There are two common views of the Nature of Man - the Dichotomous, and the Trichotomous.

However, a Quadrichotomous view can also be drawn from Jesus' answer to the challenge of what is the greatest commandment (Luke 10:27)

And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."

or (Mark 12:30)

and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.

What other verses/teachings support the four-fold view listed in Luke and Mark? Is this a valid view, or is it something akin to a Hebraism using repetition to enforce a point?

  • 2
    Incidentally, the usual term is tetrachotomous (combining Greek roots).
    – jogloran
    Aug 5, 2012 at 4:39
  • @jogloran - thanks for the alternate term .. I didn't know there was a "usual" :)
    – warren
    Aug 6, 2012 at 3:03

3 Answers 3


The four words that come in this scripture come from a variance in the translation of Deuteronomy 6:5. The Greek Septuagint translates "strength" as "mind". This translation of what Jesus said in Aramaic accommodated both the familiar Greek translation as well as the more accurate Hebrew translation of the word.

It does not, however, suggest a Quadrichotomous view of man, even though that is a pretty cool word.


I think you are reading too much into the text literally, which is very dangerous with something as the Bible.

I believe the point of this verse is not to propose a Quadrichotomous view, but rather simply Love the Lord with everything you have.


I think we should love God with all our emotions, mind, will, body, personality, gifts, imagination, heart, etc. but expressing different aspects of the 'body and soul' does not imply absolute divisions.

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