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Document Details :
Title: Interpreting the Theodotos Inscription: Some Reflections on a First Century Jerusalem Synagogue Inscription and E.P. Sanders' 'Common Judaism'
Author(s): MARTIN, Matthew J.
Journal: Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Volume: 39 Date: 2002
The significance of the Theodotos inscription, discovered upon the Ophel in Jerusalem early last century, cannot be underestimated. It still remains our only piece of incontrovertible archaeological/epigraphical evidence for the existence of synagogues in pre-70 C. E. Jerusalem. It is, however, precisely the unique character of the Theodotos inscription which requires that heightened caution be exercised in its interpretation. In particular, the degree to which this inscription may be considered to be representative evidence for the first century synagogue in Jerusalem and Palestine must be carefully considered. In other words, it is necessary to ensure that that historical methodological commonplace, the necessity for close, contextual analysis, is carefully adhered to in any attempt to determine the significance of the Theodotos inscription for the reconstruction of first century Judaism.