The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Scripture and Tradition


Catholic theology follows Isaiah 11:2-3 in enumerating the “Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.”

The Hebrew version lists six gifts; however, the Septuagint Greek text (which the Apostles and the Catholic Church hold as privileged) lists seven gifts of the Holy Spirit:

Hebrew Version:
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of (1) wisdom and (2) understanding,
The spirit of (3) counsel and (4) fortitude,
The spirit of (5) knowledge and the (6) fear of the LORD.

Greek Septuagint (and Latin Vulgate) Version:
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
the Spirit of (1) wisdom, and of (2) understanding,
the Spirit of (3) counsel, and of (4) fortitude,
the Spirit of (5) knowledge, and of (6) piety.
And he shall be filled with the Spirit of the (7) fear of the Lord.

This list runs thus:

  1. Wisdom
  2. Understanding
  3. Counsel
  4. Fortitude
  5. Knowledge
  6. Piety
  7. Fear of the Lord

Saint Augustine’s “Steps to Wisdom” in De doctrina christiana Book 2, Chapter 7 are arranged on this schema. Here’s a little piece that I wrote on how Augustine employs this: Augustine’s Seven Steps to Wisdom and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

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