The Wandering Mind

The Samaritans

Posted in Old Testament,Religious History by wandren on 12 June 2009

From Wikipedia:  “The Samaritans (Hebrewשומרונים‎ ShomronimArabicالسامريون‎ as-Saamariyun) are a religious group of the Levant.  Religiously, they are the adherents to Samaritanism, a parallel but separate religion to Judaism or any of its historical forms.  Based on the Samaritan Torah, Samaritans claim their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian Exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to Judaism, which they assert is a related but altered and amended religion brought back by the exiled returnees.

Ancestrally, they claim descent from a group of Israelite inhabitants who have connections to ancient Samaria from the beginning of the Babylonian Exile up to the beginning of theCommon Era.  The Samaritans, however, derive their name not from this geographical designation, but rather from the Hebrew term שַמֶרִים (Šāmĕrı̂m), “Keepers [of the Law]”.[2] In the Talmud, a central post-exilic religious text of Judaism, their claim of ancestral origin is disputed, and in those texts they are called Kuthim (Hebrewכותים‎), allegedly from the ancient city of Kutha, geographically located in what is today Iraq. Modern genetics has suggested some truth to both the claims of the Samaritans and Jewish accounts in the Talmud.[3]

From “The Samaritans: The Earliest Jewish Sect” by James Alan Montgomery, 1907:”  “…the Samaritans appear as nothing else than a Jewish sect.  The one essential difference between them and Judaism is that their cult centres on Gerizim, not on Zion…  It is unnecessary to expatiate here upon the original differences between the North and the South in the matter of religion.  These differences have been too much exaggerated; northern Israel has been condemned because orthodox Juda has written the history.  But a comparison need only be made between the two great prophets who preached the fall of their respective states, Hosea and Jeremia, in order to make it clear that while in both kingdoms there was a spiritual remnant, incarnated in those respective prophets and their partisans, religious and moral degeneracy marked the South at the end of the Vllth Century B. C. as luridly as it stains the pages of the last days of the northern kingdom a century before.”


2 Responses to 'The Samaritans'

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  1. […] is significant because the Samaritans, who were wealthy shipowners in Greece, underwent severe persecution and execution by Emperor […]

  2. pat kavanagh said,

    hope you enjoyed the articles
    please feel free to ask questions on this or any other subject bible related

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