There was only one temple. It was the house of God. It contained the Arc of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat. The inner chamber was the Holy of Holies. It was the one place where sacrifices could be made for atonement. There were synagogues where people met to discuss and study. It was there that children were trained. Every village with ten men could have a synagogue, but there was only one temple. I know that Jews call their houses of worship “temples” today but that is more a wish than a accurate label.
Today many Christians refer to churches as houses of the Lord? Is that theologically accurate? I guess we could make a distinction between “House of God” and “House of the Lord” and say that Lord refers to Jesus, but I don’t think most people are following that logic. Is the local rented gymnasium a “house of the Lord” because a congregation meets there for worship?
I suggest that Pentecost gives us an indication.
Before Pentecost the Holy Spirit was given to selected individuals. I think of Saul in particular. Samuel tells Saul,
(1Sa 10:6 KJV) And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.After Pentecost the Holy Spirit was available to all believers. Consider that the temple veil was torn in two. A few years later the entire temple complex was leveled by Roman soldiers. Would it not be a possible suggestion that the Temple ceased being the location of God’s worship and that was transferred to local churches?
I can’t think of any verse in the New Testament that ties a building to the presence of God. Individual believers, yes. Buildings, no. I would suggest that any structure that has believers gathered for worship could be called a house of the Lord, not because the building is sacred but because God has promised to meet with them.
(Mat 18:20 KJV) For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.Words are wonderful for communication and learning. Don’t let unimportant distinctions distract you from seeking truth.
homo unius libri
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