Israelite resources were concentrated on survival and there was little energy available for the kind of buildings that are the heritage of Greece to civilization. Only in the short period between the reign of David and the invasions of Assyria was any substantial architecture possible, and this was achieved by Solomon, who used the skills of Phoenician craftsmen. The construction of cities (1 Kgs. 9: 17) and palaces (1 Kgs. 7: 1) is recorded in addition to the impressive Temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem. The Temple planned by Herod the Great reflected his enthusiasm for a Hellenistic style, and the immense fortification at Masada had columns and decorated capitals typical of the way Roman builders adapted Hellenistic motifs.
Domestic buildings in Palestine were always modest in size and simple in style. There might be up to four rooms round a courtyard in which the cooking was done. Roofs were crude constructions and needed frequent repairs and renewals. Over a framework of timber there might be laid a matting of branches and baked mud. So when the bearers of the paralytic desperately tried to reach Jesus, they tore a hole in the roof in order to let down the man before Jesus in the house (Mark 2: 4). However, when Luke rewrote the story the stretcher-bearers are said to remove tiles (Luke 5: 19), for Luke has adapted the architecture to something more familiar to his sophisticated readers.
Terms used by architects, such as ‘cornerstone’ and ‘foundation’, are appropriate metaphors in the NT for Christ (1 Cor. 3: 11; Eph. 2: 20) and the Church is called a pillar (1 Tim. 3: 15) which supports truth.