By Heather A. McKay

Sabbath worship as a communal occasion doesn't characteristic within the Hebrew Bible. within the context of the 1st century advert, based on Philo and Josephus, the sabbath gatherings happened just for the aim of learning the legislation, and never for the liturgical recital of psalms or prayer. Classical authors depict Jews spending the sabbath at domestic. Jewish inscriptions offer no facts of sabbath-worship in prayer-houses ("proseuchai"), whereas the Mishnah prescribes no specific communal sabbath actions. the standard photo of Jews happening the sabbath to the synagogue to worship hence seems to be with no origin. it really is even uncertain that there have been synagogue structures, for "synagogue" regularly intended "community". the realization of this examine, that there's no proof that the sabbath was once an afternoon of communal Jewish worship ahead of 2 hundred advert, has far-reaching results for our realizing of early Jewish-Christian relationships.

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Extra resources for Sabbath and Synagogue: The Question of Sabbath Worship in Ancient Judaism

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3 new moon, full moon, feast day 28 SABBATH AND SYNAGOGUE Also relevant/or consideration at this point are: Jdt. 6 1 Esdr. 52 Col. 4 Justin62 Philo 63 sabbaths, new moons, feasts sabbaths, new moons, all holy feasts feast, new moon, sabbath61 sabbaths, months, feast days appointed feasts, new moons, sabbaths sabbaths, feasts, new moons daily ... 7th day ... new moons ... fasts ... 3 festal seasons The first important observation to be made from these texts is that new moon and sabbath are linked together on very many occasions throughout the Hebrew Bible and related literature.

Baumgarten, 'The Counting of the Sabbath', Vetus Testamentum 16 (1966), pp. 277-86 (278). 83 See also comments in Andreasen, Sabbath, p. 76. 84 Kraus, Worship, p. 87. SABBATH AND NEW MOON: THE HEBREW BIBLE 41 estimate of the value of the sabbath and suggests that there was nothing else to be done on the sabbath. So we find that the search for sabbath worship on the part of ordinary people has not been advanced by a study of the Hebrew Bible texts about Temple worship. As far as sacrifices are concerned, there is nothing addressed to the laity for their execution; the calendars describe priestly activity.

46 As evidence for this he adduces Isa. 12-15; Ezek. 38; Lam. 7. I am not able to agree that these texts show the people worshipping or prostrating themselves before God in the temple on every possible holy day, but consider the writing to be more rhetorical and idealistic in intention. I believe Haran's reading depends on combining texts which independently refer to different things, for example, some to worship during the three pilgrim festivals and some to the role of the priests in Temple services, then adding to these what he 'knows' of sabbath observance.

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