The use of temples was central during the Old and New Testaments. Christ himself even cleansed the temple by throwing out the money changers who were defiling his Fathers house. John 2:16 Why did that practice stop?

16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

  • I'd like to make a longer answer later, but in short, you can't ignore the role of the synagogues in the Jewish religion. With only one temple in Jerusalem, the synagogues were the main religious meeting places, and so the new Christian churches followed that model more than a single central temple.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 17:13
  • The Catholic Church has used the word temple in reference of a place of worship on rare occasions. An example is the Roman Catholic Sagrada Familia Temple in Barcelona, Spain and the Roman Catholic Basilique du Sacré-Cœur Temple in Paris, France. A church is considered Holy Ground and in Her liturgy for the Dedication of a Church. a church is referred to as the House of God: Deus in loco sancto suo ... One could possibly see the Early Church moving from the Jewish concept of a temple to a Christian temple as a sacred place of worship when permitted to do so.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 1:26
  • The same holds true for the Orthodox. In fact, we call our churches "temples" today. In the Liturgy of John Chrysostom - also used by Eastern Rite Catholics - there are prayers for "this holy temple". The 8th century Patriarch of Constantinople, Germanus, wrote an extensive commentary on parallels between what is found inside an eastern church and what was found in the Temple. His commentary begins, "The church is the temple of God, a holy place, a house of prayer, the assembly of the people, the body of Christ."
    – guest37
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 1:57

1 Answer 1


The Temple was an extension of the concept of the Tabernacle which God instructed the Nation of Israel to build as a place for God to come and talk with them. That was the purpose of the Mercy seat, from which God talked to Moses.

The Temple was originally built by Solomon on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, It was enlarged and enhanced by King Herod. It was and still is a revered part of Judaism, which is a point of contention with Islamist since they have built a Mosque on the site. According to the Jews that Temple must be rebuilt on the original plot where it was originally built.

That having been said; The most probable reason that the Temple is not used for Christian worship is because Gentiles are not allowed to enter past the outer part of the compound. This is vividly shown in Acts where Paul is accused of denigrating the Temple by bringing a Gentile into the Temple:

Acts 21:28 KJV Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.

There is only one Tabernacle and all that is currently left of it is the wailing wall.

The other places that the Jews congregated to worship were known as the Synagogue. These were in the Jewish communities. When Christianity began to spread due to the persecution by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, and elsewhere. 'The people of the way'; which was what the first Christians were called, began to meet in secret in homes in order to not be taken back to Jerusalem for punishment. Paul was on his way to Damascus to capture and take them to Jerusalem when He was converted.

Christians were persecuted by Rome until Constantine was converted, and during that period did not meet openly.

  • Maybe this should be asked as another question but why were the Gentiles not allowed to enter the inner walls of the temple?
    – Nelson
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 22:53
  • @ Nelson I recommend that you ask that as another question, since the history leading up to that is far too lengthy to cover in comments.
    – BYE
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 0:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .