Barry Newman's Blog

May 5, 2010

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

Filed under: dianoia,kardia,The Heart — barrynewman @ 8:04 am

Other Words Serving a Similar Function to Kardia

It was clear when considering “the heart” in the Septuagint that the Greek words: dianoia, nous, phren/phroneo and psuche in that text sometimes operate in similar ways to the Greek word kardia.  The question that is then raised is would this also be the case in the New Testament and would such words sometimes perform a similar function to lev/levav of the Old Testament? An examination of the usages of these words and others and how their lexical semantic fields might relate to that for kardia is now detailed below.

Dianoia or a cognate is found 12 times in the New Testament.  In 3 instances it appears in the quote from the Old Testament that refers to “love God with all the heart and soul and strength”.  In each of the three quotes dianoia appears together with kardia although not alongside.  Given that in the Septuagint kardia does not appear but in its place dianoia, it could be argued that in the New Testament, a writer in quoting from a Greek text includes kardia alongside of dianoia, or vice versa partly for purposes of clarification.  Alternatively, perhaps the clarification had already been made in the actual Greek text cited (if it is not the Septuagint as we know it).  Whatever the reasons, it appears that both kardia and dianoia in this instance relate to one’s mental functioning.  In line with the categorisation scheme, these 3 instances would fall into the category: “The heart set towards God”

In Hebrews 8:10 in a quote from Jeremiah 31: 33, the words used are: “giving my laws into their dianoian and I will inscribe them upon their kardias”.  In Hebrews 10: 16 using the same quote, the words are “giving my laws into their kardias and I will inscribe them upon their dianoion”.  Kardia and dianoia are treated equivalently.  Incidentally, the Septuagint (Jeremiah 38:33) refers to laws being put into the dianoian and writing them on the kardias. In terms of the categorisation scheme, these 2 instances would fall into “The heart able to be influenced” Of the remaining 7 instances, in terms of the categorisation scheme used for kardia, 4 would belong to “The internally active heart”, 2 to “The wise/understanding/knowing heart” and 1 to “ The righteous heart”.  Although the number of instances of dianoia is small, from its usage in the New Testament, dianoia operates in a similar manner to kardia.


1 Comment »

  1. […] – he’s now looking at ‘the heart’ in the New Testament, and is up to part 7. [+] Share & Bookmark • Twitter • StumbleUpon • Digg • Delicious […]

    Pingback by The Heart in the New Testament « Anglican Church League — February 8, 2011 @ 7:37 am | Reply

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