Standing Rubble (part 1)

David, King of Israel from (1,000 to 960 BC) really, really wanted to build the temple but God said that David had too much blood on his hands from his battles with the Philistines. Instead, the job was given to his son, Solomon, who built an incredibly beautiful temple which lasted several hundred years until it was destroyed in 587 BC when Nebuchadnezzar’s armies invaded.

A few dozen years before the birth of Jesus, Herod’s Temple was finished until it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD after a Jewish uprising (same revolt as Masada). Herod’s Temple was the very one that Jesus lived in for 3 days as a young boy, the one that he visited numerous times, and the one that is commented on in Matthew 24:1-2:

As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

The Jerusalem Church was led by James, the brother of Jesus. This was the very first center of Christian community and is sometimes described as the “mother of all Christian churches.” When the Romans invaded Jerusalem, Christians (and Jews) scattered throughout the world, taking their faith with them and spreading the Gospel. No one knows where that church in Jerusalem was located, and no trace of it is found today.

These are arguably the three most important structures in the history of ancient Judaism and early Christianity. There are many, many more recently constructed buildings of note (St. Peter’s in Rome, St. Paul’s in London, Haggia Sofia in Istanbul – originally a church, and countless temples) but none of these have the pedigree of Solomon’s Temple, Herod’s Temple, and the First Church of Jerusalem.

So, why am I writing about these? That’s my next post.

Lead On!