A Jerusalem Synagogue Building from Jesus’ Time?

Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, Carl Rasmussen, adjunct professor at the Jerusalem University College in Jerusalem and Bethel University in St. Paul, MN who also serves as a consultant for a publisher and several media organizations, takes a closer look at a large limestone block, excavated in the “City of David” by Raymond Weill in 1913 and at the synagogue which was built Theodotos, son of Vettenos, priest and head of the synagogue, for the reading of the Law and for the study of the precepts, as well as the hospice [inn or temporary residence] and the chambers and the bathing–establishment, for lodging those who need them, from abroad.

TheodotosInscription
contemporary evidence of at least one synagogue building in Jerusalem even while the Temple was still standing!

term “synagogue” = used 43 times in Gospels in association with ministry of Jesus >  clear reference to a building — not merely a “gathering.”

  • Torah read + “precepts” studied
  • no mention of prayers and/or singing!

 

HolyLandPhotos' Blog

In 1913 Raymond Weill excavated in the “City of David” and found a large limestone block—ca. 30 in. x 16 in.—that contained a clear 10 line Greek inscription.

TheodotosInscription “Theodotus Synagogue Inscription” found in Jerusalem. Click on image to Enlarge and/or Download.

The inscription reads:

“Theodotos, son of Vettenos, priest and head of the synagogue, son of the head of the synagogue, who was also the son of the head of the synagogue, built the synagoguefor the reading of the Law and for the study of the precepts, as well as the hospice [inn or temporary residence] and the chambers and the bathing–establishment, for lodging those who need them, from abroad; it (the synagogue) was founded by his ancestors and the elders and the Simonides.” (Translation from a sign in Israel Museum where the object is on display)

Most scholars date the inscription to prior to AD…

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One thought on “A Jerusalem Synagogue Building from Jesus’ Time?

  1. Pingback: Tel Rechesh and other synagogue s where Jesus delivered sermons | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

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