Jewish Synagogue Worship
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Jerusalem 97

Paul's Missionary Activity

Present Day Synagogue in JerusalemJewish synagogue worship was another major institution in Jewish public and religious life during the first century A.D. However, while Jewish believers continued an association with the Temple, Luke is silent about any Jewish synagogue worship in or around Jerusalem. One may surmise that the house gatherings of the early believers replaced Jewish synagogue worship by providing similar opportunities and structures of Christian worship and fellowship.✞

Freedmen Synagogue

Contacts with the synagogue apart from Stephen and the "Synagogue of the Freedmen" are found in Acts 6.9 where "opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called) — Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia — who began to argue with Stephen." These were important in Paul's missionary activity only as opportunities to initiate the proclamation of the gospel and as a model for Christian house churches in the Greco-Roman world. See Ephesians 2.19-20 "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone." Consider the special roles of the Temple before and after its destruction in 70 AD. How did Jewish synagogue worship and then the house churches take over in the early years of the Christian community in Jerusalem?✞

"Jewish Synagogue Worship"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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