feelings

WORD MEANINGS… NEPHESH AND LEB

(July 19, 2022) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, explains …

There are two different Hebrew words in the Proverb 23:7 – nephesh and leb, that have in some English translations been translated by the word ‘heart.’  However, there a significant difference between the two Hebrew words.   

1) ‘Nephesh
This word is used many hundreds of times in the Hebrew Old Testament. In the KJV it is translated inmultiple ways such as, life, creature, soul, persons, mind, lust, heart, any, one, thing, yourself, dead, man and so on.

Nephesh‘ is a difficult word to translate into English, but its most frequent translation as ‘soul ‘ possibly comes closer to the meaningalthough ‘soul’ is not an easy word to understand!

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FACTS, FAITH AND FEELINGS

Question: Sometimes I feel very close to God and at other times I feel that he is a million miles away. When I don’t feel that he is near, does that mean that I have done something that has offended him?

Jim McClureDr Jim McClure, noted theologian, responds:

This question raises the more fundamental question of how reliable our emotions are in experiencing God’s presence and in sensing his speaking to us.

First of all it has to be said that our capacity to have emotions is a gift from God. When he made us, part of the human package was what we call ‘feelings.’ Some of them make us feel good, such as happiness, love, wonder, and pleasure; other have a negative effect on us – such as, sadness, disappointment, shame, anger and envy. Still others include such feelings as sympathy, compassion and courage. On and on the list goes! It would be hard to imagine life without feelings. Yet… (more…)