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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Fool, Foolish, Foolishly, Foolishness

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A — 1: ἄφρων
(Strong's #878 — Adjective — aphron — af'-rone )

signifies "without reason" (a, negative, phren, "the mind"), "want of mental sanity and sobriety, a reckless and inconsiderate habit of mind" (Hort), or "the lack of commonsense perception of the reality of things natural and spiritual ... or the imprudent ordering of one's life in regard to salvation" (G. Vos, in Hastings' Bible Dic.); it is mostly translated "foolish" or "foolish ones" in the RV; Luke 11:40 ; 12:20 ; Romans 2:20 ; 1 Corinthians 15:36 ; 2 Corinthians 11:16 (twice),19 (contrasted with phronimos, "prudent"); 12:6,11; Ephesians 5:17 ; 1 Peter 2:15 .

A — 2: ἀνόητος
(Strong's #453 — Adjective — anoetos — an-o'-ay-tos )

signifies "not understanding" (a, negative, noeo, "to perceive, understand"), not applying nous, "the mind," Luke 24:25 ; in Romans 1:14 ; Galatians 3:1,3 it signifies "senseless," an unworthy lack of understanding; sometimes it carries a moral reproach (in contrast with sophron, "sober-minded, self-controlled") and describes one who does not govern his lusts, Titus 3:3 ; in 1 Timothy 6:9 it is associated with evil desires, lusts. See UNWISE.

A — 3: μωρός
(Strong's #3474 — Adjective — moros — mo-ros' )

primarily denotes "dull, sluggish" (from a root muh---, "to be silly"); hence, "stupid, foolish;" it is used (a) of persons, Matthew 5:22 , "Thou fool;" here the word means morally worthless, a scoundrel, a more serious reproach than "Raca;" the latter scorns a man's mind and calls him stupid; moros scorns his heart and character; hence the Lord's more severe condemnation; in Matthew 7:26 , "a foolish man;" Matthew 23:17,19 , "fools;" Matthew 25:2,3,8 , "foolish;" in 1 Corinthians 3:18 , "a fool;" the Apostle Paul uses it of himself and his fellow-workers, in 1 Corinthians 4:10 , "fools" (i.e., in the eyes of opponents); (b) of things, 2 Timothy 2:23 , "foolish and ignorant questionings;" so Titus 3:9 ; in 1 Corinthians 1:25 , "the foolishness of God," not moria, "foolishness" as a personal quality (see C, No. 1), but adjectivally, that which is considered by the ignorant as a "foolish" policy or mode of dealing, lit., "the foolish (thing);" so in ver. 1 Corinthians 1:27 , "the foolish (things) of the world."

A — 4: ἀσύνετος
(Strong's #801 — Adjective — asunetos — as-oon'-ay-tos )

denotes "without discernment," or "understanding" (a negative, suniemi, "to understand"); hence "senseless," as in the RV of Romans 1:21 (AV, "foolish"), of the heart; in Romans 10:19 , AV, "foolish," RV, "void of understanding." See UNDERSTANDING.

Note: For "fools," Ephesians 5:15 , see UNWISE , No. 3.

B — 1: μωραίνω
(Strong's #3471 — Verb — moraino — mo-rah'ee-no )

is used (a) in the casual sense, "to make foolish," 1 Corinthians 1:20 ; (b) in the Passive sense, "to become foolish," Romans 1:22 ; in Matthew 5:13 ; Luke 14:34 it is said of salt that has lost its flavor, becoming tasteless. See SAVOUR.

B — 2: παραφρονέω
(Strong's #3912 — Verb — paraphroneo — par-af-ron-eh'-o )

"to be beside oneself" (from para, "contrary to," and phren, "the mind"), "to be deranged," 2 Corinthians 11:23 , RV, "as one beside himself," for AV, "as a fool."

C — 1: μωρία
(Strong's #3472 — Noun Feminine — moria — mo-ree'-ah )

denotes "foolishness" (akin to A, No. 3 and B, No. 1), and is used in 1 Corinthians 1:18,21,23 ; 2:14 ; 3:19 .

C — 2: ἀφροσύνη
(Strong's #877 — Noun Feminine — aphrosune — af-ros-oo'-nay )

"senselessness," is translated "foolishness" in Mark 7:22 ; 2 Corinthians 11:1,17,21 , "foolishness" RV (AV, "folly" and "foolishly"). See FOLLY.

Note: Morologia denotes "foolish talking," Ephesians 5:4 . See TALKING.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Fool, Foolish, Foolishly, Foolishness'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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