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Tongues and Other Miraculous Gifts in the Second Through Nineteenth Centuries, Part 1: From the Early Church to the 3rd Century, by Richard M. Riss

Clement of Alexandria

Another passing reference to the operation of the gifts of the Spirit in the late second or early third century appears in the Miscellanies of Clement of Alexandria, in which he quotes 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, which speaks of nine miraculous gifts, and writes:

“Such being the case, the prophets are perfect in prophecy, the righteous in righteousness, and the martyrs in confession, and others in preaching, not that they are not sharers in the common virtues, but are proficient in those to which they are appointed.”23

Here also, the use of the present tense suggests the possibility that Clement believed in the existence of prophets at the time he was writing.

 

Part 2: 3rd to the 5th Centuries
Part 2 of Tongues and Other Miraculous Gifts

 

Notes

1 Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3:12;15, cited by Harold Hunter, “Tongues-Speech: A Patristic Analysis,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 23 (June 1980), p. 130.
2 See, for example, Harold Hunter, ibid., pp. 125-126
3 Barnabas, The Epistle of Barnabas 1:2,3 in J.B. Lightfoot, ed., The Apostolic Fathers (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1956), p. 137.
4 Barnabas, The Epistle of Barnabas 16:9, ibid., p. 153.
5 Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 82:1 in Writings of Justin Martyr, Thomas B. Falls, trans., The Fathers of the Church (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1948), vol. 6, p. 278.
6 Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 88:1, ibid., vol. 6, p. 288.
7 Ibid.
8 Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5:6:1 in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., Ante-Nicene Christian Library (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1869), vol. 9, p. 68.
9 Irenaeus, Against Heresies 2:32:4, ibid., vol. 5, pp. 245-246.
10 See, for example, the article on “Sabellianism” by Samuel J. Mikolaski in J. D. Douglas, ed., The New International Directory of the Christian Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974), pp. 870-871.
11 Tertullian, Against Praxeas, chapter 1, in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1918), vol. 3, p. 597.
12 Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, book 5, chapter 16, sections 5-8, in Kirsopp Lake, trans., Eusebius Ecclesiastical History (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1953), vol. 1, p. 475.
13 Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, book 5, chapters 3 and 4, ibid.,vol. 1pp. 443-445.
14 Ibid.
15 Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, book 4, chapter 26, ibid., vol. 1, p.387.
16 Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, book 5, chapter 17, ibid., vol. 1, p. 485.
17 Tertullian, A Treatise on the Soul, chapter 9, in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1918), vol. 3, p. 188.
18 Ibid.
19 Ibid.
20 Tertullian, Against Marcion, book 5, chapter 18, in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1918), vol. 3, p. 446.
21 Tertullian, Against Marcion, book 5, chapter 8, ibid., pp.446-447.
22 Tertullian, Exhortations to Chastity, chapter 4, in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925), vol. 4, p. 53.
23 Clement of Alexandria,  The Miscellanies, book 4, in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds.,  Ante-Nicene Christian Library (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1869), vol. 10, p. 446.

“Tongues and Other Miraculous Gifts in the Second Through Nineteenth Centuries, Part I: From the Early Church to the 3rd Century ” originally appeared in Issue 1 (Fall 1985) of Basileia: A Journal of Theology for Worshipping Churches published by Christian Life College in Mt. Prospect, Ill. Used by permission.

 

Part 2: 3rd to the 5th Centuries
Part 2 of Tongues and Other Miraculous Gifts

 

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Category: Church History, Fall 1998, Pneuma Review

About the Author: Richard M. Riss (as of Fall 1998) is Assistant Professor of Church History at Zarephath Bible Institute in Zarephath, New Jersey. He holds a Master of Christian Studies degree from Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia (1979) and a Master of Arts in Church History from Trinity Divinity School (1988). He is currently finishing a Ph.D. degree in Church History at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Richard M. Riss has authored several books including The Evidence of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (1977), The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-Twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening (1987), A Survey of 20th-Century Revival Movements in North America and with Kathryn J. Riss, Images of Revival (1997).

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