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Biblical words that are commonly abused: Mansion

#1SilviiroPosted 11/19/2012 6:24:11 PM
One of the first things people think of in Heaven is everyone getting their own mansion.

"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." -- John 14:2

There are several issues with this concept, but the focus of this series is on the word itself. The first, most common, definition of mansion that people think of is "A large, impressive house." The problem is that it is not what the Greek word means. The Greek word is "mone" which literally means "a staying, abiding, dwelling, abode" with no mention of how large and impressive the dwelling place may be. When the King James Version was written this was the common meaning of “mansion,” but in the time since then the word has changed in meaning and much of mainstream theology has followed the change in meaning.

The same word is later used in the same speech,

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode (mone) with him.“ – John 14:23

Here the King James Version is still clear in modern English in that is simply a dwelling place, not some sort of mansion.

The other issue with this concept is that the verse is not talking about Heaven.

“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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” – John 14:2-3

That could sound like the second coming except for one problem, he had not yet been resurrected. The place he was going to and returning from was Sheol, and clearly he wasn't preparing Sheol from them. In Sheol he prepared the Church and the place for the disciples as his Apostles.
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"I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind." -- Ecclesiastes 1:14
#2darklaoPosted 11/20/2012 12:43:28 AM
So it's like an apartment complex, then...
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[agitprop]
come and play come and play forget about the movement
#3chukie_suePosted 11/20/2012 8:45:46 AM(edited)
From: Silviiro | #001
The other issue with this concept is that the verse is not talking about Heaven.


I'm not quite sold on this point. Seems to me (but I'm undecided) that when read in the context of the rest of the chapter this verse is about Heaven. Shortly after Jesus said He was leaving, Thomas asked where it was that He was going. Jesus immediately explains how nobody comes to the Father except through Him. If Jesus wasn't referring to Heaven, then this seems to me to be and arbitrary and irrelevant statement. "That's great Jesus," said Thomas, "but that doesn't answer my question; where are you going?" I think Jesus was implying that He was going back to the right hand of the Father, and the disciples understood this. Later in verse 12 Jesus explains that He is going to the Father. This seems to me to be a successive statement in the same vein of thought as His first reference to departure. Later in the chapter Jesus comforts His disciples by explaining that the Holy Spirit will be within them, and that He will give them everything they ask in His name. Now I guess Jesus could have been referring to His three day trip to Sheol here, but considering the importance and contemporary applicability of this verse, I'd say He was referring to His return to Heaven. Maybe He was referring to both Sheol and Heaven.

So that's my two cents. Critiques and corrections are encouraged and welcome :)
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"Christ is with those of humble mind, not with those who exalt themselves over his flock." -St. Clement of Rome.
#4Silviiro(Topic Creator)Posted 11/26/2012 3:35:07 PM(edited)
I didn't wait too long!

Note that he says

"Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe." -- John 14: 28-29

He was going to the Father before the resurrection. Otherwise the disciples would have been expected to be ignorant all the way until the second coming which seems a bit absurd for those who would be the Apostles of Christ.

Much later in the same conversation he says

"Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." -- John 16: 19-20

Between these it is implied that even in going to Sheol he was going to the Father.

The psalmist of Psalm 139 said:

"If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell (sheol), behold, thou art there." -- Psalm 139: 8

Of course you are free to disagree, my main point is about the word itself. A lot of people start sounding extremely greedy when talking about Heaven and it kind of gets to me that people who preach contentment seem to think Heaven would be incomplete if they didn't have their own personal mansion made out of solid gold.
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"I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind." -- Ecclesiastes 1:14