We have noticed in the Epistles of the New Testament that Jesus is never said to be the 'temple', the term being reserved for the Christian community. This being so, we appear to be faced with a number of possibilities. One is that Jesus or the early Church arrived at a view of the temple and its symbolism via an independent study of the Old Testament and late Jewish tradition. This seems however to be the least likely alternative. Another possibility is that the Qumran temple symbolism entered the Church through the conversion of important individuals to the Christian faith. Jesus, on the other hand, would on this hypothesis have known nothing of the Qumran temple criticism or symbolism. But it is not really feasible to draw such a hard and fast distinction between Jesus and Qumran, or between Jesus and the early Church. The explanation must be sought elsewhere, and since our knowledge of the factual situation is strictly limited, we must present our findings in the form of a hypothesis.

 

from page 138, The Temple and Community in Qumran and the New Testament