Should Matt. 18. 20 be rendered “For where two or three are having been gathered out to My Name, there am I in the midst”?
In Hebrews 10. 10, Mark 1. 6, Luke 8. 2 and Matt. 9. 36 we have precisely the same form of Greek construction as in Matt. 18. 20. Third form also occurs in Matt. 16. 19 and 18. 18. It is the verb ‘to be’ in conjunction with the perfect tense, of another verb. In these instances it would be impossible to translate it, sensibly in the manner in which the questioner suggests for Mutt. 18. 20. In all of these instances the R.V. and A.V. have been consistent in translation, and the proposed translation contained in the question is not correct. It would be absurd to say that “John was, having been clothed, etc.” or “and certain women were, having been healed.”
Moreover, in the verse there is no thought of being “gathered out”. It is rather being “gathered together”: association is the idea, not separation, however true it may be that such association entails separation.
In any place, with tile smallest possible number above one met together, with the view of acknowledging the authority of and honouring thy name of Jesus, there He is as the supreme central Divine Presence.
This answer was written when I was away in Wales, but since returning I have been able to consult What saith the Scriptures by C. F. Hogg, and this very question is there discussed, other authorities being also cited. I am glad to find that their answer is a confirmation of mine.
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