John 2:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 2:20, NIV: "They replied, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?'"

John 2:20, ESV: "The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?”"

John 2:20, KJV: "Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?"

John 2:20, NASB: "The Jews then said, 'It took forty-six years to build this temple, and yet You will raise it up in three days?'"

John 2:20, NLT: "'What!' they exclaimed. 'It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?'"

John 2:20, CSB: "Therefore the Jews said, "This temple took forty-six years to build, and will you raise it up in three days? ""

What does John 2:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The temple was massive and beautiful. Solomon had built a gorgeous structure (1 Kings 6), which was unfortunately raided by the Egyptians a few decades later (2 Chronicles 12:1–5). Israel eventually rebuilt it, as described in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. This "Second Temple" was being upgraded by Herod at the time Jesus began His ministry. It was the center of Jewish worship, and absolutely necessary for proper sacrifices to God. In verse 19, when asked to perform a miracle, Jesus claims that He can rebuild a destroyed temple in three days.

In this gospel, "The Jews" are usually the scribes, Pharisees, and other religious leaders. They would have been offended at the idea that something so important could be so easily rebuilt. In fact, Jesus was predicting His own death and resurrection. This statement will be used against Jesus both during His trials (Matthew 26:61) and as heckling when He was crucified (Matthew 27:40). Sadly, in AD 70, the temple would be completely obliterated by Rome.