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Re: orion synagogues (somewhat long)

Paul V. M. Flesher wrote:

> >        Corbo, in Liber Annus 17 (1967)  pp 101-103, in his report of the
> >excavation of Herodium, assigns the conversion of the Triclinium to a
> >synagogue to the first Jewish Revolt.  Yadin, in Masada, pp 181-189
> >assigns the synagogue to the time of Heros and reconstructed during the
> >First Revolt.  The synagogue at Hammath Tiberias is assigned by Dothan
> >to
> >the 1st century, see Israel Exploration Journal 12 (1962) pp 153-154;
> >Revue
> >Biblique 70 (1963) 588-590. The synagogue at Magdala is similar in plan
> >to the ones at Herodium and Masada and close to the same time period,
> >see Corbo, Liber Annus 24 (1974), p. 22.  The black basalt foundation of
> >the 1st century "centurion's synagogue" of Capernaum has been discussed,
> >see BAR, 1983, 9:6.
> I don't see how publications from the 1960s and 1970s solve debates that
> have been raised by publications--especially final reports--since then.
> Dothan in his report on Hammat Tiberius places it several centuries later
> than C1.  Corbo in his final report on Herodium puts the conversion of the
> triclinium into the Second Jewish Revolt (130s).  Yadin's identification
> and dating have also been questioned.  The final excavation report (not by
> Yadin) does not posit a Herodian synagogue.  Instead, Herod seems to have
> used the structure as a stable, and whoever built the benches didn't even
> scoop out the (rather deep) dung before laying a floor over it.  Just the
> way I'd build a sacred synagogue ;>).
> >
> >        Now as to external evidence to support the archaeological
> >evidence, what could be more confirmatory to Paul's account in
> >Corinthians where "he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath" (Acts
> >18:4) where not only the lintel of the synagogue was found with the
> >Greek inscription "Hebrew Synagogue" but also Justus' house which was
> >next door.  In other words, I don't have to be hit over the head with
> >a menorah to come to the conclusion that there were 1st century/
> >2nd temple synagogues.  The Matthean scribe sure knew about
> >synagogues when he wrote in 85ish
> >   Jack Kilmon (jpman@accesscomm.net)

> With regard to the literary sources, I have proposed a interpretation in my
> essay in _Ancient Synagogues_ (Urman and Flesher, Brill, 1995) that is
> somewhat complex but involves analysis of all relevant literary material.
> Generally, my idea is that (1) synagogues started in the diaspora and came
> into Palestine through Galilee (the spot furthest from Jerusalem), which is
> essentially supported by the archaeological find around the Mediterranean,
> and (2) where there are synagogues in Jerusalem, they have been imported by
> non-Palestinians for use as "religious hotels" while they are visiting the
> Temple.  The issue is not the existence of synagogues prior to C1, but
> where were they.

    That, I believe, is a valid point.  Actually, I would not expect too
manysynagogues in the Jerusalem environs since the Temple was available to all.

I would expect to find them beyond "walking distance" and increasing in
number relevant to the distance from the Temple.

    I am wondering if the synagogue evolved from the Beyt haSefer
of Simeon ben Sheta (103-76 BCE).