A nice reminder of the essential facts.
While the synagogue was a place for prayer and study of scripture, the Temple was a place for sacrifice. Just as sacrifice of animals is always a part of religion in the ancient world, it played an important part of the practice of religion in Jerusalem. However, Second Temple Period Judaism differed from other pagan religious ceremonies in some very important ways. For example, unlike Greco-Roman religions, there is only one place in the world where and acceptable sacrifice can be made, the Temple at Jerusalem. A Roman could offer a sacrifice anywhere, at any time, even when there was no temple or priest to officiate.
The physical appearance of the Temple was impressive. The Temple grounds were larger than nearly every other ancient religious center, with the exception of Karnak in Egypt. The sanctuary could not be enlarged since the architects were working from biblical descriptions of the Solomonic…
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