II Timothy 2:15 A Study of I Corinthians 3:17 I Peter 3:15  

1 Corinthians 3:17 King James Version (KJV)

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.


ΠΡΟΣ ΚΟΡΙΝΘΙΟΥΣ Α΄ 3:17 1881 Westcott-Hort New Testament (WHNU)
17 ει τις τον ναον του θεου φθειρει φθερει τουτον ο θεος ο γαρ ναος του θεου αγιος εστιν οιτινες εστε υμεις

ΠΡΟΣ ΚΟΡΙΝΘΙΟΥΣ Α΄ 3:17 1550 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550)
17 ει τις τον ναον του θεου φθειρει φθερει τουτον ο θεος ο γαρ ναος του θεου αγιος εστιν οιτινες εστε υμεις

ΠΡΟΣ ΚΟΡΙΝΘΙΟΥΣ Α΄ 3:17 1894 Scrivener New Testament (TR1894)
17 ει τις τον ναον του θεου φθειρει φθερει τουτον ο θεος ο γαρ ναος του θεου αγιος εστιν οιτινες εστε υμεις

ΠΡΟΣ ΚΟΡΙΝΘΙΟΥΣ Α΄ 3:17 SBL Greek New Testament (SBLGNT)
17 εἴ τις τὸν ναὸν τοῦ θεοῦ φθείρει, φθερεῖ τοῦτον ὁ θεός· ὁ γὰρ ναὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ἅγιός ἐστιν, οἵτινές ἐστε ὑμεῖς.
A very big, "thanks," to biblegateway.com for making the above text available.

King James Version (KJV) Public Domain
1881 Westcott-Hort New Testament (WHNU) by Public Domain
1550 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550) by Public Domain
1894 Scrivener New Testament (TR1894) by Public Domain
SBL Greek New Testament (SBLGNT) Scripture quotations marked SBLGNT are from the The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software

My question with this verse was, "what does God mean by, 'destroy?'"   Does He mean that He will annihilate you if you defile your body?  Does He mean that He will kill you?  Does He mean that you will lose your salvation?

My beliefs are that, once you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, that you can never lose your salvation.  It doesn't seem likely that God would annihilate you once He has saved you.  I could not accept that it means that you would lose your salvation.  That just isn't consistent with what I understand about salvation.  So, what can He mean, then, by using the word, "destroy?"

One of the commentaries that I checked said that the word never means, "annihilate."

So I decided to dig into the original language in which this passage was written: the Greek.

I have three books with the Greek text of this passage in them.  I looked up the verse in each of those books and found some confusion.  The form of the Greek letters in the book containing the Nestle-Aland text are different from the form of the Greek letters as they appear in my Greek language textbook.  Also, they are different from the form of the letters as they appear in my Greek lexicon.  (See my notes on the flyleaf of the Nestle-Aland text.)


φθειρει
Ftheirei (or phtheiro):

To corrupt, to destroy.  In the opinion of the Jews, the temple was corrupted or "destroyed" when any defiled one in the slightest degree damaged anything in it.

...leading away a Christian church from that state of holiness and knowledge in which it ought to abide...

So I take it that this is saying that, if you do anything to defile (or ruin for holiness) your body, then you are being defiled yourself (your spirit within you is then unfit for holiness too.)

Photo of the Textus Receptus page for I Corinthians 3:17

The Textus Receptus text for I Corinthians 3:17
Back to top of page

Photo of the Interlinear Greek-English New Testament text for I Corinthians 3:17

The Interlinear text for I Corinthians 3:17
Back to top of page

Photo of the Nestle-Aland text for I Corinthians 3:17

The Nestle-Aland text for I Corinthians 3:17
Back to top of page

My notes inside the cover of the Nestle-Aland text

Notes I made on the flyleaf of the Nestle-Aland book
Back to top of page



home
C Meton home page