Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

Responding to Peter's request to explain Matthew 15:11 That which goes into the mouth

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Because from the heart they come out: arguments, worthless ones, killings, adulteries, immoralities, thefts, perjuries, and slanders.

My Takeaway: 

All human hearts are flawed, especially to the degree our feelings arise from our social order. The wrong feelings lead to the wrong actions, but only the action are real crimes.

KJV : 

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

NIV : 

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

See this article on the word translated as "heart." The verb here is either passive or a voice where the subject acts on itself. so "they are brought out" or "they being themselves out." The word translated as "thoughts" means arguments, which are not all bad, which is why they are qualified by the "evil,"  but the word translated as "evil" is closer in meaning to "worthless." Notice that Christ's list of seven worthless acts is different than the traditional seven deadly sins. In Jesus's view, humans err on in their actions, not  the thoughts hand feelings themselves such as "envy." Many of these same worthless acts are addressed in the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus is "filling up" the law. The word "blasphemy" did not mean what it does today in Jesus's time but "slander." All these sins are in plural words, but in the NIV are changed to the singular.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐκ (prep) "Out of" is from 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."

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."

τῆς (article sg fem gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

καρδίας (noun sg fem gen) "The heart" is from 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)."

ἐξέρχονται (verb 3rd pl pres ind mp) "Come forth" is from exerchomai, which means "to come or go out of ""to march forth," "go out on," "to stand forth," "to exceed all bounds," "to come to an end," "to go out of office," and [of dreams or prophecies] "to come true."

διαλογισμοὶ [3 verses](noun pl masc nom) "Thoughts" is dialogismos, which means "balancing of accounts," "calculation," "consideration," "debate," "argument," and "discussion." It can also mean and it is the term for a "circuit court" and a :judicial inquiry." It isn't usually translated as "thought."

πονηροί, [38 verses](adj pl masc nom) "Evil" is from poneros, which means "burdened by toil," "useless," and "worthless." In a moral sense, it means "worthless," "base," and "cowardly."

φόνοι, [2 verses](noun pl masc nom) "Murders" is phonos, which means "murder," "slaughter," "homicide," "death as a punishment," and "killing."

μοιχεῖαι, [2 verses](noun pl fem nom) "Adulteries" is moicheia which means "adultery."

πορνεῖαι, [4 verses](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, [2 verses]( noun pl fem nom) "Thefts" is klope, which means "theft," "plagiarism," "fraud," and "stealth."

ψευδομαρτυρίαι, [1 verse](noun pl fem nom) "False witness" is psuedomartyria, which means "false witness" and "perjury."

βλασφημίαι [4 verses](noun pl fem nom) "Blasphemies" is blasphemia, which means a "word of evil omen," "profane speech," "slander," "defamation," and "abuse." In reading the NT, it came to mean "irreverent speech against God," but this is not what it meant after the Gospels were written.

KJV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

out of  - The Greek preposition translated as "out of" means "out of" and "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. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

heart  - "Heart" is from a noun that means both the physical heart and the seat of emotions, especially the stronger emotions of passion, rage, and courage." It also means "inclination," "desire," and "purpose." The "heart" is Christ's symbol for relationships and feeling. Here, he makes it clear that not only positive feeling, such as love, are associated with the heart. The source of what we share with people is what we feel about people.

proceed  - (WV) The word translated as "proceed" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true." It is in the form of either a passive verb or a verb where the subject acts on itself, so "brings itself from" or "makes itself come true."

evil  - (CW) The word translated as "evil" means "second-rate" or "worthless." This article explores its meaning in more detail. It is an adjective, but when used as a noun, therefore, "what is worthless." It is usually translated as "evil" in the NT. More about this word in this article.

thoughts,  - (WW) "Thoughts" is a noun that 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." It means literally "by calculation."

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

adulteries,  - "Adulteries" is from a word that means adultery.

fornications,  - "Fornications" is from a word that means promiscuity, generally, and "prostitution" for a woman and "fornication" for a man.

thefts,  - "Theft" is from a word that covers forms of dishonesty from theft to fraud,

false witness,  -  (WN) "False witness" means "perjury." Notice that the Greek word for "witness" is also the source of our word for "martyr." The word is plural, like all the other words here.

blasphemies: -- (UW) This word means "word of evil omen," "profane speech," "slander," "defamation," and "abuse." Our word "blasphemy" comes directly from the Greek word, via the Bible. So our word came to mean specifically "slander against God." This word is only used twice in the Greek OT, to translate different Greek words, one is the Hebrew phrase that means "speak amiss error" and the other a Hebrew word that means "contempt."

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb is either the passive or the middle voice where the subject acts on themselves.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "evil" has more the sense of "worthless."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "thoughts" has more the sense of "argument."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "false witness" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "perjuries."
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "blasphemies" means "slander." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

NIV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

out of  - The Greek preposition translated as "out of" means "out of" and "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. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

heart  - "Heart" is from a noun that means both the physical heart and the seat of emotions, especially the stronger emotions of passion, rage, and courage." It also means "inclination," "desire," and "purpose." The "heart" is Christ's symbol for relationships and feeling. Here, he makes it clear that not only positive feeling, such as love, are associated with the heart. The source of what we share with people is what we feel about people.

come - (WV) The word translated as "proceed" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true." It is in the form of either a passive verb or a verb where the subject acts on itself, so "brings itself from" or "makes itself come true."

evil  - (CW) The word translated as "evil" means "second-rate" or "worthless." This article explores its meaning in more detail. It is an adjective, but when used as a noun, therefore, "what is worthless." It is usually translated as "evil" in the NT. More about this word in this article.

thoughts,  - (WW) "Thoughts" is a noun that 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." It means literally "by calculation."

murder,  - (WN)"Murder" is from a noun that means both homicide and killing as a punishment.

adultery,  -(WN)"Adultery" is from a word that means adultery.

sexual immorality,  - (WN)"Sexual immorality" is from a word that means promiscuity, generally, and "prostitution" for a woman and "fornication" for a man.

theft,  - (WN) "Theft" is from a word that covers forms of dishonesty from theft to fraud,

false testimony,  - (WN)"False testimony" means "perjury." Notice that the Greek word for "witness" is also the source of our word for "martyr."

slander. -- (WN) This word means "word of evil omen," "profane speech," "slander," "defamation," and "abuse." Our word "blasphemy" comes directly from the Greek word, via the Bible. So our word came to mean specifically "slander against God." This Greek word is only used twice in the Greek OT, to translate different Greek words, one is the Hebrew phrase that means "speak amiss error" and the other a Hebrew word that means "contempt."

NIV Translation Issues: 

9
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb is either the passive or the middle voice where the subject acts on themselves.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "evil" has more the sense of "worthless."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "thoughts" has more the sense of "argument."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "murder" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "adultery" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "sexual immorality" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "theft" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "false testimony" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "slander" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural.

Front Page Date: 

Jan 27 2021