love ( agape ) ( 1 Cor 13 : 1-3  EU ). In the following chapter he describes the gift of prophecy as particularly worthwhile:

“Chase after love! But also strive for the gifts of the Spirit, especially for prophetic speech! "

- 1 Cor 14.1  EU

Spiritual gifts in theology and hymns of the Middle Ages

Stained glass of the Trinity Cathedral in Dublin depicting the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit with wisdom at the center according to Isa 11.2  EU . Executed by Hardman & Co. in London in the 1870s.

Hymn after Rabanus Maurus in the 9th century

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are referred to in the Pentecostal hymn Veni, creator spiritus, handed down by Rabanus Maurus as "septiformis" (the following text corresponds to the original assumed by Dreves and Blume):

Tu septiformis munere,
dextrae Dei tu digitus,
tu rite promisso Patris
sermone ditans guttura.


O treasure that adorns sevenfold,
O finger of God, who guides us,
gift promised by the Father,
you who make the tongues speak.

13th century hymn after Stephen Langton of Canterbury

Stephen Langton of Canterbury also sings about the sevenfold faculties of the spiritual gifts in the last section of his Pentecost sequence Veni, Sancte spiritus :

da tuis fidelibus
in te confidentibus
sacrum septenarium.

da virtutis meritum,
da salutis exitum,
da perenne gaudium.


Holy Spirit, we ask you,
graciously give us all
your gifts of seven.

Give us the reward of virtue,
let us stand by your throne,
rejoice in the heavenly hall.

John Bonaventure 1267

In 1267 the doctor of the church Johannes Bonaventure published his work On the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Collationes de septem donis Spiritus sancti), which had an impact on the further development of the Church's teaching and on Franciscan spirituality.

Heinrich Kaufringer in the 15th century

Heinrich Kaufringer created a German spiritual poem in the 15th century in which he contrasted the seven deadly sins with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit : Of the seven deadly sins and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit .

Roman Catholic Church

Later in the Catholic tradition, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 1831, a distinction was made between the following seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, through which the work of the Holy Spirit is expressed in people:

Hortus Deliciarum - the Holy Spirit as the inventor of the seven liberal arts (original around 1180, reproduction before 1871)

This ranking is derived from Isaiah 11.2 (-3)  EU . While only six gifts are mentioned in the original Hebrew text (see above), a seventh gift was added in the Greek translation of the Septuagint and the Latin translation of the Vulgate : in Hebrew the term "fear of God" appears again in the following Verse Isaiah 11,3  EU , while the two translations mentioned use two different words in these places, one for "piety" and one for "fear of God". This led to the number seven, which is symbolically related to the cardinal virtues and the divine virtues (faith, hope, love, wisdom, justice, bravery and temperance) and the seven deadly sins compiled by Pope Gregory the Great (pride, greed, lust , Envy, gluttony, anger, indolence), as well as the seven sacraments ( baptism , confirmation , Eucharist , penitential sacrament , marriage , ordination , anointing of the sick ).

There is also a relationship between the seven liberal arts (grammar, rhetoric, dialectics , arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy) and the Holy Spirit as "inventor" (German: "inventor, founder, author"). B. in an illustration of the encyclopedia Hortus Deliciarum of the abbess Herrad von Landsberg (d. 1195) from around 1180 .

Evangelical tradition and point of view

Martin Luther

Martin Luther formulated in his Small Catechism of 1529 as follows: “The Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel and enlightened me with his gifts ”. Martin Luther transferred the Latin hymn of Rabanus Maurus into German for his Wittenberg hymnal of 1524 and held it at the predetermined "Siebenfaltigkeit" of spiritual gifts determine what the German Protestant hymnal of 1996 as a hymn met.

Based on Martin Luther, the theologians of Lutheran orthodoxy of the 17th century formulated a pneumatology in which the gifts of the Holy Spirit are often developed and considered. Johann Conrad Dannhauer (Strasbourg, 1649) and Johann Andreas Quenstedt (Wittenberg, 1685) describe the spiritual gifts as seven-stage functions of the Holy Spirit:

  • Calling : the Holy Spirit calls and calls man into the kingdom of God (vocatio)
  • Rebirth : as children of the world one is born naturally, the Holy Spirit allows one to be spiritually born again as a child of God (regeneratio)
  • Conversion : the Holy Spirit turns us to divine powers and leads us to God and his kingdom (conversio)
  • Justification : the Holy Spirit ensures that God fully and utterly affirms the concrete person, even though he is a sinner at the core of his being (iustificatio)
  • Repentance : the Holy Spirit makes it possible for a person to turn away from evil and at the same time to turn to God (poenitentia)
  • Union with God: the Holy Spirit ensures that a person can connect with the new world of God ( unio mystica, mysterious union: "to be planted as a branch in the vine of Christ")
  • Sanctification : the Holy Spirit gives man the power to let the various fruits of the Spirit grow; he is renewed in the core of his human being (renovatio) .

With this, a seven-part scheme, which is described as a differentiated spiritual path, returned to the Protestant Church through the thoughtful work of Lutheran High Orthodoxy - a hundred years after the Reformation. The gifts of the spirit are - in this system - understood as a dynamic, spiritual process.

19th century

In his doctrine of faith, Friedrich Schleiermacher does not differentiate between individual and specific gifts of the Holy Spirit, but assumes that the Holy Spirit as a whole dwells in a person:

"Every born again participates in the Holy Spirit, so that there is no communion with Christ without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and vice versa."

20th century

In his dogmatics of the Christian faith, Gerhard Ebeling remains formally on Schleiermacher's line by deliberately avoiding the listing of various spiritual gifts and focusing on this teaching:

“The primary gift of the Holy Spirit [...] is not this or that gift to be distinguished from him, but the Holy Spirit itself and thus the presence of God with people. The primary gift of the Holy Spirit is therefore the presence of the giver of all gifts, participation in God himself. "

In his dogmatics, Wilfried Joest goes into detail about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and asks: “Have such extraordinary effects become so alien to our church life because it has become too bourgeois, too much adapted to the normality of the world, too little of Easter joy and hope is fulfilled? "

The spiritual renewal of the congregation in the Evangelical Church in Germany draws on the list of gifts of the New Testament and the statements according to which Christians should strive for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, in accordance with the "Sola Scriptura Principle" (only Scripture counts for Protestants) teaches about it in seminars and books.

Charismatic movements

The Pentecostal movement and the charismatic movement assume (based on the letters of the apostle Paul in the New Testament) that every Christian has gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit are more than natural gifts, but they are not opposed to them. The church (the body of Jesus Christ) is to be built up through the gifts of the Spirit .

"So also you: since you strive for the gifts of the Spirit, strive to build up the community and have everything in abundance."

- 1 Cor 14.12  EU

In the charismatic movement , the following gifts are commonly counted among the gifts of the Holy Spirit:

Other gifts of the Spirit

The following gifts are also sometimes counted among the gifts of the Holy Spirit:

See also


  • Martin Luther: Small Catechism. Wittenberg 1529.
  • Manfred Baumert : Of course - supernatural: discovering and developing charisms. A practical-theological contribution from a systematic-theological perspective with empirical concretization (= European university publications. Volume 921). Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a., 2011, ISBN 978-3-631-61388-7 (with presentation and evaluation of the gift tests; also: revised version of: Pretoria, Univ., Diss., 2009, u.d.T .: Baumert, Manfred: Charismen discover. ).
  • C [harles] Peter Wagner: The gifts of the Spirit for church building. How you can discover and use your gifts (= ABC-Team. 872, Werkbuch; Edition Gemeindeanbau. Vol. 5). In Dt. transfer by Mathilde Thielker and Christian A. Schwarz. Schriftenmissions-Verl., Neukirchen-Vluyn 1979; 4th edition 1990, ISBN 3-7958-2872-4 (evangelical; English: Your spiritual gifts can help your church grow. ).
  • Reinhold Ulonska: Spiritual gifts in teaching and practice. Dealing with the charisms of the Holy Spirit. Leuchter-Verlag, Erzhausen 1983, 3rd edition 1989, ISBN 3-87482-103-X .
  • Christian A. Schwarz: The 3 colors of your gifts. How every Christian can discover and develop his or her spiritual gifts (= naturally developing the church ). C & P Verlag, Emmelsbüll 2001, ISBN 3-928093-56-8 (gift test that is supposed to help you discover and develop your own gifts); Edit new edition NCD Media, [Emmelsbüll] 2013, ISBN 978-3-928093-56-9 .
  • Meinolf Schumacher : Heinrich Kaufringer's poem "Of the seven deadly sins and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit". In: Yearbook of the Oswald von Wolkenstein Society. Vol. 9 (1996/97), ISSN  0722-4311 , pp. 309-322 ( PDF; 1.6 MB ; accessed on September 9, 2016).
  • Emanuel Hirsch : Auxiliary book for studying dogmatics. The dogmatics of the reformers and the old evangelical teachers are documented and translated into German. 4th edition De Gruyter, Berlin 1964, ISBN 3-11-082173-7 , pp. 344-457.
  • Harold Horton: The Gifts of the Spirit. Translated by Horst Krüger. 2nd edition. Leuchter-Verlag, Erzhausen 1980, ISBN 3-87482-070-X (English: The gifts of the spirit. ).
  • Robert and William Menzies: Pentecost and the Spiritual Gifts. A question of the century in the horizon of contemporary interpretation. A theological bridge between Pentecostalism and Evangelicals. Translated by Barbara Schuler. Franz, Metzingen / Württ .; Leuchter-Edition, Erzhausen 2001, ISBN 3-7722-0332-9 and ISBN 3-87482-236-2 (English: Spirit and power ).
  • Émile Mâle : The Gothic. The French cathedral as a total work of art. Translated by Gerd Betz. 2nd edition, special edition. Belser, Stuttgart / Zurich 1994, ISBN 3-7630-2308-9 (French: L'art religieux du XIIIe siècle en France ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CHRISTCHURCH PLACE, CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL (CI). Irish Architectural Archive, accessed February 14, 2013 .
  2. See also the metrically corrected version in the article Pentecost hymn .
  3. In almost all versions it says "promissum"; see the article Pentecost hymn .
  4. ^ Adolf Adam (ed.): Te Deum Laudamus. Great Prayers of the Church - Latin - German. Herder, Freiburg a. a. 1987, ISBN 3-451-20900-4 , pp. 142-144; New edition 2001, ISBN 3-451-27359-4 .
  5. ^ Adolf Adam (ed.): Te Deum Laudamus. Great Prayers of the Church - Latin - German. Herder, Freiburg a. a. 1987, ISBN 3-451-20900-4 , pp. 144-147.
  6. Meinolf Schumacher : Heinrich Kaufringer's poem "Of the seven deadly sins and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit". In: Yearbook of the Oswald von Wolkenstein Society. Vol. 9 (1996/97), ISSN  0722-4311 , pp. 309-322 ( PDF; 1.6 MB ); accessed on September 9, 2016.
  7. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church. Holy See website, accessed May 27, 2012.
  8. PONS Latin-German. Keyword: "inventor".
  9. See the illustration Septem-artes-liberales ; to the right of the seat of Philosophia is written with abbreviations : “ Spiritus sanctus inventor est septem liberalium artium ” (German: “The Holy Spirit is the inventor of the seven liberal arts”).
  10. For example: Evangelical Hymn Book , EG No. 126 (Come, God, Creator, Holy Spirit) , verse 4 ( You are with gifts sevenfold * / the finger on God's right hand; / you will soon give in the Father's word / with tongues all country. - * Isa 11,2  LUT [ asterisk in the EG]) and many other hymn books.
  11. ^ Horst Georg Pöhlmann : Abriß der Dogmatik. A compendium. 4th, verb. u. exp. Edition Gütersloh 1985, chap. X: By grace. P. 252 f .; 6., revised. and exp. Edition ISBN 3-579-00051-9 .
  12. Friedrich Schleiermacher: The Christian faith according to the principles of the Protestant Church presented in context. Edited by Martin Redeker . Volume II, § 124.De Gruyter, Berlin 1960, DNB 454367945 , p. 264.
  13. ^ Gerhard Ebeling: Dogmatics of the Christian Faith. Volume III: Belief in God the Perfector of the World. 2., through Edition. J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), Tübingen 1982, ISBN 3-16-144613-5 , p. 118.
  14. Wilfried Joest: Dogmatics. Vol. 1: The Reality of God (= UTB. Vol. 1336). 3rd, through Edition. Vandenhoeck, Göttingen u. a. 1989, ISBN 3-525-03259-5 , pp. 301 f.