The text of John 14:2–3 bristles with difficulties. It describes the redemptive work of Christ in terms which pertain to the family and its intimate personal relationships. However, careful examination also reveals significant temple implications. The text states equivalently that the New Temple of the risen Jesus is the way of access to the heavenly temple of the Father’s house. Moreover, the term “place” is taken to mean sanctuary or temple.
Extensive arguments support this interpretation by the use of a method which distinguishes two levels of meaning in the text, a pre-Paschal and a post-Paschal respectively. Part 1 of this study treats directly of the Jewish background, with a preliminary chapter which opens up the rich possibilities of the text. Part 2 deals with the Johannine context, the deeper post-Paschal meaning, and the links with other Johannine temple texts. A final chapter shows the unity between the two levels of understanding. Such an interpretation points to the temple as an important theme of the Johannine farewell discourses which cannot be adequately explained without reference to it.
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James McCaffrey has lectured widely in India, Israel, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the U.S.A. He has also contributed articles and written several books on biblical topics. At present he is a Lecturer and Tutor at Ushaw College, Durham University.