Synagogues in the Time of Jesus

Paul Flesher has a great essay at Bible and Interpretation titled What did a synagogue of Jesus’ time look like?

The New Testament gospels contain stories of Jesus visiting synagogues in Galilee.   Sometimes he even he taught in them or read scripture during worship. Unfortunately, the gospels provide few details of what these synagogues looked like. Were they majestic buildings or small structures? How were they furnished? The gospels remain silent.

Indeed, the gospels contain so little description that some scholars have suggested synagogues were simply gatherings that took place outdoors or in people’s houses or courtyards.  After all the Greek word “sunagogé” means “coming together,” and could indicate a meeting rather than a building.

Read the remainder.  Informed and informative indeed.

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