What is the Human Heart?

Some Ontological Metaphors in the New Testament


  • Eldar Veremchuk Zaporizhzhia National University, Ukraine




conceptual metaphor theory, cross-domain mapping, elaboration of metaphor, extension of metaphor, source domain, target domain


The article discusses ontological metaphors with the target domain HEART in the text of the New Testament. It aims at exploring cross-domain mappings through the analysis of metaphoric expressions, involving lexeme heart, obtained by the Bible corpus analysis employing the method of continuous sampling. The research is based on the principles of Conceptual Metaphor Theory and proves its tenet that abstract ideas are conceptualized on the basis of knowledge about basic concrete things. It is stated that the two superordinate mappings involve domains THING and PERSON. Each of these mappings has elaborations and metaphoric extensions, which unravel the heart’s non-ordinary and unexpected features, justifying a different viewpoint to its understanding. The obtained results can be useful for adapts of Christianityб theologists and literary scholars as they provide insight into conceiving one of the essential theological concepts – HEART, deeper than its literal reading, which contributes to a more profound understanding of the Biblical messages.


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How to Cite

Veremchuk, E. (2023). What is the Human Heart? Some Ontological Metaphors in the New Testament. Acta Neophilologica, 56(1-2), 39–51. https://doi.org/10.4312/an.56.1-2.39-51