The Berean Expositor
Volume 22 - Page 127 of 214
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Romans 5: 12 - 8: 39.
Key-words:  The mind.
pp. 58 - 60
When studying the key-words "body" and "members", our task was simplified by the
fact that only one Greek word is used in each case, and the translation is consistent
throughout. There are two words used for "mind" in this section, nous and phronema,
and it will be of service to explain something of their distinctive meaning:--
"Nous belongs to the same root as gignosko, and signifies  (1:) the organ of mental
perception and apprehension, the organ of consciousness preceding actions, specially the
organ of moral thinking or contemplation.  (2:) Then nous means thinking, moral
thinking and knowing, understanding, sense. In Paul's epistles it has a clearly developed
meaning, reflective consciousness, I Cor. 14: 14, 15, 19, as distinct from the impulse of
the spirit" (Cremer).
"The nous takes cognizance of external objects, and denotes the reasoning faculty, Its
chief organ is the brain, but all the senses serve it actively or passively. Nous is the
human side of God's Spirit in man: as to its source, it is Spirit; as to its action in man for
intellectual purposes it is mind, i.e., the product of the Spirit" (Dr. Bullinger).
"Phronema, what one has in mind, what one thinks and feels: hence, mind, thought,
feeling, will: knowledge or wisdom as being the product of the mind" (Dr. Bullinger).
For our present purpose this explanation will be sufficient. When we are studying the
subject more closely, we shall pursue our ordinary method of studying the words as they
are used in Scripture. Nous occurs in Rom. 7: 23 and 25:--
"But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of the mind"
(Rom. 7: 23).
"So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of
sin" (Rom. 7: 25).
Phronema occurs in Rom. 8: 6, 7 and 27. Phroneo, the verb, to think or to mind,
occurs in Rom. 8: 5-7 and 27:--
"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are
after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of
the Spirit is life and peace. Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God"
(Rom. 8: 5-7).
"And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He
maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Rom. 8: 27).
These references complete the occurrences in this section, and, without assuming to
understand their distinctive meanings before seeking the light of other references, we can
at least observe that nous comes in chapter 7:, and phronema and phroneo in
chapter 8: In 7: we see the mind at the centre of the being; in 8: the mind in its
manifestations; what is in it, what it feels and chooses. Fuller light will come when we
observe the usage of these words elsewhere:--