Questions to Gospel Answers
Synagogues in the Book of Mormon?
2 Nephi 26:26 is the first of 26 verses in the BoM with references to synagogues. The problem with finding
"synagogue" in the Book of Mormon is that "synagogue" is a Greek and not a Hebrew word
and did not come into usage until after the Babylonian captivity, a time after Lehi had left Jerusalem.
The definition of the word as given in the LDS Collectors Library:
Greek: noun feminine
1) a bringing together, gathering (as of fruits), a contracting; an assembling together of men, an assembly of men
2) a synagogue i.e.
2a) an assembly of Jews formally gathered together to offer prayers and listen to the reading and expositions of
the scriptures; assemblies of that sort were held every sabbath and feast day, afterwards also on the second and fifth
days of every week; name transferred to an assembly of Christians formally gathered together for religious
2b) the buildings where those solemn Jewish assemblies are held. Synagogues seem to date their origin from
the Babylonian exile. In the times of Jesus and the apostles every town, not only in Palestine, but also among
the Gentiles if it contained a considerable number of Jewish inhabitants, had at least one synagogue, the larger towns
several or even many. These were also used for trials and inflicting punishment.
Since synagogues seem to date their origin from the Babylonian exile the word would not have been in use
when Lehi left Jerusalem because they left prior to the Babylonian exile. The one use of the word synagogue
in the KJV Old Testament is in the Psalms is not a literal translation from the Hebrew.
Does the word synagogue follow the same pattern that we have seen with the names
which are also found in the KJV?
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