ENTOS in Luke 17:21

From: John Reece (jonree@earthlink.net)
Date: Wed Oct 08 1997 - 06:00:49 EDT

With the fear and trembling of a novice on the Internet (I just had a
modem put in my computer this week), I will try to put briefly in the
form of e-mail some of the fruit of past exegetical effort.

Larry Krupper did "not find it [ENTOS] at all in the LXX". I have found
it in the LXX in 8 verses:

1 Maccabees 4:48 (NRSV) says "They rebuilt the sanctuary and the
interior (ENTOS) of the temple."

Psalm 39:3 (NRSV; 38:4 in LXX) says, "my heart became hot within
(ENTOS) me."

Psalm 103:1 (NRSV; 102:1 in LXX) says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and
all that is within (ENTOS) me."

Psalm 109:22 (NRSV; 108:22 in LXX) says, "my heart is pierced within
(ENTOS) me."

Song of Solomon 1:10 (NJB) says, "Your cheeks show fair between their
pendants and your neck within (ENTOS) its necklesses."

Sirach 19:26 (NRSV) says, "There is the villain bowed down in mourning,
but inwardly (TA ENTOS) he is full of deceit."

Isaiah 16:11 (NRSV) says, "...and my inmost being (TA ENTOS)..."

Daniel 10:16 says, "at the sight of you my inmost being (TA ENTOS) is
changed in me (EN EMOI)" (my own "literal" translation - JR; none of the
English versions give a full or "literal" tranlation of the redundany in
the Greek text).

Matthew 23:26 says, "First clean the inside (ENTOS) of the cup and the
dish, and then the outside (EKTOS) also will be clean."

The consistent biblical sense of ENTOS, as seen in the nine other
occurances of the word in the Bible, is "within, inside"

I find it helpful to look at another approach to ascertaining the sense
of the word in Luke 17:21; that is, to check contexts in which the
Author of Luke-Acts used Greek words translated by the versions into
English as "in the midst" or "among", so as to see what word or words
the author most likely would have used in Luke 17:21, if indeed he had
meant to express such a meaning. In Acts 2:22, we find this translation:
"Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and
wonders and signs which God performed through him in your midst." The
final phrase in the quote is EN MESO hUMON. It seems to me that that is
the phrase that would have been used in Luke 17:21 if the author had in
mind a sense corresponding to "in the midst" or "among".

This conclusion is reinforced by a consideration of the context of Luke
17:21, in which the contrast is between what can be seen by "careful
observation (NIV) and what cannot be seen by such observation (because
of being out of sight within).

A.T Robertson (in Word Studies in the Greek New Testament) adequately
answers the challenge which says "Surely Jesus would not say to the
Pharisees that the kingdom of God is in their hearts": In the words of
Robertson, "What Jesus says to the Pharisees is that they, as others,
are to look for the kingdom of God within themselves, not in outward
displays and supernatural manifestations. It is not a localized display
'Here' or 'There".

John Reece

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