Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men...

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

From within, consequently, out of the heart of these people, the arguments, the evils, are marched out: sexual affairs, frauds, killings.

KJV : 

Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In Jesus time, the heart was seen as the seat of higher emotions rather than more basic animal ones, which were desires of the belly. This verse describes how these "higher" emotions can lead to base action, starting with disagreements. This verse changes the translation of a Greek word that has been translated in the last several verses as "come" or "cometh" to "proceed." The word translated as "thoughts" here means something more like "arguments." Literally, the word means "two ideas" or "two viewpoints." The word translated here as "evil" is closer in meaning to "evil" than the Greek word usually translated as "evil," used in the parallel verse in Matthew, Matthew 15:19, which means "worthless." Because of differents in the Greek sources used today and by the KJV translators (see this article), some words are switched between this verse and the following one (Mark 7:22).

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Jesus uses the human heart as symbolic of our emotional connection with the world, the self-awareness of human desires that he separates very clearly from physical animal desires. In Jesus's view of the world, our desires are different from our ability to reason and think. Animals have sex and kill for food, but they don't do it out of human awareness where human desire drives human decision-making. Animals are not driven by the self-awareness of the human heart. This means that they cannot make misjudgments like humans can. He starts with the vices related to sex and killing to make this contrast.

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἔσωθεν (adv) "From within" is esothen, which means "from within" and "inward." -- "Within" is the adverb meaning "inwardly."

γὰρ (partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question, it means "why" and "what."

ἐκ (prep) "From" is ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from."

τῆς (article sg fem gen) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

καρδίας (noun sg fem gen) "Of heart" is kardia, which means "heart (the physical organ)", "the seat of emotions (especially passion, rage, and anger)", "inclination", "desire," "purpose", "mind", "the pith (in wood), and "the deep (of the sea)."

τῶν (article pl masc gen) "Of" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

ἀνθρώπων (noun pl masc gen) "Men" is anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

οἱ (article pl masc nom) "Of" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

διαλογισμοὶ [uncommon] (noun pl masc nom)"Thoughts" is dialogismos, which means "debate", "argument," and "discussion." It can also mean "balancing of accounts", "calculation," and it is the term for a "circuit court." It isn't usually translated as "thought."

οἱ (article pl masc nom) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

κακοὶ (noun pl masc nom) "Evil" is kakos, which means "bad", "mean", "base", "ugly", "ill-born", "evil", "worthless", "sorry", "pernicious," and "ill."

ἐκπορεύονται,   ( verb 3rd pl pres ind mp ) "Proceed" is from ekporeuomai, which means "to make to go out", "to fetch out," and "to march out."  --

πορνεῖαι, (noun pl fem nom) "Fornications" is porneia which means "unchastity," "prostitution" (for a woman), and "fornication" (for a man). It is a metaphor for idolatry.

κλοπαί, ( noun pl fem nom) "Thefts" is from klope, which means "theft", "plagiarism," "fraud," and "stealth."

φόνοι, (noun pl masc nom) "Murders" is phonos, which means "murder", "slaughter", "homicide", "death as a punishment," and "killing."

KJV Analysis: 

For --The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why."  To prevent a run-on sentence, it can be translated as "this is why" or "this is because..." to start a new sentence. However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause". 

from within, -- "From" is the adverb meaning "inwardly" or "from within."

out of -- The Greek preposition translated as "out of" means "out of" or "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases with usually use with "of."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

heart -- "Heart" is the Greek word that means "heart" both the physical organ and as the seat of emotions, which we discuss in a larger Greek context in this article here. However, this phrase can be read as defining the "heart" and both the "soul" and "the mind".

of This word comes from the form of the next two words.

untranslated  -- The word  usually translated as "the," the Greek definite article, appears here. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

men, -- The Greek word for "man" means "man", "person" and "humanity" in the singular. In the plural, it means "men", "people", and "peoples".  Here it is plural.

proceed -- "Come" is a verb that means literally, "to make to go or carry out of" and is translated regularly as "to make to go out of", "to fetch out," and "to march out," but in modern English, we would probably say "exit" here. It is in the form of an adjective used as a noun, where the subject affects itself "the things bringing themselves "

untranslated  -- The word  usually translated as "the," the Greek definite article, appears here. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. This article makes the following word act like a noun rather than a adjective.

evil -- The word translated as "sick" is an adjective which means many different forms of "bad," including "ugly", "low born", "craven," and "ill." In the NT, it is often translated as "evil." More about it in this article. This word is preceded by an article and follows the word translated as "thoughts."

untranslated  -- The word  usually translated as "the," the Greek definite article, appears here. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

thoughts, -- "Thoughts" is a noun which means "balancing of accounts", "debate", "argument," and "discussion." It can also mean "balancing of accounts", "calculation," and it is the term for a "circuit court." It isn't usually translated as "thought."

adulteries, This Greek word doesn't appear here in the Greek sources that we use today. However, it does appedar in the next verse (Mark 7:22).

fornications, "Fornications" is from a word that which means promiscuity, generally, and "prostitution" for a woman and "fornication" for a man. In English. we would say "sexual affairs" or something similar.

murders,  "Murders" is from a noun that means both homicide and killing as a punishment.

untranslated --  "Theft" is from a word that cover forms of dishonesty from theft to fraud. Though it doesn't appear in this verse in the KJV, it does in the next verse (Mark 7:22).

Front Page Date: 

Aug 10 2019