"Many Mansions"

John 14:2

1918 112 "In my father's housse are many mansions. If it were not soo, I wolde have tolde you I goo to prepare a place for you" (Tyndale, 1526).

It was an exceedingly happy inspiration of the first translator into our English tongue, of the New Testament from the original Greek to give us the beautiful and appropriate word "mansions" here.

Wycliffe's version of the fourteenth century (from the Latin) reads thus: "In the hous of my fader ben many dwellingis; if any thing lease, I hadde seid to you, for I go for to make redy to you a place." Coverdale (1535) gives also "dwellinges," and the Geneva Testament of 1557 "dwelling places."

Whilst others may give "chambers"! (S. Sharp), "abodes" (T. S. Green) or "resting places"!! (Weymouth), the greater part; including even the Rhemish (1582) has from the A.V. down to the R.V. happily cleaved to Tyndale's adoption.

For if the Lord here reveals the Father's house as having many abodes or dwellings, what can these be but infinitely beyond the dwelling-places of men? Are they not worthy of the Father? And what human workmanship can compare with the Divine handiwork, if I may so say? Hence if man had his "mansion," there are "mansions" that fall not short of the Father's thoughts and desires — they are insurpassable indeed.

Further, many a "mansion" here may be lavishly adorned and equipped, but nevertheless be wanting a suited occupant. We have known such cases. The house palatially garnished, but alas! no one found suitable to enter upon or retain its possession!

Not so here, blessed be His name! The Lord Jesus tells us of what is perfectly suited to the Father's house — "in my Father's house are many mansions." But more "I go to prepare a place for you"! … and will receive you to Myself, that where I am, ye may be also." We are to be suited to those heavenly mansions. No incongruity will be there! His work — for we are God's workmanship — will be in divine accordance with all that blessed scene. Oh, the marvels of divine grace!

Vers. 23: Here the same word (mone) for this chapter presents its only two occurrences in the whole Bible is suitably rendered "abode." "We will make our abode with him" who is the keeper of the Saviour's word, the proof of our love to Him.

May it be ours to enjoy this abiding of the Father and the Son with us day by day. Amen.