In Mark chapter 8 verse 17 Jesus is rebuking his disciples for not understanding his message regarding the leaven of the Pharisees:

καὶ γνοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει αὐτοῖς Τί διαλογίζεσθε ὅτι ἄρτους οὐκ ἔχετε οὔπω νοεῖτε οὐδὲ συνίετε ἔτι πεπωρωμένην ἔχετε τὴν καρδίαν ὑμῶν

And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?

So, what is the difference in meaning between "perceive" (νοεῖτε) and "understand" (συνίετε)? Please give knowledgeble answers, based on dictionaries and research.

1 Answer 1


First, neither is a Koine (Biblical Greek) construct.

νοεῖτε is Attic Greek and in this context seems to connote "perceive".


συνίετε is Homeric Greek. It has a primary connotation of join or come together. Metaphorically in Homer it is frequently used to mean comprehend or understand.

To perceive is to be aware of something whereas to comprehend is to understand the nature of what is perceived.

The Greek as I sense it (in modern parlance) might be: You are not perceiving let alone comprehending

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