The Influence of the Synagogue on Early Christian Worship

The New Testament records that Jesus and his disciples, as well as early Christian preachers such as Paul and Barnabas, attended the synagogue assemblies. The true influence of the synagogue on early Christian worship, however, is difficult to assess. Contacts between Christians and Jews continued up to the fourth century; thus, in the post–New Testament period Jewish influence can be seen in the development of Christian prayer and the Christian calendar.

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Order of First-Century Synagogue Worship

Our knowledge of synagogue worship in the first century of the Common Era (c.e.) is limited by a lack of source material. It seems clear, however, that readings from the Law and the Prophets, the recitation of the Shƒma‘, and the prayers or benedictions formed the order of the service.

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