phronésis: understanding, practical wisdom

Original Word: φρόνησις, εως, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: phronésis
Phonetic Spelling: (fron’-ay-sis)
Short Definition: understanding
Definition: understanding (which leads to right action), practical wisdom, prudence.

Cognate: 5428 phrónēsis (another feminine noun from the same root, phr-) – that brand of visceral opinion which pleases the Lord because shaped by God’s inworkings of faith (“divine persuasion,” 4102 /pístis), i.e. Christ-enlightened perspective which has the insight to make intelligent (shrewd) life-applications in the will of God. See 5429 (phronimos).

prudence, wisdom.From phroneo; mental action or activity, i.e. Intellectual or moral insight — prudence, wisdom.

see GREEK phroneo

phroneó: to have understanding, to think

Original Word: φρονέω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: phroneó
Phonetic Spelling: (fron-eh’-o)
Short Definition: I think, judge, observe
Definition: (a) I think, (b) I think, judge, (c) I direct the mind to, seek for, (d) I observe, (e) I care for.

5426 phronéō (from 5424 /phrḗn, “the midriff or diaphragm; the parts around the heart,” J. Thayer) – properly, regulate (moderate) from within, as inner-perspective (insight) shows itself in corresponding, outward behavior. 5426 (phronéō) essentially equates to personal opinion fleshing itself out in action (see J. Thayer). This idea is difficult to translate into English because it combines the visceral and cognitive aspects of thinking.

to think

From phren; to exercise the mind, i.e. Entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication, to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction); intensively, to interest oneself in (with concern or obedience) — set the affection on, (be) care(-ful), (be like-, + be of one, + be of the same, + let this) mind(-ed), regard, savour, think.

see GREEK phren

phrén: midriff, heart, mind, thought

Original Word: φρήν, φρενός, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: phrén
Phonetic Spelling: (frane)
Short Definition: the mind, intellect
Definition: the mind, intellect, thought, understanding.

Cognate: 5424 phrḗn (a feminine noun) – properly, “the midriff (diaphragm), the parts around the heart” (J. Thayer); (figuratively) visceral (personal) opinion; what a person “really has in mind,” i.e. inner outlook (mind-set, insight) that regulates outward behavior. See 5429 (phronimos).

[5424 (phrḗn) is the root of the English term, “diaphragm,” which regulates breathing.]


Probably from an obsolete phrao (to rein in or curb; compare phrasso); the midrif (as a partition of the body), i.e. (figuratively and by implication, of sympathy) the feelings (or sensitive nature; by extension (also in the plural) the mind or cognitive faculties) — understanding.

see GREEK phrasso

sunesis: a running together, spec. understanding

Original Word: σύνεσις, εως, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: sunesis
Phonetic Spelling: (soon’-es-is)
Short Definition: understanding
Definition: a putting together in the mind, hence: understanding, practical discernment, intellect.

Cognate: 4907 sýnesis (from 4920 /syníēmi) – properly, facts joined together for holistic understanding, i.e. synthesized reasoning that joins implicit (indirect) truths for comprehension. See also 4920 (syníēmi).

For the believer, this “connects the dots” through sanctified, inductive reasoning (done under God). This positive use of 4907 /sýnesis (“synthesized understanding”) occurs in: Mk 12:23; Lk 2:47; Eph 3:4; Col 1:9,22; 2 Tim 2:7.

Word Origin
from suniémi
a running together, spec. understanding
NASB Translation
cleverness (1), insight (1), understanding (5).

knowledge, understanding.

From suniemi; a mental putting together, i.e. Intelligence or (concretely) the intellect — knowledge, understanding.

see GREEK suniemi

suniémi: to set together, fig. to understand

Original Word: συνίημι
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: suniémi
Phonetic Spelling: (soon-ee’-ay-mee)
Short Definition: I consider, understand
Definition: I consider, understand, perceive.

4920 syníēmi (from 4862 /sýn, “together with” and hiēmi, “put, send”) – properly, put together, i.e. join facts (ideas) into a comprehensive (inter-locking) whole; synthesize.

4920 /syníēmi (“put facts together”) means to arrive at a summary or final understanding (complete with life-applications). Accordingly, 4920 (syníēmi) is closely connected with discerning and doing “the preferred-will of God” (2307 /thélēma).

Eph 5:17: “So then do not be foolish (878 /áphrōn), but understand (4920 /syníēmi) what the preferred-will (2307 /thélēma) of the Lord is (2307 /thélēma).”

understand, be wise.

From sun and hiemi (to send); to put together, i.e. (mentally) to comprehend; by implication, to act piously — consider, understand, be wise.

see GREEK sun

phronéma: the thought (that which is in the mind)

Original Word: φρόνημα, ατος, τό
Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter
Transliteration: phronéma
Phonetic Spelling: (fron’-ay-mah)
Short Definition: thought, purpose
Definition: thought, purpose, aspirations.

Cognate: 5427 phrónēma (a neuter noun) – properly visceral opinion (the innermost, personal level of opinion); inner perspective as it determines (regulating) outward behavior, especially as it bears on the outward results (i.e. of exercising personal insight). Note the suffix, -ma, pointing to the result of the verbal idea. See 5429 (phronimos).

5427 /phrónēma (“the results of gut-insight”) connects how the individual processes opinion-making to how they act.

be, be carnally, be spiritually minded.

From phroneo; (mental) inclination or purpose — (be, + be carnally, + be spiritually) mind(-ed).

see GREEK phroneo

ginóskó: to come to know, recognize, perceive

Original Word: γινώσκω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: ginóskó
Phonetic Spelling: (ghin-oce’-ko)
Short Definition: I come to know, learn, realize
Definition: I am taking in knowledge, come to know, learn; aor: I ascertained, realized.

1097 ginṓskō – properly, to know, especially through personal experience (first-hand acquaintance). 1097 /ginṓskō (“experientially know”) is used for example in Lk 1:34, “And Mary [a virgin] said to the angel, ‘How will this be since I do not know (1097 /ginṓskō = sexual intimacy) a man?'”

allow, be aware of, perceive.

A prolonged form of a primary verb; to “know” (absolutely) in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as follow, with others not thus clearly expressed) — allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) know(-ledge), perceived, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand.

phronimos: practically wise, sensible

Original Word: φρόνιμος, ον
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: phronimos
Phonetic Spelling: (fron’-ee-mos)
Short Definition: intelligent, prudent
Definition: intelligent, prudent, sensible, wise.

Cognate: 5429 phrónimos (an adjective, derived from 5424 /phrḗn, “personal perspective regulating outward behavior,” and the root of the English term “diaphragm” which controls key body functions from the inside out) – properly, “how we size things up,” reflecting our personal (“visceral”) opinions, i.e. what we consider “savvy” (smart). This always roots to our personal perspective (“inner outlook”) which regulates our definition of being “shrewd,” i.e. reflects personal mind-set (insight). See 5426 (phroneō).


From phren; thoughtful, i.e. Sagacious or discreet (implying a cautious character; while sophos denotes practical skill or acumen; and sunetos indicates rather intelligence or mental acquirement); in a bad sense conceited (also in the comparative) — wise(-r).

see GREEK phren

see GREEK sophos

see GREEK sunetos

phrontizó: to give heed, take thought

Original Word: φροντίζω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: phrontizó
Phonetic Spelling: (fron-tid’-zo)
Short Definition: I am thoughtful, careful
Definition: I am thoughtful, careful, give heed.

Cognate: 5431 phrontízō (ultimately from 5426 /phronéō, so J. Thayer etc., “acting out one’s inner, visceral opinion”) – properly, continuously connecting insight (enlightened inner perspective) to the necessary outward behavior (used only in Tit 3:8). See 5424 (phrēn).

be careful.

From a derivative of phren; to exercise thought, i.e. Be anxious — be careful.

see GREEK phren

eilikrinés: judged by sunlight, unalloyed, pure

Original Word: εἰλικρινής, ές
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: eilikrinés
Phonetic Spelling: (i-lik-ree-nace’)
Short Definition: pure, uncontaminated, sincere
Definition: (originally: unmixed), pure, uncontaminated, sincere.

1506 eilikrinḗs (from heilē, “shining of the sun” and 2929 /krystallízō, “to judge”) – properly, rightly judged because seen in full light; (figuratively) judged in the rays of God’s light, i.e. with divine clarity (spiritual vision) which results in real insight (discernment).

1506 /eilikrinḗs (“sincere because transparent”) describes something proven because well-examined (totally scrutinized) – therefore, certified as sincere (inwardly pure). 1506 (eilikrinḗs) naturally refers to something completely clear, free from hypocrisy (deceit, wickedness) which stands in the full light of God’s approval. This term is used twice in the NT (Phil 1:10; 2 Pet 3:1).

pure, sincere.

From heile (the sun’s ray) and krino; judged by sunlight, i.e. Tested as genuine (figuratively) — pure, sincere.

see GREEK krino

enthumeomai: to reflect on, to ponder

Original Word: ἐνθυμέομαι
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: enthumeomai
Phonetic Spelling: (en-thoo-meh’-om-ahee)
Short Definition: I meditate upon, reflect upon
Definition: I meditate upon, reflect upon, ponder.

1760 enthyméomai (from 1722 /en, “in a state or condition,” intensifying 2372 /thymós, “passionate response”) – properly, in a passionate frame of mind, easily agitated or quickly moved by strong, provoking impulses.

[This root (enthyme-) refers to “passionate supposing (surmising)” in a person’s mind (heart) producing fervent, inner cogitation.]

think, ponder

From a compound of en and thumos; to be inspirited, i.e. Ponder — think.

see GREEK en

see GREEK thumos

thumos: passion

Original Word: θυμός, οῦ, ὁ
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Transliteration: thumos
Phonetic Spelling: (thoo-mos’)
Short Definition: an outburst of passion, wrath
Definition: an outburst of passion, wrath.

2372 thymós (from thyō, “rush along, getting heated up, breathing violently,” cf. J. Thayer) – properly, passion-driven behavior, i.e. actions emerging out of strong impulses (intense emotion).

When 2372 /thymós (“expressed passion”) is used of people it indicates rage (personal venting of anger, worth). This flaw is completely absent of the Lord expressing (inspiring) intense anger. Accordingly, 2372 (thymós) is used of God’s perfect, holy wrath in Revelation (Rev 14:10,19,15:1, etc.). This anger is directed against sin with intense opposition and without sin.

[Only the Lord exercises righteous wrath, so we must depend solely on Him as we experience (express) anger.]

fierceness, indignation, wrath.

From thuo; passion (as if breathing hard) — fierceness, indignation, wrath. Compare psuche.

see GREEK thuo

see GREEK psuche

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