Scribes and Synagogues

Lester L. Grabbe

in The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199254255
Published online April 2009 |

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Scribes and Synagogues

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This chapter discusses the importance of scribes and the origin of synagogues. Scribes were the backbone of administration in the ancient and Hellenistic Near East. They were necessary in every society, given their ability to read and write, and knowledge in record keeping and document drafting. Synagogue may have first arose in the Diaspora to meet the needs of communities without easy access to the temple, about the 3rd century bce. Synagogues served as places of prayer and/or study, but would easily develop into some sort of central community institution. Only gradually did they filter into Palestine itself, where the temple was reasonably accessible.

Keywords: scribes; synagogues; Near East; Israel

Chapter.  4516 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies ; Biblical Studies

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