Tag Archives: Synagogue

Did the Synagogue Save Judaism?

That’s the question Paul Flesher asks in a new essay at Bible and Interpretation.    Enjoy.

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.

Unearthing the First Shuls: by Eric M. Meyers

From back in May (but I didn’t learn of it till today when Chris Rollston mentioned it on FB),

The discovery of the Byzantine-period synagogue at Beit Alpha with its wonderful zodiac mosaic and naïve artistic style, and its subsequent excavation by Eliezer Lipa Sukenik, father of Yigael Yadin, in 1929 put synagogue archaeology on the map.

That’s the opening sentence.  The rest is great reading.  Meyers is a real archaeologist, doing real work for a long time now. And real good work at that.