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1 Cor 12:11 - "gifts" "divided" according to His will, or as intended?

(Garth D. Wiebe, extracted and posted separately July 2016, originally written 9/15/2014)

[Note: This is an excerpt from Gifts of the Spirit: Literally not even in the Bible. It is important enough to have a heading of its own.]

A lot of people get tripped up at 1 Cor 12:11, which I'll quote in the KJV:

"But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."
This is stretched to mean that the Holy Spirit takes the "spiritual gifts," divides them out and gives each one to (only) certain people as he chooses.

The key word (KJV "will") is βουλεται (Strong's G1014), transliterated "bouletai."

βουλεται (Strong's G1014) is the present, indicative, middle/passive voice of the deponent verb "intend." That means that it cannot be translated "he wills" or "he decides" or "he determines" (active voice). It is an intention. It is that each χαρισ-μα (charis-ma) or grace-effect/manifestation is working as he/it is intending and being intended. (The word "he" is not explicitly in the original text. That is only inferred from the verb inflection being 3rd person, singular. You could also translate βουλεται: "as it is intended," which is also 3rd person, singular)

The Greek manuscript reads,

"παντα δε ταυτα ενεργει το εν και το αυτο πνευμα ιδια εκαστω καθως βουλεται"
Transliterated to our familiar Roman font,
"panta de tauta energei to hen kai to auto pneuma dairoun idia hekasto kathos bouletai"
Translated, word for word,
"all, yet, these, is-in-acting, the, one, and, the, same, spirit, apportioning, own, to-each, according-as, it/he-is-intending/intended"
If it were meant to be present active (not middle/passive), the verb form would have to be spelled:
βουλει = boulei (although, being "deponent," there is no active form of the verb)
or else,
θελει (Strong's G2309) = thelei = will, choose, determine
Therefore, scripture could have said "will/choose/determine," but didn't.

So, again, the point is that there is an intention associated with each χαρισ-μα (charis-ma) or grace-effect/manifestation. It is not that the Holy Spirit is choosing or determining who gets what "spiritual gift."

That blows away the whole "as the Holy Spirit decides/wills/chooses to impart certain spiritual gifts to one person, but not another" sacred cow, right at the source.

It is amazing how simple and straightforward things become when you look at the original text, and how the original text doesn't support the agendas and traditions of men.

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