[B-Greek] Spirit or spirit(NWT)

andy nwebube andy at ipbackbone.co.uk
Thu Feb 27 11:14:42 EST 2003

I want to say thank you for all the responses I have got both offline
and online. It has really shed more light on the issue. 

Thanks a lot all


> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-greek-
> bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of noddy3
> Sent: 27 February 2003 15:54
> To: B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [B-Greek] Spirit or spirit(NWT)
> Dear Iver,
> Thanks for both your thoughts and you advice in this matter of the
> translating of Romans 8:27. The translation was not mine but the
NWT's. I
> have a website that looks at the NWT and one page discusses the NWT at
> Romans 8:27(http://users.eggconnect.net/noddy3/phronema.htm)
> which I would like to replicate here:
> The New World Translation here reads:
> "Yet he who searches the hearts knows what the meaning[Gk: phronema]
> the spirit is, because it is pleading in accord with God for holy
> Most translations render the Greek word phronema here as "mind" New
> International Version or as "intention" New American Bible. This word
> occurs also at verses 6 and 7 and the NWT translates it there as
> "minding." A 'Question From Readers' article that appeared in the
> 1st 1990 issue of the WatchTower magazine said in answer to the
> At Romans 8:27, the New World Translation renders the Greek phronema
> "meaning," but in verses 6 and 7, the rendering is "minding." Why is
> same Greek word translated differently?"
> The answer supplied reads:
> "The context recommends the two renderings chosen.
> The Foreword of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek
> Scriptures (1950) stated: "To each major word we have assigned one
> and have held to that meaning as far as the context permitted." Some
> not consider phro'nema a major word, since it occurs only four times.
> is, though, related to words that are used more often. One is
> meaning "to think, to be minded in a certain way." (Matthew 16:23;
> 8:33; Romans 8:5; 12:3; 15:5) Other related Greek words convey the
idea of
> using practical wisdom, sense, or discretion.- Luke 1:17; 12:42; 16:8;
> Romans 11:25; Ephesians 1:8.
> The Kingdom Interlinear Translation the Greek Scriptures shows that
> phro'nema occurs four times at Romans 8:6, 7, 27 and that its literal
> meaning is consistently "minding." Greek scholars Bauer, Arndt, and
> Gingrich explain phro'nema as: " way of thinking, mind(-set), aim,
> aspiration, striving.-A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and
> Other Early Christian Literature.
> In Romans chapter 8, the apostle Paul counseled Christians not to walk
> according to the imperfect human flesh. To succeed in this, they
> guard against the tendencies or impulses of the flesh, as well as the
> reasonings of an imperfect heart. Setting their minds on the things in
> accord with God's holy spirit will help in this.- Romans 8:1-5.
> Paul offered this contrast: "The minding of the flesh means death, but
> minding of the spirit means life and peace; because the minding of the
> flesh means enmity with God, for it is not under subjection to the law
> God." (Romans 8:6, 7) Humans are the subjects in these two verses.
> particularly Christians, ought not set their minds on, or be
> the things of the fallen flesh. Instead, they ought to set their minds
> or be "minding," the things that are in harmony with and stimulated by
> spirit.
> In contrast, Romans 8 verse 27 is dealing with God himself. We read:
> he [Jehovah] who searches the hearts knows what the meaning of the
> is, because it is pleading in accord with God for holy ones. Yes, the
> here is Jehovah, the Hearer of prayer.
> The word phro'nema could have been rendered in Ro 8 verse 27 as
> But holy spirit is not a person that actually thinks or has its own
> thinking. The spirit is the active force of God, who knows how his
> spirit works in accomplishing his will. Further, the import of this
> differs from that of Romans 8:6, 7. Those earlier verses highlighted
> need humans have to control their thinking and actions. But Jehovah
> not have to work, or struggle, to control himself. He knows what was
> recorded in the Bible under inspiration, such as Biblical expressions
> indicate his will for his earthly servants. Dr. Heinrich Meyer
comments on
> Romans 8:27: "God would in every case know the purpose of the Spirit."
> Hence, the rendering "meaning" is in line with the context or thrust
> Romans 8:27, and it is allowed by the Greek. The Translator's New
> Testament renders it: "He who searches hearts knows what the Spirit
> means."-end of WT article.
> The New English Bible of 1960 has "and God....knows what the Spirit
> means..." as does the revision of this version The Revised English
> of 1990.
> Also, Richard Francis Weymouth's translation The New Testament in
> Speech(both the 2nd edition, edited and partly revised by Ernest
> Cook, 1903 and the 5th edition 'newly revised' by James Alexander
> Robertson, 1929 reads "...and the Searcher of hearts knows what the
> Spirit's meaning is..." William Barclay's The New Testament(1968)
> translates "He who penetrates into the inmost depths of the human
> knows what the Spirit means..." At verses 6 and 7 Barclay translates
> phronema as "mind." This is an almost exact same rendering with the
> World Translation's.---end
> Best wishes
> Bruce
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