Barry Newman's Blog

April 30, 2010

“The Heart” in the New Testament (part V)

Filed under: kardia,Lev and Levav,The Heart — barrynewman @ 8:03 am

A comparison of the Lexical Semantic Fields of lev/levav and kardia

Table 2 is the Table taken from the “The Heart” in the Old Testament series, equivalent to Table 1 above and is inserted for convenience.

Category Sub-category Number of occurrences Percentages[1]
The emotional H                            143 18
  fearful 44  
  happy 53  
  sorrowful 39  
  hateful   4  
  angry   3  
The internally active H                            178 22
  desiring 28  
  planning 28  
  speaking internally 39  
  deciding 30  
  remembering/forgetting 17  
  reflecting 19  
  concentrating 13  
  acting as conscience   4  
Knowing the H                              30  4
  the H can be searched/tried 15  
  opening or not opening the H   7  
  God knows what is in the H   7  
  the H knowing within itself   1  
The H able to contain or receive                               18                             2
  matters being in or on the H   9  
  to take to H   6  
  not to take to H   3  
The unrighteous H                            132                            16
  hardened/stubborn/stony 44  
  proud/lifted up 27  
  evil 12  
  perverse   5  
  sinful/wicked 18  
  deceitful/false/divided/double   9  
  destroys/is destroyed   3  
  needing correction   8  
  other   6  
The H not set towards God                               10                                  1
The righteous H                               36                                      4
  upright 12  
  humble/humbled   5  
  clean/cleansed   4  
  H of integrity   4  
  other 11  
The H set towards God                               61                          8
  seeking/loving with all the H 24  
  seeking God with a perfect H 12  
  set to seek God/towards God 11  
  single-minded in seeking God   6  
  other   8  
The wise/understanding/ knowing H                              83                                     10
  the wise H 32  
  the H that is not wise 20  
  the H that understands   7  
  the H that doesn’t understand   8  
  the H that knows   6  
  the H that searches for wisdom    6  
  other   4  
The turning H                              33                                      4
  the H that turns away from God    7  
  the H that God turns   6  
  the H that turns to God 11  
  the H that does not turn to God    4  
  other   5  
The H that can be influenced                               31  4
  the H that can be touched/spoken to  11  
  the H that can be persuaded   5  
  the responsive/tender/fleshy H    5  
  the H that can be deceived   5  
  the H that can be tempted   3  
  The H written upon   2  
The H of noble character                               19                                      2
  courageous   8  
  free from anxiety   4  
  a settled H   5  
  a H that trusts   2  
The unsettled H                                 6                                           1
The H that issues in speech                                 8                                         1
The H that is the mind or the inner being                               14                                            2
  the H of a man   3  
  another or new H   3  
  other   8  
The person                                3                            –
  A H that may fail or live   3  

                                                                                                        Table 2

[1] The percentages are calculated on a total of 805 usages although there are only 791 distinct references involved.  This is because in a few instances a reference falls into two or more categories.


April 27, 2010

“The Heart” in the New Testament (part IV)

Filed under: kardia,The Heart — barrynewman @ 10:58 pm

Categorisation of Kardia (cont.)

Examples of the major and minor categories in Table 1 are given in the following.

The Emotional Heart: My heart rejoiced, let not your heart be troubled; they were cut to the heart and their hearts were burning within them

The Internally Active Heart: Your heart is where your treasure is; the evil servant says within his heart; why did you purpose in your heart this thing; they were pricked in heart; why do you reason these things in your heart; perhaps the thoughts of your hearts may be forgiven you; whoever shall not doubt in his heart; believing in the heart; those that believed were of one heart and soul; O foolish and slow of heart to believe

Knowing the Heart: God who tries our hearts; you Lord who knows the hearts of all; the secrets of the heart become manifest

The Heart able to Contain or Receive: the word is in your mouth and in your heart; his mother kept all these things in her heart; all who heard lay the matter in their hearts

The Unrighteous Heart: on account of the hardness of their heart; those things which come out of the mouth come out of the heart and they defile a person; the bitterness and contention in your hearts; out of the heart of men … comes adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetous desires

The Righteous Heart: blessed are the pure in heart; we should approach with a true heart; you are our epistle having been inscribed on our hearts; you obeyed out of the heart; by faith having purified their hearts

The Heart Set Towards God: Love the Lord your God with all your heart

The Wise/Understanding/knowing Heart: this people’s heart has waxed fat; a veil lies upon their heart, their foolish heart was darkened; God has shone in our hearts, until the morning star should arise in your hearts

The Turning Heart: turning back their hearts to Egypt; after your hardness and unrepentant heart

The Heart that can be Influenced: the wicked one snatches away what was sown in the heart; God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts; A letter from Christ written … on tablets of fleshy hearts; that he might comfort your hearts; by praise deceive the hearts; you have nourished your hearts in the day of slaughter; she of whom the Lord opened the heart

The Heart of Noble Character: be patient, establish your hearts; exhorted them all with purpose of heart to abide by the Lord; obey your masters in singleness of heart

The Heart that Issues in Speech: out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks; singing and praising with your heart to God

The Heart that is the Inner Being: singing with grace in your heart to the Lord; sanctify the Lord God in your hearts

April 25, 2010

“The Heart” in the New Testament (part III)

Filed under: kardia,The Heart — barrynewman @ 9:58 am

Categorisation of Kardia (cont.)

The larger proportion of usages of kardia relates however to human beings in non-physical and non-metaphorical terms.  There were 158 distinct such instances although duplications and 1 triplication increased the number being analysed to 164.  Table 1 indicates the categorization structure used, the number of occurrences and the % frequencies evident. 

Category Sub-category Number of occurrences Percentages[1]
The emotional H    11   7
  joyful   3  
  sorrowful   6  
  angry   1  
  burning   1  
The internally active H   41 25
  desiring   4  
  speaking internally   4  
  deciding   6  
  acting as a conscience   5  
  reasoning   4  
  thoughts/thinking 12  
  believing   4  
  having a perspective   1  
  taking time   1  
Knowing the H     7   4
  the H that is searched or tried   3  
  God knows the H   3  
  the secrets of the H   3  
The H able to contain or receive     5   3
  what the H contains   2  
  kept in the H   2  
  to take to H   1  
The unrighteous H   23 14
  the hardened H 10  
  evil, a wicked H   9  
  particular sins   5[2]  
  needing correction   1  
The righteous H   20 12
  the pure/blameless/good H   9  
  the caring H   5  
  particular righteousness   2  
  a H cleansed or needing so   4  
The H set towards God     4   2
The wise/understanding/ knowing H   10   6
  the H not understanding   6  
  the unwise H   1  
  the H that understands   3  
The turning H     3   2
The H that can be influenced   25 15
  the H that can be touched   6  
  God’s gifts to the H   6  
  matters written on the H   4  
  the H encouraged   4  
  the H that can be deceived   2  
  the H being benefited   2  
  the responsive H   1  
The H of noble character     6   4
  the settled steadfast H   3  
  a simplicity/singleness of H   3  
The H that issues in speech     5   3
The H that is the inner being     4   2

                                                                                                Table 1

[1] The percentages are based on the number 164

[2] 2 instances here were duplicated in the minor category “evil, a wicked heart” but were not duplicated in the total.

April 23, 2010

“The Heart” in the New Testament (part II)

Filed under: kardia,The Heart — barrynewman @ 9:09 pm

Categorisation of Kardia

Using the categorization created for lev/levav in the O.T. the 161 instances of the use of kardia in the New Testament were able to be accommodated in a similar system.  Given however the difficulty of allotting every instance to a single category, there were some duplications and one triplication.  The total of items then categorized was 169.  This increase of about 4% was not thought to create any significant difficulties when determining % frequencies for the main categories applicable to human beings in non-physical and non- metaphorical terms.

In the Hebrew text lev/levav had physical, metaphorical and anthropomorphic references, though relatively there were not many of these types.  The same is true of kardia in the New Testament.  In the latter there appear to be 3 references that could be considered to be to some extent, physical in nature – the heart, rather than the mouth into which material comes, the heart into which matter does not come from without (in a similar context to the previous) and the heart which is established with grace rather than meats. The first and last of these are also categorized elsewhere. There is 1 reference of a metaphorical nature – the son of man being in the heart of the earth and 1 reference of an anthropomorphic nature – a quote from the O.T. where reference is made to David being a man according to God’s heart.

April 21, 2010

“The Heart” in the New Testament (part I)

Filed under: kardia,The Heart — barrynewman @ 10:51 pm

“The Heart” in the New Testament

As suggested in an earlier blog, an examination of the New Testament of the concept associated with the Hebrew lev/levav the Masoretic text of the Old Testament necessitates first looking at the Greek word kardia.  The connection between the English word “heart” and the Greek word kardia is well known and explanations as to the use of kardia in the New Testament are available in such as the work by Behm[1].  However, the aim of this blog series is not only to carry out an independent investigation of the usage of kardia in the New Testament but among other things to relate its usage to the type of taxonomy already created for the usage of lev/levav in the Old Testament and referred to in an earlier series. It does this by examining all occurrences of kardia and its cognates in the New Testament, estimated to be 161[2], and categorising them according to the taxonomy already created for lev/levav where possible.  A comparison is then made between the lexical semantic fields of lev/levav and kardia as gauged by the taxonomies and frequency of occurrences within the taxonomies.  The paper is also concerned to see what other Greek words might in some instances perform a similar role to kardia.  Sometimes, when considered not misleading, instead of referring to lev/levav or kardia, the English word “heart” is used.

Kardia in the New Testament and kardia in the Septuagint

Firstly however, given that kardia is used in the Septuagint as a substantial equivalent to lev/levav in the Masoretic text, a simple test of the relatedness of lev/levav of the Old Testament to kardia of the New Testament would be to compare quotes of the Old Testament in the New Testament with their antecedents in the Septuagint to see to what extent kardia is used in both.

There are 10 distinct quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament involving the Greek word kardia in the New Testament and which correspond to lev/levav in the Masoretic text.   Several are referred to more than once in the New Testament there being a total of 20 instances where such a quotation occurs.  In the Greek Septuagint 8 of the 10 texts to which reference is made in the New Testament utilize kardia.  With respect to the two exceptions, In Deuteronomy 6:5, a quotation from this text occurring 3 times in the New Testament, the Septuagint uses dianoia instead of kardia and in Jeremiah 31: 33 (Jeremiah 38:33 in the Septuagint), a quotation occurring once in the New Testament, the Septuagint refers to putting laws into the dianoia instead of kardia but more on this particular text later.  In summary, kardia in the Greek Septuagint corresponding to lev/levav in the Masoretic text, in the majority of quotations corresponds to kardia in the New Testament.

[1] Behm, J., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (ed. Kittel, G., trans. Bromiley, G.W.), Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI, III, 1965, pp. 605-614.

[2] This figure includes 2 usages of kardia as the word kardiognostes and 2 usages as the word sklerokardia.

April 6, 2010

“The Heart” in the Septuagint (Full Series PDF)

Filed under: The Heart — barrynewman @ 8:55 am

Here is the full series

April 1, 2010

“The Heart” in the Septuagint (part III)

Filed under: The Heart — barrynewman @ 4:48 am


The predominant Greek word serving as a reasonable equivalent for the Hebrew lev/levav is kardia.  Consequently it would not be surprising to find that kardia is the dominant word in the Greek New Testament where reference is being made to something like the Hebrew understanding of lev/levav.  However other relevant Greek words in the New Testament serving the same function, could be, for example, dianoia, psuche, phren/phroneo or nous.

Other matters of note are that over 70% (24 from 33) of the occurrences of dianoia in place of lev/levav are to be found in the Pentateuch and that over 70% (18 from 25) of the occurrences of psuche in place of lev/levav are to be found in1 and 2 Chronicles (9 from 25) and Isaiah (9 from 25).  These statistics could be reflective of the influence of certain translators or even of the date of manuscripts. Of the 7 occurrences of phren, 6 are found in Proverbs, together with 4 words derived from phren, but incorporated under the category “Other Greek words and the meaning similar”. The majority of instances where words belonging to that category occur, involve mainly singular occurrences with only a few occurring two or three times.  As evidenced, sometimes the same sense is conveyed in the Greek text as in the Hebrew text without appeal to any corresponding word.  This is very often achieved by an appropriate use of pronouns or similar words that depend upon more specific clues for meaning.

Because of the way the Deuteronomic passage that refers to “love God with all the heart and all the soul and all the strength” is referred to in the Gospels, it is noteworthy that in the Greek Septuagint, the word dianoia occurs rather than kardia so that it is translated “love God with all the mind and all the soul and all the strength”.  In the gospels both kardia and dianoia occur in the restatement of the Deuteronomic text.  This matter is discussed more fully in a later series.

Finally, if lev/levav is used as a test word for correspondence between the Masoretic text and the Septuagint, then on this basis alone it would appear that the two texts are in basic agreement to the extent of greater than 97%.  The differences amount to the text being absent in the Greek Septuagint (1.5%) and a different understanding being conveyed (1.1%)  If Jeremiah is omitted from consideration, then the two figures drop to 0.9% and 0.8% respectively and the correspondence improves to above 98%.

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