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Jewish Institutions at the time of Jesus. 1. The Temple. There were three important Jewish temples in Jerusalem: a.

The temple of Solomon destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. b. The temple of Zerubabel after the return of the Jews from exile in 5 ! BC. "t was #ompleted in 5$5 BC. #. The temple of %erod& whi#h was more of a rebuildin' and beautifyin' of the temple of Zerubabel. "t was be'un in () BC and finished in *+ 65& fi,e years before it was destroyed by the -omans in *+ !). "t was upon #ompletion& one of the wonders of Jerusalem. "t ser,ed as a #ourt& a .ind of open uni,ersity or #olle'e and it/s #ourts #ould hold up to half million people. The temple buildin' was usually entered by the priests& the %oly of holies by the %i'h priest on the +ay of *tonement. "t was di,ided into three: the holy of %olies& the %oly pla#e and the 0riest/s #ourt where the altar stood. Surroundin' these #entral buildin's were the ,arious #ourts: $. The inner #ourt for the men of "srael. (. The #ourt of women . The lar'er #ourt of 'entiles where there were se,eral #o,ered por#hes. 1nli.e the syna'o'ue the temple not a pla#e for 'eneral worship but a pla#e of sa#rifi#e. 2or o##asions su#h as 0asso,er& 0ente#ost& e.t.#. Jews #ame from all o,er the world. 2. The Synagogue. The word 3syna'o'ue4 means assembly or 'atherin'. "t was used for meetin's of Jews and was later applied to the buildin's in whi#h the 'atherin's were held. The meetin's ha,e their 'atherin' from the Babylonian exile sin#e they #ould not parti#ipate in the sa#rifi#ial worship in Jerusalem. By the time of Jesus there were syna'o'ues in e,ery town where Jews li,ed. 5*# $5:($6 7:(8 The syna'o'ue buildin' was a simple s9uare desi'n with no altar in it ex#ept a platform& a readin' des.& a #upboard with :T boo.s and a spa#e for the #on're'ation. The #hief seats for the leadin' members were in front. The ser,i#es #onsisted of prayers& #hantin' of psalms& the readin' of the law and the prophets& re#itation of s#riptures& address and sermon. 5;< =:$6ff8 Some of the mira#les of Jesus were performed in the syna'o'ue 5>t $(:7?$= >. $:($?(8& ;. $ :$)? $!8. The Jews used the syna'o'ue for two main purposes: a. -eli'ious purpose: whi#h in#luded the edu#ation of #hildren. b. Judi#ial purpose: the elders exer#ised some .ind of @udi#ial power o,er the #ommunity 3. The Sanhedrin. "t was a 'reat #oun#il of !) members. *t the time of Jesus it was the hi'hest @udi#ial authority in the land under the -oman pro#urator. "t had the ri'ht to a##use Jews #har'ed in it of offen#es a'ainst the Jewish law. "n the 'ospels it is often referred to as 3the #hief priests& s#ribes& elders4. "t #an be tra#ed ba#. to >oses/ appointment of !) elders. 5Aum $$:6?$!8. The 0resident of the Sanhedrin was the %i'h 0riest who was a sadu#ee. The #oun#il met on the temple hill not on the temple area. "t a#ted as the #ourt of appeal in 0alestine and did not ha,e the power to infli#t death penalty but #ould impose fines&imprisonment&ex#ommuni#ation and s#our'in' of prisoners. "t had it/s own poli#e for#e.

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