New Testament Word Studies - Phroneo
David Gooding, Ipswich
'to think' means not so much to use the critical faculty as:
1. 'to occupy one's mind with', e.g.
Col. 3. 2. 'Set your mind (A.V. affections) on things above.'
Phil. 3. 19. '. . . who mind earthly things . . .'
4. 10. '. . . your care of me . . .'
2. Since constant occupation with an object, goal or ideal will produce a certain mental attitude and outlook, phroneo can mean 'to be minded in a certain way, to be of such and such an attitude', e.g.
Phil. 2. 2. '. . . of one mind', literally, thinking the same thing, i.e., having the same attitude and outlook.
2. 5. '. . . let this mind be in you . . .', i.e., the attitude and outlook of Christ Himself.
Rom. 12. 16. '. . . mind not high things', i.e., don't get 'big ideas', don't be haughty or high-minded.
3. Again since our mental outlook will affect our approach to problems and people, phroneo can mean 'to look at things in a certain way', e.g.
1 Cor. 13. 11. 'I understood as a child . . .', i.e., my mental approach to things was that of a child, I felt as a child.
Matt. 16. 23. 'Thou savourest (mindest) not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men', i.e., Peter's conception of the Messiah's path and his whole attitude to the question of rejection and suffering were those of a mere man. The epistle to Philippians speaks much of this part of our mental make-up; it uses phroneo eleven times out of the New Testament's total of twenty-nine.
Sophroneo, is a compound of phroneo meaning
1. To be of a sane, healthy mind, to be compos mentis, e.g. Mark 5. 15 '. . . clothed and in his right mind'.
2. To be sober, i.e., not the opposite of being drunk, nor yet to be gloomy and sombre-minded, but the opposite of being ecstatic, excitable, irresponsible, 'flighty'; in fact to show good balance, self-control and due proportion in one's thinking and behaviour. It is noticeable how frequently Paul found it necessary to use this word and its cognates in the pastoral epistles: sophroneo, Titus 2. 6; sophronizo, Titus 2. 4; sophronismos, 2 Tim. 1.7; sophronos, Titus 2.12; sophrosyne, 1 Tim. 2. 9,15; s5phron, 1 Tim. 3. 2; Titus 1. 8; 2. 2, 5.