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The Role of the Synagogue in the Aims of Jesus

The Role of the Synagogue in the Aims of Jesus

Author: 
Jordan J. Ryan (Author)
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Description

No one disputes today that Jesus must be understood as a participant in the currents of Second Temple Judaism. However, his relation to the institution of the synagogue has received much less attention despite the clear depiction in all four Gospels of the synagogue as the site of his activity and the considerable recent scholarship on the place of the synagogue in Jewish life. Reviewing what we now know about actual synagogues in the land of Israel and what we understand of their public role in Jewish life and culture, Jordan J. Ryan shows that Gospel narratives placed in synagogues accurately reflect the ancient synagogue setting, a fact that points toward the historical plausibility of the setting of these narratives and suggests that synagogue research must be a starting point for their interpretation. Further, he argues that the synagogue setting of Jesus’s activities reveals that his efforts at the restoration of Israel were intentionally aimed at the synagogue as an institution of public and political life; that is, Jesus sought to bring the kingdom of God into being by persuading local public synagogue assemblies to participate in it. This book marks an important new direction for research. 

ISBN: 
9781506428116
Price: 
$79.00
ISBN: 
9781506438443
Release date: 
November 15, 2017
Pages: 
424
Width: 
6
Height: 
9

Contents

1. Introduction and Status Quaestionis

2. Defining “Synagogue”: Synagogue Origins and Development in
Recent Research

3. The Public Synagogue as Jesus Knew It: Functions, People,
and Architecture

4. How “the Synagogue” Has Impacted the Study of Jesus in Previous Research: An Evaluation

5. Kingdom and Synagogue: The Synagogue and Jesus’s Program

6. The Incident in the Synagogue at Nazareth

7. Healings and Exorcisms in Synagogue Settings

8. “I Am the Bread of Life”: The Teaching in the Synagogue at Capernaum

9. To Jerusalem: The Aposynagōgos Passages and the Relationship
between the Temple and the Synagogue

10. Conclusion

Appendix A: Outlining the Practice of History: A Historiographical
Approach to Jesus

Appendix B: Approaching the Sources: Hermeneutics, Truth, and
Knowledge in the Practice of History

Appendix C: Additional Notes on Secondary Rooms in Synagogue Buildings

Endorsements

He masterfully interprets text, archaeology and modern New Testament scholarship

“Jordan Ryan rightly places the synagogue at the center of Jesus' mission.  He masterfully interprets text, archaeology and modern New Testament scholarship to locate Jesus and his earliest followers in Jewish communal life of the first century.”

Steven Fine | Churgin Professor of Jewish History, Yeshiva University

This book is a must read for everyone interested in what Jesus wanted to achieve in the world he inhabited.

“The quest for the historical Jesus is, again, moving in new directions. Current approaches range from paying close attention to first-century Galilean society as an explanatory matrix for understanding Jesus, to the application of recent memory studies to the analysis of the source material. In this excellent study, Jordan Ryan goes further as he engages with great care the issue of philosophy of history. Discussions of hermeneutics, truth, and knowledge in the practice of history lay a critical foundation for the detailed reconstruction of Jesus and his aims that Ryan presents. Importantly, focussing on an all too often overlooked context within which to decipher Jesus—the ancient synagogues—Ryan is able to paint a convincing portrait of Jesus in tune with the Jewish world in which he lived. This book is a must read for everyone interested in what Jesus wanted to achieve in the world he inhabited.”

Anders Runesson | University of Oslo

Recommended reading for professor and student alike

“Recommended reading for professor and student alike, The Role of the Synagogue in the Aims of Jesus utilizes clear and engaging exegesis informed by rigorous historical method to invite readers into a deep understanding of Synagogues and their impact on our understanding of the Historical Jesus. So thorough that readers can use this book as a resource for historiography, synagogue studies, historical Jesus, research or insight into the synagogue passages in the gospels, yet so compelling that readers can also enjoy it as a story of a plausible reconstruction of the life and aims of Jesus.”

Amy Peeler | Wheaton College

This well researched book, which includes the latest archaeological discoveries, is must reading.

“Jordan Ryan’s study provides a new and better explanation of the role played by synagogues in Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God. Ryan shows that Jesus’ frequenting of local synagogues was intentional and had very much to do with his vision of the eschatological restoration of Israel. This well researched book, which includes the latest archaeological discoveries, is must reading.”

Craig A. Evans | John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins, Houston Baptist University

A major contribution from an impressive young scholar and a must read for anyone interested in Jesus and Judaism.

“If the so-called ‘Third Quest’ taught us anything, it is that Jesus of Nazareth must be understood in his first-century Jewish context. Yet somehow, shockingly, there has been no full-length study of Jesus and the Jewish synagogue. In this new book, Jordan Ryan fills a huge gap in the quest for Jesus and makes a compelling argument that you cannot understand the aims of Jesus unless you first grasp his relationship with the local Jewish synagogues of his day. A major contribution from an impressive young scholar and a must read for anyone interested in Jesus and Judaism.”

Brant Pitre | Notre Dame Seminary, author of Jesus and the Last Supper