From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [1]

From Sacred Space to Holy House The localized presence of God and God's glory among his people is central to the unfolding story of the Old Testament. This "sacred geography" includes Eden (  Genesis 2:8 ), Bethel ( Genesis 28:10-22 ), Sinai ( Exodus 3:5-6;  19:18-20;  24:16;  34:5;  Deuteronomy 4:12;  5:24;  Psalm 68:8; cf.  Hebrews 12:18-21 ), and Shiloh ( Judges 18:31;  1 Samuel 3:21;  Psalm 78:60;  Jeremiah 7:12 ). God's glory rested over the ark of the covenant ( Exodus 25:22 ), in the tabernacle ( Exodus 40:34-38;  Numbers 9:15;  2 Samuel 7:5-7,13 ), and in Solomon's temple, God's house ( 1 Kings 8:10-21;  Psalm 26:8;  27:4;  84:1-4;  Ezekiel 10:18 ), and in Jerusalem ( Psalm 50:1-2;  76:2;  132:13-14;  Ezekiel 48:35 ). Although Israel knew well that God could not be confined to this earth, much less a man-made dwelling ( 1 Kings 8:27,30 ,  39,43 ,  49;  2 Chronicles 2:6;  6:18;  Isaiah 66:1; cf.  Psalm 2:4;  11:4;  Acts 7:48-50 ), they experienced God among them in specific, holy places. Such encounters demonstrated their unique position as a people ( Exodus 19:4-6;  Deuteronomy 8:6-11 ), and demanded ritual purity ( Exodus 29:29-30;  Numbers 8:5-22;  Isaiah 52:11;  Malachi 3:1-4 ) and separateness from foreigners ( Exodus 23:20-33 ). Israel's prophets looked forward to a day when God's sanctuary would be forever among his people ( Ezekiel 37:26-28;  43:1-7;  Micah 4:1-2;  Haggai 2:7;  Zechariah 2   6:11-15;  8:3,23;  14:4 ). In other contexts, images of reconstruction and rebuilding symbolize God's postexilic restoration of Israel ( Jeremiah 24:4-7;  31:4,27-40;  33:7;  42:10;  Ezekiel 36:33-36;  Amos 9:11-15 ). This language was both literal, referring to their homes and cities, and metaphorical, referring to the nation and its fortunes. Both these themes, of God dwelling among his people and God building up his people, are taken up in the New Testament as images for the new covenant community.

From Solomon's Temple to Something Greater In the Gospels, especially Luke, temple worship figures prominently (1:9; 2:27,46; 19:47; 21:37; 24:53), and Jesus affirms the continuing sanctity of the temple as the dwelling-place of God (  Matthew 23:21; cf.  John 2:17 ). Nevertheless, as the drama unfolds, Jesus is revealed to be greater than the temple ( Matthew 12:6 ); he is driven to purify it ( Mark 11:15-18; cf.  Malachi 3:1-3 ), foresees its destruction ( Matthew 24:2;  Mark 13:2;  John 4:21 ), and is tried, in part, for his alleged antitemple stance ( Matthew 26:61 ). Jesus' promise to build his church echoes God's promise to Israel in the Old Testament ( Matthew 16:18; cf.  Acts 15:14-18 ). For John, Jesus is the new tabernacle (1:14) and temple (2:19-21) of God. Although the early Christians continued to worship at the temple ( Acts 2:46;  5:42 ), Stephen's apology, echoing both Jesus and  Isaiah 66 , betrayed a shifting perspective on the locus of God's presence with his people ( Acts 6:14;  7:48-50; cf.  John 4:21-24;  Hebrews 10:19-22 ).

Internal Disunity, External Defilement, and Inter-racial Enmity In several passages Paul identifies the church as the eschatological dwelling of God. God is not only present among, but actually dwells within, his people. First Corinthians 3:9b-17, as a sober warning to the divisive, describes the church as a building ( oikodome [3:13-15,17). The church is under construction, and God functions to oversee and protect the project (3:10;   Psalm 127:1 ) until it is finally complete. The church is also, however, a fully occupied dwelling, the temple of God's Holy Spirit ( naos theou; 3:16). The first image highlights the need for diligent, responsible human effort; the second, the reality of God's holy presence and impending judgment (cf.   1 Samuel 5:7;  2 Samuel 6:7;  1 Peter 4:17 ).

In  2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1 the church is called the temple of the living God ( naos theou zomntos ) in stark contrast to a world characterized by lawlessness, darkness, disbelief, and idolatry. It is God's dwelling-place and consists of God's people. The call to purity and separateness here, drawn from Israel's scriptures ( Exodus 29:45;  Leviticus 26:11-12;  2 Samuel 7:14;  Isaiah 52:11;  Ezekiel 37:26-28 ), ha sin mind primarily the defilement of pagan religious practices (cf.  1 Corinthians 10:19-22 ); as God's restored temple, God's people must commit themselves to holy living ( 2 Corinthians 7:1 ). Appropriate conduct is also the focus of  1 Timothy 3:15 , where the church is the established and unmovable house of God ( oikos theou [ΟἶκοςΘεός]).

As a celebration of Jew-Gentile unity and equality in Christ,  Ephesians 2:20-22 portrays the church as building ( oikodome [   Psalm 118:22;  Isaiah 28:16;  Matthew 21:42;  Acts 4:11;  1 Peter 2:7 ) and provides the whole with life and growth ( Ephesians 2:21 ), while the apostles and New Testament prophets provide a solid foundation (2:20; cf.  Revelation 3:12;  21:14 ). Images of nation, building, body, and temple converge but the central message is clear: Because Christ's death has established peace, union with Christ dissolves all barriers between Jew and Gentile.

A Spiritual House of Living Stones and Holy Priests The spiritual house ( oikos [   Psalm 118:22 ), is now a choice, living stone in God's temple ( Isaiah 28:16 ), sharing his life and bringing unity to all who come to him. But the writer's focus shifts quickly from the building itself to the activities within; not only are believers living stones in God's house, but the church corporately is called to perform priestly service and offer holy sacrifices ( 1 Peter 2:5,9;  4:17;  Romans 12:1 ).

Heavenly Houses for God's People The resurrection body of the believer can also be called a dwelling. In   2 Corinthians 5:1-4 , this house ( oikodome, oikia, oiketerion ) is designed and built by God, not by human hands (cf.  Mark 14:58;  Colossians 2:11 ), and it far surpasses the earthly tent of this life, which is subject to decay and death ( 2 Corinthians 4:16;  5:1; cf.  2 Peter 1:13-14 ). This heavenly house is not so much a temple for the Spirit (cf.  1 Corinthians 6:19 ) as it is the residence of the glorified believer and that which overcomes earthly affliction, mortality, and the nakedness of the intermediate state ( 2 Corinthians 5:3-4 ). In the event of death, the new house replaces the old (v. 1); for those who survive until the parousia, the old is transformed into the new (vv. 2,4).

Bruce N. Fisk

See also The Church; Tabernacle; Temple

Bibliography . E. P. Clowney, Biblical Interpretation and the Church: The Problem of Contextualization  ; R. Y. K. Fung, EvQ 53 (1981): 89-107; M. J. Harris, From Grave to Glory: Resurrection in the New Testament  ; A. T. Lincoln, Paradise Now and Not Yet  ; R. J. McKelvey, The New Temple: The Church in the New Testament  ; P. S. Minear, Images of the Church in the New Testament  ; H. Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology  ; B. Witherington, Jesus, Paul and the End of the World .

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]

The usual NT word is αἰκοδομή = οἰκοδόμησις, a building in course of construction, as distinguished from οἰκοδόμημα, a finished structure.

1.  1 Corinthians 3:9 . -‘Ye are God’s husbandry (Revised Version margin ‘tilled land’), God’s building.’ Without pressing the change of metaphor, it is, however, to be noted, as indicating the intensity of the Apostle’s thought, how his mind grasps first one method of increase and then another. The Kingdom grows like the organic development in the vegetable world, where outside substances are incorporated and assimilated into the organism itself. Or it grows as a building from the foundation; stone is laid upon stone, according to a preconceived plan, till the whole is complete. Under his metaphor St. Paul describes the Church as God’s, and the leaders of the Church as His instruments (‘the saints build up the fabric’). In this light the factions of Corinth are manifested. They have not grasped the Divine idea of the Church, and therefore they are rebuked: ‘I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual but as unto carnal’ (3:1). With a tender smile of blame he calls them ‘babes in Christ,’ who have not grown into the height and freedom of their calling as God’s fellow-workers (συνεργοί). Kindled with his metaphor, the Apostle rises to the thought of the gradual upbuilding of the Church (by transformation and accretion) through the ages, by many builders, and with varied material, but all on the once-laid foundation, to the glory not of the builders, but of the hand that guided and the heart that planned (cf. Longfellow’s poem The Builders , and O. W. Holmes, The Living Temple and The Chambered Nautilus ).

2.  2 Corinthians 5:1 . -‘We know … we have a building (οἰκοδομήν) from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.’ The punctuation in Authorized Versionis wrong, and the sense of Revised Versionwould be more explicit if it read ‘We have in the heavens a building from God, an house not made with hands, eternal’ (so Alford, do Wette, Meyer, and most Moderns). The house to which St. Paul looks forward is not heaven itself, though it is in the heavens, and comes from God as His gift. The Apostle is here moving among the conceptions of what he calls ‘the spiritual body’ ( 1 Corinthians 15:42-45), adumbrating in his paradox thoughts which are really unspeakable. Cf. also  Philippians 3:21 ‘the body of our humiliation … the body of his glory.’

3.  Ephesians 2:21 . -‘Each several building (πᾶσα οἰκοδομή) fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple’ (Revised Version margin ‘sanctuary’). Authorized Versionhas ‘all the building,’ and the difference ought to be carefully noted in point both of grammar and of thought. The weight of the best Manuscriptsfavours the omission of the article, and Meyer translates accordingly ‘every building.’ Moule ( Ephesians [in Cambridge Bible for Schools , 1886]) and Ellicott ( Com. in. loc. ) contend that the article is implicit; the latter calls its omission ‘a grammatical laxity,’ and the former is of opinion that the law of the article is in some respects less precise in the NT than in the classics. This does not appear to be made out, and it is safer to abide by the established usage than to allow an ad sensum interpretation (which really assumes the point in dispute). Westcott ( Ephesians , 1906) prefers to abide by the classical use (cf. Expository Times xviii. [1906-07] 2 for a note on the similar expression in  Ephesians 3:15). πᾶς without the article = ‘a various whole,’ and this is the Apostle’s thought. ‘The image is that of an extensive pile of buildings, such as the ancient temples commonly were, in process of construction at different points over a wide area’ (Findlay, Ephesians [ Expositor’s Bible , 1892], 146). Uniformity is not necessary to unity. The true catholicity is found in Jesus Christ Himself, the chief corner-stone, and not in external uniformity. The reading adopted in Revised Versionmay be claimed as an incidental testimony to the early date of the Epistle. In point of fact, in the 2nd cent. the desire for formal unity would have rendered impossible the text ‘each several building.’ ‘The Church swallowed up the churches’ (Findlay). But here in the Apostolic Age, with the variety of circumstance, attainment, and social aspect in the churches, the essential idea of unity is nevertheless preserved, for ‘each several building’ is destined to be ‘fitly framed together.’ Each serves to make up the ideal temple of God, which is being built for ever. Each is a true part of that mystical body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit.

4.  Hebrews 9:11 . -‘But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building’ (Authorized Version); better Revised Version‘but Christ having come a high priest of the good things that are come (Revised Version margin), through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation (οὐ ταύτης τῆς κτίσεως).’ The tabernacle is immaterial and spiritual as contrasted with the heaven and the earth. F. Field ( Notes on the Translation of the NT [= Otium Norvicense , iii.], Cambridge, 1899, p. 142; || Farrar, Hebrews [in Cambridge Bible for schools , 1883], p. 139f.) would translate ‘not of ordinary construction.’ ‘Human skill had nothing to do with its structure, for man’s work finds its expression in the visible order of earth, to which this does not belong’ (Westcott, Hebrews , 1889, p. 258). For the different meanings assigned to ‘tabernacle’ and their bearing on the true humanity of our Lord, see Tabernacle.

5.  Revelation 21:18 . -‘The building (ἐνδόμησις) of the wall thereof was jasper.’ The word is passive and denotes the structure, what was built in. Cf. ‘I will make thy battlements jasper’ ( Isaiah 54:12 [Septuagint]). Some clear stone is intended, and not our modern jasper, which is generally red or brown.

W. M. Grant.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [3]

 Deuteronomy 6:10 Numbers 13:19 2 Samuel 5:11 1 Kings 5:6,18 Ezra 3:7

In  Genesis 11:3,9 , we have the first recorded instance of the erection of buildings. The cities of the plain of Shinar were founded by the descendants of Shem (10:11,12,22).

The Israelites were by occupation shepherds and dwellers in tents ( Genesis 47:3 ); but from the time of their entering Canaan they became dwellers in towns, and in houses built of the native limestone of Palestine. Much building was carried on in Solomon's time. Besides the buildings he completed at Jerusalem, he also built Baalath and Tadmor ( 1 Kings 9:15,24 ). Many of the kings of Israel and Judah were engaged in erecting various buildings.

Herod and his sons and successors restored the temple, and built fortifications and other structures of great magnificence in Jerusalem ( Luke 21:5 ).

The instruments used in building are mentioned as the plumb-line ( Amos 7:7 ), the measuring-reed ( Ezekiel 40:3 ), and the saw ( 1 Kings 7:9 ).

Believers are "God's building" ( 1 Corinthians 3:9 ); and heaven is called "a building of God" ( 2 Corinthians 5:1 ). Christ is the only foundation of his church ( 1 Corinthians 3:10-12 ), of which he also is the builder ( Matthew 16:18 ).

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [4]

 2 Chronicles 3:3 (c) This is probably a type of the Lord Jesus Christ who was the most magnificent and the most glorious person ever to dwell on earth.

 1 Corinthians 3:9 (a) This is plainly a type of the church of GOD, which is the dwelling place of GOD on the earth. It does not refer to any denomination, nor any building of wood or stone. It refers to the gathering together of those who are saved by grace, washed in the blood of the Lamb, redeemed by power, and are actually and truly the children of GOD.

 2 Corinthians 51:1 (a) This type is used to describe the new body which each believer will have after the resurrection.

 Ephesians 2:20-21 (a) In this place the building is used as a type of the church which the Lord is constructing by saving souls, bringing them into His family, and attaching them to each other by invisible bonds. Christ is constructing for Himself a dwelling place on earth among His own children. This is called "the church" of which He Himself is the cornerstone, He is the architect and the contractor.

 Hebrews 9:11 (a) The type here evidently refers to the personal body of the Lord Jesus He calls it a temple which men would seek to destroy, but which He would raise up in three days. (See also  John 2:19).

Webster's Dictionary [5]

(1): (n.) That which is built; a fabric or edifice constructed, as a house, a church, etc.

(2): (n.) The act of constructing, erecting, or establishing.

(3): (n.) The art of constructing edifices, or the practice of civil architecture.

(4): (p. pr. & vb. n.) of Build

King James Dictionary [6]

BUILD'ING, ppr. bild'ing. Framing and erecting resting on.

BUILD'ING, n. bild'ing. A fabric or edifice constructed for use or convenience, as a house,a church, a shop, &c.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [7]

Building.  Ezra 5:4. See Dwellings.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

(properly some, form of the verbs בָּנָה , Banah', Οἰκοδομέω ). Historical and monumental data do not exist to enable us to trace accurately the gradual improvement and peculiar character of Jewish architecture. (See Bardwell, Temples Ancient And Modern, Lond. 1837.) Its style was probably borrowed in the first instance from the Egyptians, next from the Phoenicians (comp. Michaelis in the Comment. Nov. Soc. Goetting. 1, 1771; Stieglitz, Gesch. der Baukunst biden Alten, Leipz. 1792; M Ü ller, Archaeol. p. 289 sq.; Schnaase, Gesch. der bild. Kunste, 1, 248 sq.), and finally from the Greeks. (See Architecture).

Of building tools, besides common implements such as the axe, saw, etc., there are mentioned the compass ( מְחוּגָה ) and plumb-line ( אֲנָךְ ),  Amos 7:7 sq., the rule or measuring-line ( קָו ), the awl ( שֶׂרֶד ), etc. (see the Mishna, Chelim, 14, 3). See these instruments in their place. (See Schmidt, Bibl. Mathematicus, p. 217 sq.; Bellermann, Handbuch, 1, 189 sq.) (See House).

Besides its proper and literal signification, the word "build" is used with reference to children and a numerous posterity ( Exodus 1:21;  Ruth 4:11). The prophet Nathan told David that God would build his house, that is, give him children and successors ( 2 Samuel 7:27). Any kind of building implies the settlement of a family, or the acquisition of some new honor, kingdom, or power, and its peaceful enjoyment ( Psalms 107:4;  Psalms 107:7;  Micah 5:4). God's Church is called a building, and the architect is the master-builder ( 1 Corinthians 3:9-17). So also the heavenly home of Christians is compared to a building in contrast with the temporary tabernacle of the earthly body ( 2 Corinthians 5:1).