Author: Reinhard Pummer
ISBN: 978 0 8028 6768 1
Publisher: Eerdmans. UK distributor, Alban Books
The Samaritans are an ancient people – still in existence today, about 800 of them, living in Nablus near Gerizim and in _olon near Tel Aviv – who from the fifth century BCE had a temple (and, as archaeology has recently shown, a large city) on Mount Gerizim. Where did they originate? They claim to be the true survivors of ancient Israel; the Jews, they hold, derive from schismatics who broke away from the rest of Israel in the time of Eli and championed Shiloh, and later Jerusalem, as the true place of central worship. The Jews for their part have traditionally regarded the Samaritans as a mixed group with syncretistic beliefs, the offspring of Israelites and Assyrians who settled in Israel in the eighth century BCE. This Jewish version is no longer widely believed. Samaritan literature is not syncretistic, and Samaritan names are indistinguishable from Jewish ones.