Further Commentary for The Temple of God
“The temple is a central feature of the Bible. It is God’s dwelling with his people that makes them the people of God, and when the temple of Jerusalem is destroyed the hope of a new temple became a central article of Jewish faith. The NT presents the church as the fulfilment of God’s promise of a new temple. This spiritualizing of the temple, which had already begun in Judaism, resulted from the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the gift of the Spirit. For this reason full weight should be given to the adjective when speaking of the new temple.
As a metaphor of the church the temple is significant for its theocentric emphasis. The church is the temple of God, or of God’s Spirit, and never the temple of Christ. The image thus serves ecclesiology by drawing attention to the fundamental concept of the church as the people of God. On the other hand, when the temple is viewed in architectural terms and seen as a building, Christ’s place in the church and his relation to Christians and theirs to him is made clear…No greater significance could have been attached to Christ than by giving him pride of place as the chief stone in the new temple.”
–R. J. McKelvey
Excerpt from “Temple,” in New Dictionary of Biblical Theology