Why We Are Losing Our Minds

Prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world (1 Peter 1:13).

I like my mind. I enjoy the things it allows me to do, like reading books, watching The Ohio State University football, and writing this blog.

I don’t want to lose it. I don’t think you want to lose your mind, either. But when we observe culture, doesn’t it seem like everyone else (besides the thoughtful readers of Interruptions) is losing their minds?

Why are others losing their minds, and we are keeping our sanity by reading this blog?

First Peter 1:13 uses a fascinating word for “mind.”  

Typically, the Greek uses the word “nous” for “mind.” Romans 12:2 (NASB1995) says that we are “not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by renewing the mind.” The word in Romans 12:2 is a rather uneventful word that means . . . well . . . it means “mind.” 

Or what you are using right now to not be impressed (so far) with this Interruption.

But in 1 Peter 1:13, as with most English translations, we find a word rather inappropriately translated “mind.” This word isn’t just “nous,” it is “dianous” — “dia” meaning “thoroughly” or “from side to side.” So then “dia” is connected to “nous” for the word “dianous.”

Think super mind or filled-with-the-Spirit mind.

Stay alert. I know you are thinking, “It’s Greek to me,” but I’m about to make an important point!

The word in 1 Peter 1:13 shouldn’t be dully (without flavor) translated as “mind” but “a mind that sees both sides.” A mind that reaches “balanced conclusions.” Now we know why readers of Interruptions keep their minds — because they read this “dianous” blog.

Let’s consider Peter 1:13 in my OGV translation, “We have prepared our minds by seeing both sides of a matter and to reach thoughtful and balanced conclusions.” 

One conclusion reached by reading my OGV of 1 Peter 1:13 is, “No wonder a publisher won’t print Pastor Grant’s Old Guy Version. He just used 19 words to translate the Greek word “dianous.”

I agree, if I was in charge, the KJV, NIV, ESV, and The Passion Translation would all be thousands of words and hundreds of pages longer.

But at least in one case, my wordiness has saved us from mistranslating “dianous” as “mind” to a more robust understanding. A translation explaining why people — which could include you, me, and already involving most politicians — have or can, or will — lose their minds.

Let’s review:  How do we lose our minds?

When we don’t use the Word of God in our understanding to transform our thinking through the power of the Spirit, creating wisdom, considering differing sides of a matter, and with the full breadth of reason to make our decisions.

We lose our minds when we can no longer think with the reason and wisdom given to us by God.

The Gospel of Mark says . . . 

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind. . . (Mark 12:30).

Yes, the word used in Mark 12 in connection with our relationship with God is “mind” and not just “nous” but “dianous” indicating that we must have a balanced mind to approach God.

When we love God, we have sanity. When we don’t “dianous” God, we lose our minds.

I’m keeping my mind; I’m not losing it. How about you?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *