Context: Just as I finished writing yesterday’s context, I saw how to express in writing the heaven I had experienced during prayer (https://wp.me/p45bCr-bwn), so I noted it down immediately, and began to work on it.
As I researched its references later in the day, it was fascinating to see, as always, the widely different ways in which individual Bible verses are translated. The relevant verse here is Luke 17:21, and I want to focus for a moment on just one word: ἐντὸς, which tells the reader where the kingdom of God is experienced. The multiple translations I consulted offered many different shades of meaning to express this single, original Greek preposition (some of these can be seen in the references below). NB: To my great surprise, today’s blog includes several of these different meanings, even though I didn’t write it with that aim.
Translation is such an important issue for me, because different translations can generate different beliefs. For example, here is the phrase from Luke 17:21, in which the word ἐντὸς is used, firstly in the KJV (the emphasis is mine):
The kingdom of God is within you.
Then here it is in the ABPI:
The Kingdom of God is within some of you.
Clearly, these two translations have radically different meanings, with potentially major consequences for the thinking, speech and even behaviour of those whose Biblical access is usually limited to a single translation.
Finally, in the references for today’s prayer I use the terms kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God interchangeably. This follows the example of the gospels, where the term chosen by each writer depends on the target group for which each gospel was intended.
Anyway, after this rather long preamble, here is today’s blog:
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!” (Genesis 28:16-17; NLT).
1. Heaven on earth,
And heaven in prayer;
Heaven in worship:
Heaven is near.
2. Heaven within,
And heaven without;
Heaven in service:
Heaven is here.
3. Heaven in all,
And heaven in Thou;
Heaven in oneness:
Heaven is now!
The Kingdom of God is already among you
(Luke 17:21; NLT).
1. The Kingdom of Heaven is near (Matthew 10:7; NLT).
2. The kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21; KJV).
God’s kingdom is here with you (Luke 17:21; CEV).
3. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).