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Lesson 19 Hope of Israel Ministries BIBLE Correspondence Course 7

synagogue, and the larger cities had more than
one. Jerusalem had many. The synagogues
served as local public relations offices. They
were used for worship and prayer, religious
instruction, tribunals (courts), and for controlling
the masses via propaganda.
Synagogues (like churches) had a
structural hierarchy consisting of presiding
officers and overseers as well as attendants and
assistants. The local synagogues were merely
puppets of the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem. All minor
court cases involving Judeans were heard and
disposed of in the synagogues. Synagogues had
the POWER and AUTHORITY to administer
stripes and scourgings as well as to DIS-
FELLOWSHIP or excommunicate members. As
a result, the synagogue WIELDED MUCH
Inside the Synagogue.
1. Mark 5:22 identifies Jarius as an
Ruler of the Synagogue
important member of the synagogue -- what was
The phrases “ruler of the synagogue”
2. Read Acts 13:13-15. According to
and “chief ruler of the synagogue” are
verse 14, Paul went into the synagogue in which
translated from the Greek word
3. Verse 15 indicates that Paul was archisunagogos (#752 in Strong’s
invited by the rulers to speak to the people after Concordance), meaning “director of the
what event took place in the synagogue? synagogue services.” Thayer’s Greek
4. According to Acts 18:8, what was Lexicon explains this person’s duties as
Crispus’ position in the synagogue? Did he selecting the readers and teachers in the
believe on the Messiah with all his household? synagogue, examining the discourses of
COMMENT: The above verses indicate the public speakers, and overseeing ALL
the existence of an authority structure within the things.
synagogues. There was clearly a person “in
charge” of each synagogue. The use of the word
“director” in Strong’s definition suggests a 5. In Matthew 23:6 the Messiah states
centralization of authority. The lexicon that the scribes and Pharisees love what sort of
description of this person’s duties indicates that seats in the synagogues?
he approved the speakers and their discourses as 6. In Luke 11:43 Yeshua accuses the
well as any of the activities conducted in the Pharisees of loving the uppermost what in the
synagogue. This would imply rules of order to synagogues?
which CONFORMITY was required. 7. In Luke 20:46 Yeshua says to beware
of the scribes who love what sort of seats in the
Recommended Book... synagogues?
COMMENT: The existence of
Judaism’s Strange Gods, by Michael A. “preeminent seats” and HIERARCHICAL
Hoffman II positions of authority is a STANDARD

Judean Central Government
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