Nine prominent scholars and researchers into rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity here investigate the literary and archaeological evidence by which the evolution of the synagogue can be traced. This research project began as the theme of the Philadelphia Seminar on Christian origins at the University of Pennsylvania during the academic year 1993/ 1994, chaired by Howard C. Kee and Lynn Cohick. In addition to papers presented at the Seminar, outstanding scholars who have analyzed the relevant literature and/or the archaeological evidence from ancient synagogue sites over the early centuries of the Common Era were invited to contribute essays as well. The various contributions to this volume are presented in two groupings: (1) those concerned with the development of the synagogue in the land of ancient Israel and (2) analyses of the diverse and abundant evidence from synagogues in the dispersion, especially Syria and Asia Minor. Also included is an examination of the literary and traditional evidence from historical, rabbinic, and early Christian sources. In addition to the editor, contributors include James F. Strange, University of South Florida; Richard A. Horsley, University of Massachusetts; Joseph Gutman, Wayne State University; Shaye J. D. Cohen, Brown University; Marianne Bonz, Harvard Divinity School; Lynn H. Cohick, Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology; J. Andrew Overman, Macalester College; and Douglas R. Edwards, University of Puget Sound. Howard Clark Kee is Aurelio Professor of Biblical Studies Emeritus at Boston University and Visiting Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.