The impact of weekend reading

Jan 28 2021

During the first-century on Sabbath the devout of Israel gathered to read the Law of Moses. In Jesus’ experience, the Law of Moses was authoritative. It came from God.

Jesus’ later follower Paul and his brother James confirmed the practice (Acts 13:27; 15:21). For example, James said, “For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath” (Acts 15:21).

First-century Jewish writers Philo and Josephus also comment on the practice of gathering for Sabbath instruction (Philo’s Special Laws 2.15 §62 and Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, 16.2.3 §43; 2.17 §175).

Though the practice of reading is without question, the schedule of readings in the first-century is debated. There is an annual cycle of Torah readings as well as a three-year cycle that could have guided the Sabbath practice.

The SpendaYearwithJesus storyline follows an annual cycle, giving a flavor of what it could have been like to hear the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus in the same timeline.

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