John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions:

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

At the Last Supper, Jesus comforts his Apostles.

KJV : 

John 14:2 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.

Literal Verse: 

In the household of that Father of mine, there are many positions. If not, then I told probably you that I go to ready a place for you.

What is Lost in Translation: 

The Greek word translated as "mansions" is only translated as mansions, rooms, or apartments in two verses or John. The closest other Greek references to this idea of rooms is from the military use of these words as "billets" or "quarters," a longer-term stopping place where soldiers stay separately. This is opposed to staying in a military camp, where everyone stays together. In the form used, this word could be an adjective, a verb, an adverb, or a noun.  The primary sense of the root word is being alone, solitary. The noun means a place to be apart. It means both a stopping place and a longer-term staying place. From its other meaning, The word "positions" seems to work well, especially with the idea of s single "place" used below.  The sense is more a "unique place" than a "stopping place" because of the nature of the word.

My Takeaway: 

Jesus's household has many positions and the apostles hold one,

Greek : 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "In" is en, which means, with a dative object, "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," "during,"  and "with." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." Referring to time, it means. "in the course of" or "during."

τῇ [821 verses](article sg fem dat)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  -

οἰκίᾳ  [40 times](noun sg fem dat) "House" is oikia, which means "house," "building," and "household."

τοῦ [821 verses](article sg masc gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

πατρός [191 verses](noun sg masc gen) "The Father" is pater, which means "father," "grandfather," "author," "parent," and "forefathers."

μου [239 verses](adj sg masc gen) "Me" is from mou (emou), which means "me," and "mine." As a genitive object means movement away from something or a position away from something else.

μοναὶ  [2 verses](noun pl fem nom) "Mansions" is from mone, which means (as an adjective) "alone", "solitary", "made in one piece" (as an adverb) "on one condition", "only", "all but", (as a verb) "to be alone", "to live in solitary", "to individualize" (as a noun) "abiding", "tarrying", "permanence", "stopping place", "quarters", "billets."

πολλαί [61 verses](adj pl fem nom ) "Many" is polus, which means "many (in number)," "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)." As an adverb, it means "far," "very much," "a great way," and "long."

εἰσιν: [614 verses](3rd sg pres ind act) "Are" is eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen,"  and "is possible." With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

εἰ [90 verses](conj) "If" is ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever," "in case," and "whenever." In citing a fact, it can mean "as sure as" or "since."  It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions. When appearing as εἰ δὲ (literally, "if however") the sense is "if this...then that."

δὲ [446 verses](conj) Untranslated is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). With the Greek word for "if" the sense is "if...than."

μὴ [447 verses](partic) "Not" is me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective. With pres. or aor. subj. used in a warning or statement of fear, "take care" It can be the conjunction "lest" or "for fear that." Used before tis with an imperative to express a will or wish for something in independent sentences and, with subjunctives, to express prohibitions.

εἶπον [162 verses] (verb 1st sg aor ind act) "I told" is eipon, which means "to speak," "to say," "to recite," "to address," "to mention," "to name," "to proclaim," "to plead," "to promise," and "to offer."  This is the second most common word Jesus uses for this idea. Perhaps translating it consistently as "tell" would work.

ἂν [60 verses](particle) "Should be" is an, which is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "possibly," "would have," "might," "should," and "could." 

ὑμῖν [289 verses](pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." -

ὅτι [332 verses](adv/conj) Untranslated is hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that," "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

πορεύομαι [54 verses](verb 1st sg pres ind mp) "Go" is poreuomai (poreuo) which means "make to go," "carry," "convey," "bring," "go," "march," and "proceed." It is almost always translated as "go" in the NT.

ἑτοιμάσαι [13 verses] (verb aor inf act) "To prepare" is from hetoimazo, which means to "get ready," "prepare," "make ready," and "to cause to prepare."

τόπον [16 verses] (noun sg masc acc) "Place" is from topos, which means "place," "region," "position," "part [of the body]," "district," "room," and "topic." It is also a metaphor for "opening," "occasion," and "opportunity."

ὑμῖν [289 verses](pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." 

KJV Analysis: 

In   -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "by" (near), "by" (means of), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during." It can mean "on," "at," or "by" in the sense of "near."

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine." As a genitive object of a preposition, as here, it means a movement away from something or a position away from something else.

missing "the/this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

Father-- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

's  -- The apostrophe "s" comes from the noun's genitive form. This case usually requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession for which an apostrophe "s" can be substituted.

missing "the/this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

house -- The Greek word translated as "house," refers to the building itself, all the people that dwell in it, including slaves and servants, all property owned by that family, and all the descendants of the continued line. We might say "estate" in English to capture this idea.

are -- The verb "are" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.

many -- The word translated as "many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

mansions:   --  (CW) The Greek word translated as "mansions" is only translated as mansions, rooms, or apartments here in John. The closest other Greek references to this idea of rooms is from the military use as billets or quarters, that is, a longer-term stopping place where soldiers stay separately. This is opposed to staying in a military camp, where everyone stays together. In the form used, this word could be an adjective, a verb, an adverb, or a noun.  Across most of its forms the primary sense of the root word is being alone, solitary. As a noun, it carries a sense of both tarrying, staying for a temporary time, and of persistence and permanence. Hence, it is both a stopping place and a longer-term staying place. From its other meaning, the noun means a place to be apart either temporarily or longer term.

if -- The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. When citing a fact with a declarative verb instead of one of possibility, the sense is more "since" or "as sure as." When this word is paired with the conjunction translated as "but" below, the structure works like an "if then" statement in English.

missing "however"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "however" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  It can also be an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

it were -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "it were" in the Greek source.

not --  The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests Used in negative "when" and "if" clauses.

so -- (IW) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "so" in the Greek source.

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

would  -- "Would" is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English but "possibly" is close. This word works similarly to the "might" or "should" of a subjunctive verb, but we don't want to confuse it with the subjunctive so using "possibly" provides a consistent translation.  This particle usually suggests the subjunctive form of the verb but can be used without it. The same Greek letters can always be the more common conjunction meaning "when," so this meaning comes from context.

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

told - The word translated as "told" means "to say" and "to speak." It is one of the two most common words translated "speak," "say" and "tell," but it has more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

you. - The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc. As the object of a preposition, this form implies no movement, but in a fixed position or events occur at a specified time or while the action was being performed.

missing "because"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

go  -- The Greek verb translated as "go" is the most common verb translated as "go" in the NT. This word means "to lead over," "depart," and "to carry over." However, this word uniquely means "to pursue a course" and "to depart from life." In the active voice, it means "made to go" or "carried over" but in the passive or middle,its normal form, the subject is either being taken or taking himself and means "going," "crossing over," or "departing" more directly.

to -- This "to" is added because the verb's infinitive form requires a "to" in English.

prepare  -- The verb translated as "to prepare" means to "get ready," "prepare," "make ready," and "to cause to prepare." It is in a form that indicates the action has been completed.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a noun doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

place -- "Places" is translated from a Greek word that means "place," "position," and "topic." This is a fairly uncommon word for Christ to use.

for -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.The sense here is "for" a benefit.

you. -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc. As the object of a preposition, this form implies no movement, but in a fixed position or events occur at a specified time or while action was being performed.

KJV Translation Issues: 

8
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "mansion" does not capture the general meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "it were" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "so" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV : 

John 14:2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

NIV Analysis: 

missing "in"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "in" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "by" (near), "by" (means of), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during." It can mean "on," "at," or "by" in the sense of "near."

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine." As a genitive object of a preposition, as here, it means a movement away from something or a position away from something else.

missing "the/this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

Father-- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

's  -- The apostrophe "s" comes from the noun's genitive form. This case usually requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession for which an apostrophe "s" can be substituted.

missing "the/this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

house -- The Greek word translated as "house," refers to the building itself, all the people that dwell in it, including slaves and servants, all property owned by that family, and all the descendants of the continued line. We might say "estate" in English to capture this idea.

has -- (WW) The verb "was" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.

many -- The word translated as "many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

rooms:   --  (CW) The Greek word translated as "mansions" is only translated as mansions, rooms, or apartments here in John. The closest other Greek references to this idea of rooms is from the military use as billets or quarters, that is, a longer-term stopping place where soldiers stay separately. This is opposed to staying in a military camp, where everyone stays together. In the form used, this word could be an adjective, a verb, an adverb, or a noun.  Across most of its forms the primary sense of the root word is being alone, solitary. As a noun, it carries a sense of both tarrying, staying for a temporary time, and of persistence and permanence. Hence, it is both a stopping place and a longer-term staying place. From its other meaning, the noun means a place to be apart either temporarily or longer term.

if -- The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. When citing a fact with a declarative verb instead of one of possibility, the sense is more "since" or "as sure as." When this word is paired with the conjunction translated as "but" below, the structure works like an "if then" statement in English.

missing "however"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "however" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  It can also be an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

that were -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "that were" in the Greek source.

not --  The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests Used in negative "when" and "if" clauses.

so -- (IW) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "so" in the Greek source.

would  -- "Would" is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English but "possibly" is close. This word works similarly to the "might" or "should" of a subjunctive verb, but we don't want to confuse it with the subjunctive so using "possibly" provides a consistent translation.  This particle usually suggests the subjunctive form of the verb but can be used without it. The same Greek letters can always be the more common conjunction meaning "when," so this meaning comes from context.

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

told - The word translated as "told" means "to say" and "to speak." It is one of the two most common words translated "speak," "say" and "tell," but it has more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

you. - The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc. As the object of a preposition, this form implies no movement, but in a fixed position or events occur at a specified time or while the action was being performed.

that --  The word  "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

am  -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb. It is used here to form the present, progressive tense, which doesn't exist in Greek but which can smooth the flow of English sentences.

going  -- The Greek verb translated as "go" is the most common verb translated as "go" in the NT. This word means "to lead over," "depart," and "to carry over." However, this word uniquely means "to pursue a course" and "to depart from life." In the active voice, it means "made to go" or "carried over" but in the passive or middle,its normal form, the subject is either being taken or taking himself and means "going," "crossing over," or "departing" more directly.

there -- (IW) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "there" in the Greek source.

to -- This "to" is added because the verb's infinitive form requires a "to" in English.

prepare  -- The verb translated as "to prepare" means to "get ready," "prepare," "make ready," and "to cause to prepare." It is in a form that indicates the action has been completed.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a noun doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

place -- "Places" is translated from a Greek word that means "place," "position," and "topic." This is a fairly uncommon word for Christ to use.

for -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.The sense here is "for" a benefit.

you. -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc. As the object of a preposition, this form implies no movement, but in a fixed position or events occur at a specified time or while action was being performed.

NIV Translation Issues: 

10
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "in" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "has" should be something more like "are."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "rooms" does not capture the general meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "that were" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "so" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "there" doesn't exist in the source.

Related Verses: 

No other references in other gospels to "his Father's house". This closest is: Matthew 12:4 How he entered into the house of God, a reference to God's house, meaning the temple, not the afterlife.

Front Page Date: 

Sep 22 2022