Anders Runesson, Ph.D. (2001) and Docent (2002) in New Testament Exegesis, Lund University, is Assistant Professor in Early Christianity and Early Judaism at McMaster University. In addition to having authored several studies on ancient synagogues, including The Origins of the Synagogue (A&W International, 2001), he has published studies on Jewish/Christian Relations and the Gospel of Matthew. Donald D. Binder, Ph.D. (1997) in New Testament studies, SMU, is Rector of Historic Pohick Church near Mt. Vernon, Virginia. He has written extensively on Synagogues of the Second Temple period, including the volume Into the Temple Courts: The Place of the Synagogues in the Second Temple Period (SBL, 1999). Birger Olsson, D.Th., Docent (1974) in New Testament Exegesis, Uppsala University, and Professor in New Testament Exegesis, Lund University (1992), is Professor Emeritus since 2003. He worked for many years on the official committee for the translation of the Bible into Swedish (Bibel 2000), and has published widely on Johannine literature, hermeneutics, and reception history.
'This comprehensive compendium of literary, archaeological, epigraphical, and papyrological sources about the ancient synagogue, accompanied by insightful comments and up-to-date bibliography, is an essential tool for any student of Jewish and Christian life during the first centuries CE. Covering the Diaspora as well as Judaea, the volume is an invaluable reference book for gaining an in-depth picture of this multifaceted institution, which had a profound and lasting effect on the development of many aspects of both church and mosque as well.' Lee Levine, Professor of Jewish History & Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem "All students of early Judaism and early Christianity will find this volume an essential companion in their efforts to understand the origins and development of both religions. It is unique in that it brings together all the availoable evidence, both literary and archaeological from the Diaspora and the homeland, dealing with the synagogue as an institution and a building. The authors, experts in the field, introduce a vast amount of information in a user-friendly manner. Each entry, arranged in alphabetical order, has a site description, the relevant literary and inscriptional sources, provided with brief but pointed commentary, introducing th wider discussion about the various sites. A brief introductory chapter helps the reader to enter this relatively new and rapidly developing field of enquriy, as well as outlining the reasons in deciding the parameters of the volume. I can recommend it with enthusiasm." Sean Freyne, Professor of Theology emeritus, Trinity Colllege, Dublin Visiting Professor of Early Christian History and Literature, Harvard Divinity School 'One of the frustrating aspects of studying ancient Judaism before the third century ce is the difficulty of assessing the scant evidence for synagogues. The evidence had been dispersed in archaeological reports, ancient literature, and inscriptions, despite the growing availability of evidence through the internet, namely on the website created by one of the authors of the current volume (Binder: http://www. pohick.org/sts/). With the advent of the source book under review, the evidence is now readily available in convenient book form. This is a monumental achievement and should change the face of synagogue studies at all levels of expertise.' Stephen P. Ahearne-Kroll, Biblical Theology Bulletin, 2009 “A key methodological problem in constructing a picture of the development of ancient synagogues arises from the limited and perspectival nature of each of our data-sets: rabbinic rulings, other literary references, inscriptions, and archaeological remains. The Ancient Synagogue is a key resource in overcoming this problem: for the first time we have a comprehensive collection of literary, epigraphical, papyrological, and archaeological sources bearing on ancient synagogues. Each lemma comes with a brief but up-to-date bibliography and short commentary and the editors have supplied both primary texts and English translations, making this an indispensable resource for all who work on ancient synagogues. This is a splendid achievement of scholarship.” J.S. Kloppenborg, Professor, Trinity College, Toronto *** “This source book comes at a propitious time in the study of ancient synagogues and their origins. It is an invaluable resource for everyone interested in—and not infrequently puzzled by—the organizational and architectural development of synagogues prior to 200 CE. The combination of textual and archaeological material, with judicious commentaries and some well chosen drawings, are essential features of the book’s usefulness. It will be much referred to in the coming years, and its judgements will help shape the contours of the ongoing debates.” Peter Richardson (Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto) *** “This volume contains ancient texts such as Josephus, the New Testament, and the Mishnah in their original languages and in (often new) translation, but also archaeological evidence and inscriptions—in their language and translated. Each entry features a bibliography and comment on matters that the text or archaeology raises. There is an extensive bibliography and an index. It has been put together by well-known scholars in the field, and their work is exhaustive and impeccable. We could not reasonably ask for more. It is simply an indispensable resource for the serious researcher and the student alike.” James F. Strange, Distinguished University Professor, the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida