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Since this comes up so much, I made a short blog post of this to link to. I plan on expanding this to provide a much more powerful response to the idea that the individual human body is a (one of many) Temples of Jehovah or even a part of a single Temple.

1. There has only ever been 1 temple of God at any given time. 1 Tabernacle first, then 1 Temple built by Solomon, then 1 Temple built by Herod. These were all types pointing to the anti-type, the New Testament Temple, which is the church. (1 Cor. 3; 2 Cor. 6:6; Eph. 2:19-22; Revelation). It is only ever spoken of in the singular when referencing the NT Temple (or house of God - 1 Tim. 3:15).

2. God dwells in a house not made by hands, a non-physical entity - (2 Cor. 5:1). To assert that the temple of God that He dwells in today is the human body makes it physical, corruptible, and temporal...able to pass away/diminish to some extent. Even dwelling in the OT Temple was just as a teaching tool to precursor the spiritual NT Temple, the eternal Temple of 2 Cor. 5:1.

3. The issue of 1 Cor. 6:19 comes up always as the prooftext for saying that the individual physical body is a (non-definite article) temple of God. The problem is that in the Greek it does not work out that way. The English is problematic because the pronoun "you" and "yours" can be both singular and plural. In the Greek it is not so.

6:15 - know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ?

Here we have plural subject (you/your) and plural bodies, but they are spoken of as "members", parts of a whole.

Paul is using the metaphor of a harlot (actually referring to Jerusalem, the whore called Babylon, to refer to the Judiazing influence in the church, but that's for another discussion). He then speaks of Christians as members of Christ being joined as one body to a harlot, in effect making the body of Christ...Christ Himself in a way, joined to the harlot.

6:19 (the prooftext) - Know you not that your (plural) body (singular) is the (definite article, meaning only one) temple.

There is only one body (Eph. 4:4; etc.) and it is the temple, therefore there is only one temple.

If 6:19 teaches that each individual's physical body is a temple (one of many) then it is the only passage in scripture to do so and it does so at the contradiction of all other scriptures about the NT Temple of God.

The Holy Spirit dwells in the church as a singular spiritual body, so He dwells in us collectively (and in a mediate fashion through the Word, not literally as He did in individuals in the first century which enabled miracles).

More when I can get to it.


Added: 4-9-14

Ephesians 2:19-22 - "19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."

Paul writes to the Ephesians a very clear message that the temple is a singular building, a habitation for God, and we are all parts of the building. The apostles (their teachings) are the foundation (see Revelation 21:19-20, with Christ as the chief cornerstone (Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Psa. 118:22; Isa. 28:16), and Christians parts of the building "fitly framed together" to grow into "a [singular - EWL] holy temple".


In Truth and Love.

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