ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Sun Aug 6 17:50:22 EDT 2000
On Sun 6 Aug 2000 (08:21:11), thmann at juno.com wrote:
> ... ... How do we get from kidneys to minds? I read
> somewhere that people of "olden days" believed that various human
> emotions and traits emanated from different organs in the body. Is
> this true? Was that Paul's understanding when he so often used the term
> KARDIA? For example, when he says: "... their foolish hearts were
> darkened" (Rom.1:21), did he believe that the human condition he is
> describing somehow involved the human organ called the heart? Mounce
> says that the heart was "regarded as the seat of feeling, impulse,
> affection, desire..."
The ancients were not clear about the functions of the various bodily offals.
We need not be surprised. It was only recently that the medical profession
discovered the circulation of the blood! And until recently, our
personalities were thought to be determined by the proportions of the "Four
Humours" of Sanguine, Phlegm, Choler and Melancholy in out bodies.
The renes or reins (kidneys) were considered to be the seat of the affections,
and the heart to be the seat of thought and will. The Psalmist invites God to
examine his emotions (motives) and his thought processes in Psalm 26:2 (25:2
LXX): DOKIMASON ME, KURIE, KAI PEIRASON ME, PURWSON TOUS NEFROUS MOU KAI THN
Jeremiah 17:10 has YHWH saying "EGW KURIOS ETAZWN KARDIAS, KAI DOKIMAZWN
NEFROUS, TOU DOUNAI hEKASTWi ... ktl". See also Jeremiah 20:12. We need look
no further than this to see where John got his phraseology from in Revelation
Compare the putative role of the SPLACK in showing compassion and sympathy:
SPLANGCNISQEIS hH IESOUS in Matthew 20:34. Jeremiah cries THN KOILIAN MOU,
THN KOILIAN MOU ALGW, KAI TA AISQHTERIA THS KARDIAS MOU... (Jeremiah 4:19).
Paul knew the proper medical function of the KOILIA in 1 Corinthians 6:13,
but none of the GNT writers ever seem to associate the Brain with thought
processing. "Thought" is always located in the Heart: Matthew 9:4; Luke 2:35,
5:22, 24:38. And Luke was a Physician (Colossians 4:14)!
We still use the phrase "to learn something by heart". So Paul refers to
the "work of the Law written in their hearts" in Romans 2:15.
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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