Hmmm . . . how ’bout katalyma? Itâ€™s a Greek word, but Iâ€™d wager youâ€™ll do a pretty good job of filling in the blank based on more commonly used English words. After all, Joseph and Mary are one of the most famous couples in history. Right away you know this is the Christmas story. Right away, you know itâ€™s a reference from either Matthew or Lukeâ€™s Gospel.
(Itâ€™s Luke 2:7, for those, like me, that are never 100% sure about the distinctive settings of the two Christmas stories. I usually sneak a scriptural peek to make sure, for example, that the shepherds only appear in Luke and the Magi are Matthewâ€™s special guests.)
How would you express katalyma in todayâ€™s English? There was no room at the . . . Motel 6? What about The Four Seasons? Why not the BB&B (the Bethlehem Bed & Breakfast)? Couldnâ€™t the word translate to â€œthe family room with a convertible sofa?â€
A likely answer could be: â€œPoor Joseph and Mary. No room at the . . . inn.â€
Iâ€™d certainly give that answer, but itâ€™s probably better to translate katalyma as â€œthe lodge.â€ However, ye olde King James Version (KJV) from the 17th Century and the 20th Centuryâ€™s New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) read â€œthe inn.â€ Who wants to argue with the King of England, anyway? Continue reading →