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6 Hope of Israel Ministries BIBLE Correspondence Course Lesson 19

authorization? Verse 1. tion” and “assembly.” Secondly, this Greek
16. In Acts 26:12 Paul states that he went word was used for gatherings of BOTH Judeans
to Damascus with what from the chief priests? and Christians, and it was used for assemblies
beyond the Palestine area. Thirdly, the term was
Synagogues used for BOTH the GATHERING of people and
the BUILDING in which they met.
The Greek word from which
SYNAGOGUE is translated originally referred
to the convening (bringing together) of a group
Modern Meaning of “Synagogue”
of people for a designated purpose. Later, the
term was also used for the place or building
1. A building or place of meeting for
where the people met. The Greek word
Jewish worship and religious instruction.
sunagoge is a generic term that can refer to ANY
2. A congregation of Jews for worship or
group of people who meet (assemble together) at
religious study. 3. The Jewish religion as
ANY place for ANY purpose.
organized or typified in such local
-- The American Heritage Dictionary
The word “synagogue” is translated from
the Greek word sunagoge (#4864 in Comparing the LIMITED modern
Strong’s Concordance), meaning “an meaning of the English word SYNAGOGUE
assemblage of persons; (the meeting or with the generic nature of its Greek root word
the place).” It comes from the Greek root sunagoge, points out the CHANGE in usage that
words sun (#4862) meaning “together” has taken place. Today, the word “synagogue” is
and ago (#71) meaning “bring.” MONOPOLIZED by a people called “Jews” and
a religion called “Judaism.” However, the term
1. Acts 6:9 states, “then there arose was ORIGINALLY tantamount to what
certain of the” what...”disputing with Stephen”? Judeo-Christians today call a “church.” It is
2. In Acts 13:43 of the King James Bible, interesting that these “Jews,” who FALSELY
which of the following English words is claim (in the most part) Hebrew and Israelite
translated from the Greek word SUNAGOGE ancestry, cling so adamantly to a term of
(Strong’s #4864)? A. Synagogue B. Church C. GREEK origin!
Congregation D. Council The history of the synagogue can be
3. According to James 1:1, who is James traced back to the Babylonian captivity when the
writing to? Israelites, their Temple and central control
4. In James 2:2 James writes to his having been destroyed, had no ethnic public
brethren concerning how to treat those who may forum and centralized religion. In lieu of a
come into their what? (#4864, sunagoge). Temple, the synagogue system was established.
5. Read Luke 7:1-10. In verse 5, what Later it was carried back to Palestine with those
did the elders say the centurion had built them? who returned with Ezra and Nehemiah. By the
COMMENT: Several important points New Testament era, the synagogues had evolved
can be determined from the above verses. First into highly structured branch bureaucracies
of all, the SAME Greek word sunagoge (#4864) under the jurisdiction of the Sanhedrin and
was translated into THREE DIFFERENT Temple at Jerusalem.
ENGLISH WORDS: “synagogue,” “congrega- Each town of any size had its own

Judean Central Government
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