Life in the Time of Jesus…

Interview with Archaeologist and Religious Studies Scholar, Dr. Jodi Magness

The Not Old Better Show, 2018, image courtesy of Dr Jodi Magness & Smithsonian

According to the New Testament, Jesus and Paul preached in synagogues. But two thousand years ago, the Jerusalem Temple was the focal point of the Jewish religion.

Dr. Jodi Magness

Our guest today, Jodi Magness, above, an archaeologist who specializes in ancient Palestine, explores the origins of the synagogue and how it became a prominent part of religious Jewish life in the centuries after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D. She discusses synagogues in the time of Jesus and illuminates the surprising pagan motifs, such as Helios and the zodiac cycle, which decorate ancient synagogue buildings in the Holy Land.

Mosiac from Temples, courtesy of Dr. Jodi Magness

Magness is credited for a “once in a lifetime find” in the ancient village of Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee.

A fish swallows an Egyptian soldier in a mosaic scene depicting the splitting of the Red Sea from the Exodus story, from the 5th-century synagogue at Huqoq, in northern Israel. (Jim Haberman/University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)

Check out our intreview with Dr. Jodi Magness, and don’t miss this excellent Smithsonian Associates program. For more information, click HERE, or add this link to your browser menu bar:


The Not Old Better Show, 2018



The Not Old Better Show, Paul Vogelzang

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