Yes, there is an element of something metaphorical in equating "temple" with "body", but this is explained to us. There is nothing metaphorical when Jesus says "Break down this Temple and in three days I will raise it up". There is nothing in that that even indicates that it is metaphorical.
Either there is "an element of something metaphorical" or there is "nothing in that that even indicates that it is metaphorical." Which is it? In one breath you acknowledge something metaphorical, and in the next breath you deny there is anything metaphorical at all!
You are splitting hairs. Yes, there is something metaphorical, but exactly what it is in that passage that is metaphorical, is explained to us. But the complete passage, the overall passage, is not metaphorical at all. The WTS are very good at this: When something collides with their doctrinal views, they say that it is to be interpreted symbolically/metaphorically (btw, I assume you used to be a jw, or raised jw, like me, or whatever, please do not think I am accusing you of being a WTS-advocate every time I mention the WTS, because I`m not). This is a very wrong approach, because the Bible is in most of the cases, very clear on when something is supposed to be interpreted symbolically, it`s just a matter of understanding the context and time in which is was written. For example, the passage you quoted from Acts:
"And if thy right eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from thee".
This is meant to be interpreted symbolically. Why? Because self-mutilation was seen as a horrible and ungodly act by the jews.
Then there is Luke 14:26: Looks like you have to hate your own family to be a christian? Nope. This was unthinkable within the context, jews living in that area 2000 years ago, an extremely family-orientated situation. The point of the text is to say that it`s gonna be hard to follow Christ. And that you might even have to forsake your family. Hopefully not. Case closed.
Matthew 8:22: Clearly symbolical, but your interpretation isn`t correct. It has nothing to do with the risen dead burying the condemned that are killed by God in Armageddon. It isn`t even certain that the father in question here is dead yet.As it was jewish custom to bury the dead on the day that they died, that son wouldn`t even have been there, if this was the day his father had died, and this would be obvious to the reader at this time. So either the father is old and fragile but not dead yet, or the situation is intentionally absurd by the author of Matthew with the intent of saying something/ get the moral of the story across: That it is so urgent to follow Christ, that you should just drop everything that you have in your hands and go follow him, right now, and there is also the aspect of Jesus Christ being life, and the author intends to stress the urgency of choosing this life. All the others, those that don`t choose the life in Christ, are basically allready dead (not physically, but spiritually). This would be very clear to the reader at the time.
As for the argument that agents of God often speaks on behalf of God: It simply doesn`t hold water. This is not the same kind of passage.
Is this established fact or merely your opinion? Where is your ;evidence or supportive authority for stating ;"This is not the same kind of passage"?
And this is the point...see the verses above? They are metaphorical/symbolic for a reason!!! They are symbolical because the author is trying to tell us something, and he is trying to tell it to us in a beatiful, metaphorical, litterary way! Every passage (above) has "something in it" that just jumps out at the reader and screams to him: "This is a metaphor! This means something different than what it looks like!" If you compare these verses with the John-passage, what do you see? There are no similarities! There is nothing metaphorical about the John-passage at all! There is nothing that screams to the reader: "This is metaphorical! This obviously means something different than what it looks like!" When the reader at the time read "Destroy this Temple, and in three days, I will raise it up", there is nothing metaphorical, nothing in the readers mind that would be triggered into believing that the "I" is meant metaphorically, and that it would be God doing the actual raising. There are many reasons why there would be no "metaphorical trigger" in the mind of the reader, and I`ll try to explain it:
- First of all, the Bible hadn`t been canonised at this time, so the reader wouldn`t necessarily have access to the 22 other verses. The writer would know this. If he would have wanted to say that it was the Father who raised him, he would have said so, because he wouldn`t intentionally have wanted to contribute to confusion. The writer clearly wants us to believe that Christ raised himself. This is high-Christology, to make Jesus very divine, and it would be clear to the reader, and not to hard to swallow, because:
- At this time in history, the view on father and son was very different from what it is now. Today, 2000 years later, we know that a child, whether boy or girl, is a result of comibation of the genes from father and mother. Also, we have a very well developed educational system, and any child can frow up to become whatever he or she wants. 2000 years ago, it was different. At this time, they still believed in the view of Aristotle, that when a boy-child was born, everything spiritual, and even the physical appearance came from the father. The form came from the father. The matter, however, the flesh and bone, came from the mother. But the shape of it, as well as the boys spirit/soul came from the father. This view was so strong that when a girl was born, this "abnormality" (how can a girl come out of the womb, when it was the fathers spirit that was put in there) was explained away by saying that "something went wrong inside the womb". Basically, a girl was a mutilated boy. And when a boy grew up, he would follow in his fathers footsteps, every step of the way, and choose the same kind of job his father had, and be trained by his father. Basically, a boy was an extension of his father. The two were distinct, but still the same, and the same in much, much stronger way than a boy and his father today, 2000 years later. And so, there would be nothing in the mind of a reader, 2000 years ago, that would think "hm, this is trange" when reading this verse, even if he had access to the 22 other verses.
- The same high-Christology can also be found elsewhere in John. There`s not one verse that says he raised himself, there are two:John 10:17-18
"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father."
He had the power to take it again...himself. The power to do this, he received from his Father (like every boy, inheriting his fathers skills, whether it be as a carpenter or...God )
I am reading the verse "without any doctrinal basis" while you're reading it without giving consideration to ;the rest of the New Testament.
I am giving consideration to the rest of the NT. This is exactly what I am doing. I am just not willing to ignore or twist one passage beyond recognition to arrive at a certain, desired conclusion. I choose an overall view that lets all the passages fit into that overall view.