Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia

Gibbon, Edward

(1737–94). B. London, Eng.; historian; RC for a short time. Works include The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Gibbons, James

(1834–1921). B. Baltimore, Maryland; educ. Baltimore; RC priest 1861; titular bp. Adramyttium and vicar bp. North Carolina; bp. Richmond, Virginia, 1872; abp. Baltimore 1877; presided over 3d plenary council of Baltimore 1884 (see also Councils and Synods, 6); cardinal 1886. Works include The Faith of Our Fathers. See also Roman Catholic Church, The, E 9.

J. T. Ellis, The Life of Cardinal Gibbons, 2 vols. (Milwaukee, 1952).

Gibbons, Orlando

(1583–1625). B. Cambridge, Eng.: organist and composer; used only Eng. in the text of his music. See also Byrd, William.

Giberti, Gian Matteo

(1495–1543). B. Palermo, Sicily; bp. Verona; advocated reform; prepared way for Council of Trent.*

Gibson, Edmund

(1669–1748). B. Hampton, Eng.; bp. Lincoln and London; orthodox theol.; opposed Latitudinarians* and Deism*; expert on ecclesiastical law. Works include Codex juris ecclesiastici A nglicani.

Gichtel, Johann Georg

(1638–1710). B. Regensburg, Ger.; to the Neth. with J. E. v. Wel(t)z*; influenced by F. Breckling*; in Amsterdam from 1668: mystic and visionary; eccentric follower of J. Böhme*; attacked Luth. Ch. and doctrine of justification; followers called Gichtelians.*


Followers of J. G. Gichtel*; also called Angelic Brethren or Brethren of the Angels (Ger.: Engelsbrüder) because they rejected marriage (cf. Mt 22:30). The movement spread to Altona, Berlin, Hamburg, Magdeburg, and Nordhausen.

Gieseler, Johann Karl Ludwig

(pseudonym: Irenäus; 1792–1854). B. Petershagen, near Minden, Ger.; ch. hist.; prof. Bonn 1819, Göttingen 1831; active in social work. Works include Lehrbuch der Kirchengeschichte. See also Mediating Theology.

Gifford Lectures.

Lectures for Scot. univs.; endowed by Adam Gifford (1820–87) “for promoting, advancing, teaching, and diffusing the study of natural theology.”

Gifftheil, Ludwig Friedrich

(1595–1661). B. Bcöhringen, Ger.; apocalyptic writer; traveled in Scand.; spent last yrs. in Holland; pacifist.

Gifts of the Spirit

(charismata). 1. The gift of justifying faith (see Faith, Justifying) is the Holy* Spirit's primary gift (1 Co 12:3; Eph 1:19).

2. In Ro 12, 1 Co 12, and Gl 5 many other, supplementary, gifts are listed which, according to His purposes, the Spirit gives in varying measure; they are called fruits and represent qualities that every Christian may attain to some degree; some have gifts in greater degree than others. The fruits include love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Gl 5:22–23).

3. Gifts of the Spirit are nurtured in Christian lives through reverent use of Word and Sacraments. These fruits of the Spirit stand in marked contrast to the “works of the flesh” (Gl 5:19–21).

4. Gifts of the Spirit not intended for all believers are enumerated 1 Co 12:8–10: the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues (glossolalia; from Gk. for “tongue” and “speaking”), and interpretation of tongues. Some win have one of these gifts, others another, or one person may have several in various measure. Such gifts may in some cases be directed to special use or bestowed on persons weak in faith.

5. Various offices by which mems. of the body of Christ serve one another in special ways are also gifts of the Spirit. God gives the ch. apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles and workers of miracles, gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues and the interpretation of tongues (1 Co 12:28–30). The list in 1 Co 12:8–10 overlaps with that in 1 Co 12:28–30 and the counterparts are not all clear.

6. The role which gifts of the Spirit are to play in the Christian community is stated 1 Co 12:7 (“to profit withal”) and 1 Ptr 4:10 (“minister the same one to another”). The extent and range of special gifts seem to have been greater in apostolic times than now.

7. In Ro 12:5–6 the origin of specific gifts is stated in gen. terms (“having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us”) and their use is related to the grand truth that “we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”

8. The classic chap. on the gift of tongues,* 1 Co 14, follows immediately after the chapter in which Paul says that apart from “charity,” or “Christian love,” other gifts and endeavors are nothing.

9. After an admonition to follow charity and desire spiritual gifts (1 Co 14:1) Paul speaks about the gift of tongues. He recognizes the gift of tongues as a valid and important spiritual gift but also points out how easily this gift can be abused and cautions against unwholesome use.

10. According to Acts 2 the apostles received ability to speak (at least for the occasion) in languages they had never learned, but the gift of tongues referred to 1 Co 14 seems to be another type of utterance granted by the Spirit. These tongues are gen. called “ecstatic utterances” and involve use of Spirit-motivated sounds that are not intelligible in terms of known language. They do have meaning that can be stated by one who has the gift of interpretation.

11. Other references to gifts of the Spirit include Mt 10:1, 8; Lk 10:9, 17, 19; Acts 10:44–46; 1 Co 7:7. OS

See also Seven Gilts of the Holy Spirit.

Gilbert de la Porrèe

(Gilbert[us] Porreta[nus]; Gilbert of Poitiers; ca. 1070s–1154). B. Poitiers, Fr.; scholastic theol.; studied under Anselm* of Laon; bp. Poitiers 1142; differentiated bet. class essence (subsistentia) and substance (substantia); accused of tritheism* by Bernard* of Clairvaux. See also Chartres, School of.

MPL, 64, 1255–1300, 1301–10, 1313–34, 1353 to 1412; 188, 1247–70.


Eng. order of nuns founded ca. 1135 by Gilbert of Sempringham (ca. 1083–1189; Eng. priest; b. Sempringham); dissolved by Henry* VIII.


(ca. 500–ca. 570). Called Sapiens and Badonicus; Brit. monk and hist.; wrote Gildae Sapientis de excidio et conquestu Britanniae, which includes description of the battle of Mons Badonicus, which, he seems to say, occurred in the yr. of his birth.

Gill, John

(1697–1771). B. Kettering, Northamptonshire, Eng.; joined Particular Baps. 1716; ordained 1720; pastor Horselydown [Horsley Down], Southwark, London, 1720–71; strict Calvinist. Works include A Body of Doctrinal Divinity; commentary on the Bible.

Gill, William

(1813–78). B. Totness, Eng.; LMS miss. to Rarotonga 1838; visited Mangala, Loyalty Islands, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, and Samoa; returned to Eng. 1853. Works include rev. of the Rarotongan Bible.

Gillespie, Thomas

(1708–74). B. Clearburn, near Edinburgh, Scot.; educ. Edinburgh and Doddridge's academy, Northampton, Eng.; Presb. pastor Carnock, Scot.; deposed by Gen. Assem. 1752 for refusal to conform; with other indeps., he founded a presbytery 1761 for relief of Christians deprived of ch. privileges; this grew into the Relief* Ch., which 1847 joined with the United* Secession Ch. to form the United* Presb.. Ch. of Scotland. See also Presbyterian Churches, 1.

Gilman, Samuel

(1791–1858). B. Gloucester, Massachusetts; hymnist; educ. Harvard; Unitarian pastor Charleston, S. C. Hymns include “This Child We Dedicate to Thee,” perhaps a tr. of a Ger. hymn.

Ginsburg, Christian David

(1831–1914). B. Warsaw, Poland; Jewish grammarian and Massorete; educ. Warsaw; became Christian ca. 1846; to Eng.; mem. OT Rev. Committee 1870.

Gioberti, Vincenzo

(1801–52). It. pol. and philos.; b. and educ. Turin; priest 1825; held that God is the only true being (ens); all other things are only existences, the universal idea in God individualized and become finite; attacked Jesuits; tried to reform the papacy.


(Giotto di Bondone; ca. 1267–ca. 1337). B. Vespignano, near Florence, It.; painter, sculptor, and architect. Works include many religious frescoes.

Girard, Stephen

(1750–1831). B. Bordeaux, Fr.; settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ca. 1776; philanthropist; freethinker; admired Voltaire* and J. J. Rousseau.*


In liturgical attire, a cincture. See also Vestments, Clerical.

Girgensohn, Karl Gustav

(1875–1925). B. Carmel, on the island Oesel, Latvia; conservative Ger. Luth. theol.; prof. Dorpat, Greifswald, and Leipzig; used findings of experimental psychology in attempts to explain psychological aspects of faith.

Girl Guides.

Originated in Eng. as a spontaneous movement of girls; similar to Girl* Scouts; organized by R. Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes; given royal charter 1923; purpose: to promote good citizenship and a sense of service to others. The Girl Guide pledges duty to God and country; to help others; to obey the Guide law. The movement includes Brownies (8–11), Guides (11–15), Rangers 15–21).

Girl Scouts.

There is no community of organization and administration bet. Girl Scouts and Boy* Scouts. Like scouting for boys, the Girl Scout movement has these features: 1. a pledge and a law; 2. uniforms and insignia; 3. degrees of advancement; 4. ch. troops and non-ch, troops; 5. program of indoor and outdoor activities; 6. regular organization; 7. trained leaders. Supervision is exercised by headquarters to maintain uniform prescribed standards for advancement in degrees, but no attempt is made to encroach on the duties and prerogatives of ch. and home. See also Girl Guides.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
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Content Reproduced with Permission

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