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orion Into the Temple Courts

I want to may it clear that I am not claiming to be the source of any of the
following.  I am basing what I say on Paul Binder whose work I have enjoyed

Paul writes that the existence of synagogues in Palestine prior to 70 CE is a
point "which is undemonstrable at our current state of evidence."  Is this
limited to archeological evidence?  In Mark 3:1 my New Oxford Annotated Bible
reads: "Again he entered the synagogue and a man was there who had a withered
hand."  Philo says [writing of the Essenes]:  "In these [i.e., the laws of
their fathers] they are instructed at all times, but particularly on the
seventh day.  For that day has been set apart to be kept holy and on it they
abstain from all other work and proceed to sacred spots which they call
synagogai."   Philo's reference is plural and consistent with the idea that
Essenes are scattered in many towns.  Josephus writes in Wars, Book II, Ch.
VIII: "After which they assemble themselves together again into one place  . .
. [and] meet together in an apartment of their own, into which it not
permitted to any of another sect to enter; while they go after a pure manner,
into the dining-room, as into a certain holy temple, . . . ."  In the War
Scroll there is a passage translated: "Then when they are assembled at the
house of metting . . . ." M. Wise, M. Abegg, E. Cook, The Dead Sea Scrolls A
New Translation at 153 (1996).

So, there is no evidence of synagogues in 1c C.E. Palestine?  These passages
do not sound like they are discussing only a gathering of the faithful.  These
passages sound like they are talking about one or more sturctures: a house of
meeting, an apartment.  Isn't it a least reasonable to suggest that if another
sect controlls the temple then those on the outside will establish a place to

Mark Dunn