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Re: AW: orion 1st C synagogue - was ....

>**In BAR march/april 1996, it is said that the word
>'synagogue' only becan to indicate  a building instead
>of an assembly [*] in the 3th c., the word for a Jewish
>meeting place/building before that being 'proseuche'.
>[*cf. ekklesia - eglise]
>But how would one recognize such a building, as (like Mr.
>West says) they likely just were normal buildings or rooms in
>private houses at the start? I.e.: what has to
>be found to show a place to be a proseuche? Or phrased
>otherwise: what minimal requirements make a building a
>'synagogue' [in the later sense]? Would there not have been
>a gradual development in iconography and layout etc.? (F.e.
>slowly taking on Temple traits after 70 AD). So if a
>1st c. 'synagogue' was excavated - would it be
>recognized? Just wondering.

You are exactly right.  This is one of the archaeological problems.  How
would you recognize such a building as a synagogue when you found one?
That's one reason why there is a debate.  And, it is also why I ask the
question in the formulation I use--Is there any evidence that demonstrates
(not, "hints at" nor "might possibly be interpreted as") the existence of
C1 synagogues?

>Anyhow, not much proof of a 'decorated' (i.e. synagogue-like)
>proseuche from the 1st c. there either, I guess?

There are inscriptions, however, from C3 bce Egypt. This would suggest that
if there are house synagogues in Palestine, they are of quite a different
character than those of the diaspora.

>kind regards,
>Aayko Eyma.


Paul V. M. Flesher, Director
Religious Studies Program
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY  82071-3353


Confucius said: "To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study
is dangerous."
Analects 2:15