Closely Related:
- In Luke, Was Jesus Dedicated in the Second Temple, or Third?

How many years did it take to build Herod's Temple?

The Temple in the gospels is stated to have taken 46 years :

NASB, John 2:20 - They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”

  • You don't need a "1." when there's no "2.". This isn't Ezra's temple: it's Herod's.
    – Dɑvïd
    Mar 15, 2017 at 20:04
  • @David, correct it's not Ezra's temple, it's Zerubbabel’s temple Ezra 3:8. It's rebuild was started in the 18th year of Herod's reign 20-19 B.C. It was not finished until Albinus took over and he complete the temple between 62-64 A.D.
    – N.Ish
    Mar 15, 2017 at 20:50
  • @N.Ish I'm not sure what you mean by this: "...it's Zerubbabel’s temple Ezra 3:8. It's rebuild was started in the 18th year of Herod's reign...". You seem to have conflated the post-exilic temple (late 6th C. BC) with Herod's temple (late 1st C. BC). These are two distinct building projects.
    – Dɑvïd
    Mar 15, 2017 at 21:43
  • Apologies for causing confusion. You stated "This isn't Ezra's temple: it's Herod's". I'm replying stating that this is half true. It's Zerubbabel's temple that Herod is rebuilding. This is what is written in Ezra 3:8. Which was about 50 years after the first temple was destroyed.
    – N.Ish
    Mar 15, 2017 at 21:54

1 Answer 1


"The construction of all this work occupied, according to John ii. 20, forty-six years; in reality, however, it was not completed until the procuratorship of Albinus (62-64 C. E.), more than eighty years after its commencement." -1906 Jewish Encyclopedia

Most likely John 2:20 is not a statement of the Temples completed state, but rather a statement of how long it's been in process.

"It has taken forty-six years to build this temple,"

Reading that line, we see it's more of an exacerbated response. As if to say "we've been building this temple for 46 years". Not so much indicating completion.

  • +1 N.Ish - A.) What entry is that in the Jewish Encyclopedia? Do you happen to still have the URL? B.) Could you clarify when the building project(s) were started? Jun 20, 2017 at 15:51

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