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Greco-Roman Influences on Major World Religions

            The first Temple period for the Jews came to an abrupt halt when the first Temple was destroyed. With the rise and spread of Hellenistic culture looming in in the shadows, the Maccabean Revolt broke out in order to preserve Jewish culture and religious practice. During the second Temple period, however, scholars proclaim fundamental changes taking place within Jewish society, which appears to begin incorporating Hellenistic cultural characteristics into everyday Jewish life. By analyzing works such as "The Nature and Origin of the Palestinian Synagogue Reconsidered " by Lee Levine, "The Pharisees"" by Joachim Schaper, "Apocalyptic: The Disclosure of Heavenly Knowledge" by Christopher Rowland, and "Scripting Jesus"" by L. Michael White, one is able to depict these changes through a scholarly perspective.
             "First and foremost, the synagogue served the full range of needs of a particular community, states Levine in his argument for the origin of the Synagogue. Levine also goes on to say such functions included political meetings, social gatherings, courts, schools, hostels, charity activities, slave manumission, meals (sacred or otherwise),and, of course, religious-liturgical functions. The stance Levine takes on the subject of the Synagogue differs greatly from many other scholars. Levine uses historical references to argue his concept by bringing into account the time period in which the term Synagogue was being used in Jewish literature. Levine appears skeptical towards other scholars' assumptions regarding the birth of the Synagogue. Ranging estimates of Levine's fellow scholars date the Synagogue forming as early as the 8th century BCE to as late as the 1st century BCE.
             Levine suggests that, "In addressing the issue of the origin of the Synagogue, scholars in the past have almost invariably tried to pinpoint the historical context or moment that led to the emergence of this institution.

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