Barry Newman's Blog

May 2, 2010

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

Filed under: kardia,Lev and Levav — barrynewman @ 4:41 am

A comparison of the Lexical Semantic Fields of lev/levav and kardia (cont.)

Of the 13 main categories listed in Table 1, 12 also appear as members of the 16 categories appearing in the equivalent Table in “The Matter of the Heart”. The 4 main categories in the latter Table not appearing in the Table 1 here were “The heart not set towards God”, “The heart that is the mind” “The unsettled heart” and “The person”.  The category in Table 1 here not listed in the other Table is “The heart that is the inner being”.  There is however some overlap between “The heart that is the mind” and “The heart that is the inner being”.  The difference between the two categorizations is hardly significant however given the small number of instances involved – 4 in “The heart that is the inner being, 16 in “The unsettled heart”, 4 in “The heart that is the mind” from a total of 805 usages of lev/levav and 3 in “The person” from a total of 164 usages of kardia.

At the minor category level while there are many similarities in the categories created there are also differences.  One would suspect that these differences are due in part to the much smaller number of instances being available for investigation in the case of the New Testament. There are similar high percentage frequencies for “The internally active heart” (22 for lev/levav and 25 for kardia), “The unrighteous heart” (16 for lev/levav and 14 for kardia) and similar low percentages for “The knowing heart”, “The heart able to contain or receive”, “The turning heart”, “The heart of noble character” and “The heart that issues in speech”.  There are however significantly different percentage frequencies for the categories of “The emotional heart” (18 for lev/levav and 7 for kardia) “The righteous heart” (4 for lev/levav and 12 for kardia), “The heart set towards God” (8 for lev/levav and 2 for kardia), “The wise/understanding/knowing heart” (10 for lev/levav and 6 for kardia) and “The heart that can be influenced” (3 for lev/levav and 15 for kardia).  Again the differences could be due to the much smaller number of usages of kardia compared to those of lev/levav. However the contexts of the Old and New Testament scriptures are sometimes vastly different so one would not expect the percentage frequencies to correspond.  The different percentage frequencies for the category of “The righteous heart” – 4 for the Old Testament context and 12 for the New Testament context might be mainly as a result of the two very different contexts of the Testaments taken as a whole, though it should be noted that for the category “The unrighteous heart” there is little difference.  Perhaps what is remarkable is the similarity of percentage frequencies in some of the categories, particularly the large category “The internally active heart”.

In summary, the lexical semantic fields for lev/levav and kardia appear to be rather similar and just as it appeared that the usage of lev/levav in the Old Testament related in the main to mental states and functions so too appears that in the main, in the New Testament kardia relates to much the same.

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