What does Cornerstone mean in the Bible?

Greek / Hebrew Translation Occurance
ἀκρογωνιαίου placed at an extreme corner 1
ἀκρογωνιαῖον placed at an extreme corner 1
פִּנַּ֤ת corner. 1
פִּנָּתָֽהּ corner. 1
פִּנָּֽה corner. 1
פִנָּה֙ corner. 1

Definitions Related to Cornerstone

H6438


   1 corner.
      1a corner (of square objects).
      1b corner (of ruler or chief—fig.
      ).
      

G204


   1 placed at an extreme corner, the corner foundation stone.
   

Frequency of Cornerstone (original languages)

Frequency of Cornerstone (English)

Dictionary

Holman Bible Dictionary - Cornerstone
The stone laid at the corner to bind two walls together and to strengthen them. Used symbolically as a symbol of strength and prominence in the Bible. The figure is often applied to rulers or leaders (Psalm 118:22 ; Psalm 144:12 ; Isaiah 19:13 NIV, REB, NAS; Zechariah 10:4 ). God promised through Isaiah that Zion would be restored, resting on the cornerstone of the renewed faith of Israel (Isaiah 28:16 ). Jeremiah declared that Babylon would be so utterly devastated that nothing useful would remain, not even a stone for use in a foundation (Jeremiah 51:26 ).
In the New Testament Psalm 118:22 and Isaiah 28:16 are quoted (or alluded to) and applied to Christ. The symbolism is clear: Jesus Christ is the only sure foundation of faith. The Synoptic gospels quote Psalm 118:22 after the parable of the wicked tenants to show the rejection and ultimate triumph of Christ ( Matthew 21:42 ; Mark 12:10 ; Luke 20:17 ; compare Acts 4:11 ; Ephesians 2:20-22 ).
In 1 Peter 2:4-8 , the two cornerstone passages are quoted in addition to Isaiah 8:14 . Here the appeal to the reader is to come to the living stone (Jesus) the people rejected but precious in God's sight. This is substantiated by a quote from Isaiah 28:16 . There then comes a warning: those who believe consider the stone to be something precious; but those who do not believe are warned that the stone which they have rejected has become the head of the corner (Psalm 118:22 ) and, further, this stone will make them stumble and fall (Isaiah 8:14 ; compare Romans 9:33 ). Believers are encouraged to become themselves living stones like the Living Stone and be built into a spiritual house ( 1 Peter 2:5 ). See Rocks and Stones.
Phil Logan
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Cornerstone
Architectural term used twice in the New Testament (Ephesians 2:20 ; 1 Peter 2:6 ) to speak of the exalted Jesus as the chief foundation stone of the church, the cornerstone on which all the building depends. The New Testament draws on two Old Testament passages about the coming Messiah (Isaiah 28:16 ; Zechariah 10:4 ). In Isaiah 28:16 the prophet speaks God's words directly to the rulers in Jerusalem who boasted that they were immune to the scourges of life because they were secure in themselves. God said their security was false because he would lay a stone in Zion, a precious cornerstone, which really was secure—and it was not those present rulers. Zechariah expands this promise by saying that the cornerstone will come from the tribe of Judah (10:4). Paul builds on this concept in Ephesians 2:20 by saying that Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone, the apostles and prophets are foundation stones, and the whole building (the church) is a holy temple in the Lord. Peter's use of the idea is more complex, stringing three prophetic verses together ( Psalm 118:22 ; Isaiah 8:4 ; 28:16 ). The stone laid in Zion (Isaiah 28:16 ) is precious to the believer, but as the stone placed at the "head of the corner" (eis kephalen gonias ), that is, exalted (Psalm 118:22 ), he is a stone of offense and stumbling (Isaiah 8:4 ) to those who refuse to believe. The metaphor seems obvious: the cornerstone is either a source of blessing or judgment, depending on a person's attitude toward it. Some modern interpreters, beginning with J. Jeremias in 1925, take a different tack, separating the two stones and making the cornerstone one thing and the stone at the "head of the corner" another, that is, a capstone or keystone. It is hard to visualize one stumbling over a capstone, but metaphors can be stretched. In any case, the point is that the very foundation of the church is Jesus Christ. This was prophesied by the prophets of old and fulfilled through the incarnation. Those who believe are blessed and those who stumble over that rock chosen by God are condemned.
Walter A. Elwell
See also Capstone ; Church, the
Bibliography . J. Jeremias, TDNT, 1:791-93; H. Kramer, Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, pp. 267-69; R. J. McKelvey, NTS 8 (1961-62): 352-59.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Cornerstone
Binding together the sides of the building. Some of the temple ones are 19 ft. long and 7 1/2 thick. Compare Solomon's temple, 1 Kings 5:17; 1 Kings 7:9. Christ is the true grainer stone, laid by the Father in Zion, on whom the whole church rests (Isaiah 28:16). He is also "the head stone," or fifth crowning top grainer of the pyramid, in which the whole building meets and culminates (Zechariah 4:7). Compare Genesis 49:24; Psalms 118:22; Matthew 21:42; Romans 9:33-34; Ephesians 2:21.
Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Cornerstone
Psalm 144:12 (b) This represents the place of prominence which the women of Israel would have when the Lord made them beautiful in their obedience and lovely in their faith.
Isaiah 28:16 (a) Here is a type of the mainstay and foundation of the church. As the cornerstone of a building indicates its official character and its permanent construction, so CHRIST is to the church. He is the principal stone, the main foundation, the center One in all of GOD's purposes and plans. (See also Matthew 21:42; Ephesians 2:20).
Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words - Corner, Cornerstone
1: γωνία (Strong's #1137 — Noun Feminine — gonia — go-nee'-ah ) "an angle" (Eng., "coign"), signifies (a) "an external angle," as of the "corner" of a street, Matthew 6:5 ; or of a building, 21:42; Mark 12:10 ; Luke 20:17 ; Acts 4:11 ; 1 Peter 2:7 , "the corner stone or head-stone of the corner" (see below); or the four extreme limits of the earth, Revelation 7:1 ; 20:8 ; (b) "an internal corner," a secret place, Acts 26:26 . See QUARTER.
2: ἀρχή (Strong's #746 — Noun Feminine — arche — ar-khay' ) "a beginning" (its usual meaning), "first in time, order, or place," is used to denote the extremities or "corners" of a sheet, Acts 10:11 ; 11:5 . See BEGINNING.
Note: For the adjective akrogoniaios (from akros, "extreme, highest," and No. 1), "a chief corner stone," see CHIEF. They were laid so as to give strength to the two walls with which they were connected. So Christ unites Jew and Gentile, Ephesians 2:20 ; again, as one may carelessly stumble over the "corner stone," when turning the "corner," so Christ proved a stumbling stone to Jews, 1 Peter 2:6 .
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Cornerstone
In ancient building practices, cornerstones were very important. The builders who laid the foundation had to shape and set the cornerstone of the foundation accurately, because the whole building was set out in relation to it. The building depended upon the cornerstone for its successful construction (Job 38:6; Isaiah 28:16; Jeremiah 51:26).
As the builders moved on to the construction of the walls, they used additional cornerstones to tie the main walls together, thereby bringing stability to the whole structure. The placing of the chief cornerstone was always a satisfying achievement, because this was the stone that guaranteed the perfection of the whole building.
The cornerstone therefore provided a useful illustration of triumph and achievement. On one occasion when an Israelite king was on the edge of a humiliating defeat, he was likened to a useless stone that the builders had thrown away; but when he triumphed, he was likened to a stone that they had brought back and made the chief cornerstone (Psalms 118:21-24).
In rejecting Jesus, the Jews were likened to builders who rejected the best stone of all. And just as a stone lying in the builders’ path can be an obstacle to them, so Jesus was an obstacle to the Jews. As long as they would not believe in him, they could not be saved. They were like builders trying to complete the building without using the main stone. God then took the rejected stone (Jesus) and made him the chief cornerstone in the new house of God, the church. Christ is exalted to the highest place, and the whole church, which consists of ‘living stones’, is built around and built into him (Matthew 21:42-43; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:19-20; 1 Peter 2:4-8). (See also STUMBLING BLOCK.)

Sentence search

Capstone - The meaning in Psalm 118:22 is less clear ("keystone" JB; "capstone" NIV; "cornerstone" NRSV). ...
In all these passages it must be acknowledged that "capstone" or "cornerstone" would make an equally good translation. It Isaiah 1 pe 2:7 that tips the scales toward "cornerstone. " These three passages ( Psalm 118:22 ; Isaiah 8:14 ; 28:16 ) are used together to make the point that Christ is supreme, and two of these passages (Isaiah 28:16 ; 8:14 ) clearly refer to a Cornerstone. ...
So the Zechariah 4:7 passage is clearly "capstone" but the remainder are probably best taken as "cornerstone, " with the point being that Jesus was rejected by the ones who ought to have known him (builders = Jewish leadership), but God has exalted him to be the chief stone above all, the very head of the corner, on which all else depends. Elwell...
See also Cornerstone ...
...
Cornerstone - In ancient building practices, Cornerstones were very important. The builders who laid the foundation had to shape and set the Cornerstone of the foundation accurately, because the whole building was set out in relation to it. The building depended upon the Cornerstone for its successful construction (Job 38:6; Isaiah 28:16; Jeremiah 51:26). ...
As the builders moved on to the construction of the walls, they used additional Cornerstones to tie the main walls together, thereby bringing stability to the whole structure. The placing of the chief Cornerstone was always a satisfying achievement, because this was the stone that guaranteed the perfection of the whole building. ...
The Cornerstone therefore provided a useful illustration of triumph and achievement. On one occasion when an Israelite king was on the edge of a humiliating defeat, he was likened to a useless stone that the builders had thrown away; but when he triumphed, he was likened to a stone that they had brought back and made the chief Cornerstone (Psalms 118:21-24). God then took the rejected stone (Jesus) and made him the chief Cornerstone in the new house of God, the church
Headstone - Here, head of the corner refers either to a capstone (coping), a keystone of an arch, or to a Cornerstone. See Cornerstone
Cornerstone - Architectural term used twice in the New Testament (Ephesians 2:20 ; 1 Peter 2:6 ) to speak of the exalted Jesus as the chief foundation stone of the church, the Cornerstone on which all the building depends. God said their security was false because he would lay a stone in Zion, a precious Cornerstone, which really was secure—and it was not those present rulers. Zechariah expands this promise by saying that the Cornerstone will come from the tribe of Judah (10:4). Paul builds on this concept in Ephesians 2:20 by saying that Jesus Christ is the chief Cornerstone, the apostles and prophets are foundation stones, and the whole building (the church) is a holy temple in the Lord. The metaphor seems obvious: the Cornerstone is either a source of blessing or judgment, depending on a person's attitude toward it. Jeremias in 1925, take a different tack, separating the two stones and making the Cornerstone one thing and the stone at the "head of the corner" another, that is, a capstone or keystone
Corner-Stone, - a quoin or Cornerstone, of great importance in binding together the sides of a building
Headstone - He is both the Cornerstone and the headstone
Corner - In Zechariah 10:4 the word "corner" is used to denote either the Cornerstone or the most conspicuous part of a building, and evidently refers to Christ, Matthew 21:42. ...
Cornerstone
Cornerstone - As the Cornerstone of a building indicates its official character and its permanent construction, so CHRIST is to the church
Rock - (See also Cornerstone; STUMBLING BLOCK
Cornerstone - God promised through Isaiah that Zion would be restored, resting on the Cornerstone of the renewed faith of Israel (Isaiah 28:16 ). ...
In 1 Peter 2:4-8 , the two Cornerstone passages are quoted in addition to Isaiah 8:14
Foundation - Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone - a precious Cornerstone
Rejection (2) - Matthew 21:42, under the figure of the Cornerstone, refers to the rejection of Jesus by the Jews; and in Mark 12:10 and Luke 20:17 the same reference occurs
Builders - They refused to have CHRIST as the Cornerstone for the life of faith, they despised Him and rejected Him
Building - This is called "the church" of which He Himself is the Cornerstone, He is the architect and the contractor
John Hughes - In 1858 the Cornerstone of Saint Patrick's Cathedral was laid
Hughes, John - In 1858 the Cornerstone of Saint Patrick's Cathedral was laid
Bahamas - O'Keeffe of New York, then in Nassau, assembled the Catholics, and on August 25, 1885, the Cornerstone of the first Catholic church in the Bahamas was laid
Stone - Christ himself became the chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20-22 ; 1 Peter 2:4-8 )
Fell - He is the Rock of Ages, the Cornerstone, the rock foundation
Saint Louis, Missouri, City of - The Cornerstone of a new cathedral was laid in 1908; Byzantine in feeling, it is developed in gray granite, with an interior of pure Byzantine style in which fine light-and-shadow effects have been obtained
Christ - Some types of CHRIST:...
Aaron, Exodus 28:2 (c)...
Adam, Genesis 5:2 (c)...
Ark, (covenant), Exodus 25:10 (c)...
Ark, (Noah's), Genesis 6:14 (c)...
Ass, Genesis 49:14 (c)...
Author, Hebrews 5:9 (c)...
Bishop, 1 Peter 2:25 (a)...
Body, 1 Corinthians 12:12 (a)...
Branch, Zechariah 3:8 (a)...
Bread, John 6:51 (a)...
Bridegroom, Matthew 25:1 (b)...
Bullock, Leviticus 1:5 (c)...
Burnt Offering, Leviticus 1:3 (b)...
Calf, Revelation 4:7 (b)...
Captain, Hebrews 2:10 (a)...
Chief, Song of Solomon 5:10 (b)...
Commander, Isaiah 55:4 (b)...
Cornerstone, Isaiah 28:16 (a)...
Covert, Isaiah 32:2 (a)...
David, 2 Samuel 19:10 (c)...
Day, Psalm 118:24 (b)...
Door, John 10:9 (a)...
Eagle, Revelation 4:7 (b)...
Flour, Leviticus 2:1 (c)...
Foundation, Isaiah 28:16 (b)...
Fountain, Zechariah 13:1 (b)...
Garment, Isaiah 61:10 (b), Romans 13:14...
Gate, Psalm 118:20 (b)...
Gold, Isaiah 13:12 (a)...
Headstone, Psalm 113:22 (b)...
Heir, Hebrews 1:2 (a)...
Hen, Matthew 23:37 (a)...
Hiding Place, Isaiah 32:2 (a)...
High Priest, Hebrews 4:14 (a)...
Isaac, Genesis 24:36 (c)...
Jacob, Genesis 32:28 (c)...
Jonah, Matthew 12:40 (a)...
Joseph, Genesis 37:7 (c)...
Joshua, Joshua 1:1 (c)...
Judge, Acts 17:31 (a)...
King, Psalm 2:6 (a)...
Lamb, Revelation 5:6 (a)...
Leaves, Revelation 22:2 (c)...
Light, John 8:12 (a)...
Lily of the Valleys, Song of Solomon 2:1 (c)...
Lion, Revelation 5:5 (a)...
Manna, John 6:32 (a)...
Master of the House, Luke 13:25 (b)...
Meal, 2 Kings 4:41 (c)...
Mediator (umpire), 1 Timothy 2:5 (a)...
Melchizedek, Genesis 14:18 (c)...
Merchantman, Matthew 13:45 (b)...
Owl, Psalm 102:6 (a)...
Ox:, Ezekiel 1:10 (b)...
Passover, 1 Corinthians 5:7 (a)...
Peace Offering, Leviticus 3:1 (c)...
Pelican, Psalm 102:6 (a)...
Physician, Jeremiah 8:22 (c)...
Pigeon, Leviticus 12:6 (c)...
Propitiation (mercy seat), Romans 3:25 (a)...
Ram, Genesis 22:13 (a)...
Rock, Matthew 16:18 (a)...
Rock of Ages, Isaiah 26:4 (margin) (a)...
Rose of Sharon, Song of Solomon 2:1 (c)...
Root, Revelation 22:16 (a)...
Sabbath, Colossians 2:16-17 (b)...
Seed, Genesis 3:15 (a)...
Serpent, John 3:14 (a)...
Shepherd, John 10:11 (a)...
Sin, 2 Corinthians 5:21 (a)...
Sin Offering, Leviticus 4:32 (c)...
Solomon, 1 Kings 10:13 (c)...
Sower, Matthew 13:37 (a)...
Sparrow, Psalm 102:7 (a)...
Star, Revelation 22:16 (a)...
Sun, Malachi 4:2 (a)...
Temple, John 2:19 (a)...
Thief, Revelation 3:3 (a)...
Tree, Revelation 22:2 (b)...
Trespass Offering, Leviticus 5:6 (c)...
Turtle dove, Leviticus 1:14 (c)...
Vine, John 15:5 (a)...
Worm, Psalm 22:6 (a)...
Offense - Christ, as the Cornerstone of the analogical temple, is stumbled over by those who approach him by works
San Francisco, California, City of - At this time there were only two churches in the city, the old Mision Dolores for those who spoke Spanish, and Saint Francis's, erected in 1849, for those who did not speak Spanish; the new bishop laid the Cornerstone of Saint Mary's church in 1853, Father Anthony Maraschi, S
Chief - Pinnah is the corner or Cornerstone ( Judges 20:2 ; 1 Samuel 14:38 ; Zechariah 10:4 )
Bible, Inspiration of the - The Cornerstone of evangelical theology lies in its confession of the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as the revealed "Word of God Written. We should also note that by calling inspiration the Cornerstone of evangelical theology we deny the strange charge, often leveled against conservative Christians, that they are "bibliolators, " worshiping the Scriptures in the place of God
House - The house had to be built on a solid foundation, and the whole structure was held together by being built into huge stones at the corners of the building (Isaiah 28:16; Matthew 7:24-27; Matthew 21:42; see Cornerstone)
Reconciliation - They are all built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ as the Chief Cornerstone
Peter, First, Theology of - ...
Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone (or capstone) of the church, and the priest through whom she offers spiritual sacrifices to God (2:5-7). Ericson...
See also Capstone ; Cornerstone ; Persecution ; Peter, Second, Theology of ; Spirits in Prison ...
Bibliography
Head - The “head” Cornerstone occupies a place of primary importance. It is the stone by which all the other stones are measured; it is the chief Cornerstone ( Head - ...
In Psalm 118:22 , “head of the corner” (cornerstone) refers metaphorically to a king delivered by God when others had given him up (compare Matthew 21:42 ; Acts 4:11 ; 1 Peter 2:7 , where it is used in reference to the rejection of Christ)
Honor - , the honor and inestimable value of Christ as appropriated by believers, who are joined, as living stones, to Him the Cornerstone; (c) in the sense of value, of human ordinances, valueless against the indulgence of the flesh, or, perhaps of no value in attempts at asceticism, Colossians 2:23 (see extended note under INDULGENCE , No
the Publican - He was a Cornerstone of the city
Elect, Election - Peter later reflects on Jesus' chosenness and speaks of it as eternal (1 Peter 1:20 ), as indeed it was, and emphasizes Jesus' divinely chosen task (2:4-5) and his chosen place as Cornerstone of the church (2:6)
House - The foundations (the apostles and prophets) and the Cornerstone (Christ) are the principal elements in the spiritual house (Ephesians 2:20)
Ethics - This should come as no surprise, for one of the first ordinances God gave in Leviticus 19:4,19 set forth the monogamous relationship as the foundation and Cornerstone of the family
Ephesians, Theology of - ...
The church, Paul argues, was built upon the Jewish foundation of apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus as the chief (Jewish) Cornerstone (2:20; 3:5)
Dead Sea Scrolls - Hebrews 13:15 ), and an interpretation of the Cornerstone of Isaiah 28:16 (cf
Union With Christ - Christ is the foundation and Cornerstone of the temple, while believers are the stones built together into a corporate whole and indwelt by God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17,19 ; 2 Corinthians 6:16 ; Ephesians 2:20-22 )