I want to jot down some thoughts today on Jewish views of the Herodian temple from a historical perspective.
First, I think it is plausible enough to think that those who lived in Judea were very loyal and perhaps even dominantly zealous toward the Jerusalem temple. Of course around 200BC there were also strong forces wanting to make Jerusalem a fully Hellenistic city. But these forces were soundly defeated in the Maccabean crisis. While the Hasmonean rulers were far from purists, elements of Jewish distinctiveness became political boundary markers, with the temple a symbol of Hasmonean power.
To be sure, there were elements in Judea that lost in this power struggle, the Teacher of Righteousness being the best known. The Essenes, particularly those that settled at Qumran, rejected the legitimacy of the tainted temple. They did not reject the notion of a temple per se, only the current temple with its administration. They ran their community as a temple substitute.
We can imagine that they had no better view of the Herodian temple, although at least it was sometimes administrated by "sons of Zadok" (Sadducees). They were apparently willing to join in with others in the battle against the Romans in AD66-73.
Secondly, I want to take a snapshot of the scene at the time of the Babylonian captivity, 586BC. The northern kingdom at this time is 150 years post Assyrian conquest. I'm assuming that means that it is pluralistic and syncretistic. Some people probably worship Yahweh among other gods. But the northern kingdom never had any sense of an exclusive temple, as even the ministries of Elijah and Elisha show. They know nothing of any need to offer sacrifice at the Samaria or Jerusalem temples.
I'm assuming that this situation continues until the Hasmonean period. The Samaritans build a temple to Zeus after the Greek conquest in 332BC. Not until Aristobulus and Alexander Janneus does Galilee seem to become attached to Judea (ca. 100BC). Richard Horsley has suggested that the forced conversion of the Galileans to circumcision and Jewish customs probably did not completely stick (Galilee).
It is tempting to see a correlation here between Jesus' less than stringent attention to the details of Jewish purity concerns and a Galilean context that was only a little more continuous with Judea than Samaria and Idumea. However, we must also take into account that Jesus was a descendent of David, a datum we can hardly question given Paul's affirmation of it in pre-Pauline material in Romans 1:2-3 (and given that the Roman church was likely related to the Jerusalem church, this implies it was their understanding as well).
As it relates to the temple, however, I can easily see some ambivalence, perhaps even resistance to the Jerusalem temple among the Galilean population. After all, it would have corresponded directly in their mind to their Hasmonean conquerers, who held the title of high priest at this time. Further, they were the descendants of the northern kingdom, that had never recognized the authority of the Jerusalem temple. We can imagine at the same time that Jesus, as a descendent of David, would have had a more favorable view of it.
In the end, the gospels seem to align Galilee more with Judea than Samaria, and this attitude seems multiply attested enough to consider historically credible. It would thus seem likely that many Galileans would have identified the Jerusalem temple as their sanctuary. Meanwhile it is understandable if those from Samaria were more resistant to it given that they had their own temple.
Finally, we have to consider the probable attitudes of Diaspora Jews toward the temple. We remember that the Jews in Egypt had a temple at Elephantine from the beginning of the Babylonian captivity. However, it apparently ceased to function long before the New Testament period.
Onias IV also founded a temple at Leontopolis after his father was removed and killed as high priest in around 170BC. Interestingly, Philo does not mention it but considers the one temple in Jerusalem to correspond to the one God.
When we think back to the Diaspora created by the Babylonian captivity, we remember than the exclusivist reforms of Hezekiah and Josiah had been relatively recent developments. In other words, we can easily imagine that many of those who went into the Diaspora at this time may or may not have seen the temple as the only location to sacrifice to YHWH. In fact, Yah apparently was given a consort at Elephantine during this period.
But it also makes sense that those Jews who remained Jews in the Diaspora--who kept their identity connection with Judea--would have "retrofitted" their identity to some extent around Torah and temple. An interesting footnote here is the fact that Philo does not consider Jeremiah to be as authoritative a Scripture as the Pentateuch, and he barely engages other parts of what we consider to be the Jewish Bible. I personally suspect this befits an Egyptian Judaism whose roots date to a time well before the other parts of the Jewish Bible became "canonical" and also given the history of the translation of the Bible into Greek.
At the same time, Philo's views of the temple as important politically and symbolically but not essential to atonement befit a Diaspora context as well.