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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Double-Minded

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An expression James used (2 Kings 1:7-8; 2 Kings 4:8 ) to express the opposite of purity of heart. Psalm 12:1-2 forms the Old Testament background of the term. There the faithful are contrasted with liars who speak from a double heart, that is, from divided loyalties. Jesus' teaching on the impossibility of serving two masters ( Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13 ) forms the New Testament background. This teaching is expressed in James 4:4 as the impossibility of maintaining friendship with the world and friendship with God.

James urged those who pray to do so without doubting. This doubting is not so much intellectual doubt (Does God exist?), but doubt about commitment (Am I committed to this God to whom I pray? Will I make use of this wisdom for which I pray?). Such doubt is described as double-mindedness. The double-minded are unstable in all their ways, that is, they vacillate between following God's way and their own way (James 1:7-8 ). The solution to double-mindedness is to draw near to God who can purify the heart (James 4:8 ).

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Double-Minded'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/d/double-minded.html. 1991.

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