Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

What were Greeks doing in Jewish synagogues?

Part 2 in the series, Success in the Cities

Iconium was a town located on the Via Sebaste, the main Roman road of the region, about 90 miles southeast of Antioch in south Galatia. Iconium was a Greco-Asiatic town proud of its Greek heritage.

In the intertestamental period, the Jews were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire and lived mostly in the cities. As people of trade and commerce, they were highly networked. Wherever the Jews settled, they established synagogues, which were open to Gentile inquirers and proselytes. According to Esther 8:17, many people of other nationalities became Jews.

The synagogues of the Diaspora used the Septuagint. The fact that the Hebrew Bible had been translated into Greek made the Septuagint an instrument for Jewish missionary efforts and the synagogues an attractive alterative for Greek speaking residents receptive to a message attacking idolatry, polytheistic worship and immoral practices.

copyrighted 2005


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