Invention of the First-Century Synagogue
This work critically reevaluates the scholarship surrounding the identification of first-century synagogues at five key sites: Delos, Jericho, Herodium, Masada, and Gamla. These sites are consistently used in modern scholarship as comparators for all other early synagogues. Matassa reviews the scholarly discourse concerning each site, inspects each site, and thoroughly examines the excavation reports. Through close inspection of the material evidence she uncovers misunderstandings of the site remains and concludes that excavators incorrectly identified synagogues at Delos, Jericho, Masada, and Herodium. In the case of Gamla, however, the identification may be correct.
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