World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Word of wisdom


Word of wisdom

In Christianity, the word of wisdom is a spiritual gift listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8. The function that this gift is given varies. Some Christians see in this gift a prophetic-like function. Others see in the word of wisdom a teaching function. This gift is closely related with the gift of the word of knowledge.


Commentators have often placed this gift within the larger context of the biblical wisdom tradition, especially references to God’s secret wisdom in 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 and elsewhere in the letter. The secret wisdom pertains to the Gospel that Paul preached. This wisdom relates to that which God had previously hidden and destined for the glory of believers. It is a wisdom that speaks of those things that God has prepared for those who love him. These emphases from the broader context of the Corinthian letter could imply that the word of wisdom involves insight into God's plan of salvation and the proclamation of Christ crucified.[1][2][3]

Commentators have noted both a prophetic and a teaching character to the word of wisdom. Among Pentecostals and charismatics, the gift is often defined as a revelation of the Holy Spirit that applies scriptural wisdom to a specific situation that a Christian community faces.[2] According to Pentecostal theologian Donald Gee, "One is deeply conscious that the supremely right thing has been said and the true course of action indicated. No further appeal is desired because the heart rests in a calm satisfaction that the will of God has been revealed".[4]

Some commentators translate the term as "teaching of wisdom" and prefer to focus on the gift's function in teaching the truths of scripture.[2] The Catholic Encyclopedia defines it as "the grace of propounding the Faith effectively, of bringing home to the minds and hearts of the listener with Divine persuasiveness, the hidden mysteries and the moral precepts of Christianity".[3] Donald Gee writes:

there ofttimes comes shining forth a revelation in words that make our hearts burn within us. Many of us have experienced the holy awe and the thrilling exaltation of spirit that accompanies a ministry of the spiritual gift of the word of wisdom on these lines. We have recognized once again 'not the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth.' And with the recognition has come a deep thankfulness that these glorious ministrations of the Spirit are still active in the church.[5]


  1. ^ Gee, Donald. Concerning Spiritual Gifts. Springfield, Missouri: Gospel Publishing House. ISBN 0-88243-486-1. Page 35.
  2. ^ a b c The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, s.v. "Wisdom, Word of".
  3. ^ a b Wilhelm, Joseph. "Charismata". The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. Accessed 23 Jul. 2012.
  4. ^ Gee, Concerning Spiritual Gifts, p. 37.
  5. ^ Gee, Concerning Spiritual Gifts, pp. 35-36.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.