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 Scofield: "in the midst of" Vs Jesus Christ: "within you"

According to the Luke 17:21 footnote in the Scofield Study Bible, 1917 Edition,

"Our Lord's whole answer, designedly enigmatic to the Pharisees (cf) Mt 13:10-13 had a dispensational meaning."

Since the Lord Jesus Christ's answer, (as translated from the Textus Receptus) does not conform to Darby's dispensationalist doctrine that Jesus Christ's first advent was for the purpose of establishing an earthly kingdom, John Darby and Cyrus Scofield chose to change Jesus' statement, "within you" to "in the midst of."

Even with this alteration to the KJV text, Scofield needed to qualify it in order support the dispensationalist doctrine that Jesus Christ did not come to earth for the purpose of saving his people from their sins (1) but rather, to set up his kingdom on earth:

The kingdom in its outward form, as covenanted to David 2Sa 7:8-17 and described by the prophets Cmt. on Zec 12:8 had been rejected by the Jews; so that, during this present age, it would not "come with observation" (lit. "outward show") but in the hearts of men (cf) Lu 19:11-12; Ac 1:6-8.

Let us look at Jesus Christ's "the kingdom of God is within you" statement in context:

Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

As Cyrus Scofield pointed out in his footnote, obviously the kingdom of God was not within the "self-righteous, Christ rejecting Pharisees" but his point does not negate Jesus' words. The haughty, unbelieving Pharisees demanded an answer but Jesus' answer was directed toward those who were truly looking for the kingdom of God, as can be seen by looking at verse 21:

Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

First, Jesus made it clear that the kingdom of God "cometh not with observation"--it was not a visible, earthly kingdom. He repeated this doctrine when he was getting ready to go to the cross:

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. John 18:36

Next Jesus Christ explained that the kingdom of God "is within you" --in reference to those who would say, "lo here!" or "lo there!" (the Pharisees did not qualify as they were resisting Jesus Christ's definition of the kingdom of God with all their might.)

Jesus did not want those who were earnestly looking for the kingdom of God to be misled into thinking that it was a physical place:

"Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

Jesus' answer was clear: the kingdom that he came to earth to bring to his own people, the Jews, was a kingdom that would be inside of them--written in their hearts. This was prophesied in the book of Jeremiah:

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:33

Since John Darby's allegedly rediscovered truth that Jesus Christ came to earth in order to preside over an earthly kingdom of the Jews is not taught in the KJV's "within you" rendering, Cyrus Scofield (as he did numerous times in his Scofield Study Bible 1917 Edition), followed the Westcott/Hort Critical Greek text and replaced "within you" with "in the midst of" via a marginal note.


(1) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

return to: John Darby Version: Doctrinal Changes to the Bible


All charts in this series are listed here: Dispensationalism: Occult Roots

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