Aquinas on Tongues: I Corinthians 12:10

Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on I Corinthians 12:10 translated into English.

Translated from the Latin text: S. Thomae Opera. Robert Busa, S.I. ed. Fromman-Holzboog. 1980. Reportationes. Vol. 6 088 R1C cp12 pg. 383

I Corinthians 12:10


I the Lord search the hearts and probe the kidneys. “Others discretion of spirits,” namely that a man has the ability to discern, anyone who should be moved by the spirit for the purpose of speaking or doing works, for instance whether by the spirit of love or by the spirit of hatred. “Refuse to believe in every spirit but examine the spirits if they are from God”. On the other hand the persuasive skill in having the ability to preach remains valid in this insofar as man can speak intelligibly to another, because certainly it is being hindered in two ways, one way through the diversity of languages(1) idiomata gen. pl. neut.: from idioma Lewis and Short “a peculiarity in language, idiom” , against which a remedy is being brought in by the following with which he states, “to others certainly it is being given,” “kinds of tongues,”(2) genera linguarum Namely that he can speak in diverse languages, that he is to be understood by everyone.

Even as it is read about the Apostles, (Acts 2:4), that “they were speaking in different languages” a different way by the obscurity of Scripture is about to be introduced. Against which the remedy is given by that which is being supplied, “others the interpretation of speech” that is the difficult [part] of the Scriptures.“I have heard that you should be able to interpret obscure things” (Dan. 5:5) (3) The copy actually has a correction in this and says it appears in 5:16, which is aligned with our modern day system “Does not interpretation belong to God?”(Gen. 40:8) Thereon when it says, “but all these etc.”, he marks out the authority of the graces previously mentioned, against this he removes three errors. Indeed, with the first concerning being attributed to the heathens, “different gifts for different gods”(4) each gift has its own separate god , contrary to what is taught, moreover one and the same spirit is being operated in(5) The Latin is in the accusative but it doesn’t make good English all these things (Eph. 4:4) “One body and one spirit”. Their second error, they were attributing only the universal providence of the matter to God, these ones set out that the particular distinctions are made only by means of secondary effects. It is supplied against this: “dividing each one as he wishes.” “In a multitude of disciplines of the Lord, he divided them” (Eccl.c. 33:11). Thirdly, he prevents their error that they were attributing the diversity of the gifts as either by utterance(6) fato: utterance, oracle, fate, destiny or by human merit, and not only a divine desire, like the Macedonians who were teaching the holy Spirit to be the ministry of the Father and the Son. And he prevents this by means of this way(7) et hoc excludit per hoc quod subditur because he supplies, “just as he wants.” (John 3:8) “The Spirit breathes where he wants”.■


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charlesasullivan

charlesasullivan

Charles Sullivan is a researcher and writer on topics of textual criticism, linguistics, theology, Christian mysticism and philosophy. He also frequently likes to delve into contemporary social and ethical issues from a faith perspective.
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