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2 Aposynagōgos, the Birkat ha-Minim, and Contemporary Synagogue Studies

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines how the classic and neo-Martynian traditions have approached, as well as considers how a post-Martynian alternative might approach, the ancient synagogue. In History and Theology, J. Louis Martyn argues for both the two-level reading strategy, and the integral position of the Birkat ha-Minim in the interpretation that issues from his implementation of this strategy. In developing a critique of Martyn's scenario, attention is here focused upon the arguments advanced by Reuven Kimelman and Ruth Langer. Martyn argues that Gamaliel II held leadership of the Yavnean academy from 80 to 115 CE. Regarding the liturgical aspect, it agrees with the neo-Martynian tradition that there is no relationship between the aposynagōgos passages and the Birkat ha-Minim, and indeed that these passages have nothing to do with the liturgical functions of the ancient synagogue.

Keywords: aposynagōgos passages; Birkat Ha-Minim; classic Martynian tradition; contemporary synagogue studies; Gamaliel II; J. Louis Martyn theology



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