[B-Greek] Spirit or spirit(NWT)

Harry W. Jones hwjones2 at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 27 21:59:18 EST 2003

Hello Bruce,

I would have a problem with translating TO FRONHMA as "the minding" for the
simple reason that it isn't a participle. It is in fact a definite noun. Or
perhaps more precisely(per Wallace). It is a noun with an article. So I
could only translate it as "the mind".

Best Regards,
Harry Jones

> [Original Message]
> From: noddy3 <noddy3 at eggconnect.net>
> To: <B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: 2/27/03 7:53:44 AM
> 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] of =
> the spirit is, because it is pleading in accord with God for holy ones."
> 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 =
> December 1st 1990 issue of the WatchTower magazine said in answer to the =
> question:
> At Romans 8:27, the New World Translation renders the Greek phronema as =
> "meaning," but in verses 6 and 7, the rendering is "minding." Why is the =
> 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 =
> meaning and have held to that meaning as far as the context permitted." =
> Some would not consider phro'nema a major word, since it occurs only =
> four times. It is, though, related to words that are used more often. =
> One is phrone'o, meaning "to think, to be minded in a certain way." =
> (Matthew 16:23; Mark 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.=20
> 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 should =
> 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.=20
> Paul offered this contrast: "The minding of the flesh means death, but =
> the 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 of God." (Romans 8:6, 7) Humans are the subjects in these two =
> verses. Humans, particularly Christians, ought not set their minds on, =
> or be "minding," the things of the fallen flesh. Instead, they ought to =
> set their minds on, or be "minding," the things that are in harmony with =
> and stimulated by the spirit.
> In contrast, Romans 8 verse 27 is dealing with God himself. We read: Yet =
> he [Jehovah] who searches the hearts knows what the meaning of the =
> spirit is, because it is pleading in accord with God for holy ones. Yes, =
> the "he" here is Jehovah, the Hearer of prayer.=20
> The word phro'nema could have been rendered in Ro 8 verse 27 as =
> "minding." 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 holy spirit works in accomplishing his will. Further, the import of =
> this verse differs from that of Romans 8:6, 7. Those earlier verses =
> highlighted the need humans have to control their thinking and actions. =
> But Jehovah does not have to work, or struggle, to control himself. He =
> knows what was recorded in the Bible under inspiration, such as Biblical =
> expressions that 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 of =
> 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.=20
> The New English Bible of 1960 has "and God....knows what the Spirit =
> means..." as does the revision of this version The Revised English Bible =
> of 1990.
> Also, Richard Francis Weymouth's translation The New Testament in Modern =
> Speech(both the 2nd edition, edited and partly revised by Ernest =
> Hampdon-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 heart knows what the Spirit means..." At verses 6 and 7 =
> Barclay translates phronema as "mind." This is an almost exact same =
> rendering with the New World Translation's.---end
> Best wishes
> Bruce
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