On The Kingdom of Heaven

On The Kingdom of Heaven
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THERE IS SOME DISPUTE IN ECCLESIASTICAL CIRCLES, whether the Kingdom of God, so often mentioned by Jesus Christ, is to be on earth or only in heaven. This is based chiefly on the use by Matthew (ONLY) of the phrase “the kingdom of Heaven”: from which some have argued that the Kingdom must be only in heaven, being heaven itself as ruled by Almighty God. But neither Mark, Luke nor John refer to the Kingdom “of Heaven,” but only to the Kingdom “of God”; and even Matthew himself uses as an equivalent phrase “the Kingdom of God” 4 times (Matthew 6:33; 12: 28; 21: 31; and 21: 43); and in Matthew, Jesus Christ speaks of “the Kingdom of their Father” (13: 43) and “My Father’s Kingdom” (26: 29), both phrases being obviously equivalent to “the Kingdom of God.” Clearly, there is no distinction between “the Kingdom of HEAVEN” and the Kingdom of God.” Then why were the two phrases used?

Because outwardly pious Jews had first taken the name of God, Yahweh out of the Scriptures, substituting the word “Adonai” (Lord) ‑‑ this in the 7th century B.C. At least as early as 200 B.C. they had begun to substitute “heaven” for “God.” (Even today, many Jewish publications. won’t use the word “God,” writing it “G‑d.” Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Bible Dictionary says: “KINGDOM OF GOD: Usage of terms:

A New Testament phrase based upon and expressing in its final form the Old Testament idea of the spiritual rule of God over Men. The phrase ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ is used in the New Testament by Matthew only, and is an exact equivalent of the phrase ‘Kingdom of God.’ The substitution of ‘heaven’ for ‘God’ is based on the popular superstitious feeling in later Judaism which led to the avoidance of the Divine Names in common speech.”