Dave HoLogos at
Sat Nov 13 14:02:08 EST 1999

>My question is: "At Luke 17:21,
> "oude erousin idou wde h ekei idou gar h basileia tou yeou entov umwn
>estin"  can this be translated "The Kingdom of God is in your midst or the
>Kingdom of God is inside of you."  Aside from any religious beliefs, is
>"in your midst" an acceptable translation?  The reason i say this is
>because if it is translated "inside of you" it gives the idea that the
>Kingdom of God is a heart condition which i sincerely don't feel fits the
>context of the passage and how you(plural) is relating to the Pharisees as
>the subject.

The preposition ENTOS is used only one other time in the GNT, in Matthew
23:26, for "clean the INSIDE of the cup and dish," versus washing only the
outside (EKTOS).  (Luke in 11:39-41 used ESWQEN vs. EXWQEN, and also TA
ENONTA for "the things lying within.")

SEPTUAGINT occurrences:

Psalm 102:1 "all that is WITHIN me"

Psalm 108:22 "my heart is troubled WITHIN me"

Canticle 2:9-10 "King Solomon made himself a litter of woods of Lebanon.
He made the pillars of it silver, the bottom of it gold, the covering of it
scarlet, IN THE MIDST OF it a pavement of love..."

Isaiah 16:11 "thou has repaired MY INWARD PARTS (TO ENTOS MOU) as a wall."

Daniel 10:16 "my bowels were turned WITHIN me" (ESTRAFH TO ENTOS MOU EN EMOI)

My concordance of the Septuagint shows that some manuscripts of Job 18:19
replace EN with ENTOS for "known among his people."

The Liddell-Scott-Jones lexicon does not show ENTOS as meaning "among."
The closest shade to that that it does mention is "BETWEEN," in the sense
of the Canticle passage above, for example, something found "between the
woods and pillars" would be "among" them, but "within their confines."
"Among his people" could mean in contrast to "outside the confines or
boundaries" of his people.

But in Luke 17:20-25, Jesus' main point seems to be that before the days of
the Son of Man, that is, his returning in Royal glory as obviously as
lightning flashing from one end of the sky to the other, there would first
be a form of the kingdom of God not as obvious, that is, the suffering
Messiah of verse 25.

This latter form of the kingdom of God is WITHIN the hearts of human
beings.  It is something not as observable (vs.20) as would be something
AMONG you, perhaps.

Jesus did not always speak to the Pharisees as enemies automatically.
Sometimes he gave them the benefit of the doubt.  Sometimes he spoke of the
office of scribe or Torah scholar as a positive thing, one entrusted with
treasures (Matt. 13:52).  And we are told that some of the Pharisees and
leaders of the people believed in him (John 8:13-30; 12:42), and some of
their names we know (Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea).

One way in which I might accept the rendering "among you" is when
understanding the word "IDOU" as "surprise" or "Lo!"  Like this: "Guess
what; the kingdom of God is already among you."  Or, is imminently among
you.  After all, the king himself "stands among you, (MESOS hUMWN) one you
do not know." (John 1:26)  And like the forerunner John the Baptizer, the
king is here among you, now already, if you are willing to accept it.
Otherwise, he is still yet to come.

When Pilate asked Jesus if he was a king, Jesus responded that he came into
the world to testify to the truth, that that was the form of his kingdom
for now, and that at the present time, his kingdom was not "from this
place," with recognizable boundaries.  Everyone who is of the truth hears
his voice.  John 18:37  This is something you listen to with your heart.

This was a good question, and I am happy with the rendering "within you."
But considering that the BAGD lexicon devotes at least a dozen lines to
this one occurrence, and that major English translations footnote the
possibility of "among you," it is not abolutely settled.

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