MODERATOR: Last week I made the point that the original church met in two places - (1) Homes; and (2) In the huge temple courtyard (open-air) known as the "Court of the Gentiles". Obviously, in homes they had their smaller 'fellowship' meetings, and in the huge temple courtyard they had their 'public' gatherings led by the apostles. Quite a few people wrote to me asking about "synagogues". It is clear that both Jesus and the apostles went into the Jewish synagogues to preach to the JEWS. For awhile they were able to get away with preaching in there, but eventually the persecution got so bad that they were unable to do so. But these synagogues were never "Christian" buildings at all. They were part of the Jewish system and the apostles went in there to preach to the Jews. It was an outreach. There is no record of them EVER building their own "Christian synagogues"! A number of people also seemed confused about the 'Temple' in Jerusalem. -For the Bible often speaks of Jesus or the apostles "teaching in the temple". As I said above, the part of the temple where they taught was called 'Solomon's Porch', which was in the huge open-air courtyard attached to the temple. It was like a massive 'public square' - very busy. It was an absolutely brilliant place to preach to the public. So that is what it means when it says "Jesus taught in the temple". This was not some 'church building'! It was a very open public place. As one of my readers, Kelly Weiler, commented: "I didn't know when the scriptures referred to meeting in the temple, which was destroyed later, that they were meeting in the big area you described, and it wasn't so religious as but simply free for use, out in the open, and available as an excellent location." Exactly! That's why it was so perfect to gather there. So why do we hide ourselves away behind "four walls" today? God bless you, my friends. Andrew Strom.