Friday, October 20, 2006

The Kingdom of God

It's been a long week here on the blog. It's been fun too and I learned that to get a huge number of hits on a blog, talk about politics and religion, but that's another topic.

I've been thinking a lot about the idea of retributive justice vs. restorative justice and I could post on that, but I don't think I will this week. I'll simply post this and ask a question.

" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.' "

What does it mean for the God's Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven? Spiritual? Physical? Both? Neither?

4 comments:

Justin said...

I don't know if this is right or not, but the kingdom come will be done thing reminds me a lot of the parallelism in hebrew poetry. You say a line, then you repeat it in different words to stress it.

If that's the case, God's will being done is synonomous with his Kingdom coming. His will for justice for the poor, his will that all people are precious to all people, just like all people are precious to him. His will that swords will be beaten into plowshares, that the earth will be renewed to what he intended it to be.

Jeffrey said...

"What does it mean for the God's Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven?"

good question...

Luke, in chapter 17, says, "Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

Wow, Jesus said this to the Pharisees...intriguing. It could have been rationalized away had he said this to one of "his followers", but he didn't, he said it to those opposed him strongest. That doesn't make sense...at least not under traditional interpretations...

Why did I use so many elipses? oh well, here's one more for ya "..."

Phil said...

True, Jeffrey. However, I've heard that a better translation of "within" there is "among." Which would make more sense, especially in the context of talkign with the Pharisees.

Jeffrey said...

Phil, I've heard that explanation as well. However, I truly believe that such an explanation is a dogmatic attempt to, as we've (humans) have done so many times before, twist scripture to fit our theology. The reason for this belief is that the greek word for within (or among, whatever) that Luke uses is "entos". Unlike many Greek words, this word has but one meaning-"within, inside" with sub definitions of "within you i.e. in the midst of you" and "within you i.e. your soul."

Obviously, some people take the only shred of opportunity that exists here (the 1st sub definition) and choose to translate it the way they see fit, as it fits better with traditional theology. Of course I'm sure someone could accuse me of the same thing ;-).

Here's a similar passage that I stumbled upon about two months ago. I've been meditating on it ever since.

"To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ IN you, the HOPE of glory!" Colossians 1:27

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