What’s a Greek God Doing in an Ancient Synagogue?

Join Steven Fine, Jodi Magness and Hershel Shanks in New York City on March 3rd, 2013

What does archaeology tell us about the synagogues of ancient Israel? On March 3rd, 2013, acclaimed scholars Jodi Magness and Steven Fine will join BAR Editor Hershel Shanks in New York City’s 92nd Street Y to present ancient synagogues, from the legendary Capernaum to recent discoveries at Huqoq. Explore Israel’s earliest synagogues at Masada, Herodium and Gamla and learn about Jerusalem synagogues before the Roman destruction of the Temple with the Theodotus Inscription. Take a look at the newly-discovered Samson mosaic in a synagogue in Israel’s Lower Eastern Galilee along with surprising synagogue depictions of the Greek God Helios in ancient Israel. This is a unique opportunity to explore the history and art of ancient synagogues with the scholars that know them best.

92nd Street Y is a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness, and Jewish life.

Click here to purchase tickets.



Join Steven Fine, Jodi Magness and Hershel Shanks in New York City on March 3rd, 2013.

Date: Sun, Mar 3, 2013, 8:15 pm
Venue: Buttenwieser Hall
Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd St
Price: from $29.00
Click here to purchase tickets.



Jodi Magness is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests include Jerusalem, Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient synagogues, Masada, the Roman army in the East, and ancient pottery.

Steven Fine is professor of Jewish history at Yeshiva University in New York and also heads the university’s Center for Israel Studies. A regular contributor to BAR, he is an expert in the Jewish history of the Greco-Roman world and focuses on the relationship between ancient Jewish literature, art and archaeology.



BAS publications by Jodi Magness and Steven Fine

Jodi Magness

Samson in the Synagogue
BAR 39:01, Jan/Feb 2013
By Jodi Magness

Another View: Do Josephus’s Writings Support the “Essene Hypothesis”?
BAR 35:02, Mar/Apr 2009
By Kenneth Atkinson, Hanan Eshel and Jodi Magness

Archaeological Views: Why Pottery Matters
BAR 33:01, Jan/Feb 2007
By Jodi Magness

What Did Jesus’ Tomb Look Like?
BAR 32:01, Jan/Feb 2006
By Jodi Magness

Surprises at Yattir: Unexpected Evidence of Early Christianity
BAR 27:04, Jul/Aug 2001
By Hanan Eshel, Jodi Magness and Eli Shenhav

Illuminating Byzantine Jerusalem
BAR 24:02, Mar/Apr 1998
By Jodi Magness

Not a Country Villa
BAR 22:06, Nov/Dec 1996
By Jodi Magness

Masada: Arms and the Man
BAR 18:04, Jul/Aug 1992
By Jodi Magness

Steven Fine

Tales from Tombstones
BAR 38:02, Mar/Apr 2012
By Steven Fine and Kalliope I. Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou

The Temple Menorah—Where Is It?
BAR 31:04, Jul/Aug 2005
By Steven Fine

Why Bone Boxes?
BAR 27:05, Sep/Oct 2001
By Steven Fine

BR 16:05, Oct 2000
By Steven Fine

Did the Synagogue Replace the Temple?
BR 12:02, Apr 1996
By Steven Fine

Qatzrin—Reconstructing Village Life in Talmudic Times
BAR 17:03, May/Jun 1991
By Steven Fine and Ann Killebrew

Entry into Rabbinic Literature
BAR 17:03, May/Jun 1991
By Steven Fine

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  • Steven says

    It appears that some try to white wash or launder the true reasons for the pagan symbols found in Jewish synagogues. Dt.17:2-7 sheds good light on this.

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