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Kingdom of Heaven
I'm new here. This may have already been discussed somewhere on the forum...
The phrase "Kingdom of heaven" occurs 32 times in the Scriptures...ALL of these are in the Gospel of Matthew. One is attributed to John the Baptist in chapter 3:2 , another to the disciples, and the remaining 30 to Yeshua. The other three gospels NEVER use this term. They refer to the "Kingdom of God". It would seem pretty obvious that Matthew is using a substitute word heaven in place of God. However there is a snag. Matthew does in fact use the phrase "kingdom of God" on four occasions. It would seem reasonable that a substitution of heaven in place of God would be universal in the is not. I would suggest that Kingdom of heaven is in fact a substitution not for Kingdom of God but for Kingdom of Yahweh. The four occasions where Yeshua refers to Kingdom of God probably were exactly that..the Kingdom of Elohim. I am a bit surprised that a rigorous return to "original language", presumably Aramaic, does not reflect this substitution, which at least would have occurred in the translation to Greek. It is inconceivable to me that Yeshua would have made frequent reference to the Kingdom of heaven which only Matthew reported and the other three gospel writers missed. Comments?

Secondly, when Yeshua stands before the High priest he indicates in the gospel of Matthew that "You will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power" (matt 26:64). Again the other gospels refer to right hand of God; presumably "Power" is yet another substitute word for Yahweh. We know that Psalms 110:1 from which Yeshua is quoting actually provides the personal name of God (Yahweh) which resulted in the blasphemy charge against Yeshua being confirmed. The Talmud indicates a blasphemer must actually pronounce the name of God "according to the letters" to be convicted of blasphemy (and receive the death sentence)

Quote:Secondly, when Yeshau stands before the High priest he indicates in the gospel of Matthew that "You will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power" (matt 26:64). Again the other gospels refer to right hand of God; presumably "Power" is yet another substitute word for Yahweh.

Mark reads the same as Matthew does. "Power".

Clement of Alexandria also shows us that it was in his copy of Mark's account of the Gospel. He lived from about the years 153-217 A.D.

Here is the quote: "Now, in the Gospel according to Mark, the Lord being interrogated by the chief of the priests if He was the Christ, the Son of the blessed God, answering, said, ?I am; and ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power.?

It's interesting that Luke, who had gathered many eye witness accounts in compiling his narrative to what took place during the ministry of Christ, gives this reading below.

Luke 22:69 "Henceforth The Son of Man will be sitting at the right hand of the power of Alaha."

So, even though Matthew and Mark do not add the last part of Christ's statement ("of Alaha") to the High Priest, Christ did indeed say it, according to what Luke has recorded. Note: Tertullian the early Latin Church father, who lived about the years 160-225 A.D. witnesses to this reading in his copy of Luke's Gospel, in book 4 of his 5 books against the teachings of Marcion the heretic. He qoutes it thus: "?Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.?

Though, it is odd that Tatian does not choose to add this bit of information from Luke's narrative, just using the verses in Matthew and Mark, in his Gospel?s Harmony (The Diatessaron - 160 A.D.) It reads thus: "I say unto you, that henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.

I was told once, by a Greek Primacy advocate, that the Arabic translation of the Diatessaron, which has been translated into English, and is the standard version, is just an edited version of Tatian's original work in Greek, made to conform to the readings of the Aramaic Peshitta, by a Church of the East monk...but this shows here that it is not, as the Peshitta has this information in Luke's account, but the Arabic Diatessaron does not. I have also found another place where it's not the same in the Diatessaron and the Peshitta.


Thank you Chuck!! Does anyone have a comment on the main part of my post concerning the "Kingdom of Heaven" phrase only occurring in Matthew? Is this not likely a substitution? I notice the Peshitta keeps the phrase. Did a substitution occur before it was made. If so was this done by Matthew or early scribes? The default position is that only Matthew recorded the actual text of the Messiah and all the other gospel writers heard something different.
We'll there are times that Matthew does use "Kingdom of God" as well, but it seems that he chose to use "Kingdom of Heaven" most of the time, and in a number of the same places where the others give "Kingdom of God" rather than "Kingdom of Heaven".

But, the Kingdom of Heaven, is the Kigdom of God, so they are the very same thing.

And look at this... 1st Corinthians 15:50
(Murdock) But this I say, my brethren that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven: neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

The Greek texts all have "Kingdom of God" ... I'm checking all the Church Fathers quotations on this verse.
Hi Chuck. Thanks for your comments. I have checked every translation I can find, and the Greek sources I can get my hands on regarding 1 Cor 15:50. All of them make reference to the "kingdom of God/Theos". Interesting to hear if Aramaic sources have "heaven" there.
I could not find any example in the Bible other than the gospel of Matthew where the term "kingdom of Heaven" occurs. In Matthew it occurs 32 times, of these thirty are directly attributed to Yeshua. yet Matthew is the only New testament writer to put that phrase into print. Picture yourself with the crowd during the sermon on the mount. What do you think Yeshua actually said? Is it conceivable that He said "Kingdom of Heaven" to Matthew and then turned and said "Kingdom of God" to everybody else?? Yet he clearly said something!!! Okay no further suspense. I believe that Yeshua actually referred to the Kingdom of Yahweh/YHWH. he did not call his father HaShem, or even Adonai or Elohim. he called him by his personal name and it got Yeshua into enormous difficulty. Why? Because it was a criminal offence punishable by death sentence to utter the actual name of God out loud and "according to the letters". Only the priests in the Temple and the High priest at Yom Kippur were "authorized" to utter the actual name of God. Note that before the High Priest Yeshua was asked directly if he was the Mashiach, the "son of God". The high priest was not asking him if he was divine, he was asking him if he claimed the Messianic title which applied to King David and all of his heirs leading to the Mashiach for whom they all were waiting. Here is the interesting point. It was not illegal to claim to be the mashiach. There is nothing in the oral Law that punishes by death such an individual. The claimant might be crazy but that did not merit death. Note that bar Kokva was a failed messiah. There were others. No what got Yeshua into difficulty with the Sanhedrin was his insistence on saying two things. First "I am" only used in Hebrew for the divine. Secondly he went on to say that they would see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of......
Matthew and Mark say "power" while Luke says "power of God". Yet Psalms 110:1 refers to YHWH said to my Lord "Sit at my right hand". I believe Yeshua said exactly that. He named his father "according to the letters". That is why the High Priest ripped his clothes (exactly as the Talmud indicates he should) and turned to the Sanhedrin who agreed "He is worthy of death!"
So what does all this have to do with the Kingdom of Heaven? Plenty I argue. The custom of Jews was to avoid using the actual name of God out loud, although they continue to keep all 6,286 references in Tanach to YHWH. But would Matthew and the others follow this custom. I believe the term "Kingdom of Heaven" is a substitution for "Kingdom of Yahweh/YHWH" and NOT for "Kingdom of God". Why? Simply because in a few cases Matthew's gospel actually refers to the "kingdom of God". A substitution would have been complete not partial. Yeshua did not refer to "Power" or "Power of God" he referred to his Father Yahweh/YHWH by name.
Stephen was dragged out of the Sanhedrin and executed on the spot for exactly the same offense. Read about that in Acts 7:56-58. Note also that Paul claimed he went to the synagogues "forcing them (the saints) to blaspheme" Actually a simple task. Open the Scriptures to virtually any page and ask the individual to read out loud. If he did what Yeshua did and read "according to the letters" he was arrested. If he substituted with haShem etc the individual was assenting to rabbinical authority and was released. That's what I think happened.
So if that is the case who changed Matthew's gospel to "Kingdom of Heaven" and for that matter who changed the other manuscripts that refer to God or Lord in place of YHWH..even when they are directly quotations from the Tanach!!@!
I had hoped that the Peshitta would shed some light on all of this...

Ok...ALL western (Greek and Latin) Church Fathers, only quote 1 Corinthians 15:50 as "Kingdom of God". I'll now check the other ancient language translations to see if any of them read "Kingdom of Heaven" like the Peshitta and Peshitto has it.

Again, Lamsa decided to stick with the KJV/Greek reading, against the Aramaic Text. Why does he do this so often? Was he trying to keep the rejection down, making it more acceptable to the KJV readers? I don't get it. I'm sorry to say, of ALL the various translations of the Aramaic text...I have found his to be the least true to the actual Aramaic Text. It was the 1st Peshitta translation I had...but I have lost all faith in it's faithfulness to the Text it says it translates.


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