It is no accident that in the last ten years a number of new potential synagogue buildings have been proposed, as the wider role of the ‘synagogue’ and the lack of identifying features in this period have been recognised. The problem then becomes, by what criteria do we identify these as synagogue buildings?
I denne artikkelen drøftar Stephen Catto ulike spørsmålsstillingar knytt til det me veit (og ikkje veit) om synagogane i det første hundreåret. Ordet synagoge blei for øvrig brukt både om ein bygning og om ei forsamling, kanskje ikkje så heilt ulikt dei mange tydingane av vårt ord kyrkje.
Dette temaet er viktig for forståinga av fleire tekstar i NT. Eg har tidlegare vore innom temaet her i eit notat om synagogen i Nasaret.
Her er konklusjonen på artikkelen. Som du ser, reknar Stephen Catto med at det var ein stor synagogebygning i Kapernaum på denne tida:
Current research has moved us away from seeing the first-century synagogue in monochrome. Rather, we must understand it in a more nuanced and variegated way. Within Palestine, some communities had the resources and will to produce large purpose-built structures capable of seating 3-400 people (Capernaum, Gamla). In smaller communities, such as Qiryat Sefer, considerable effort and expense went into providing the community with a small synagogue building. It is also likely that in some places, gatherings took place in domestic space. Although we have smaller archaeological material to work with in the Diaspora, a similar pattern can be seen. Interestingly, the data we do have for Diaspora buildings suggests similarities to local temples or voluntary organizations.
Finally, it is also worth asking: If variety existed in the synagogue gatherings or synagogue buildings of first-century Judaism, might we also expect to see such diversity in their practices? Overwhelmingly, the major focus of synagogue gatherings was the Torah reading, and it seems likely that within virtually any gathering on a Sabbath, in any geographical location, this would have been a common element. Beyond this, however, the evidence suggests some variety, where different communities would have been influenced by the particular social world in which they found themselves, and would have incorporated some of the practices of their environment.
Stephen Catto har også skrive bok om temaet.