|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.
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.)
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.