“Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Questioning alternate readings of Lk 17:21

Next Theology

I find no English translator before the late 19th century rendering the last words in Luke 17:21 by any other than the classic phrase, “the kingdom of God is within you.”   The interpretive glosses “…in your midst” and “…among you” appear as early as the 16th century (commentaries by the Protestant Beza and the Catholic Maldonatus).  But these interpretive expansions were always part of the commentary, never the text.

By contrast, modern translations began including these interpretations as alternate readings in footnotes over 100 years ago.  And finally these glosses have graduated to the text itself, completely displacing the original literal sense.  Examples of the trend can be seen by comparing the American Standard Version with the RSV or New American Standard Version. See also the New International Version vs. Today’s NIV.  And there are many more.

I think this development is remarkable for the fact that it has not come about as a…

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