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Re: orion synagogues

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 10:20:30 -0600
From: PFlesher@uwyo.edu (Paul V. M. Flesher)

I'm glad to hear of Netzer's discovery. I hope that he can demonstrate that
his find is a synagogue.

But before we go ballistic, remember that there is no such thing as bad
publicity.  I.e., you make the biggest claim you can make to the press, and
then, if it doesn't pan out, you make more press as they report that you
exaggerated.  Synagogues are buildings that are frequently claimed and
often unsu bstantiated.  Just two years ago, there was the announcement of
the synagogue of the Maccabees.  It turned out not only not to be
Maccabean, it also wasn't a synagogue.

Let me make a scholarly observation as well.  It is easy to make a claim to
have discovered a synagogue of such and such a date.  It is less easy to
demonstrate such a claim.  That requires a full archaeological report
giving both the total evidence uncovered and marshalling an argument
interpreting that evidence.  So until Netzer publishes his find fully, his
claim--however solid it may look initially--remains provisional.


>just a note that the Jerusalem Post web edition has the synagogue story-
>front page!
>If Netzer is right (and he is awfully responsible- an excellent
>archaeologist) then its time to reassess the conventional wisdom about the
>existence of pre 70 synagogues in Israel.
>The URL is
>Jim West, ThD
>Petros TN

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