This expression occurs in Eph. 1:21; 4:10 in the A.V. (King James' Version), but not in Rotherham or the C.V., as the translation of the Greek word huperanO. The elements of this word are over-up, meaning up above. The third occurrence in the Greek Scriptures, Heb. 9:5, shows this plainly; for anyone who turns up the passage can readily see that the cherubim were not "far above" the ark.
The fact that this word denotes position, not distance, has been denied in "The Berean Expositor" (Vol. 32, No. 10), which has always insisted on following in Ephesians the inaccurate rendering of the A.V. We are told that the first reference to the word in the Septuagint uses it to express distance. This is Gen. 7:20, which says: "Fifteen cubits upwards did the water prevail, and the mountains were covered," As an example of "special pleading" this assertion is difficult to beat for even a child can see that it is the "upwards" which expresses position and the "fifteen cubits" which expresses distance.
The truth is, one object can be "up above" another when it is above but touching it, or when it is a vast height above. The fact of "up-aboveness" is what inheres in huperanO. The distance up above has to be supplied by some other expression. There is no justification whatever for adding "far" when there is nothing whatever in the original Greek to mean "far."
The article referred to makes a most amazing statement:
"Although we have written on the subject again and again, our
critic has never understood that when we speak of a position
'far above all heavens,' we have no idea that when Christ
ascended up far above all heavens He was 'outside the
How anyone or any thing can be "far above" something and yet not "outside" it is utterly unimaginable. When it is found necessary to write such nonsense as this in defence of a mistranslation, the time has come to ask whether the offender is fit to be taken seriously at all.
Mr. A. E. Knoch (the individual described above by "The Berean Expositor" as "our critic") is undoubtedly correct in condemning the reading "far above all." Alford corrects the error, and so do most reputable modern translators. There is nothing to be said in its favour.
R.B.W. Last updated 16.10.2005