Ancient Synagogue of Kitzrin, Galilee
Ancient Synagogue of Kitzrin, Galilee

Topics from Sanders, Judaism, Chapter Eleven:

The Synagogue

Function Name
Prayer Proseuché
(only in Diaspora)
(Public reading of Bible; sermons)
House of Assembly
Bet keneset

Question: Were the Palestinian synagogues used for prayer?


Earliest sources: Inscriptions from Egypt c. 230 B.C.E.: Proseuché.
--> Originated in Hellenistic Diaspora because of distance from Temple.
[Widespread theory: Originated in Babylonia exile].
Not mentioned again until First-Century Palestine (New Testament, Josephus, Archeological evidence):

Theodotus son of Vettenus, priest and archisynagogue, son of an archisynagogue, grandson of an archisynagogue , built the synagogue for the reading of the Law and the teaching of the commandments, and the guest house and the rooms and the water supplies as an inn for those who come from abroad; it was founded by his fathers and the elders and Simonides.

Other scholarly questions:

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