[B-Greek] Matthew 22:37: DIANOIA vs NOUS

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Mon Oct 8 15:26:08 EDT 2007

Dear Anthony,

I would refer you to the article in NIDNTT, Volume 3, pp. 122-130. Suffice it to
say that part of the problem is that Hebrew has the act of thinking, reasoning,
etc. as part of the "heart." DIANOIA translates the Hebrew "Leb, LeBAB" - heart
(See TWOT, Volume 1, pp. 466-467). Thus, about 75 times in the LXX. It then
seems to have a sense that expresses the whole being, emotions and acts of the
will and deliberate thought. This has to be kept in mind even in the NT, because
of the Hebraic background of most of the authors of the NT. In contrast to the
idea of 3-part soul of the Greeks. The context would still indicate whether or
not it comes into play, but it is still there. Furthermore, NOUS 6 of 31 times
is found to translate LEB, LeBAB in the LXX. It has the sense of more like the
"will" rather than mind.

The NT, then corresponds in use to that of the LXX(seen when quoting from the
LXX, e.g. Jer. 31:33; Heb. 8:10; 10:16), and, even here, NOUS and DIANOIA have
some overlapping meanings.

En Xristwi,

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Anthony" <anthony.rimell at orcon.net.nz>
To: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2007 5:45 PM
Subject: [B-Greek] Matthew 22:37: DIANOIA vs NOUS

> Hello all
> In Matthew, when Jesus is referring to the great commandment, the Greek
> record refers to DIANOIA.
> In his rush to biblical 'precision' in translation, I have been challenged
> by a friend to identify why DIANOIA was chosen here, and not NOUS.  I have
> responded in two ways:
> 1    I do not find guessing games into the possible thinking of the author
> overly productive, and
> 2   The two words seem to me to convey the same concept - the mind.
> His assertion is that DIANOIA refers to the centre of the willpower, not
> the mind in general.
> I have been looking through several lexicons and Greek concordances, and
> struggle to find any usage that might actually validate his impression.
> However, always open to correction, I am wondering if any readers here can
> point me to a work that shows there is a genuine difference between
> Regards
> Anthony Rimell, New Zealand
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