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Holman Bible Dictionary

Freedmen, Synagogue of the

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A Greek-speaking synagogue in Jerusalem involved in instigating the dispute with Stephen (Acts 6:9 ; KJV “Synagogue of the Libertines”). The Greek syntax suggests two groups of disputants. The first consisted of the Synagogue of the Freedmen, composed of Cyrenians and Alexandrians (so NAS, TEV). It is possible that this first group has three parties, the freedmen (freed slaves), the Cyrenians, and Alexandrians. Some early versions have Libyans in place of “libertines,” giving three groups of North African Jews. The second party in the dispute was composed of Greek-speaking Jews of Asia and Cilicia. These may have belonged to the Synagogue of the Freedmen as well (REB). Some have identified the freedmen as the descendants of Pompey's prisoners of war (63 B.C.).


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Freedmen, Synagogue of the'. Holman Bible Dictionary. http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?n=2128. 1991.

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