To me, a non denomination believer, this verse also applies to defiling someone else's temple. To defile/destroy the temple brings the wrath of God (the Father). The Greek word for "will be destroyed" is used in 2 Cor 7:2 Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have "corrupted" no one, we have exploited no one. This may be a mild interpretation. Using 1 cor 3:17 the verse would read, Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have destroyed no one, we have exploited no one. So this seems to me, upon much meditation and prayer time, the wrath would work thru believers or at the minimum Apostle Paul and the others with him. So instead of calling out the bears (2 Kings 2:23), Paul suffered the wrongs. Does this mean the defile has to be really horrible? Is the "destroy" wrath along the lines of using the key to the Abyss? Is the person gone completely? No Heaven, No hell nothing, nada? If someone is destroyed will that person meet judgement?

  • Hi and welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics. If you have not already done so, please take the tour and see how questions work on our site. As it stands, this question could do with some tidying up, removing some redundant comment, to make it easier to understand the core of your question. Jul 4 '16 at 22:10

Paul was not writing for us; he was writing for the Corinthians. And so, he was not talking about sin and punishment, but about the establishment of his church in Corinth and, in particular, the loyalty the Corinthians owe to Paul.

Paul compares the Corinthians to babies, whom he has fed milk not solid food (1 Corinthians 3:1-2). While they are quarrelling as to whether they belong to Paul or his competitor, Apollos, they are indeed behaving like little infants. In 3:5-9, Paul says that he brought the gospel to Corinth, then Apollos built on Paul’s teaching, but Paul and Apollos are equals because it was God who accepted them as Christians. Careful to avoid appearing to claim preeminence for himself, Paul nevertheless says that he laid the foundation, which is Jesus Christ, then another built on it and, like any builder, will receive a wage if his work is good. The metaphor evolves, as Paul now tells the Corinthians they are the temple of God, warning that if anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, the Corinthians, is holy. Here Paul is saying that anyone who undoes his work in bringing the gospel to the Corinthians will be damned, but using repetition of φθείρει ('destroy') for literary effect.

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