sermon: Defining the Human Mind

Charles Whitaker
Given 16-Aug-14; Sermon #1227B; 36 minutes

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Charles Whitaker, beginning with a potpourri of examples from lexicographers on the definition of the word mind, treating the concept as a verb, adjective, and noun, and mentioning that the King James translators render some twenty Hebrew words and eight Greek words into the English word "mind," concludes that the task of understanding the concept of mind is difficult. In our current parlance, many associate "mind" with the brain, assumed to be the center of cognition and decision making, but the Hebrews, who did not have the word for mind in their lexicon, used metaphorical extensions, called synecdoche, using the terms "heart" (center of the life-blood) and the head (location of the thoughts) to refer to the repositories of the breath of life (ruach) given to human souls (nephesh). As an abstract noun, most lexicons will be limited because mind is narrowly associated with the human brain, having a cerebrum and cerebellum like every other mammal, but is qualitatively different in that it can receive both the spirit in man and God's Holy Spirit, making possible abstract and symbolic behavior (thinking, speaking, writing, and creating), as well as a docking mechanism for God's Holy Spirit. All behavior begins with thoughts. Satan continually broadcasts attitudes into our carnal mind, attempting to lure us into distrust and eventually hatred toward God's ways and into a narcissistic 'get' way of this world.

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Actions begin as thoughts Autonomic nervous system Brain and mind Brains of dolphins and chimpanzees Crushing head of the serpent Cognitive functions Complexity of interpretation Daniel 5:20 Demonic lies Dictionary of Biblical Imagery Doctrines of demons Ezekiel 47 I John 3:8 I Samuel 2:35; 3:14, 26 Genesis 2:10; 3:15; 6:5 Get way of life Head as locus of all origins of behavior Head as synecdoche for mind Heart Headwaters of rivers Hebrew and Greek translations Kardia Leviticus 24:12 Luke 2:19 Mind of God Mind Nephesh Philippians 4:7 Proverbs 29:11 Psalm 77 Revelation 12:5; 22:2 Roman 8:27 Ruach Satan's mind and man's mind as birthing stool for evil II Corinthians 3:14-15 Spirit in man Veil over heart Wind as metaphor of mind

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