Yes He did.
19 Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
20 The Jews then said, It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?
21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
John 2:19-21  NASB


No He did not.
59 Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death.
60 They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward,
61 and said,
This man stated, I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.’”
Matthew 26:59-61  NASB

57 Some stood up and began to give false testimony against Him, saying,
We heard Him say, I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’”
Mark 14:57-58  NASB


SAB Contradiction 446


The critic sees a Bible Contradiction in a saying of Jesus in John’s Gospel about the temple in Jerusalem, and two sayings of other people in Matthew and Mark, also about the temple. It takes a lot of thinking about the question: What is it that the critic sees as a contradiction? 


First reaction
Jesus said something.
Some other people also said something.
The statements differ.
It is quite logical that there are differences as it concerns different people.

So the only right conclusion must be:

No Bible Contradiction


It’s a pity that the rejection of this contradiction is so brief. They are such interesting passages, as it was blasphemy to speak negatively about the temple and blasphemy could result in capital punishment.


Jesus avoided persecution as He did not say that He desired or intended to destroy the temple. He said to people who were attached to the temple and the services “Destroy this temple … and I will rebuild it in three days!” Certainly his hearers were completely confused, too confused to react. No one could accuse him of disparaging the temple—He offered his assistance in the rebuilding—but what then was He talking about? It was a mystery, even for his disciples who later on remembered this and realized that He had spoken about his own death and resurrection. It is impressive that Jesus from the very beginning of his ministry (second chapter of John!) had a clear grasp of what the future held for him.


Matthew and Mark
Two years later. Jesus stood in front of the Jewish Highest Counsel. A week earlier Jesus had spoken about future events with the announcement concerning the temple that  “there will not be left one stone upon another” (Luke 21:6). This was said in the temple (Luke 21:5, 37) and later two times in the intimate circle of his disciples (Mark 13:1-37, Matthew 24:1-51).


False witnesses
Two final witnesses in court (see Matthew and Mark) did not in any way refer to John 2:19-21 blaming Jesus as having said ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God’. They had in mind Jesus’ prophesies that the temple would be destroyed and implied that Jesus had a part in it “I am able …” An accusation far from what Jesus truly had said. So according to Matthew they were morally false accusers: lying, untrue (Matthew 26:60).
Mark reports of these witnesses that they were also legally false. One of them said: “We heard Him say …” and by that the two witnesses were disqualified. Previously they had contact together about the matter, they were not independent witnesses as they had attested before their witnessing.  

It is a true saying: In a crisis people reveal their character. It is an enduring truth. Let us develop a good and faithful character. It will remain with us in all circumstances and once it will be seen.