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In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, Paul writes, “3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.  4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Interestingly, the word “minds” is not nous, referring to the mind itself.  Instead, it is noema, which BDAG defines as “that which one has in mind as a product of intellectual process.”

This blinding, then, is not a one-time job, like pulling down a curtain on a summer morning to keep out the hot sunlight through the whole day.  Instead, Paul uses a word that seems much more comprehensive, suggesting that Satan blinds unbelievers in a way that pervades their entire thinking and thought process, so that at every mental turn, he prevents them from beholding the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Although I wouldn’t refer to this as a proof-text for total depravity, I do think that Paul is describing something along those lines.  To blind someone from such a radiantly glorious light as the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is an ongoing, never-ending task for Satan.

I don’t know if that says more about Satan’s vileness or Christ’s glory, but I’m inclined to lean toward the latter.

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