Jesus spent a lot of time in synagogues, so it’d be nice to know what one looked like. Fortunately, archaeologists have uncovered remains of first-century synagogues in places Masada, Herodium, Gamla, Magdala, and Capernaum. This post from Leen Ritmeyer provides some illustrations that give us an idea of what Jesus may have seen and experienced.
In that same post, Ritmeyer links to an earlier post he did on a cart used for transporting Torah scrolls to the synagogue. I have often wondered whether, in a world of scrolls instead of codices, people such as Paul would have needed a crate or chest to carry around scrolls of the Torah and Isaiah and the Psalms, etc. It would have been an armful to carry your “Bible” with you, which would have been impractical, especially on journeys. Ritmeyer’s evidence for the wheeled cart used for taking Torah scrolls to the synagogue provides an interesting analogy.
I have updated the lesson, “Launching a Ministry,” in the series on Luke, to provide a link to Ritmeyer’s post on the Capernaum synagogue.