When and where.

Luke 17.20-21.

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Notes and quotes.

§ The phrase ιδου ωδε η εκει, ιδου γαρ (look here or there, for behold) is a repeated and transposed formula.

§ Thomas 3abc:

ΠΕϪΕ Ι̅C̅ ϪΕ ΕΥϢΑϪΟΟC ΝΗΤΝ̅ Ν̅ϬΙ ΝΕΤCΩΚϨΗΤ ΤΗΥΤΝ̅ ϪΕ ΕΙCϨΗΗΤΕ ΕΤΜΝ̅ΤΕΡΟ ϨΝ̅ΤΠΕ ΕΕΙΕ Ν̅ϨΑΛΗΤ ΝΑΡ̅ϢΟΡΠ ΕΡΩΤΝ̅ Ν̅ΤΕΤΠΕ ΕΥϢΑΝϪΟΟC ΝΗΤΝ̅ ϪΕ CϨΝ̅ΘΑΛΑCCΑ ΕΕΙΕ Ν̅ΤΒΤ ΝΑΡ̅ϢΟΡΠ ΕΡΩΤΝ̅ ΑΛΛΑ ΤΜΝ̅ΤΕΡΟ CΜ̅ΠΕΤΝ̅ϨΟΥΝ ΑΥΩ CΜ̅ΠΕΤΝ̅ΒΑΛ.

Jesus said: If those who lead you say to you: See, the kingdom is in the sky, then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you: It is in the sea, then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you.

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 654, lines 9-16:

Λεγει Ι[η{σου}ς· Εαν] οι ελκοντες ημας [ειπωσιν υμιν· Ιδου], η βασιλεια εν ουρα[νω, υμας φθησεται] τα πετεινα του ουρ[ανου. εαν δ ειπωσιν ο]τι υπο την γην εστ[ιν, εισελευσονται] οι ιχθυες της θαλα[σσης προφθασαν]τες υμας· και η βασ[ιλεια του θεου] εντος υμων [ε]σ̣τι [κακτος].

Says J[e{su}s: If] they drag you along and [say to you: Behold], the kingdom is in heav[en, before you shall reach] it the birds of hea[ven will. And if they say that] it i[s] under the earth, the fish of the se[a shall go reach]ing it before you. And the kin[gdom of God] [i]s within you [and without].

Thomas 113:

ΠΕϪΑΥ ΝΑϤ Ν̅ϬΙΝΕϤΜΑΘΗΤΗC ϪΕ ΤΜΝ̅ΤΕΡΟ ΕCΝ̅ΝΗΥ Ν̅ΑϢ Ν̅ϨΟΟΥ ΕCΝ̅ΝΗΥ ΑΝ ϨΝ̅ΟΥϬΩϢΤ ΕΒΟΛ ΕΥΝΑϪΟΟC ΑΝ ϪΕ ΕΙCϨΗΗΤΕ Μ̅ΠΙCΑ Η ΕΙCϨΗΗΤΕ ΤΗ ΑΛΛΑ ΤΜΝ̅ΤΕΡΟ Μ̅ΠΕΙΩΤ ΕCΠΟΡϢ ΕΒΟΛ ϨΙϪΜ̅ΠΚΑϨ ΑΥΩ Ρ̅ΡΩΜΕ ΝΑΥ ΑΝ ΕΡΟC.

His disciples said to him: What day will the kingdom come? [Jesus said:] It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying: Here it is, or: There it is. Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it.

§ What does the preposition εντος mean in Luke 17.21? Does it mean within or among? If the former, then the kingdom of God is imagined as inside the hearts of those listening, apparently the Pharisees in this case. If the latter, then the kingdom is imagined as in their midst.

I feel rather ill equipped to answer this question, but will note a couple of things. First, in favor of within, that seems to be the most common meaning of the Greek word. Second, in favor of among, the usual meaning seems quite foreign to Luke, who nowhere else appears to regard the kingdom as an inner spiritual reality. I must admit that my own biases lie with among.

Loren Rosson III, in a recent post on his increasingly interesting weblog, the Busybody, points to a discussion in favor of among by Brandon Wason on his weblog Novum Testamentum. Wason identifies two classical uses of εντος as meaning among or between (that is, within the perimeter of a number of persons or things but exterior to them individually) as opposed to within (that is, on the interior of each individual person or thing). Both of the Greek texts below are taken from Perseus; likewise the English translations, with a change only in the second one in order to render the preposition more literally.)

The first reference is Herodotus, Histories 7.100.3:

Τας δε νεας οι ναυαρχοι αναγαγοντες οσον τε τεσσερα πλεθρα απο του αιγιαλου ανεκωχευον, τας πρωρας ες γην τρεψαντες παντες μετωπηδον, και εξοπλισαντες τους επιβατας ως ες πολεμον. ο δ εντος των πρωρεων πλεων εθηειτο και του αιγιαλου.

The captains put out and anchored in line four hundred feet from the shore, with their prows turned landward and the marines armed for war; Xerxes viewed them by passing between the prows and the land.

The second is Xenophon, Anabasis 1.10.3 (yes, students of Greek, that Xenophon and that Anabasis; I have not forgotten the famous parasangs of second-year Greek):

Η δε Μιλησια η νεωτερα ληφθεισα υπο των αμφι βασιλεα εκφευγει γυμνη προς των Ελληνων οι ετυχον εν τοις σκευοφοροις οπλα εχοντες και αντιταχθεντες πολλους μεν των αρπαζοντων απεκτειναν, οι δε και αυτων απεθανον ου μην εφυγον γε, αλλα και ταυτην εσωσαν και ταλλα, οποσα εντος αυτων και χρηματα και ανθρωποι εγενοντο, παντα εσωσαν.

The Milesian woman, however, the younger one, after being seized by the men of the king made her escape, lightly clad, to some Greeks who had chanced to be standing guard amid the baggage train and, forming themselves in line against the enemy, had killed many of the plunderers, although some of their own number had been killed also; nevertheless, they did not take to flight, but they saved this woman and, furthermore, whatever else came among them, whether persons or property, they saved all alike.