2 Corinthians 6:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 6:16, NIV: "What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.'"

2 Corinthians 6:16, ESV: "What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

2 Corinthians 6:16, KJV: "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

2 Corinthians 6:16, NASB: "Or what agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, 'I WILL DWELL AMONG THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE."

2 Corinthians 6:16, NLT: "And what union can there be between God's temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: 'I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people."

2 Corinthians 6:16, CSB: "And what agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, as God said:I will dwelland walk among them,and I will be their God,and they will be my people."

What does 2 Corinthians 6:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has been asking a series of questions to illustrate how absurd it is for a believer in Jesus to be "yoked" or harnessed to an unbeliever in a binding relationship. He has asked how there can be a partnership between righteousness and lawlessness; how there can be fellowship between light and darkness; how there can be an accord between Christ and Satan; and what portion of eternal glory a Christian could ever share with a non-Christian.

Now he asks one final question as a transition into his main point in this passage: What agreement can God's temple have with idols? The question creates a picture of worshiping a false idol in the Jewish temple. Such a thing would be the ultimate betrayal of God. Those who knew the law of Moses would immediately declare such a person as being worthy of death under the laws of the nation of Israel.

Paul quickly clarifies, though, that he is not talking about the Jewish temple. Those who are in Christ—true Christian believers—are now God's temple on earth. His Spirit occupies every believer in Jesus. With that understanding, Paul's meaning is clear. Any believer who participates in the worship of an idol is guilty of betraying God in the same way as a Jewish person worshiping an idol in the Jewish temple.

Paul next references several Old Testament passages to make his point even more clear. He begins by quoting from a mix of Leviticus 26:12 and Exodus 29:45. God declared that He would live among the people of Israel. This was accomplished in the ark of the covenant and in the temple. He would walk among them. He would be Israel's God, and they would be His people. Paul is demonstrating that the same is true of all who come to God through faith in Christ. Christians are the people of God. He dwells among them now in the form of the Holy Spirit.