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Mark 2:1-12 says that word got out that Jesus was at home. Did He have a permanent home?

Did he have something other than the temporary lodging used while he was traveling? How many times in the New Testament is Jesus' home mentioned (not speaking of heaven)? (7/31/2009)

I love this question, because I wondered myself whether Jesus’ home is mentioned elsewhere, but I was too lazy to check.

The King James has “in the house” for Mark 2:1-12, and John Wesley said that it was Peter’s house, possibly because we know for sure that Peter had a house in Capernaum (Matthew 8:5, 14). Several modern translations have “at home,” so I looked to see if this is some kind of idiom. The Expositor’s Greek Testament says “ = ‘at home’ (in Peter’s house presumably).” The Interpreter’s Bible has both “at home” and “in the house.” Apparently it could be translated either way. For what it’s worth, “the” is not there in the Greek. (Here’s the problem: there is no “a” in Greek, only “the.” So “at home” could mean either “at home” or “at a home.”)

Mark 7:17 says Jesus entered “a house” (still no “the” in Greek) in Nazareth (see the parallel passage in Luke 4:16 ff). Now, this almost had to be his own house, don’t you think? Joseph was a carpenter with a wife and at least 7 children; he wasn’t living on the street. When Joseph died (almost universally taken to be prior to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry), the house would have passed to Jesus, as the oldest son. Even if on this occasion he wasn’t in the house he grew up in, Jesus was about 30 when he began his ministry - he had to be living somewhere; it’s not like he moved out of the house and into a dorm.

In Mark 9:28, Jesus is also in “a house,” but it’s not clear where, because he leaves there, passes through Galilee in vs. 30, and arrives in Capernaum in vs. 33.

Matthew, Luke, and John don’t talk about Jesus and houses that I can find.

All I can tell you is that the commentaries I looked at tonight seem to be united in saying (when they say at all) that Jesus was at Peter’s house. (One goes to far as to say that Jesus had no home other than Peter’s after he began his ministry.) I’m certain that I once read a commentary that says the house in Capernaum was his own home, but I couldn’t find it tonight. I’m not at all sure how they came to either conclusion, however, because when you look at the scripture, it doesn’t actually say.

This gives me the opportunity to tell you for the umpteenth time: Don’t take my word, or the preacher’s word, or anybody else’s word for what the Bible says. Read it for yourself! Because we may be telling you something as a fact that is ambiguous in the Bible, or we may just be telling you wrong, either because we are mistaken or because we are misspeaking. Or we may be giving you an exceedingly loose version of what a particular passage says, in order to make some point about the bigger picture. Read it for yourself.

Copyright 2009, 2011 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. This page has been prepared for the web site by Deanna Rains.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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