The Kingdom of God: In Your Midst (Not ‘within’)

“…behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Luke17:21 English Standard Version

The kingdom of God is God’s reign; his rule.  It is both present and future; inaugurated with the ministry of Christ but not yet consumated. As in the title of George Eldon Ladd’s book, it presently is  The Presence of the Future.

In Christ, the kingdom has come near (Mat, 12:28; Luke 21:31, etc.). Some enter it; some do not (Mark 10:23ff.). See the ISBE, s.v. Kingdom of God

As the forerunner before Christ’s ministry, John the Baptist cried, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

Jesus began his ministry with those same words, following the temptation in the wilderness (Mat. 4:17).

In Luke, in response “to the Pharisee’s question, ‘When is the kingdom of God coming?’, Jesus can therefore answer, ‘The kingdom of God  is in the midst of you” (Lk. 17:20f.; not as AV ‘is within you’).”–The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, s.v. King.

I. Howard Marshall, in The New International Greek Testament Commentary on Luke, states that “nowhere else is the kingdom regarded as something internal….A different translation is demanded, and is not difficult to find. With a plural noun entos means ‘among, in the midst of’ …Such a meaning gives good sense. Jesus is speaking of the presence of the kingdom of God among men, possibly as something within their grasp if they will take hold of it.”

Advertisements

One comment on “The Kingdom of God: In Your Midst (Not ‘within’)

  1. Michael Snow says:

    Second only to the influence of the KJV’s errant ‘within you’ is Leo Tolstoy’s work, The Kingdom of God Is Within You. He used this verse as the title and final sentence of this famous work. The proper translation not only does not detract from his thesis but strengthens it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s