Within or Among

Which is the better translation of Luke 17: 21?

“for the Kingdom of God is Within you?” (Cath living bible) or
“the kingdom … is among you” (new american bible) or…
some other translation anyone?

thank you in advance!

We’ll considering that the Holy Spirit resides within the believer…

The Greek word used here is entos, which could mean both ‘within’ and ‘among’, as well as ‘in one’s midst’; both translations are thus acceptable:

And having been questioned by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The reign of God is not coming with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘There!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is among you.

I asked because I saw on the Internet that “within” is the wrong translation. Within and among are two different things in our language. So, perhaps it’s proper to say something like, “God is within you, His creation and also among His people, the Church?”

The Douay Rheims says “within”

The Spirit of God can indeed dwell within us, but the scripture you cite speaks of the “Kingdom of God.” The kingdom of God does not dwell “within us” Therefore the better translation is among us.

The Kingdom of God on the earth is the Church of Jesus Christ. This kingdom is made up of the followers of Christ on the earth. There is also a counterpart in heaven called the Kingdom of God in Heaven (or the Kingdom of Heaven). Paul calls it the Church of the Firstborn. (see Hebrews 12:23) One is patterned after the other and both are led by their King – even Jesus Christ.

22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Personally, based on the context, having entos to mean ‘within’ or ‘inside’ ourselves, while a favorite by many people, is rather problematic when seen from the context - Jesus’ audience in this passage are not His disciples, but Pharisees. We have no indication that the they, elsewhere on the Gospels painted as being more concerned with the outward observance of the Law than inward holiness as well as being in a number of cases hostile to Jesus, were the sort of people that Jesus would say this about.

Also, the question posed to Jesus is “when the kingdom of God will come”. Having Jesus say ‘it’s inside yourselves!’ would be a non-sequitur, IMHO.

This might suggest that “within” is to be understood as ‘with you/within your midst’ rather than ‘inside your beings’. In modern English, rendering entos as ‘among’ captures the sense better due to the potential confusion that ‘within’ might bring. The kingdom is now “among” the Pharisees, “within” their midst, in the Person and ministry of Jesus: it’s now staring at them in the face.

Interestingly, the Haydock Commentary for this verse expresses the same idea:

Ver. 21. Is within you. It is with you; your Messias is already come. — He standeth in the midst of you, as John the Baptist told you. (John i. 26.) (Witham)

so then lets just check it out.So what is within you - hot temper,blazing anger,fiery feelings,smouldering jealousy,flaming fury. Sounds a lot more like the other place is within - twinc

Cute I hope and not meant to get at anyone on this post!
Thank you everyone. I learned a lot. :thumbsup:

{17:21} neque dicent: Ecce hic, aut ecce illic. Ecce enim regnum Dei **intra **vos est.
{17:21} And so, they will not say, ‘Behold, it is here,’ or ‘Behold, it is there.’ For behold, the kingdom of God is **within **you.”

The Latin plainly says ‘within’ you. The use of ‘intra vos’ is unusual in Latin, which implies that the choice of intra was not merely grammatical.

The Greek is ‘entos’ which is also unusual. This is not like the English word ‘in’ which can have many different meanings, in various cases, in various types of grammatical contructions. It is accurately translated as ‘within’ or even ‘inside’.

So those translations that say ‘among’ are using a loose and very inaccurate phrasing.

I can’t even tell you how interesting this is for me who knows no Greek or anything! Within, in English carries the thought that God is the spark of life itself and keeper of the soul? I may be wrong to do this but sometimes I use this translation with people who seem to want to find happiness and meaning in things outside themselves (money, other people they can’t change, etc). I have used “among” when people think their relationship with God excludes community and don’t want to get involved.

As with all my other posts, I admittedly am ignorant of all this theology, so I appreciate all the contributions here! I may ask other questions as I think of them! :slight_smile:

Here’s some ‘entos’ (Greek word from 17.21 you’re wondering about) from the LXX (Greek OT) for your perusal
within 4x; interior 1x; inwardly 1x; and inward 1x

1 Macc 4:48 καὶ ᾠκοδόμησαν τὰ ἅγια καὶ τὰ ἐντὸς τοῦ οἴκου καὶ τὰς αὐλὰς ἡγίασαν
48 And made up the sanctuary, and the things that were within the temple, and hallowed the courts.

Ps 38:4 ἐθερμάνθη ἡ καρδία μου ἐντός μου, καὶ ἐν τῇ μελέτῃ μου ἐκκαυθήσεται πῦρ. ἐλάλησα ἐν γλώσσῃ μου
[39:3] My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,

Ps 102:1 Τῷ Δαυιδ. Εὐλόγει, ἡ ψυχή μου, τὸν κύριον καί, πάντα τὰ ἐντός μου, τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ἅγιον αὐτοῦ,
[103:1] A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Ps 108:22 ῥῦσαί με, ὅτι πτωχὸς καὶ πένης ἐγώ εἰμι, καὶ ἡ καρδία μου τετάρακται ἐντός μου.
[109:21] deliver me; 22 For I am afflicted and needy, And my heart is wounded within me.

Song 3:10 στύλους αὐτοῦ ἐποίησεν ἀργύριον καὶ ἀνάκλιτον αὐτοῦ χρύσεον, ἐπίβασις αὐτοῦ πορφυρᾶ, ἐντὸς αὐτοῦ λιθόστρωτον, ἀγάπην ἀπὸ θυγατέρων Ιερουσαλημ.
3:10 "He made its posts of silver, Its back of gold And its seat of purple fabric, With its interior lovingly fitted out By the daughters of Jerusalem.

Sirach 19:26 ἔστιν πονηρευόμενος συγκεκυφὼς μελανίᾳ, καὶ τὰ ἐντὸς αὐτοῦ πλήρη δόλου,
26 There is a wicked man that hangeth down his head sadly; but inwardly he is full of deceit,

Isa 16:11 διὰ τοῦτο ἡ κοιλία μου ἐπὶ Μωαβ ὡς κιθάρα ἠχήσει, καὶ τὰ ἐντός μου ὡσεὶ τεῖχος, ὃ ἐνεκαίνισας.
Wherefore my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kirharesh.

all of these (minus the Deuteros) are קרב ‘qereb’ in Hebrew = ‘within’/‘inside’, except in Song 3:10 where it is תוכ ‘tavek’ = ‘among’/‘midst’/‘middle’

Hmm…you do bring some good arguments there. Good job! :thumbsup:
However, I still think that in the immediate context - Pharisees asking Jesus when the kingdom will come - “within you” is probably better thought of as ‘within your midst’, though the idea that it means ‘within your inner beings’ is, upon a closer look, not so wrong an interpretation, contrary to what I have originally thought. To quote from A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture:

This instruction is joined by Mt to the discourse on the ruin of Jerusalem, 24:26-28, 37-41, but with a slightly different arrangement. In his usual manner Lk introduces it by means of a question put by a member of the audience, a question quite in keeping with traditional Messianic views which looked for a catastrophic divine manifestation in favour of Israel. This was not in accordance with realities, as Jesus here shows. No need to be on the lookout for the Kingdom of God as one looked out for a new star; ‘the Kingdom of God is within [or, among] you’. Whatever be the right word here the meaning is clear; the Kingdom of God was already there, and if the Pharisees did not see it that was because they were looking for something entirely different (cf. 11:20).

The patristic interpretation favours in vobis, in your souls; but our Lord would hardly have said that of the Pharisees, though as the Pater teaches, the Kingdom of God is certainly within those who do the will of God. Such a meaning is naturally favoured by Protestants since it supports, as they think, the thesis of an invisible Church. Our Lord is merely answering the question of 20: the Kingdom will not come, because it is already here. Therefore it would not come with a glorious Messianic manifestation. Doubtless this surprised his disciples who had witnessed his miracles and the Transfiguration.

You must ask yourself: If “the Kingdom of God is within you” who is the “you” that the Bible is referring to? The context (verse 20) explains that it is the Pharisees. Certainly, Jesus Christ wasn’t saying that the Kingdom of God is inside of Pharisees! Therefore, the word “within” is better translated “among” - referring to Jesus Himself as a representative of God’s Kingdom who was at that time “among” the Pharisees.

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