The synagogue is one of the few institutions of Jewish antiquity that is reflected throughout the extant literature of the Greco-Roman period, from Philo of Alexandria to the Dead Sea Scrolls, from Tertullian to Roman law, Talmudic literature, Jewish liturgical poetry and Samaritan chronicles. Jesus preached in synagogues and the earliest church developed within Jewish communities, and the synagogue served as a model for the earliest Christian assemblies. Ancient synagogue studies provide a sacred link between contemporary synagogue communities and the formative age of Judaism, the period of the Rabbinic sages. In addition, the discovery of ancient synagogues has provided a vital link between contemporary communities both in the Land of Israel and the Diaspora. Synagogue studies is an area where Jews and Christians, scholars, laity and clergy come together to discuss a theme of mutual interest.In this collection, international scholars of Rabbinics, Jewish history, Samaritan studies, Byzantine history, Liturgy, New Testament studies, Classics, Art history and Archaeology bring together their divergent interests and perspectives to explore the ways in which the different ethnic, national and religious communities interacted within the synagogue yet maintained their own unique characters. Among the varied aspects discussed are art in the ancient synagogue, the patriarchate and the ancient synagogue, typologies of religious leadership, the synagogue within the Greco-Roman city and the similarities and differences between Jewish and Samaritan synagogues. This well-illustrated collection presents a truly interdisciplinary analysis of the development and significance of the synagogue for understanding religion during the Greco-Roman period. E.P.Sanders, Duke University; Pieter W. van der Horst, University of Utrecht; Lawrence Schiffman, New York University; Stuart Miller, University of Connecticut; Lee I. L
Jews, Christians, and Polytheists in the Ancient Synagogue by Steven Fine was published by Taylor & Francis Ltd in June 1999. The ISBN for Jews, Christians, and Polytheists in the Ancient Synagogue is 9780415182478.