John 2:13-22 (NIV),

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

How could Jesus, having been crucified and buried, raise the temple of His body from the death and destruction He prophesied would come to it?

Does this verse suggest that Jesus died only in body, but in soul/mind/spirit He remained alive even after the cross?

3 Answers 3


Does this verse suggest that Jesus died only in body, but in soul/mind/spirit He remained alive even after the cross?


Just before Jesus physically died on the cross,

Luke 23:46

Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Only God can kill the soul.

Matthew 10:28

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.


You are interpreting text using the western understanding of ‘death’. Instead you need to apply Hebraic understanding, after all, the Bible is a Jewish book. Our dictionary defines death very differently to the Bible.

Death (Biblically) means separation. Physical ‘death’ is [you] separation from your physical ‘body’. As ‘sin’ is in the ‘flesh’, it’s the ‘flesh’ that had to die. Jesus took our ‘sin’ in his body. So it was his body that died.

  • ' . . . . . a Jewish book'. The question is about the Koine Greek of the New testament. And you have given no reference or substantiation for 'Death (biblically) means separation.' This answer is well below what is expected and usually observed on BH. (In my opinion.)
    – Nigel J
    Mar 12, 2021 at 21:54
  • Hi, Dave. Thanks for responding. To whom is your response directed? To me? If so, I would like to point out I made no interpretation on the word death, but rather have asked for an interpretation, hence the question. Mar 12, 2021 at 22:16
  • @The Votive Soul OK. But, for the record, I was responding to ‘Does this verse suggest that Jesus died only in body’ And' to address this, I needed to define ‘died’. And thus show that his ‘soul/mind/spirit’ didn’t ‘die’, - because they cannot.
    – Dave
    Mar 12, 2021 at 22:54
  • Please supply a series a Bible references for the second paragraph
    – Dottard
    Jun 27, 2021 at 22:09
  • @Dottard The whole of Romans 7 outlines that ‘sin’ is in the ‘flesh’. But, as well as scripture, consider this - ‘sin’ is what you do ‘in/with/using’ your body. Sin (verb) is something you do/commit. The ‘penalty’ under the Mosaic Law for ‘sin’ (transgression) was physical ‘death’, the ‘body’ had to pay the price. (The offender was still saved).
    – Dave
    Jun 27, 2021 at 22:28

I strongly recommend that you not venture on this minefield. There is no solution to this. The distinction between body and soul is very vexed (if it exists at all) and is not in the OT.

All that on can say is what is recorded in the Bible - NOTHING. Jesus died. Solving this problem is like trying to understand the incarnation itself - it is a mystery not recorded but accepted by faith.

After Jesus died, He was raised to life. Note further that according to John 2:19-21 and 10:17, 18 both say that Jesus resurrected Himself. Further, John 1:4 & 5:26 says that the Son has “life in Himself”, that is, is not dependent on the Father for His existence. Compare 1 John 5:11 & 1:1, 2.

Now, do not reply that other texts (Rom 6:4, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:17-20) say that the Father raised Jesus from the dead. That is true but beside the point here because how Jesus resurrected Himself or the Father did is part of the mystery of the incarnation and the resurrection.

To understand either of these things is to be God and none of us is God!

  • Hi, Dottard. Perhaps you are correct, but I prefer to exhaust an issue before capitulating to a mystery. :). Mar 12, 2021 at 22:17

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