An orderly compilation for reading scripture. Jewish synagogues read the scriptures according to a prescribed arrangement; a lectionary designated the passages to be read in public worship on the Sabbaths in a continuous sequence, but for feasts the sequence was interrupted for appropriate readings, e.g. Exod. 12 for Passover. Christians took over the lectionary principle and it has been suggested that the gospels may have been written with a lectionary use in mind: thus, when the synagogue offered the account of creation in Genesis, Matthew had a complementary narrative to expound the Christian doctrine of re‐creation beginning with the birth (genesis) of Jesus (Matt. 1–2). Learned attempts to explain the construction of the synoptic gospels as compiled to fit a cycle of public readings through the year have not been judged successful.