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Hector Hernandez wrote:

Brothers in Christ,

I hope that everyone is well.

I'm writing to ask for help in understanding why the Gospel of Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27 add mind to the Shema?

  1. Isn't the mind our consciousness, and isn't consciousness our spirt, and our soul?
  2. What faculty are the Gospels referring to with the word mind, when the commanded use of our soul had long been established in our love for God?

Thank you so much for your time, I look forward to hearing back from you.

Vivat Jesus!

Hector Hernandez

  { Why do these Gospels add "mind" to the Shema; isn't the "mind" our consciousness, spirt, and soul? }

Bob replied:

Dear Hector,

The word mind Is translated from the original Greek:

διάνοια dianŏia, dee-an´-oy-ah; from 1223 and 3563; deep thought, prop. the faculty (mind or its disposition), by impl. its exercise:—imagination, mind, understanding.

(Strong's Greek dictionary)

In this sense, it is referring to our thoughts and imagination, not our soul.

It is always useful to have a Greek dictionary to sort out difficult passages when things seem confusing.


Bob Kirby

John replied:


To add to Bob's reply, if you don't want to buy a Bible dictionary or Lexicon, you can use It has an interlinear option. So you can can see the Hebrew or Greek, above or below the English text. It's also keyed to Strong's Numbering system so you can easily access the definition.

Of course, there are additional tools to word studies on the internet. You will only run into some issues if you're researching any text from the Deuterocanonical Books in the Old Testament, as Catholic Study Tools for the original languages are few and far between.

It's one area where Catholic Scholarship is severely lacking but Strongs is a good starting point for fundamental definitions and etymology.


Hector replied:

Hi, guys —

I thank you for you help and have a great weekend.

  • So in essence Jesus adds control over our mind (our thoughts) to the Shema?


Bob replied:

Hi, Hector —

In essence, Yes.

Bob K.

John replied:


Aside from focusing on a specific word, you need to look at the context. The Shema tells us to love God with our entire being . . . that includes our body and soul. The mind is part of the body, but Jesus is focusing on the mind because he wants to bring out that our thought life must conform to the Word of God.

Paul puts it's this way in Romans 12:1-2:

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

Paul also writes to 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 :

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, . . .

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

We are called to think, like God thinks . . . that's not easy, but if we renew our mind by reading and meditating on Scripture, we are feeding our minds. If we instead feed our mind with worldly things and only feed our minds with prime time television shows, etc., then we will think like the world. If we absorb the advertising business narrative about:

  • needing this to look better
  • needing this to attract a mate
  • or whatever it is they are selling us . . .

    . . . then we will not be, who we are in Christ Jesus.

David wrote in Psalm 119:11: Thy law have buried in my heart that I might not sin against you. Notice he said heart in this instance. But before it can get into the heart, it must go through the mind but that's not enough It must travel from the head to heart.

There are two words in the Greek for Word . . .

  1. Logos, which is the written word or the reason. That is what we hear or read and internalize in the mind
  2. but Paul wrote in Romans, Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) The Greek of Word there is Rhema . . . it means a revelation in the heart or soul.

In other words, head knowledge must become heart knowledge so Jesus, in this instance, is admonishing us to start with the mind.

Hope this helps,


Hector replied:

Thank you very much John,

This is incredibly helpful and inspiring, I will be sure to share this wisdom and do my best to live it.

Have a wonderful weekend!


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