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Understanding (1271) (dianoia from dianoéomai = to agitate in mind in turn from dia = separation + noeo = to think over, nous = mind, intellect, thought, reason) means thinking through something, meditating, reflecting. It refers to the intellect, moral understanding or the way of thinking. It is the faculty of thinking, comprehending, and reasoning. Dianoia is the seat of perception and thinking, the faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring. Vine... The word dianoia, “mind,” is not merely, like nous, the seat of the faculty of perception, it is the thinking faculty of reflection itself, a disposition (not a function, but a product), which may be good, e.g., He 8:10-note and He 10:16-note, or evil, as here (Col 1:21-note) and in Luke 1:51, “imagination.” (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson or Logos) Richards... Dianoia: the faculty or organ of perception. This is one of the nous group in its root and has a meaning very close to nous itself. It focuses on one's ability to think or perceive and thus designates the mind with which one organizes perceptions. This is the word chosen in the Gospels where Jesus states the first and great commandment of the law: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Mt 22:37; Mk 12:30). But again the NT witnesses against the bent of mind of the unsaved: "They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts" (Ep 4:18-note). "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior" (Col 1:21). Two passages remind us again that only God can open the human understanding to spiritual truth. Hebrews twice quotes God's promise under the new covenant: "I will put my laws into their minds" (He 8:10-note and He 10:16-note).An inner transformation of the human personality, accomplished by a work of God, is necessary to open man's mind to the Lord. This is why Paul focuses his prayers on the minds of the Ephesian believers, that they might be "enlightened in order" that they might "know the hope to which he [had] called [them]" (Ep 1:18-note). (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency or Computer Version - New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words) TDNT writes that dianoia is the... common word for “thought” has such varied senses as (1) thought as a function, (2) the power of thought, the thinking consciousness, (3) the way of thought, (4) the result of thought, e.g., thought, idea, opinion, or judgment, (5) resolve of intention, and (6) the meaning of words or statements. The LXX uses it as an equivalent of kardia, and the usage is much the same in other Jewish works. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans) NIDNTT has this to say about the use of this word group (nous = mind is the basic integer)... (In Classic Greek usage) 1. (a) The Gk. word nous, attested since Linear B, probably goes back etymologically to the root snu (cf. Ger. schnaufen, to pant; schnuppern, to sniff). Originally it refers to the inner sense, directed at an object; then, disposition, understanding, insight, reason, mind. Along with feeling and will, understanding belongs, as the ability to think, to the inner powers of man (e.g. Parmenides, 16, 2). Plutarch (On the Education of Children 8) puts logos, word, and nous in a definite relationship to one another: the understanding rules the word, the word serves the understanding. nous is also, however, the moral attitude, disposition, which is determined by the reflection of the mind (e.g. Hdt., 7, 150; Soph., OT 600). It also means resolve and intention (e.g. Homer, Il. 9, 104 f.; Hdt., 1, 27).... (In Septuagint usage) dianoia is also used in the LXX to translate heart. It can be used to express the idea of to oneself, in one’s heart, in one’s mind, and so comes to be used to express emotions and acts of will (Is 35:4; Ex 35:22). It can also express the whole of one’s inner life (Ge 8:21). Occasionally it renders the Heb. mahªsabôt, plots, plans (Da 11:25), and also bînâh, understanding (Da 9:22). In the apocryphal writings dianoia means spirit, mind, consciousness, disposition, especially in a moral sense. God is the guide of the dianoia (Aristeas 238). The good, moral, pure mind can be beguiled (Test.Ben. 8:2; Test.Jud. 11:1) (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan or Computer version) Dianoia occurs 81 times in Scripture, 12 times in the NT (see below) and 69 times in the Septuagint (LXX) = Ge. 8:21; 17:17; 24:15, 45; 27:41; 34:3; 45:26; Ex. 9:21; 28:3; 35:22, 25-Exod.35.26" class="scriptRef">25, 26, 29, 34, 35; 36:1; Lev. 19:17; Num. 15:39; 22:18; 32:7; Deut. 4:39; 7:17; 28:28; 29:18; Jos. 5:1; 22:5; 1 Chr. 29:18; Job 1:5, 8; 9:4; 36:28; Pr. 2:10; 9:10; 13:15; Isa. 14:13; 35:4; 55:9; 57:11; 59:15; Jer. 31:33; Ezek. 14:4; Dan. 9:22; 11:14, 25 Below are all the NT uses of dianoia... Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' Mark 12:30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' Luke 1:51 "He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. Luke 10:27 And he answered and said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." Ephesians 1:18 (note) (Only in the Textus Receptus) I pray that the eyes of your heart (NAS = Kardia) (Ep 1:18KJV = understanding = dianoia) may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 2:3 (note) Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest Ephesians 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; Colossians 1:21 (note) And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, Hebrews 8:10 (note) "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them upon their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people. Hebrews 10:16 (note) This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, And upon their mind I will write them," He then says, 1 Peter 1:13 (note) Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:1 (note) This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. It's dangerous enough to walk in the physical darkness, unable to understand where you are. It is even more dangerous to walk in spiritual darkness, which is exactly what these Gentile believers (and you and I dear believing reader) did for all of their life until Christ rescued them from the darkness and into the His marvelous Light. How foolish are we when we choose to walk back into this darkness, even for a moment, now that we have been graced with so great a salvation. What is your view of salvation -- high or low? Is it just a "ticket to ride" the escalator to heaven? Or is it a gracious entree into a whole new way of walking, supernaturally, in His power, in His light and love? Let us daily surrender our will to the Spirit's sweet will and walk worthy of our high calling in Christ for the glory of our Father Who art in heaven. Amen. Wayne Barber reminds us that... Think about this when you think of the world. When you go to school next week, when you go to work next week, you are walking out into this. The Gentile nations, the world, has no ability on their own to understand spiritual truths because their ability to understand has been darkened. As a result, they live totally unacceptable lives. So when we go out into darkness, among people with darkened minds, we are not to allow our flesh to pull us back to the way we used to live. They are living a detestable lifestyle. They are a generation after generation after generation of people who don’t have a capacity to even understand God. There is one thing I want you to get in your mind. "Being darkened" has the idea that God darkened them, but remember this. They would not, so therefore, they could not. It is not a matter of God being a mean God, and just darkening them. No, He knows the hearts of all men and nations who have turned against Him. He knows that. It began with Adam and filtered down through the nations and because of that, they have been unwilling to bow to Him. Therefore, God has darkened their minds. In reality, it is their own unwillingness that has brought the darkness upon them. (A Brand New Way of Life - Part 1) EXCLUDED FROM THE LIFE OF GOD BECAUSE OF THE IGNORANCE THAT IS IN THEM: apellotriomenoi (RPPMPN) tes zoes tou theou dia ten agnoian ten ousan (PAPFSA) en autois: (Eph 2:12; Romans 8:7,8; Galatians 4:8; Colossians 1:21; 1Thessalonians 4:5; James 4:4) (Romans 1:21; 2:19; 1John 2:11) Expositor's Greek Testament writes that... This sentence is a further description of the walk of the Gentiles and an explanation of its vanity. Their walk is what it is because of their condition of moral darkness into which they were born and in which they continued. (Ephesians 4:18 Commentary) (The point is that it is imminently fair that they are excluded from the life of God because their ignorance - their ignorance is not accidental but willful! "They are without excuse" - see why in Ro 1:18, 19-note, Ro 1:20-note) "Copy and paste the address below into your web browser in order to go to the original page which will allow you to access live links related to the material on this page - these links include Scriptures (which can be read in context), Scripture pop-ups on mouse over, and a variety of related resources such as Bible dictionary articles, commentaries, sermon notes and theological journal articles related to the topic under discussion."

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