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22492Re: [XTalk] Kee on Synagogues

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  • Bob Schacht
    Dec 2, 2007
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      At 06:50 PM 12/2/2007, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
      >If anyone here has access to the online NTS and is willing to down load
      >some articles for me, I'd be grateful to receive the following articles
      >by H.C. Kee on Synagogues:
      >
      >"The transformation of the synagogue after 70 CE : its import for early
      >Christianity" New Testament Studies 36 (1990) 1-24.
      >
      >"The Changing Meaning of Synagogue : A response to Richard Oster.
      >New Testament Studies 40 (1994) 281-283.
      >
      >"Defining the First-Century CE Synagogue : Problems and Progress",
      >New Testament Studies 41 (1995) 481-500.
      >
      >as well as the one by Richard Oster that Kee replies to:
      >
      >"Supposed anachronism in Luke-Acts' use of synagoge : a rejoinder to H C
      >Kee," New Testament Studies 39 (1993) 178-208.
      >
      >I'd also be interested in hearing what List Members think about the
      >cogency of, and the assumptions behind, the claim that Robert Price
      >makes in his _Deconstructing Jesus_ that the stories in the Gospels
      >about Jesus in synagogues cannot be historical since for the gospel
      >authors SUNAGWGE means a building and there's no archaeological
      >evidence for synagogue buildings in Galilee before the second century:
      >
      >
      > Then there are broader historical anachronisms that seem to
      > vitiate the gospel controversy stories: Generally, the whole
      > depiction of Jesus preaching in "their" synagogues is
      > anachronistic, as there were virtually no synagogue buildings
      > in Galilee till late in the first century C.E., after the
      > flight of Pharisees and other refugees into Galilee (which
      > "hated the Torah"). Luke even has a Gentile (a clone of his
      > Cornelius character, Acts 10:1-4ff.) praised for bankrolling
      > the construction of one synagogue (Luke 7:5). Apologist Howard
      > Clark Kee admits this one is a problem but maintains that,
      > otherwise, in gospel usage "synagogue" need mean no more than
      > "assembly" or "meeting." But is this really likely? Mark has
      > Jesus stop preaching "in" synagogues because the crowds are
      > too large, presumably, for buildings to accommodate. Hence he
      > assembles the Jews at the seaside or in the open. Would there
      > be "rulers of the synagogue," like Jairus, if the synagogue in
      > view were merely someone's porch? How about "the seat of
      > Moses" and the "chief seats in the synagogues" in Matt. 23:2,
      > 6? Just someone's Naugahyde couch?
      >
      >(If you are interested in seeing what I make of it -- and how I've been
      >dealt with because of what I've noted -- go to the discussion of Price's
      >claim on the Internet Infidels Discussion Board of that you'll find
      >here).

      Jeffrey,
      FWIW, have you taken a look at Shaye J.D. Cohen's From the Maccabees to the
      Mishnah (1987), pp. 111-115, section titled "Synagogues"?

      Bob Schacht
      University of Hawaii


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