VARIOUS TRANSLATIONS OF NOUS
The word mind is nous in the original language. It is used twenty-four times in the entire New Testament. We will list them one by one. We hope that the readers will remember the similarities between these verses.
Luke 24:45 says, "Then He opened their mind to understand the Scriptures."
Romans 1:28 says, "And even as they did not approve of holding God in their full knowledge, God gave them up to a disapproved mind, to do the things which are not fitting." A disapproved or reprobate mind is a reprobate nous.
Romans 7:23 says, "But I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind." The word "mind" in "the law of my mind" is nous.
Romans 11:34 says, "For who has known the mind of the Lord?" The mind of the Lord is the nous of the Lord.
Romans 14:5 says, "Let each be fully persuaded in his own mind." The "mind" in "his own mind" is nous.
First Corinthians 1:10 says, "That you be attuned in the same mind and in the same opinion." The same mind is the same nous.
First Corinthians 2:16 says, "For who has known the mind of the Lord and will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ." Here the mind of the Lord is the nous of the Lord, and the mind of Christ is the nous of Christ.
Ephesians 4:17 says, "This therefore I say and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the Gentiles also walk in the vanity of their mind." The vanity of their mind is the vanity of their nous.
Colossians 2:18 says, "Let no one defraud you by judging you unworthy of your prize, in self-chosen lowliness and the worship of the angels, dwelling on the things which he has seen, vainly puffed up by his mind set on the flesh." The fleshly mind is the fleshly nous.
Second Thessalonians 2:2 says, "That you be not quickly shaken in mind."
Revelation 17:9 says, "Here is the mind which has wisdom." The mind which has wisdom is the nous which has wisdom.
Romans 7:25 says, "So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God."
Romans 12:2 says, "But be transformed by the renewing of the mind."
First Corinthians 14:14 says, "But my mind is unfruitful."
First Corinthians 14:15 says, "What then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray also with the mind; I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing also with the mind."
First Corinthians 14:19 says, "But in the church I would rather speak five words with my mind, that I might instruct others also."
Ephesians 4:23 says, "And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind."
Philippians 4:7 says, "The peace of God...will guard your hearts and your thoughts." The word "thoughts" is nous.
First Timothy 6:5 says, "Perpetual wranglings of men corrupted in mind."
Second Timothy 3:8 says, "Men corrupted in mind."
Titus 1:15 says, "Their mind and their conscience are defiled."
Revelation 13:18 says, "Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast." The word "understanding" is nous.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE NOUS
AND A CHRISTIAN
How is the nous related to a Christian’s living, work, service to God, walk, etc.? Those who believe in the Lord Jesus have a new spirit and a new heart. This is a fact and cannot be overthrown. No matter how weak or strong a believer is, he is born of God, and he has a new spirit and new heart. That is why he can love someone, serve God, and do everything from his heart. But even though the heart may be a new heart, the part in the heart which belongs to the nous is not renewed. According to human reasoning, one would think that since the heart has been made new, the conscience and the mind, which are included in the heart, must also have been renewed. This is not so. For instance, the part of the conscience in the heart was new when we were saved, but it is not necessarily always new afterwards, nor is it necessarily new every day. When a dress is bought, it is new, but it is not going to stay new forever. One must put in a certain amount of work for it to stay new. When you were saved, your mind was new. But it is not necessarily true that it will remain new after a while. This is an experience common to many believers. Let me tell you that once a man believes in the Lord and is saved, his conscience is new. The function of his conscience is recovered to its original state, so that he now hates sins and dislikes sinning. But can the conscience always remain so new? No, it cannot. If one sins, or if he tolerates sins over and over again and does not listen to his conscience, after repeated sins the conscience will no longer rebuke; it will lose its function. Just as the conscience can lose its feeling or be renewed, the same is true of the mind. Therefore, I want to speak concerning the matter of the nous because this has a crucial relationship to the believer’s position and living.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 10: The Present Testimony (3), Chapter 17, by Watchman Nee)