Acts 7:48-49 and the tabernacle?

How does one look at Acts 7:48:

Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:

And reconcile it with Jesus residing in the tabernacle?

It’s a reference specifically to the Temple.

Christ Jesus is in all members of His Church. While we treat the blessed sacrament with great reverence, it is not the only manner by which God dwells among us and in us. Proper liturgical worship can take place anywhere in the world. It’s not limited to one spot. Regarding Christ being present with us, it’s that old Catholic “It’s not either/or, it’s both!” situations. The Real Presence is not something we take to the exclusion of Christ being in us, the Church. While we believe Christ makes Himself present in the Eucharist in a way we can mysteriously participate, we don’t then go so far as to think we can contain or limit Him to just the sacrament, or just the tabernacle, or just the Church building. Saint Stephen was speaking specifically of the Temple, and appears to have been commenting on excesses of the time, and perhaps also intended contrast with Christ Jesus, the True Temple, who had ascended to Heaven.

If you want to learn more about the “local presence” of Jesus in the Eucharist, this is a fascinating read:

Ver. 48. But the most High dwelleth not in houses made by hands. God is every where, nor is his presence confined to the temple, which was already once destroyed; and what if it be destroyed again, as Christ foretold? God must still be adored, worshipped and served, as he was before the temple was first built, which was only by Solomon. (Witham) — Dwelleth not in houses. That is, so as to stand in need of earthly dwellings, or to be contained or circumscribed by them. Though otherwise, by his immense divinity, he is in our houses, and every where else; and Christ in his humanity dwelt in houses: and is now on our altars. (Challoner) —It is not so much for God, as for ourselves, that we build temples, and it is a pure effect of his goodness and mercy, that he permits us to build them to him. Places consecrated in a particular manner to his service, where he gives the most sensible marks of his presence, are of assistance to us, when we render our homage, address our vows, and offer our prayers to the Deity. St. Stephen’s design in this part of his discourse, is to prove that the true religion may subsist without the temple; therefore, that he could not be guilty of blasphemy, supposing he had even used the words which the malice of the Jews put into his mouth, that Jesus of Nazareth would destroy this place. (Chap. vi. 14.)


If you believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, do you just leave Him lying around, like a snack? Rather, you reverence Him as the Lord and God that He is. And, He does not remain there - we consume Him and He dwells in us. Heaven is His true Tabernacle - but His sacramental presence is either protected within us, or in the Tabernacle. This misuse of verses is a post-reformation abuse of scripture.

Hi, Markie!

Consider what is being Revealed…

Is it being Reveal that God is so huge that a building built by humans could not contained Him?

…that cannot be since we are told by Scriptures that:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]19 Or know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own?

(1 Corinthians 6:19)
…we also have Jesus Revealing that the Holy Spirit will abide with and in us and that He and the Father will abide in us (St. John 14:16-17, 23)

…so there must be more to this passage…

Consider Jesus in the Tabernacle in light of the Ark of the Covenant… was it made by human hand? What was its purpose? Was the Ark God? Could the Ark contain God?

Maran atha!



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