The Jerome Biblical Commentary on Luke (p. 131) gives a good summary of the order of service in first century Palestinian synagogues.

1. Opening – liturgical prayer

a. the Shema (cf. Deut. 6:4-9)

b. the Eighteen Blessings

2. Scripture reading (i.e., Acts 13:15)

a. from the writings of Moses

b. from the prophets

3. An interpretation or homily (i.e., Acts 13:15) by someone present called on by the leader/manager of the synagogue (i.e., Mark 5:22,35,36,38)

4. A closing liturgical blessing from Num. 6:24-27, known as the Aramaic Blessing (cf. Num. 6:25)


The early church patterned its worship services after the synagogue.  the Apostles grew up using this pattern.


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