Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

John 14:2

Context
NET ©

There are many dwelling places 1  in my Father’s house. 2  Otherwise, I would have told you, because 3  I am going away to make ready 4  a place for you. 5 

NIV ©

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

NASB ©

"In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

NLT ©

There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.

MSG ©

There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home. If that weren't so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you?

BBE ©

In my Father’s house are rooms enough; if it was not so, would I have said that I am going to make ready a place for you?

NRSV ©

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

NKJV ©

"In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so , I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.


KJV
In
<1722>
my
<3450>
Father's
<3962>
house
<3614>
are
<1526> (5748)
many
<4183>
mansions
<3438>_:
if [it were] not
<1490>
[so], I would have told
<302> <2036> (5627)
you
<5213>_.
I go
<4198> (5736)
to prepare
<2090> (5658)
a place
<5117>
for you
<5213>_.
NASB ©
"In My Father's
<3962>
house
<3614>
are many
<4183>
dwelling
<3438>
places
<3438>
; if
<1487>
it were not so, I would have told
<3004>
you; for I go
<4198>
to prepare
<2090>
a place
<5117>
for you.
GREEK
en
<1722>
PREP
th
<3588>
T-DSF
oikia
<3614>
N-DSF
tou
<3588>
T-GSM
patrov
<3962>
N-GSM
mou
<3450>
P-1GS
monai
<3438>
A-NPF
pollai
<4183>
A-NPF
eisin
<1510> (5748)
V-PXI-3P
ei
<1487>
COND
de
<1161>
CONJ
mh
<3361>
PRT-N
eipon
<2036> (5627)
V-2AAI-1S
an
<302>
PRT
umin
<5213>
P-2DP
oti
<3754>
CONJ
poreuomai
<4198> (5736)
V-PNI-1S
etoimasai
<2090> (5658)
V-AAN
topon
<5117>
N-ASM
umin
<5213>
P-2DP
NET © [draft] ITL
There are
<1510>
many
<4183>
dwelling places
<3438>
in
<1722>
my
<3450>
Father’s
<3962>
house
<3614>
. Otherwise
<1487>

<1161>

<3361>
, I would have told
<2036>
you
<5213>
, because
<3754>
I am going away
<4198>
to make ready
<2090>
a place
<5117>
for you
<5213>
.
NET ©

There are many dwelling places 1  in my Father’s house. 2  Otherwise, I would have told you, because 3  I am going away to make ready 4  a place for you. 5 

NET © Notes

tn Many interpreters have associated μοναί (monai) with an Aramaic word that can refer to a stopping place or resting place for a traveler on a journey. This is similar to one of the meanings the word can have in secular Greek (Pausanius 10.31.7). Origen understood the use here to refer to stations on the road to God. This may well have been the understanding of the Latin translators who translated μονή (monh) by mansio, a stopping place. The English translation “mansions” can be traced back to Tyndale, but in Middle English the word simply meant “a dwelling place” (not necessarily large or imposing) with no connotation of being temporary. The interpretation put forward by Origen would have been well suited to Gnosticism, where the soul in its ascent passes through stages during which it is gradually purified of all that is material and therefore evil. It is much more likely that the word μονή should be related to its cognate verb μένω (menw), which is frequently used in the Fourth Gospel to refer to the permanence of relationship between Jesus and the Father and/or Jesus and the believer. Thus the idea of a permanent dwelling place, rather than a temporary stopping place, would be in view. Luther’s translation of μοναί by Wohnungen is very accurate here, as it has the connotation of a permanent residence.

sn Most interpreters have understood the reference to my Father’s house as a reference to heaven, and the dwelling places (μονή, monh) as the permanent residences of believers there. This seems consistent with the vocabulary and the context, where in v. 3 Jesus speaks of coming again to take the disciples to himself. However, the phrase in my Father’s house was used previously in the Fourth Gospel in 2:16 to refer to the temple in Jerusalem. The author in 2:19-22 then reinterpreted the temple as Jesus’ body, which was to be destroyed in death and then rebuilt in resurrection after three days. Even more suggestive is the statement by Jesus in 8:35, “Now the slave does not remain (μένω, menw) in the household forever, but the son remains (μένω) forever.” If in the imagery of the Fourth Gospel the phrase in my Father’s house is ultimately a reference to Jesus’ body, the relationship of μονή to μένω suggests the permanent relationship of the believer to Jesus and the Father as an adopted son who remains in the household forever. In this case the “dwelling place” is “in” Jesus himself, where he is, whether in heaven or on earth. The statement in v. 3, “I will come again and receive you to myself,” then refers not just to the parousia, but also to Jesus’ postresurrection return to the disciples in his glorified state, when by virtue of his death on their behalf they may enter into union with him and with the Father as adopted sons. Needless to say, this bears numerous similarities to Pauline theology, especially the concepts of adoption as sons and being “in Christ” which are prominent in passages like Eph 1. It is also important to note, however, the emphasis in the Fourth Gospel itself on the present reality of eternal life (John 5:24, 7:38-39, etc.) and the possibility of worshiping the Father “in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24) in the present age. There is a sense in which it is possible to say that the future reality is present now. See further J. McCaffrey, The House With Many Rooms (AnBib 114).

tc A number of important mss (Ì66c א A B C* D K L W Ψ Ë13 33 565 579 892 al lat) have ὅτι (Joti) here, while the majority lack it (Ì66* C2 Θ Ï). Should the ὅτι be included or omitted? The external evidence is significantly stronger for the longer reading. Most Alexandrian and Western mss favor inclusion (it is a little unusual for the Alexandrian to favor the longer reading), while most Byzantine mss favor omission (again, a little unusual). However, the reading of Ì66*, which aligns with the Byzantine, needs to be given some value. At the same time, the scribe of this papyrus was known for freely omitting and adding words, and the fact that the ms was corrected discounts its testimony here. But because the shorter reading is out of character for the Byzantine text, the shorter reading (omitting the ὅτι) may well be authentic. Internally, the question comes down to whether the shorter reading is more difficult or not. And here, it loses the battle, for it seems to be a clarifying omission (so TCGNT 206). R. E. Brown is certainly right when he states: “all in all, the translation without ὅτι makes the best sense” (John [AB], 2:620). But this tacitly argues for the authenticity of the word. Thus, on both external and internal grounds, the ὅτι should be regarded as authentic.

tn If the ὅτι (Joti) is included (see tc above), there are no less than four possible translations for this sentence: The sentence could be either a question or a statement, and in addition the ὅτι could either indicate content or be causal. How does one determine the best translation? (1) A question here should probably be ruled out because it would imply a previous statement by Jesus that either there are many dwelling places in his Father’s house (if the ὅτι is causal) or he was going off to make a place ready for them (if the ὅτι indicates content). There is no indication anywhere in the Fourth Gospel that Jesus had made such statements prior to this time. So understanding the sentence as a statement is the best option. (2) A statement with ὅτι indicating content is understandable but contradictory. If there were no dwelling places, Jesus would have told them that he was going off to make dwelling places. But the following verse makes clear that Jesus’ departure is not hypothetical but real – he is really going away. So understanding the ὅτι with a causal nuance is the best option. (3) A statement with a causal ὅτι can be understood two ways: (a) “Otherwise I would have told you” is a parenthetical statement, and the ὅτι clause goes with the preceding “There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house.” This would be fairly awkward syntactically, however; it would be much more natural for the ὅτι clause to modify what directly preceded it. (b) “Otherwise I would have told you” is explained by Jesus’ statement that he is going to make ready a place. He makes a logical, necessary connection between his future departure and the reality of the dwelling places in his Father’s house. To sum up, all the possibilities for understanding the verse with the inclusion of ὅτι present some interpretive difficulties, but last option given seems best: “Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going to make ready a place.” Of all the options it provides the best logical flow of thought in the passage without making any apparent contradictions in the context.

tn Or “to prepare.”

tn Or “If not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” What is the meaning of the last clause with or without the ὅτι? One of the questions that must be answered here is whether or not τόπος (topos) is to be equated with μονή (monh). In Rev 12:8 τόπος is used to refer to a place in heaven, which would suggest that the two are essentially equal here. Jesus is going ahead of believers to prepare a place for them, a permanent dwelling place in the Father’s house (see the note on this phrase in v. 2).



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