Synagogue vs Jewish Temple: Difference and Comparison

The Synagogue and Jewish Temple both are religious places for the people belonging to the Jewish culture. Today both terms are used for the commonplace, but in old times, they were different.

Both places were used for prayer and study and were called different places. 

In ancient times, they both were called to different places. Later, in the 19th century, the Jewish Temple was destroyed during the Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire, and then during the revolt, these words were used to describe the same place.

Key Takeaways

  1. A synagogue is a Jewish house of worship where Jews gather for prayer, study, and community events.
  2. The term “Jewish Temple” specifically refers to the ancient temples in Jerusalem, central to Jewish worship and history.
  3. Both synagogues and Jewish temples serve religious and cultural purposes, but the Temple holds a unique historical significance.

Synagogue vs Jewish Temple

The difference between Synagogue and Jewish Temple is that Jewish Temple is a word which refers to the place where Jewish people used to pray and study also. Yet, in Synagogue, they are not necessary for prayer.

Synagogue vs Jewish Temple

The Synagogue is a place to assemble. The word in Greek also means ” place to assemble”. They are also used for prayers, but it is not necessary to be used by the Jewish people only.

This description of the Synagogue saved itself from being destroyed for centuries.

The Jewish Temple was the place where the Jewish people used to pray. The Temple has already been destroyed twice and is still in that condition.

The main reason for the destruction was the revolts that the Jewish people started.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSynagogueJewish Temple
DefinitionThe Synagogue is a place to assemble and also to study.The Jewish Temple is a religious place to worship which was used by the Jewish people.
Meaning of NamesThe Synagogue means “House of assembly” in Greek.The Jewish Temple means “House of Prayer” and is also known as Holy Temple.
Year of ConstructionThe first Synagogue ever built was in 150 BC.In 957 BC, the first Jewish Temple was built.
LocationThe First Synagogue has located in Greece on the islands of Delos. Later, the synagogue was built all over the world.The Jewish Temple is located in the Old City of Jerusalem on the Temple Mount.
Built byThe Johanan ben Zakai formulated the idea of building the synagogue for the Jewish community which later spread where ever the Jewish community lived.King Solomon’s reign built the first Jewish Temple.
FeaturesThe Synagogue is old and new. Hence, we can find the architecture some similar to the ancient times while some are built on the modern features.The Jewish Temple has been rebuilt twice and has the old features that existed in the Conservative and Orthodox services.
ServicesThe Synagogue can be used as a place to pray and study both.The Jewish Temple was being used only for prayers.
DestructionThe synagogue has not been destroyed with an intention. They are either destroyed or tampered down for development or due to natural causes.The Jewish temple was first destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and later in 515 BCE, it was built again which was destroyed by the Roman Empire during the revolt.

What is Synagogue?

The Synagogue means “house of prayer” and is a Greek word. This place has many rooms. The main hall is mainly used for prayer. The Synagogue has many other rooms too.

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Some rooms are used to study, whereas many separate rooms are assigned for the “Torah Study”. This building also consists of offices.

The Synagogue was a place that existed for many centuries. The Jewish King built this place.

This place was built on an ideology that would provide education, health service to the Jewish community.

Whereas this place has not been mandatorily used for Jewish worship.

During the Roman Revolt, the Synagogue was not destroyed. As the Jewish Temple was destroyed, this place became a new assembly to form unity and start a revolution.

In the 19th century, many people secretly discussed the assembly and used to refer to the place as Synagogue. This would help them to avoid being identified.

The first Synagogue was built in Greece on the islands of Delos in 150 BC. Johanan ben Zakai gave the idea of a Synagogue.

He advised that every Jewish community should build their building for worship and other communal activities. Therefore, this increased the number of synagogues all over the world where ever the Jewish community resides.

synagogue 1

What is Jewish Temple?

A Jewish temple is an ancient place on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been a place to worship for the Jewish people.

The name of the Holy Temple also knows it. Sometimes people even refer to the Synagogue as the Temple. 

The Jewish Temple has been built twice. First, it was built during King Solomon’s reign in 957 BC. That’s why the Jewish Temple was named Solomon’s Temple.

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The Babylonians destroyed the Jewish Temple in 586 BCE. Then the Jewish Temple was rebuilt and completed in 515 BCE. 

Later in Roman Rule, the Jewish Temple was again destroyed in 70 CE. This was the time when the Jewish revolted against the Roman Empire, and this revolution even reached Germany.

But the Jewish Temple was not rebuilt this time because the architecture was based on conservative and Orthodox Jewish Services.

The reason behind the destruction of the Jewish Temple in the Roman Revolt was to decrease the communal gathering of the Jewish and abolish their idea of the Revolution. Still, Jewish didn’t stop their revolution, and the revolution reached Germany.

jewish temple

Main Differences Between Synagogue and Jewish Temple

  1. The Jewish Temple is a place to worship, whereas the Synagogue is the place of worship(in the community) along with the education facility.
  2. The first Jewish Temple is in the Old City of Jerusalem, while the first known Synagogue is in Greece on Delos’s islands.
  3. The Temple has been destroyed, whereas Synagogue still exists.
  4. The Synagogue is a kind of place which provides shelter and education to everyone, whereas the Jewish Temple was specifically built for the Jewish.
  5. The Jewish Temple has been destroyed twice, while Synagogue hasn’t been destroyed.
Difference Between Synagogue and Jewish Temple

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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6 thoughts on “Synagogue vs Jewish Temple: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Fascinating information! It’s quite intriguing how the Jewish Temple was destroyed twice during revolts and yet its historical significance remains unparalleled.

  2. The comparison table was extremely helpful in understanding the key differences between the Synagogue and the Jewish Temple.

  3. Wonderful and well-detailed explanation! It’s almost surprising that the synagogue managed to avoid intentional destruction over the years.

  4. While the Jewish Temple holds a unique historical significance, it’s truly commendable how the synagogue continues to serve religious and cultural purposes up to this day.

  5. This article provides a very concise and accurate comparison between the Synagogue and the Jewish Temple. It’s great to know the historical context behind these religious places.


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