Discern, Discerner, Discernment - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Discern, Discerner, Discernment

[ A-1,Verb,G350, anakrino ]
to distinguish, or separate out so as to investigate (krino) by looking throughout (ana, intensive) objects or particulars," hence signifies "to examine, scrutinize, question, to hold a preliminary judicial examination preceding the trial proper" (this first examination, implying more to follow, is often present in the nonlegal uses of the word), e.g., Luke 23:14; figuratively, in 1 Corinthians 4:3; it is said of searching the Scriptures in Acts 17:11; of "discerning" or determining the excellence or defects of a person or thing, e.g., 1 Corinthians 2:14, AV, "discerned;" RV, "judged;" in 1 Corinthians 10:27, "asking (no) question" (i.e., not raising the question as to whether the meat is the residue from an idolatrous sacrifice). Except in Luke 23:14, this word is found only in Acts and 1 Cor. See EXAMINE, JUDGE.

[ A-2,Verb,G1252, diakrino ]
signifies "to separate, discriminate;" then, "to learn by discriminating, to determine, decide." It is translated "discern" in Matthew 16:3, of discriminating between the varying conditions of the sky (See dokimazo, No. 3, below, in Luke 12:56), and in 1 Corinthians 11:29, with reference to partaking of the bread and the cup of the Lord's Supper unworthily, by not "discerning" or discriminating what they represent; in 1 Corinthians 11:31, the RV has "discerned," for the AV, "would judge," of trying oneself, "discerning" one's condition, and so judging any evil before the Lord; in 1 Corinthians 14:29, regarding oral testimony in a gathering of believers, it is used of "discerning" what is of the Holy Spirit, RV, "discern" (AV, "judge"). See CONTEND, DECIDE, DIFFER, etc.

[ A-3,Verb,G1381, dokimazo ]
signifies "to test, prove, scrutinize," so as "to decide." It is translated "discern" in the AV of Luke 12:56; RV, "interpret" (marg., "prove"). See APPROVE.

[ B-1,Noun,G1253, diakrisis ]
cp. A, No. 2, "a distinguishing, a clear discrimination, discerning, judging," is translated "discernings" in 1 Corinthians 12:10, of "discerning" spirits, judging by evidence whether they are evil or of God. In Hebrews 5:14 the phrase consisting of pros, with this noun, lit., "towards a discerning," is translated "to discern," said of those who are capable of discriminating between good and evil. In Romans 14:1 the word has its other sense of decision or judgment, and the phrase "doubtful disputations" is, lit., "judgments of reasonings" (marg., "not for decisions of doubts," i.e., not to act as a judge of the weak brother's scruples). See DECISION, B, No.2.

Note: For "discernment," Philippians 1:19, See JUDGMENT, Note

[ C-1,Adjective,G2924, kritikos ]
signifies "that which relates to judging (krino, "to judge"), fit for, or skilled in, judging" (Eng., "critical"), found in Hebrews 4:12, of the Word of God as "quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart," (lit., "critical of, etc."), i.e., discriminating and passing judgment on the thoughts and feelings.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words