Difference Between Synagogue and Jewish Temple

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


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

In ancient times, they both were called to a different place. 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.

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 the prayer.

Synagogue vs Jewish Temple

The Synagogue, 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 in centuries.

The Jewish Temple was the place that was used by the Jewish people 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 were started by the Jewish people.

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

Some rooms are used to study and 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. This place was built by the Jewish King.

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. The idea of Synagogue was given by Johanan ben Zakai.

He gave a bit of advice 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.

What is Jewish Temple?

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

It is also known by the name of Holy Temple. Sometimes people even refer to the Synagogue as the Temple. 

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

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

Later in the 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 this time, the Jewish Temple was not rebuilt 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.

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 located in the Old City of Jerusalem, while the first known Synagogue is located in Greece on the islands of Delos.
  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


  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=amdP9YcVxeUC&oi=fnd&pg=PR12&dq=Synagogue&ots=n3sCdmU39r&sig=GwmRjFn-NBLdtWHWLzyTYKmCFJ8
  2. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9780203424995/jewish-temple-robert-hayward
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