|Size:||75 centimeters long
41 centimeters high
|Length:||10 lines of writing|
|Approximate Date:||1st century CE|
|Place of Discovery:||Mt. Ophel
|Date of Discovery:||1913
|Current Location:||Rockefeller Museum
|Inventory Number:||S 842|
(Corpus Inscriptionum Judaicarum)
Photo from: Shanks (1979)
(The SYMBOL font is required to view this in Greek)
ARCISUNAGWGOS . UIOS . ARCISUN[AGW]-
G[O]U . UIONOS . ARCISUN[A]GWGOU . WKO-
DOMHSE . THN . SUNAGWG[H]N . EIS . AN[AG]NW-
S[I]N . NOMOU . KAI . EIS . [D]IDACHN . ENTOLWN KAI
TON . XENWNA . KA[I . TA] . DWMATA . KAI . TA . CRH-
S[T]HRIA . TWN . UDATWN . EIS . KATALUMA . TOI-
S . [C]RHZOUSIN . APO . THS . XE[N]HS . HN . EQEME-
L[IW]SAN . OI . PATERES . [A]UTOU . KAI . OI . PRE-
S[B]UTEROI . KAI . SIMWN[I]DHS
by K. C. Hanson & Douglas E. Oakman
Theodotus, son of Vettanos, a priest and
an archisynagogos,* son of an archisynagogos
grandson of an archisynagogos, built
the synagogue for the reading of
Torah and for teaching the commandments;
furthermore, the hostel, and the rooms, and the water
installation for lodging
needy strangers. Its foundation stone was laid
by his ancestors, the
elders, and Simonides
1. Why would it have been important for Theodotus to identify not only himself but his father and grandfather as well as archisynagogoi? As priests?
2. What was the role of an archisynagogos? Was it limited to Israelite males? What is the evidence? How did one become an archisynagogos ?
3. What are the dating problems associated with synagogues as buildings in Jerusalem and Judea? Where was this inscription found in Jerusalem?
4. What would it have meant to have a "hostel" associated with the synagogue? What purposes would it have served?
5. Besides archisynagogos and priest, what social role does Theodotus ascribe to himself in this inscription? Why would that have been important in the ancient Mediterranean?
6. Click here to visit Donald D. Binder's Website on Second Temple Synagogues.
Atkinson, K. "Synagogues in Judea." New Testament Studies 43 (1997) 491-502.
Binder, Donald D. Into the Temple Courts: The Place of the Synagogues in the Second Temple Period. SBL Dissertation Series 169. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 1999.
Binder, Donald D. Second Temple Synagogues (Website).
Brooten, Bernadette. Women Leaders in the Ancient Synagogue. Brown Judaic Studies 36. Chico, Calif.: Scholars, 1982.
Deissmann, Adolf. "Appendix V: The Synagogue Inscription of Theodotus at Jerusalem." In Light from the Ancient East: The New Testament Illustrated by Recently Discovered Texts of the Graeco-Roman World, 439-41 + Fig. 80. Translated by L. R. M. Strachan. New York: Harper & Row, 1928. (Reprinted by Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965.)
Frey, Jean Baptiste. Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaicarum. Vol. 2. Rome: Poniticio Instituto di Archeologia Christiana, 1936-52.
Grabbe, Lester. "Synagogues in Pre-70 Palestine: A Re-Assessment." Journal of Theological Studies 39 (1988) 401-10.
Hanson, K. C., and Douglas E. Oakman. Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998.
Horsley, G. H. R. "An Archisynagogos of Corinth?" In New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity 1987:213-20.
Kee, Howard Clark. "The Transformation of the Synagogue after 70 CE: Its Import for Early Christianity." New Testament Studies 36 (1990) 1-24.
Kee, Howard Clark. "The Changing Meaning of Synagogue: A Response to Richard Oster." New Testament Studies 40 (1994) 281-83.
Kee, Howard Clark. "Defining the First-Century CE Synagogue." New Testament Studies 41 (1995) 481-500.
Meyer, Eric M. "Synagogue." In Anchor Bible Dictionary. Edited by D. N. Freedman, 5.251-60. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
Riesner, Rainer. "Synagogues in Jerusalem." In The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting. Vol. 4: Palestinian Setting. Edited by R. Baukham, 179-211. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995.
Setzer, Claudia J. "Rulers of the Synagogue." In Anchor Bible Dictionary. Edited by D. N. Freeman, 5.841-42. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
Shanks, Hershel. Judaism in Stone: The Archaeology of Ancient Synagogues. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.