2

"He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them". John 12:40. ESV

"In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelivers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,, who is the image of God". 2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV

  1. Why is it "He" who "has blinded" in John 12:40, "but the god of this world" who "has blinded" in 2 Corinthians 4:4?

  2. Why is it "has blinded " refers to "eyes" in John, but "has blinded" refers to "minds" in 2 Corinthians?

3
  • You will presumably already understand that "eyes" and "heart" are frequently used as metaphors of the understanding mind! Therefore, these two verses are saying the same thing.
    – Dottard
    Sep 23 at 22:53
  • @Dottard I did wonder if "mind" had something to do with how people apply logic as opposed to how they gather that which they base their logic on.
    – C. Stroud
    Sep 23 at 22:57
  • 1
    I suspect that is a modern construct not present in the original thinking.
    – Dottard
    Sep 23 at 23:49
2

The 2 passages quoted for the comparison need to be understood in the context of what happened in Genesis.

GEN 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened,

And, as we work to understand this passage we need to step back out of Genesis.

2 KINGS 6:17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw.

Let’s step through this. First, Adam and Eve could ‘see’ prior to eating. Eve ‘saw’ the tree and ‘saw’ that it was good for food. So what does it mean when it says their ‘eyes’ were ‘opened’? This is a crucial answer, because this happened as a result of the Serpents intervention. And since then we have this …

2 COR 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded,

So the god of this world has blinded ‘man’. But we just ‘saw’ where - In the garden, but that account said their eyes were opened? But …

MAT 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see,

Now consider this with the passage from John which you quoted, which is a quote from Isaiah 6. And relate that to our passage above from Kings. The servant could see - but it was his spiritual eyes that couldn’t. John out of all the gospels arguably looks more at the ‘spiritual’ dimension of ‘believers’.

The whole gospel is 100% directed at ‘man’s’ heart, that is, his ‘spirit’. And it’s man’s ‘spiritual’ eyes and ears that need to hear/see. But Satan has ‘blinded’ man’s spirit by separating it from God - (in the garden). Since then, man has been directed purely via his natural (physical) ears/ears (senses, i.e. carnal [flesh/sax]).

This because of the serpent - he blinded man’s (spiritual) eyes. (2 Corinthians 4:4). That’s why the Holy Spirit is essential for new birth. It’s man’s ‘spirit’ that needs to be reached. And without using your ‘spiritual eyes’, you are ‘blind’ (to the truth) (John 12:40).

1

"Why is it "He" who "has blinded" in John 12:40, "but the god of this world" who "has blinded" in 2 Corinthians 4:4? "

Why is it "has blinded " refers to "eyes" in John, but "has blinded" refers to "minds" in 2 Corinthians?

John is quoting a scripture from Isaiah 6:9-10

“Go and tell this people, ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’b 10Make the hearts of this people calloused; deafen their ears and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes,<

Their eyes actually saw their physical king and Messiah in the flesh. It was with physical eyes that actually saw their King and Messiah in front of them. It was those eyes that were blinded by the Lord. They are blinded from seeing their very own King.

The other group never saw Jesus in the flesh. Their eyes in their mind are blinded and cannot see the good news of glory of Christ. Christ is king over all and they do not see that he is also king over all

How does "has blinded" in John 12:40 compare with "has blinded" in 2 Corinthians 4:4?

When comparing the two verses there are a few things that really stands out that is different when making comparisons between the two blindings.

The first one is Who is doing the blinding?

1: The King, Holy one Israel

He has blinded their eyes<

2: god of this age

Berean Study Bible

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers<

The second difference Who are the people who are being blinded.

1: Israel God's people

2: The unbelieving

The third difference is What are they blinded from.

1: Israel did not see their King in front of their eyes.

2: Unbelievers blinded in their minds from the light of the good news of the glory of Christ,who is the image of God

1

Why is it "He" who "has blinded" in John 12:40, "but the god of this world" who "has blinded" in 2 Corinthians 4:4?

John cited Isaiah 6:

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
9 He said, “Go and tell this people:
“ ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.

The command was from God. According to Isaiah, God was responsible. John repeated this God's authority in John 12:

39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
40 “He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,

"He" refers to God.

Jesus came and revealed to us the role of Satan which Isaiah didn't know. But Paul knew in 2 Corinthians 4:

4 "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers

John said that God has blinded the people according to Isaiah's citation. Paul updated that with the role of Satan in blinding people to know the truth. Different times, different detailed levels of revelations.

Why is it "has blinded " refers to "eyes" in John, but "has blinded" refers to "minds" in 2 Corinthians?

Watch the parallelism in John 12:40

He has    blinded       their eyes  
and       hardened      their hearts,

eyes || hearts
Both are at work.

Similarly, 2 Corinthians 4:4

has blinded          the minds of the unbelievers, 
to keep them from    seeing the light of the gospel 

minds || seeing [eyes]
Both are at work.

The Hebrew word for heart has a similar meaning as the Greek word for mind. Both passages agree on the importance of seeing and understanding.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.