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  1. #1
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    Aug 2011
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    Heart vs. Mind in the Bible

    These are two different accounts of the same event. Please notice that Jesus connected reason with heart.


    Mark 2:8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

    Luke 5:22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?



    I suggest that if there is a difference between 'heart' and 'mind', it is to do with what has been internalised by a person - whether true or not.

    For instance, the Pharisees had internalised that only God could forgive sins. But their minds could not take in that a man (Jesus) could be that God - hence, dissonance.


    I'm not sure how this observation translates into this discussion, except to say that one's mind is not always receptive to truth, if it contradicts a heart-held stance.

    At the same time, truth is always true, whether it is received by mind, or heart, first, and thankfully, God has patience with those of us who are a bit slow on the uptake.



    16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

    Ephesians 3

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    These are two different accounts of the same event. Please notice that Jesus connected reason with heart.


    Mark 2:8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

    Luke 5:22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?



    I suggest that if there is a difference between 'heart' and 'mind', it is to do with what has been internalised by a person - whether true or not.

    For instance, the Pharisees had internalised that only God could forgive sins. But their minds could not take in that a man (Jesus) could be that God - hence, dissonance.


    I'm not sure how this observation translates into this discussion, except to say that one's mind is not always receptive to truth, if it contradicts a heart-held stance.

    At the same time, truth is always true, whether it is received by mind, or heart, first, and thankfully, God has patience with those of us who are a bit slow on the uptake.



    In the OT, there was very little, if any, difference between "heart" and "mind." The same words are translated as either.

    Strong's 03820
    לב leb {labe} a form of 03824; TWOT - 1071a; n
    m AV - heart 508, mind 12, midst 11, understanding 10, hearted 7, wisdom 6,
    comfortably 4, well 4, considered 2, friendly 2, kindly 2, stouthearted + 047 2,
    care + 07760 2, misc 20; ; 592 1) inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding
    1a) inner part, midst 1a1) midst (of things) 1a2) heart (of man) 1a3) soul,
    heart (of man) 1a4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory 1a5)
    inclination, resolution, determination (of will) 1a6) conscience 1a7) heart (of
    moral character) 1a8) as seat of appetites 1a9) as seat of emotions and passions
    1a10) as seat of courage

    The Greek NT seems a little closer to our modern understanding of "heart" vs. "mind" but I'm not sure about that.

    This is the biggest challenge when studying a 2000 year old document - we must be very careful not to import and impose our modern concepts upon the ancient text.

    It seems to me that I am a unified being with a "heart/mind" - it is not supposed to be divided into two separate faculties. When the Bible talks about divisions within ourselves, it talks a lot about flesh vs. spirit. That makes more "Biblical sense" to me than "heart vs. mind." Though I don't know ... maybe I'm missing something. If so, I trust folks will bring it to my attention.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  3. #3
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    Aug 2011
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    Christian Forum?

    Hello Richard!

    Thanks for your research on heart vs mind. I do believe they want to be united, as the Hebrew indicates, but the mind has become separated from heart by way of trying to deal with the heart's detachment from God (through sin).

    And, I think if one is honest about what one's 'mind' is 'thinking', it is an indicator of what is really going on in one's heart. But, we can change our minds about something, without a change of heart; and this heart-state will show itself in some other feeling or behaviour - such as resentment, or disappointment, or longing - which the mind cannot change. A change of heart would make the difference.

    I wonder if there is symbolism in the use of 'in the midst of', in the OT, which could transfer easily into the NT, using 'heart'?

    For instance, 'in the midst of' the garden (of Eden) is interesting because a garden is one. (Strong's lists 'midst' (Try saying that out loud! lol) as, in 'midst of things', and 'heart' as in 'heart of man'.)

    Thank you for pointing this out. I will keep my eyes open when studying, to see how it informs our understanding of 'mind'. Obviously, a garden doesn't have a mind, (for instance)!
    16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

    Ephesians 3

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    Hello Richard!

    Thanks for your research on heart vs mind. I do believe they want to be united, as the Hebrew indicates, but the mind has become separated from heart by way of trying to deal with the heart's detachment from God (through sin).

    And, I think if one is honest about what one's 'mind' is 'thinking', it is an indicator of what is really going on in one's heart. But, we can change our minds about something, without a change of heart; and this heart-state will show itself in some other feeling or behaviour - such as resentment, or disappointment, or longing - which the mind cannot change. A change of heart would make the difference.

    I wonder if there is symbolism in the use of 'in the midst of', in the OT, which could transfer easily into the NT, using 'heart'?

    For instance, 'in the midst of' the garden (of Eden) is interesting because a garden is one. (Strong's lists 'midst' (Try saying that out loud! lol) as, in 'midst of things', and 'heart' as in 'heart of man'.)

    Thank you for pointing this out. I will keep my eyes open when studying, to see how it informs our understanding of 'mind'. Obviously, a garden doesn't have a mind, (for instance)!
    Hey there my friend,

    The words "heart" and "mind" are metaphors for aspects of a single individual - I think in a healthy individual they are completely unified. What the mind "thinks" would be in complete harmony with what the heart "feels" or "intuits."

    Your description of the heart vs. the mind makes me think of the right and left brain hemispheres. The right hemisphere is mostly visual, non-verbal, holistic whereas the left is linear, linguistic, logical. When the left dominates (think Spock) it can be completely out of touch with things that should be obvious to anyone (feelings and intuitions). The left majors on details and misses the big picture that gives the context required to give meaning to those details.

    Now when it comes to the idea of our "alienation from God" I think that is really talking about our own internal sense of alienation from our own authentic self which is known only through the right hemisphere. The left only represents (re-presents) reality in words, whereas the right is the "direct link" to reality itself. Thus, if the left brain because too dominant, we lose our sense of integrity and wholeness. And what is the first thing that destroys our integrity? The word "sin" would very accurate, so long as we remember we are talking about sinning against our own moral sense (as opposed to an arbitrary law made up by a religion).

    Thus, the "in the midst" links directly to my sense of "heart" (right hemisphere) since it is the heart that makes direct contact with reality. The mind "stands aloof" and makes judgments and calculations. It is not "in the midst."

    And that's why the left (mind) can't change how we feel. How we feel comes from the right (heart) which is directly connected to reality.

    Great chatting!

    Richard

    PS: Strong's lists midst is a tongue twister!
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

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