The word "Conscience" nearly is the axis of God's messages.

When I was searching this word in the Bible I was surprised.

This very important word wasn't mentioned in the whole old testament.

Actually I looked very reliable English translations of the Bible, like KJV. Some less reliable, non literal translations mentioned "conscience" as in 1 Samuel 25:31, but it's not the literal translation, these versions used "conscience" instead of "heart".

Obadiah 1:6 has a word which could be translated as "Conscience". This word is: מַצְפֻּנָֽיו. Look:

  1. איך נחפשׂו עשׂו נבעו מצפניו׃

This word מצפניו means explicitly: 1- hidden thing, 2- secret, or 3- conscience.

Absence of such important word from the O.T needs Hermeneutical and Philosophical approaches.

The word "Conscience"="συνειδήσεις" present more than 25 times in the N.T mainly in Acts and epistles. Nearly it is absent from the Gospels.

Thus, why the word "Conscience" is absent from the Old Testament?

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    look into "the gentiles show the law by not even knowing the law" this will explain conscience. Apr 27 '20 at 19:52
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    1 Sa 25:31 (strong's number: h3820) Apr 27 '20 at 20:06
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    Lev 26:41 h3824 h3665 Apr 27 '20 at 20:10
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    Vote to reopen. Of all the unclosed "Why" questions on this site that don't involve hermeneutics (and often entails conjecture), I'm really surprised this one has been closed. It's an interesting question that is doesn't have an obvious answer. The OP showed effort in trying to make the connection between an NT and OT concept of conscience. OT and NT verses can show the connection.
    – tblue
    Apr 28 '20 at 16:52
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    Herm. Principles Relavent to the Two Testaments p. 1 - The scope of this study encompasses two important hermeneutic principles which are provoking vigorous discussion on the contemporary scene. Both of these principles are based on the belief in the essential unity of the Old and New Testaments. place.asburyseminary.edu/cgi/… --
    – tblue
    Apr 28 '20 at 21:23


Bible Dictionaries Holman Bible Dictionary

Conscience refers in general to that human moral awareness that judges an action right or wrong.

Although the word “conscience” does [not] appear in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word usually translated “heart” does refer to conscience in a number of passages, for example, “Afterward David's heart smote him” (1 Samuel 24:5 ). Compare 2 Samuel 24:10 ; Job 27:6.

2Sam. 24:10 (KJV) - And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

Job 27:6 (KJV) - My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

The New Testament also uses this Hebraic reference to conscience: “if our heart condemn us” (1 John 3:20-21 .) The word for “reins” or “kidneys” sometimes refers to conscience. In Psalm 16:7 the psalmist thanked God for giving him counsel and because his reins or kidneys admonished him, meaning his conscience reproved him. (See Psalm 73:21 for “heart” and “reins” in the same verse.)

Psa. 73:21 (KJV) - Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.

“Conscience” in the New Testament is the translation of a Greek word derived from a verb that means “to know with.” This suggests a moral consciousness which compares an action with a standard. Paul, it seems, took a word from popular Greek usage in Corinth and used it to reply to some of the Corinthian Christians.

For Paul, God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. God judges persons by His standards as revealed in Jesus Christ. These standards are reflected in His creation and especially in persons who are morally responsible because of their capacity of choice.

To Paul the “conscience” is a person's painful reaction to a past act which does not meet the standard. A person can react wrongly because of wrong information, wrong environment, and wrong habit. Yet Paul would have said that, in spite of these liabilities, a person's conscience must be obeyed. Paul, however, would not have said that a person has no other guide. If past actions have not been such as to produce painful reactions, the person is said to have a “pure conscience” (1 Timothy 3:9 ; 2 Timothy 1:3 ). When sensitive and active in judging past acts, the conscience is said to be “good” (Acts 23:1 ; 1Timothy 1:5,1 Timothy 1:19 ; 1Peter 3:16,1 Peter 3:21 ; Hebrews 13:18 ) or “void of offence toward God” (Acts 24:16 ). If the conscience is not active in judging past acts, it is said to be “weak” (1Corinthians 8:7,1Corinthians 8:10,1 Corinthians 8:12 ) and may be wounded (1 Corinthians 8:12 ). When the conscience is insensitive, it is “seared” (1 Timothy 4:2 ). The sinful conscience is “defiled” (Titus 1:15 ) or “evil” (Hebrews 10:22 ).

In 1 Corinthians 4:4 , Paul used the verb from which the word for “conscience” is derived. He wrote: “For I know nothing by myself.” This phrase means “my conscience does not accuse me.” Paul completed the sentence by saying: “yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.” Paul, in short, taught that a pure conscience is valuable, but that Christ is the final standard by which a person is judged.

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    @ blue thank you for effort, you can complete your article to get best answer.
    – salah
    Apr 28 '20 at 4:50
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    There are other articles on this topic, such as: biblestudytools.com/dictionary/conscience. Thanks for the question. Not sure why the pile-on to close. +1
    – tblue
    Apr 28 '20 at 5:15
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    @tblue because this word study would prove a creator, we have atheists working here 24/7. Apr 28 '20 at 14:06
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    @ T blue I think you're right. There must be atheists, at least some atheists. I don't know. The question is a hundred percent on_topic.
    – salah
    Apr 28 '20 at 15:20
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    @salah Still doesn't compute. One can argue degree of self-awareness or enhanced conscience from OT to NT - but to say that the roots of the concept don't exist in the OT because there is no singular word for it, is not justifiable. Everyone in the OT was atheist? Surely, I have to be hearing you wrong. If no word for 'conscience' in Hebrew OT, they were all Godless?
    – tblue
    Apr 28 '20 at 22:08

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