No Room in the What?

If you were with us on Christmas Eve, you might have noticed in our service of lessons and carols this line of scripture:

She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.

That translation of Luke 2:7 (from the Common English Bible) might have sound a little “off” to a lot of us, especially those who grew up hearing the Charlie Brown Christmas special, and are used to hearing something like the language of the Revised Standard Version:

And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Which should it be: “guestroom” or “inn?”

You can read the details in this article, which argues (correctly, I think) that “guestroom” is a better translation than “inn.”

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