SPECIAL TOPIC: THE HEART (NT)

The Greek term kardia is used in the Septuagint and NT to reflect the Hebrew term lēb (BDB 523, KB 513).  It is used in several ways (cf. Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich and Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon, 2nd ed. pp. 403-404).

1. the center of physical life, a metaphor for the person (cf. Acts 14:17; 2 Cor. 3:2-3; James 5:5)

2. the center of spiritual life (i.e., moral)

a. God knows the heart (cf. Luke 16:15; Rom. 8:27; 1 Cor. 14:25; 1 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 2:23)

 b. used of mankind's spiritual life (cf. Matt. 15:18-19; 18:35; Rom. 6:17; 1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Pet. 1:22)

3. the center of the thought life (i.e., intellect, cf. Matt. 13:15; 24:48; Acts 7:23; 16:14; 28:27; Rom. 1:21; 10:6; 16:18; 2 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 1:18; 4:18; James 1:26; 2 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 18:7; heart is synonymous with mind in 2 Cor. 3:14-15 and Phil. 4:7)

4. the center of the volition (i.e., will, cf. Acts 5:4; 11:23; 1 Cor. 4:5; 7:37; 2 Cor. 9:7)

5. the center of the emotions (cf. Matt. 5:28; Acts 2:26,37; 7:54; 21:13; Rom. 1:24; 2 Cor. 2:4; 7:3; Eph. 6:22; Phil. 1:7)

6. unique place of the Spirit's activity (cf. Rom. 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:22; Gal. 4:6 [i.e., Christ in our hearts, Eph. 3:17])

7. The heart is a metaphorical way of referring to the entire person (cf. Matt. 22:37, quoting Deut. 6:5).  The thoughts, motives, and actions attributed to the heart fully reveal the type of individual.  The OT has some striking usages of the terms.

a. Gen. 6:6; 8:21, "God was grieved to His heart," also notice Hosea 11:8-9

b. Deut. 4:29; 6:5; 10:12, "with all your heart and all your soul"

c. Deut. 10:16; Jer. 9:26, "uncircumcised heart" and Rom. 2:29

 d. Ezek. 18:31-32, "a new heart"

 e. Ezek. 36:26, "a new heart" vs. "a heart of stone" (cf. Ezek. 11:19; Zech. 7:12)

 

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