[b-hebrew] "Mind" in Hebrew and Aramaic

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Mon Apr 3 19:14:34 EDT 2006

On 03/04/2006 19:13, Harold R. Holmyard III wrote:

> ... I see no difficulty in assuming 
> that Jesus knew Greek and was familiar with the LXX. ...

My difficulty with this statement is that the LXX as we know it did not 
exist in Jesus' time. Yes, there were Greek translations of the Hebrew 
Bible, and some were probably more or less what is now accepted as the 
LXX, but it is still anachronistic to talk of "the LXX" without 
qualification for Jesus' time.

I note that in Deuteronomy 6:5 the LXX has three words to describe how 
this love should be; in Codex Alexandrinus they are "heart", "soul" and 
"power" (DUNAMIS, not ISCUS as in Mark and Luke), and in Codex Vaticanus 
they are "mind" (DIANOIA), "soul" and "power". These two and the four 
New Testament renderings give us six Greek renderings of the passage 
which are all different! But it is interesting that Vaticanus has 
DIANOIA where Alexandrinus has KARDIA, suggesting a deliberate 
correction although Vaticanus is the only one of the six to avoid KARDIA 
completely. Anyway, this puts paid to any hypothesis that Jesus was 
quoting the LXX, at least in any form of the LXX which we know today.

But to these six variants I can add textual variants in the New 
Testament. The versions I quoted earlier were from the standard critical 
text, Nestle-Aland 27th edition. But there are some variants:

Matthew 22:37: a few MSS have "heart", "soul", "strength", "mind" = Luke 

Mark 12:30: a few MSS including D omit "mind", leaving "heart", "soul", 
"strength", another new variant.

Mark 12:33: there is considerable variation here between MSS. D has 
""heart", "power", "soul"; Theta and 565 have "heart", "power", 
"strength". And many MSS including the Byzantine Majority text have 
"heart", "understanding", "soul", "strength". That is three more new 
variants, making a total of ten!

Luke 10:27: MS D omits "mind", leaving "heart", "soul", "strength", the 
same as that MS's version of Mark 12:30.

And I haven't looked at the variations in the prepositions used with 
these nouns, sometimes EN "in" and sometime EX "out of".

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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