From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [1]

Architectural term used twice in the New Testament ( Ephesians 2:20;  1 Peter 2:6 ) to speak of the exalted Jesus as the chief foundation stone of the church, the cornerstone on which all the building depends. The New Testament draws on two Old Testament passages about the coming Messiah ( Isaiah 28:16;  Zechariah 10:4 ). In  Isaiah 28:16 the prophet speaks God's words directly to the rulers in Jerusalem who boasted that they were immune to the scourges of life because they were secure in themselves. God said their security was false because he would lay a stone in Zion, a precious cornerstone, which really was secure—and it was not those present rulers. Zechariah expands this promise by saying that the cornerstone will come from the tribe of Judah (10:4). Paul builds on this concept in   Ephesians 2:20 by saying that Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone, the apostles and prophets are foundation stones, and the whole building (the church) is a holy temple in the Lord. Peter's use of the idea is more complex, stringing three prophetic verses together (  Psalm 118:22;  Isaiah 8:4;  28:16 ). The stone laid in Zion ( Isaiah 28:16 ) is precious to the believer, but as the stone placed at the "head of the corner" ( eis kephalen gonias ), that is, exalted ( Psalm 118:22 ), he is a stone of offense and stumbling ( Isaiah 8:4 ) to those who refuse to believe. The metaphor seems obvious: the cornerstone is either a source of blessing or judgment, depending on a person's attitude toward it. Some modern interpreters, beginning with J. Jeremias in 1925, take a different tack, separating the two stones and making the cornerstone one thing and the stone at the "head of the corner" another, that is, a capstone or keystone. It is hard to visualize one stumbling over a capstone, but metaphors can be stretched. In any case, the point is that the very foundation of the church is Jesus Christ. This was prophesied by the prophets of old and fulfilled through the incarnation. Those who believe are blessed and those who stumble over that rock chosen by God are condemned.

Walter A. Elwell

See also Capstone; The Church

Bibliography . J. Jeremias, TDNT, 1:791-93; H. Kramer, Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, pp. 267-69; R. J. McKelvey, NTS 8 (1961-62): 352-59.

Holman Bible Dictionary [2]

 Psalm 118:22 Psalm 144:12 Isaiah 19:13  Zechariah 10:4 Isaiah 28:16 Jeremiah 51:26

In the New Testament  Psalm 118:22 and   Isaiah 28:16 are quoted (or alluded to) and applied to Christ. The symbolism is clear: Jesus Christ is the only sure foundation of faith. The Synoptic gospels quote   Psalm 118:22 after the parable of the wicked tenants to show the rejection and ultimate triumph of Christ (  Matthew 21:42;  Mark 12:10;  Luke 20:17; compare  Acts 4:11;  Ephesians 2:20-22 ).

In  1 Peter 2:4-8 , the two cornerstone passages are quoted in addition to  Isaiah 8:14 . Here the appeal to the reader is to come to the living stone (Jesus) the people rejected but precious in God's sight. This is substantiated by a quote from  Isaiah 28:16 . There then comes a warning: those who believe consider the stone to be something precious; but those who do not believe are warned that the stone which they have rejected has become the head of the corner ( Psalm 118:22 ) and, further, this stone will make them stumble and fall ( Isaiah 8:14; compare  Romans 9:33 ). Believers are encouraged to become themselves living stones like the Living Stone and be built into a spiritual house (  1 Peter 2:5 ). See Rocks and Stones.

Phil Logan

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

In ancient building practices, cornerstones were very important. The builders who laid the foundation had to shape and set the cornerstone of the foundation accurately, because the whole building was set out in relation to it. The building depended upon the cornerstone for its successful construction ( Job 38:6;  Isaiah 28:16;  Jeremiah 51:26).

As the builders moved on to the construction of the walls, they used additional cornerstones to tie the main walls together, thereby bringing stability to the whole structure. The placing of the chief cornerstone was always a satisfying achievement, because this was the stone that guaranteed the perfection of the whole building.

The cornerstone therefore provided a useful illustration of triumph and achievement. On one occasion when an Israelite king was on the edge of a humiliating defeat, he was likened to a useless stone that the builders had thrown away; but when he triumphed, he was likened to a stone that they had brought back and made the chief cornerstone ( Psalms 118:21-24).

In rejecting Jesus, the Jews were likened to builders who rejected the best stone of all. And just as a stone lying in the builders’ path can be an obstacle to them, so Jesus was an obstacle to the Jews. As long as they would not believe in him, they could not be saved. They were like builders trying to complete the building without using the main stone. God then took the rejected stone (Jesus) and made him the chief cornerstone in the new house of God, the church. Christ is exalted to the highest place, and the whole church, which consists of ‘living stones’, is built around and built into him ( Matthew 21:42-43;  Acts 4:11;  Ephesians 2:19-20;  1 Peter 2:4-8). (See also Stumbling Block .)

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [4]

Binding together the sides of the building. Some of the temple ones are 19 ft. long and 7 1/2 thick. Compare Solomon's temple,  1 Kings 5:17;  1 Kings 7:9. Christ is the true grainer stone, laid by the Father in Zion, on whom the whole church rests ( Isaiah 28:16). He is also "the head stone," or fifth crowning top grainer of the pyramid, in which the whole building meets and culminates ( Zechariah 4:7). Compare  Genesis 49:24;  Psalms 118:22;  Matthew 21:42;  Romans 9:33-34;  Ephesians 2:21.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [5]

 Psalm 144:12 (b) This represents the place of prominence which the women of Israel would have when the Lord made them beautiful in their obedience and lovely in their faith.

 Isaiah 28:16 (a) Here is a type of the mainstay and foundation of the church. As the cornerstone of a building indicates its official character and its permanent construction, so Christ is to the church. He is the principal stone, the main foundation, the center One in all of GOD's purposes and plans. (See also  Matthew 21:42;  Ephesians 2:20).