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John 2:16 (KJV) And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

What did Jesus mean about the temple being the Father's house, wasn't he also part of the Trinity?

4 Answers 4

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Let us be very clear, the Jerusalem temple is called, "The House of the LORD" on more than 100 occasions in the OT, eg, 1 Kings 2:35, 3:1, 4:34, 6:1, 37, 10:5, 12, 12:27, 30, 14:26, 15:15, 18, 2 Kings 12:13, 23:2, 1 Chron 6:32, 48, 9:23, 26, 22:1, 11, 14, 23:4, 28, 24:19, 25:6, Ps 27:4, Jer 33;11, 36:10, Eze 44:5, etc, etc, etc.

It is also true that Jesus said:

John 10:30 - I and the Father are one.”

Recognizing this fact, we also have recorded:

  • Matt 1:23 - "Behold, the virgin will hold in womb, and will bring forth a son, and they will call His name Immanuel" which is, being translated, "The God with us."
  • John 20:28 - Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" [Literally, "The Lord of me and The God of Me."]
  • Titus 2:13 - as we await the blessed hope and glorious appearance of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • 2 Peter 1:1 - Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours

Now, it is true that Jesus described the temple thus:

John 2:16 - And to those selling doves He said, "Take these things from here! Do not make My Father's house [ie, the Temple] a house of trade."

BUT - Jesus also described the temple thus:

Luke 19:46 - saying to them, "It has been written: 'And My house [the Temple] will be a house of prayer.' But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'" See also Matt 21:13, Mark 11:17.

[Note: here Jesus quotes from a combination of isa 56:7 and Jer 7:11 where the temple is called "My (the LORD's) house", but Jesus claims it as His own.]

Thus, Jesus calling the temple, "My house" appears to be a direct fulfilment of the prophecy of Mal 3:1 which reads:

Behold, I will send My messenger, who will prepare the way before Me. Then the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His temple—the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight—see, He is coming,” says the LORD of Hosts.

That is, Jesus came to His temple.

Thus, the temple, according to Jesus belonged to BOTH the Father and Jesus alike.

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  • "Destroy this Temple, and in 3 days I will raise it back up."
    – Joshua B
    Commented Jun 15 at 2:46
  • Dottard - When Thomas said in John 20:28, "My Lord and my God", he did not mean that Jesus was God, but that Jesus, his Lord, was raised by God; and so Thomas saw his God through his risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
    – Joshua B
    Commented Jun 15 at 2:57
  • Also, you have Malachi 3:1 off, because you render malak as "Messenger" instead of "Angel". For it says, "Behold, I will send My Angel, who will prepare the way before Me. Then the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come into His temple, the Angel of the Covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says YHWH of Hosts.
    – Joshua B
    Commented Jun 15 at 3:15
  • @JoshuaB - we have been here before - you want to have special pleadings to suit your interpretation at every turn. I do not - I let the text say exactly what it says because it does not need explanation.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jun 15 at 6:01
  • Dottard - "ΙΔΟΥ ἐγὼ ἐξαποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου" reads, "Behold, I send forth my Angel..." The word "ἄγγελόν" can mean either "angel" or "messenger" depending on the context.
    – Joshua B
    Commented Jun 15 at 6:40
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Dottard has presented a good answer from the relevant Bible texts.

An additional way is to deal with the fallacy in the question itself.

The question is an example of the Logical Fallacy called "Affirming a Disjunct."

Basically, the question suggests:

  1. The Temple is either the Father's house or Jesus' house. (A false premise, given an exclusive 'or')
  2. Jesus calls the Temple "my Father's house." (which is true)
  3. Therefore, the Temple can't be called Jesus' house. (a false conclusion)

It's the same as mentioned in the Wiki article:

Max is a mammal or Max is a cat.
Max is a mammal.
Therefore, Max is not a cat.

The false premise is based on the meaning of 'or'. Is it inclusive or exclusive? The assumption in the question is that 'or' is exclusive. And so, the question assumes, wrongly, that both sides of the 'or' can't be true at the same time.

So, given Dottard's answer which shows that both persons are members of the same class, the logic of an inclusive 'or' shows that the answer to the OP's question, "wasn't he [Jesus] also part of the Trinity?" is Yes.

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Of note is that Jesus did not say "the Father's house" - he said "my Father's house." Likewise when, as a 12-year-old boy staying behind in the temple at Jerusalem to quiz the leaders and amaze them with his knowledge of the scriptures, he said to his mother, "my Father's business", not "the Father" - Luke 2:49 and the text in question.

That is highly significant, for even from boyhood, Jesus was claiming a unique relationship with God in heaven. This was his Father. That personal identification got Jesus in trouble as he continued to use it. The leaders accused him of blasphemy as they took that to mean Jesus claiming to be equal with God. (John 8:38, 42 & 59 & 10:17, 25 & 29-33)

Understood in light of the temple being the holy place God had designated to represent his Holy Name and wherein acceptable worship could be rendered, would not all worshipers speak of it as "our Father's temple/house" and "the worship of our Father"? Yet Jesus spake as never man spake before.

This agrees with Christ being part of the Trinity. There is no problem here. But when he spoke words such as that, he was walking on Earth as the Son of Man - fully man, his glory veiled. He was "made (or, come) under law"- Galatians 4:4. As a Jewish male, he had been circumcised in that temple on the eighth day and he observed the required temple ceremonies. The temple belonged to none other than the only, true God, dedicated to him alone. Yet Jesus was not 'just' another diligent Jew, for he performed miracles and signs to prove he had come from heaven, from the presence of the Father, to save his people from their sins.

This led to the understanding that he was equally the Son of God. And the Trinity doctrine shows that three Persons share divine nature; the Father and the Son share the one divine nature, with absolute unity of the Spirit in that nature. So, while on Earth, Jesus spoke of "my Father", and "my Father's temple" as his Father was in heaven while he was incarnated on Earth. As another answer has shown, Old Testament prophecies about Messiah coming to his temple were fulfilled in the man, Jesus, coming to the temple in Jerusalem, which was equally "his temple."

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    Thank you my beloved brother in Christ
    – Wycliffe
    Commented Jun 15 at 14:54
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What did Jesus mean about the Temple being the Father's House?

It is that the Old Temple building of Israel was a foreshadow of the New Temple of our bodies, with God's Spirit within the Holy of Holies of our hearts. God dwells in a Temple not made with human hands, but a Temple made from the hands of Christ in our hearts and in heaven.

Just as God didn't want beasts in His Temple building, God does not want the beasts of sin in His New Covenant Temple, which is our bodies. We must be free of sin and undefiled before our God to prepare for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Temple building acted as a representation of the Temple of the body of Christ.

The Spirit of God and Christ only dwells in purified bodily temples which are completely free of sin, cleansed by the Word of God by spiritual baptism.

The Trinity is a false doctrine. Jesus is not God, and God is not Jesus.

Nevertheless, God is in Jesus, and Jesus is in God. They are one in Spirit.

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