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22497Re: [XTalk] Kee on Synagogues

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  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    Dec 3, 2007
      "Matson, Mark (Academic)" wrote:

      > Jeffrey, and others:
      >
      > Let me now respond a bit to your request to respond to Price's comment
      > that you sent out.
      >
      > Having reviewed both Ed Sanders' and van der Horst's articles in the
      > Fine book, I think the evidence is pretty clear that there was some kind
      > of regular meeting in places (houses or whatever) on the Sabbath. These
      > meetings were either called prosuekteria or, later, synagogue. But it
      > appears that early on these places were accorded a special
      > significance-- inscriptions indicate that such existed (the Jerusalem
      > inscription has been convincingly dated to pre-70). But the existence
      > of god-fearers attached to synagogues, and to manumission documents,
      > both suggest a place where some "holy" or special significance was
      > connected to the assembly of local Jews.

      But what manumission documents we have are from the Diaspora, yes, not in from
      Galilee? And doesn't the Theodotus inscription indicate that there was no
      particular building for "synagogue" gathering in the time of Theodotus' father and
      grandfather or that a building was needed for someone to have the role of "ruler
      of the synagogue"?

      > We may not know that much what happened in these assemblies and assembly
      > places, but at least some regular instruction, reading of scripture, and
      > some prayer took place. And a focus took place on the Sabbath. To me
      > that is a kind of "worship" and it was centered at a place.
      >

      You might be interested in looking at Horsley's discussion (in his recent book on
      Galilee) of what pre-70 Galilean synagogues/meetings entailed and where they took
      place (in the town square).

      Jeffrey

      --
      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
      1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
      Chicago, Illinois
      e-mail jgibson000@...
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