Jehovah`s Witness/The spirit of the Mind?
Hello Brother Brenton,
I like the way you took your time and answered Brother DW concerning your past response to a past questionair that was sent by someone else.
Is the "Spirit of the Mind" the same as "Minding the Spirit?" I have seen a couple of referrences to "Minding the Spirit" and still am confused.
Thanks and Blessings,
Greetings Bill from down under in Australia,
Thank you for taking the time to ask me a question. I find it interesting that people actually read past responses on this site so I would like to say thank you for the kind words.
OK your questions about the spirit of the mind and minding the spirit. I understand that both expressions are very closely linked
For the sake of any readers I will will give a brief definition of the word spirit. Both the Hebrew and Greek words rendered into English as “spirit” have the basic meaning of breath or wind. Now we can not see the air, our breath or wind but we can see the effects of them. Theu are invisile to us but when a wind blows we can see it moving leaves and branches on trees, or perhaps even uprooting trees. So our breath and wind are invisible “forces”. That is why the Hebrew and Greek words are applicable to the invisible realm of God and angels etc. They are all invisible “forces” with personality. Some are for good and then there are the “evil” ones like Satan and his demons.
The Hebrew and Greek words rendered as “spirit” is synonymous then with invisible forces and can be applied to other areas as well. Please note what these well respected authorities oh the Biblical Greek language have to say
J.H. Thayer's “A Greek – English Lexicon of the New Testament” has quite a lot to say about the word spirit (pneuma). Bellow is some of what he says
“movement of air (gentle) blast; a. of the wind:..... the vital principle by which the body is animated....the rational spirit, the power by which a human being feels, thinks, wills, decides
... The Scriptures also ascribe a pneu/ma to God, i. e. God's power and agency.....universally, the disposition or influence
which fills and governs the soul of anyone; the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire
“A Greek – English Lexicon” by H. G Liddell and R Scott gives the following
“a wind, blast, etc.... with more genial breeze or influence,.... breathed air, breath, the breath of life to collect breath “
Strongs Greek Lexicon says
“current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; ... vital principle, mental disposition
(As a side note here, I find it interesting the use of words such as “power” “animated” “source of power”, and “Gods Power and agency”. Many people complain that JWs refer to Gods spirit as his active force the definitions certainly allow for that understanding)
How does that relate to the question at hand? The phrase the “spirit of the mind” is found in the KV Bible at Ephesians 4:23
“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;” - Most Bibles read very similar
The Good News Bible paraphrases that verse as “ Your hearts and minds must be made completely new,”
Gods Word version says “However, you were taught to have a new attitude.”
The Message Bible “a life renewed from the inside”
Phillips Version says “ and, with yourselves mentally and spiritually re-made,”
Weymouth Version reads “ and to get yourselves renewed in the temper of your minds and clothe yourselves”
Williams Bible “ and to have a new attitude of mind”
The NWT reads “but that YOU should be made new in the force actuating YOUR mind”
Those different renderings bring out the point that the “spirit of the mind” is referring to the dominate attitude or power or force that influences our thinking
. The council Paul was giving the Ephesian congregation was that they needed to have a change in their mental disposition or thinking. We can see that from a few verses earlier 17-19
“17 This, therefore, I say and bear witness to in [the] Lord, that YOU no longer go on walking just as the nations also walk in the unprofitableness of their minds, 18 while they are in darkness mentally, and alienated from the life that belongs to God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the insensibility of their hearts. 19 Having come to be past all moral sense, they gave themselves over to loose conduct to work uncleanness of every sort with greediness.” (NWT)
How is this related to “ minding the spirit “? That phrase comes from Romans 8:6
. But lets see the context
“5 For those who are in accord with the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those in accord with the spirit on the things of the spirit. 6 For the minding of the flesh means death, but the minding of the spirit means life and peace; 7 because the minding of the flesh means enmity with God, for it is not under subjection to the law of God, nor, in fact, can it be. 8 So those who are in harmony with the flesh cannot please God. 9 However, YOU are in harmony, not with the flesh, but with the spirit, if God’s spirit truly dwells in YOU. But if anyone does not have Christ’s spirit, this one does not belong to him” (NWT)
The “minding of the spirit” is in contrast to the minding of the flesh. The things of the flesh are the sinful inclinations that we all have. The apostle John wrote: “Everything in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life—does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world.” (1 John 2:16
NWT) People who constantly set their minds on the things of the flesh soon develop a mental attitude
or inclination that is totally focused on the things of the flesh. Their sentiments, interests, and affections usually become completely occupied with such things.
If we focus on what the Bible says we are developing a mind-set that is guided by Gods spirit (his breath- or words), we are letting Gods spirit dwell us. "The minding of the spirit" is using the council, laws and principles of Gods word to mold our thinking and attitude
A part of minding the spirit would involve striving to put the fruit-age of the spirit as opposed to the frutages of the flesh The clear distinction is made for us by Paul’s words to the Galatians “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct, 20 idolatry, practice of spiritism, enmities, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, contentions, divisions, sects, 21 envies, drunken bouts, revelries, and things like these. As to these things I am forewarning YOU, the same way as I did forewarn YOU, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom. 22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit
is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:19-23
I hope that has helped