Capstone or Cornerstone?

4 May

The other day while driving, my family challenged each other with words and their meanings.  The kids threw out some words and so did we. I honestly can’t remember most of them now. I had a dictionary in the car which had belonged to my mother. So, I used it to settle any controversies. 

The word “capstone”  came up. My husband, who works in construction, threw out this word. I said it was the same as cornerstone.  He quickly informed me they were not the same. I quickly told him a verse in the Bible  used those words interchangeably.  I could tell he didn’t believe me; he thought I was confused (like that EVER happens, right?).

Using my mother’s dictionary, I looked up both words. According to Webster:

Capstone = the stone that finishes off a structure

Cornerstone = the stone representing the start of construction; starting point

My husband was right. Those were the definitions he’d given.  But, I was right also. (Would I be writing on this topic otherwise? – just kidding.)

Luke 20: 17 – 18 records Jesus’s words as he’s teaching at the temple in Jerusalem. He’s just told them the parable of the vineyard owner who’s son was killed by the tenants. When the people react, “No, never…,” Jesus responds with the following.  Here’s the NIV version.

 17Jesus looked directly at them and asked,

“Then what is the meaning of that which is written:
   ” ‘The stone the builders rejected
      has become the capstone[a][b]?

18Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.” 

  • Luke 20:17 Or cornerstone
  • Luke 20:17 Psalm 118:22   (verse and footnote taken from passage lookup at
  • See that footnote, it says “or cornerstone.”  Both the beginning and the end. The One who was and is and is to come. (see Rev 1:8) Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (see Heb 13:8). And read the first chapter of the gospel of John, the same John who wrote Revelation, the John God gave a glimpse of great events ahead at the final coming of Jesus. John understood Christ was both beginning and the end, the starting point and the end.

    Stay tuned. Next time we’ll look at the last portion of the verse.


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