What Is The Best Translation of Luke 17:21?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by TCGreek, Jul 4, 2007.

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  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    What is the best translation of the following: Iδου γαρ η βασιλεια του θεου εντος υμων εστιν (Luke 17:21)?

    1. "For behold the kingdom of God is among you or in your midst" (NASB, ESV, HCSB).

    2. "For behold the Kingdom of God is within you" (KJV, NKJV, NIV)

    The only difference between these two renderings is how one translates εντος υμων εστιν.
     
  2. Hope of Glory

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    Don't forget, even the KJV translators offered the other as a possibility.

    Here's what Vincent had to say:

    "Better, in the midst of. Meyer acutely remarks that “you refers to the Pharisees, in whose hearts nothing certainly found a place less than did the ethical kingdom of God.” Moreover, Jesus is not speaking of the inwardness of the kingdom, but of its presence. “The whole language of the kingdom of heaven being within men, rather than men being within the kingdom, is modern” (Trench, after Meyer)."

    The ALT gives both readings, just as the KJV does.

    The translations I have are split pretty evenly, with most of the literal translations using "among" and the ones that are more dynamic equivalents using "within".

    The BDAG says the word itself can be either, but prefers "among" for the passage in question.

    It seems the use of the plural and the context supports "among", so most sources go that way.
     
  3. TCGreek

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    Thanks for the scholarly input.

    I esp. like this quote. Thanks:thumbs:
     
  4. John of Japan

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    I'm leaning towards "within you" since the only other NT usage of entos is in Matt. 23:26, where it clearly means within the cup. However, this is just preliminary. I've just been looking at the word on Perseus through my Bibloi program, but it looks too complicated to study for this late at night here in Japan.... Catch you in the morning, maybe. :sleep:
     
  5. franklinmonroe

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    John, I'm so glad you brought that up! I've seen that many versions translate Matthew 23:26-27 in such a manner as to have Jesus instructing the Pharisees that the inside surface of the cup ought be sanitized before having concern for the exterior appearance. Clearly, filth on the inside of the cup would contaminate incoming contents. But I don't think that is the proper interpretation: I think that Jesus was saying that they should be concerned with the purity of the content already in the cup. Notice, the cup is not merely superficially polluted but He says their cup is already "full" of ungodly substances --
    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
    [Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.​

    It was 'dirty' to the brim; so much so, it couldn't receive even a drop of nurishing liquid. The inside of the cup cannot be washed while it is full. It must purged. But it seems that a Pharisee would always be sure to ingest his heaping pile of sheep manure from a vessel spotless on the outside. This interpretation is further supported by the following verse which focuses on the decayed remains contained in a sepulchre --
    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness. ​

    The ossuary is not unclean from past use, it is currently occupied! If this is the proper interpretation in Matthew 23, it may lend assistance somewhat to the usage of entos in Luke. That is, Jesus is NOT telling the Pharisees that the kingdom of God is a place within themelves, or a cavity inside of them to be filled; but rather the kingdom's substance is already there, or its' contents are immediately present.
     
    #5 franklinmonroe, Jul 5, 2007
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  6. TCGreek

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    But in what way is the "substance" immediately present there? What do you mean by "there"?

    I am looking forward to John's findings in Perseus, to help us some more with this translation of entos.
     
    #6 TCGreek, Jul 5, 2007
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  7. Bro. Williams

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    Definately going with:

    Lu 17:21
    Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

    That's my vote!
     
  8. franklinmonroe

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    I'll allow Matthew Henry to answer (italics his, bold mine) --
    ...When Messiah the Prince comes to set up his kingdom, they shall not say, Lo here, or Lo there, as when a prince goes in progress to visit his territories it is in every body’s mouth, he is here, or he is there; for where the king is there is the court...
    ...The kingdom of God will not change men’s outward condition, but their hearts and lives. Then it comes when it makes those humble, and serious, and heavenly, that were proud, and vain, and carnal,—when it weans those from the world that were wedded to the world; and therefore look for the kingdom of God in the revolutions of the heart, not of the civil government. The kingdom of God is among you; so some read it. "You enquire when it will come, and are not aware that it is already begun to be set up in the midst of you. The gospel is preached, it is confirmed by miracles, it is embraced by multitudes, so that it is in your nation, though not in your hearts.’’ Note, It is the folly of many curious enquirers concerning the times to come that they look for that before them which is already among them.​
     
  9. TCGreek

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    I understand the quote from Matthew Henry, but I wasn't too sure what you meant by "there" and "substance." But if you were saying the same thing as Henry then I get it.

    Matthew Henry chose "among you," not "within you."

    If a person chooses "within you" or "among you", I would love to know what is the textual basis for that choice, and not just because your favorite bible version has it.
     
  10. robycop3

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    Going strictly from an overview of Scripture, as I don't know Koine Greek or any other Greek, I'll go with "within", as, for a Christian, the KOG is as near as his next heartbeat. He is already a citizen of the KOG, although he's not physically in it yet. "Among" implies that the KOG is already physically here.
     
  11. TCGreek

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    But Jesus was not addressing Christians. He was addressing some Pharisees. Revisit the passage. That will prove helpful.

    This issue must be decided from a textual and contextual basis. Not just what a version says.
     
  12. robycop3

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    The CONtextual part is easy. Jesus came to preach the KOG, among other things. In two of His parables, He compared Himself to a nobleman who went on a long journey TO RECEIVE HIS KINGDOM. And the KOG is not now physically here. It won't be, till Jesus returns in His full power & glory to occupy David's throne & physically establish that kingdom by His power. However, every Christian who has ever lived or is now living & every Old Covenant saint who ever lived, is now a citizen of that kingdom. Thus, the KOG was WITHIN those first Christians.

    Jesus didn't have one set of rules for those Pharisees & another set for everyone else. He has one set of universal requirements for ALL who would be citizens of the KOG.
     
  13. TCGreek

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    Jesus was addressing the PHARISEES. That is what the Bible says, not Christians. Please READ what the text says. Maybe that fact will control your comments some. Forget about what the bible says in other places.

    WHO is speaking here? To WHOM is he speaking? And WHAT is he saying? Answer those questions from Luke 17:20, 21.
     
  14. Salamander

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    "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

    I think you have something a little confused here. Jesus was making a general statement concerning the Kingdom. As with comparing other Scripture, I am one who DOES consider what other passages of the Bible say when deciding what the context means and would NEVER suggest overlooking them in making any decision.

    Jesus said something to the Pharisees that caused them to stop and think, considering what he said.

    The pharisees thought they had the monopoly on the Kingdom, Jesus has a way of disrupting their ideals, it's called "hate speech"

    Y'know, the truth is hate speech to those who hate the truth!
     
  15. TCGreek

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    Let's maintain a spirit of gentleness as we try to best understand Luke 17:21. Most of the scholarly sources I have looked at, go for "among you" or "in your midst." Then made their decision, it seems, on an immediate contextual basis.

    As a student of Scripture, I am aware of the significance of other texts. But here it seems to me, that "among you" is the preferred translation. Even this too is not without its difficulties ( see BDAG).
     
  16. Ed Edwards

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    The answer is in the original KJV (AKA: KJB):

    Luke 17:21 (KJV1611 Edition, best translation):
    Neither shall they say, Loe here,
    or loe there: for behold,
    the kingdome of God is || within you.


    Margine note:
    || or, among you.

    Luke 17:21 (KJV1611 Edition, good enough to go):
    Neither shall they say, Loe here,
    or loe there: for behold,
    the kingdome of God is among you.

    So my answer is: both are correct, inerrant, without flaw, and are
    God's Holy Written Word --
    proof is left as an exercise for the student
     
  17. John of Japan

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    Wow, this is a fascinating word! For the information of those wondering, Perseus is a databases of hundreds of Greek documents, both classical and koine. I can access it through my Bibloi Bible program. It would take far more time than I have to do a complete search of the papyrii, but I did search a few and could not find entos. It is evidently a rare word in koine Greek, just as it is in the NT.

    What is fascinating is that in most of classical Greek this word is an adverb, but in the NT it is used as a preposition. Classical Greek occasionally uses it as a preposition, but then it sometimes occurs as a "postposition," or a preposition positioned after the noun. Go figure that one out! By the way, BDAG is wrong when it says, "in our lit. only as improper prep. w. gen...." How strange to call this usage in 1st cent. koine improper from the refuge of the 20th century when we know so little about the spoken koine of the time!

    When you first access Perseus it takes you to the Liddell-Scott classical Greek lexicon, the standard one, and gives you links to the documents mentioned. For anyone curious, here is the entos entry from L-S in Bibloi:

    ἐντός ἐν within, inside, Lat. intus, opp. toἐκτός ?0 [I.] as prep. with gen., τείχεος ἐντός Il.;ἐντὸς Ὀλύμπου Hes., etc.;ἐντὸς ἐμαυτοῦ in my senses, Hdt.; so absol., ἐντὸς ὤν Dem.?0--also with Verbs of motion, τείχεος ἐντὸς ἰέναι Il. [2.] within, i. e. on this side, Lat. citra, ἐντὸς τοῦ Ἄλυος ποταμοῦ Hdt., etc. [3.] of Time, within, ἐντὸς εἴκοσιν ἡμερῶν Thuc.;ἐντὸς ἑσπέρας short of, i. e. before, evening, Xen. [II.] absol. within, ἐντὸς ἐέργειν Hom.;ἐντὸς ἔχειν Thuc.;τὰ ἐντός the inner parts, inwards, id=Thuc.

    My final conclusion is that either translation is correct. "Within you" is supported by the common usage of the word and "among you" is supported by the context. Which do I go with? I haven't translated Luke into Japanese yet, so I don't know yet! (There, how's that for coming down solidly on a position? :thumbs: ) I'm now leaning towards "among you," since TC's argument from context is powerful.
     
  18. franklinmonroe

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    What "powerful" contextual argument from TC are you referring?
     
  19. John of Japan

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    I have to run to the church for my translation committee this afternoon, but I'll answer briefly. TC emphasized that Jesus was talking to the Pharisees. The fact that they had just demanded of Him an answer shows me that they were not disciples. Our theological presupposition that the Kingdom of God does not dwell in unbelievers then aims the translation towards "among you." If the common usage did not allow such a translation we would have to go with the meaning of "within," but the word has a wide range of meaning in the classical sources, thus allowing "among." :type:
     
  20. TCGreek

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    John, thanks for the hardwork you put in to trace that unusual word, entos. Yes, M-M pointed me to the classics as well.

    What do you mean that BDAG is wrong by calling entos an improper preposition? Maybe I am missing something here, but I always thought that such was the case, that they were adverbal was were used as prepositions. Even Herbert Smyth in his classical Greek Grammar refers to entos as an improper preposition. Can you explain?:thumbs:
     
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