“The Role and Purpose of Synagogues in the Days of Jesus and Paul”

“The Role and Purpose of Synagogues in the Days of Jesus and Paul” November 1, 2019


Elizabeth Cowdery
Lacy Hartselle as Elizabeth Ann (Whitmer) Cowdery in a scene from the Interpreter Foundation’s main forthcoming Witnesses film    (Still photograph by James Jordan)


Dr. Taylor Halverson is responsible for today’s new article in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:


“The Role and Purpose of Synagogues in the Days of Jesus and Paul”

Abstract: This article explores why Jesus so often healed in synagogues. By comparing the uses and purposes of Diaspora and Palestinian synagogues, this article argues that synagogues functioned as a hostel or community center of sorts in ancient Jewish society. That is, those needing healing would seek out such services and resources at the synagogue.




Other very recent items from the Interpreter Foundation:


Science & Mormonism Series 1: Cosmos, Earth, and Man Introduction: Science and Mormonism

Part of our book chapter reprint series, this introduction by David H. Bailey and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw originally appeared in Science & Mormonism Series 1: Cosmos, Earth, and Man(2016).

Abstract: From the beginning, Latter-day Saints have rejected the notion that science and religion are incompatible. In this article, we give an overview of studies that have surveyed the professional participation of Latter-day Saint in science and the views of American academics and scientists on religion in general, Latter-day Saints in particular, and why many thoughtful people in our day might be disinclined to take religion seriously. We conclude with a brief survey of current Latter-day Saint perspectives on science. Our brief survey demonstrates that it is not only futile for religion and science to battle each other; it is also unnecessary.


“The Qualification of a Bishop in 1 Timothy 3: A Video Supplement for Come, Follow Me Lesson 42: “Be Thou an Example of the Believers””


“The Power of the Scriptures in 2 Timothy 3:15-17: A Video Supplement for Come, Follow Me Lesson 42: “Be Thou an Example of the Believers””


“Religion, Politics, and Community Involvement,” with George B. Handley

In this episode of the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews George B. Handley about If Truth Were a Child: Essays. They dive into such diverse topics as religion, politics, and community involvement.

George B. Handley teaches interdisciplinary humanities at Brigham Young University. He also serves as the associate director of the Faculty Center. He received his PhD in comparative literature from UC Berkeley.  He was, for several years, the associate dean of the BYU College of Humanities in which I teach, and I worked fairly closely with him for a couple of years on the College’s Rank and Status Committee.




Now that your massive expenditures for Halloween candy are behind you and your distribution of sugar welfare to a small multitude of imps, superheroes, goblins, witches, and ballerinas has been completed, it’s time to survey your finances to determine whether you will survive to the end of the calendar year.  It’s also time for many to consider their year-end charitable gifts, including tithes and other offerings to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


As I’ve indicated for a very long time, two of our favorite charities — both of them, incidentally, with substantial Latter-day Saint involvement — are Operation Underground Railroad and the Bountiful Children’s Foundation (formerly the Liahona Children’s Foundation).  I hope that you’ll consider them.


But I would be less than candid if I didn’t also encourage donations to the Interpreter Foundation, which, although its authors and officers contribute without compensation, still unavoidably incurs substantial expenses.  Our Witnesses film project, for example, represents a major investment of time, labor, and funds, but the regular appearance of articles in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, to say nothing of our occasional conferences, our radio program and scripture roundtables, our videos and books, and so forth also inescapably demands money.  Large contributions will be appreciated.  So will small contributions.



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