Today I went home to Holland to celebrate a belated Father’s Day with my Dad and family. My brother and I drove down early and went to the church that we were raised in Central Wesleyan Church. The sermon was delivered by Brad Gray and focused on John 14:2 where Jesus says “In my Father’s house are many mansions…” That was the King James translation. The NIV version says “My Father’s house has many rooms…”.
This difference in translations came from the connotation of “mansion” at the time of the translation; then a mansion merely referred to a dwelling. That discussion pushed us into what was really meant by that statement: the Hebrew “bet av” literally means the house of my father. In those days everyone lived as one large family for up to three generations and it was the father’s responsibility to take care of the family and pay any ransoms necessary to get people back. This leads into Jesus saying: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me” in John 14:6. Essentially Jesus was the eldest son in the family and was sent to pay the ransom to bring everyone back to their Father.