I would be interested to know the history of the word nephros, however, because I think in Bible times there was very little understanding about the organs of the body. So maybe nephros had some other meaning which we then applied to the kidneys.
In the evolution of language, objects have always helped to represent concepts. So the hand, for instance can indicate help, support, agreement or even marriage. The heart points to excitement and love, and also to the inside of things.
We use terms like intestinal fortitude, (i.e guts) and even balls to refer to ... intestinal fortitude.
In Hebrew, the word for womb - reHem, also means pity, compassion. Many people, even men, feel a nervous twinge in this area when they experience genuine strong compassion.
In Greek, the terms for several internal organs similarly represent feelings. The exact semantic boundaries of the terms for intestinal organs overlap to some extent. And yes, their understanding of the functions was not so advanced.
So we have 'splankhna' - intestines, heart, lungs, liver. Thought to be the location of both anger and love. Splankhna is used more often referring to affection, kindness, benevolence, compassion. (In Philemon:12, Paul refers to Onesimus as 'our own splankhna' - our love, dear friend).
Another word, 'oiktirmos' as an object refers to 'the bowels'. In Colossians 3:12 we have 'splankhna oiktirmou' which the simple-minded literalist would translate as 'stomach of bowels' where the real translators write 'bowels of mercies', or 'tenderhearted mercy'.
As for nephros
, as an object it refers specifically to a kidney, and more generally to the loins, the parts one needs to protect. The emotional reference is to one's innermost thoughts and feelings'. So in Rev 2:23 we have 'I am he which searcheth the reins and the hearts', or 'thoughts and intentions'. The Greek has more concrete terms the 'kidneys and hearts'.
Someone, please reassure me DM isn't thinking of bending this verse to show that Jesus is looking for 'kidneys and hearts' for transplants.
Three other occurrences: Psalm 2:23 (upright of heart - kidney!), Jeremiah 11:20 ('... that triest the reins and the heart') and Jeremiah 17:10. The King James version uses 'reins' to represent kidneys/innermost-thoughts.
I'm sorry that I can't chart the semantic progress of reins
. The Falkingham-Crofts used to have access to a very large Oxford Dictionary of the English Language
. However the colon
David McKay stole the whole set when he seduced Ashwyn into his cult. If you're reading this, colon, please look up the word 'rein' and let me know why KJV uses it where the Greek uses 'nephros'. You did keep the dictionary, didn't you? Or are you so dim that you sold it?
And, in reference to your obvious dimness, do I need to explain colon? The Greeks still use the word to refer to your type.