The Samaritan schism.

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
John2
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Re: The Samaritan schism.

Post by John2 » Thu May 05, 2016 10:18 am

I am mentally and physically exhausted today. How do guys manage to think about ancient stuff and keep up with things here and have your lives? I only have limited access to the internet at the library (up to two hours a day) and work, and I can't imagine spending more time online (and thinking about online stuff) more than I already do.

Anyway, I dig what you're saying about the DH being from the Persian period. Maybe so. And Ezra and Nehemiah seem like plausible candidates for doing this, and I think they at least had a hand in redacting the Torah. However, Jeremiah does use similar language as Deuteronomy (and the rest of the DH), and I've noted some examples of this from Friedman. He also points out that Jeremiah is the only prophet who mentions Samuel (http://biblehub.net/searchprophets.php?q=samuel).

Jer. 17:24: "But if you are careful to obey me, declares the LORD ..."

Dt. 28:1: "If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today..."

Jer. 4:4: "Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem ..."

Dt. 10:16: "Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer."

Jer. 8:2, 19:13: "They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens, which they have loved and served and which they have followed and consulted and worshiped. They will not be gathered up or buried, but will be like dung lying on the ground."

Dt. 4:19, 17:3: "And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars--all the heavenly array--do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven."

Jer. 11:4: "...the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.' I said, 'Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God."

Dt. 4:20: "But as for you, the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are."

Jer. 32:41: "I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul."

Dt. 4:29, 10:12, 11:13, 13:4: "But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul."

And I'm seeing that this "heart and soul" expression also only turns up in Joshua, Samuel and Kings (and Chronicles, which is a rewrite of Kings):

http://biblehub.net/searchot.php?q=heart+and+soul
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Samaritan schism.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 05, 2016 12:03 pm

John2 wrote:I am mentally and physically exhausted today. How do guys manage to think about ancient stuff and keep up with things here and have your lives?
What lives? ;)
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

John2
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Re: The Samaritan schism.

Post by John2 » Thu May 05, 2016 12:27 pm

And I think the bottom line on the Samaritan vs. Jewish Joshua is that regardless of whatever additions were added to it over time, the earliest version we have (4QJosh) is Jewish.
Trouble with you is the trouble with me, we got two good eyes but we still don't see.

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Secret Alias
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Re: The Samaritan schism.

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 05, 2016 8:23 pm

But I think Boid's point was that both the existing editions of Joshua were rewritten by sectarian interests. I will have to dig out the paper. This goes back to a time when there was just paper.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Secret Alias
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Re: The Samaritan schism.

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 05, 2016 8:27 pm

Here is what Boid wrote to me (in a private correspondence) summarizing his general POV:
I say that the original Joshua was no more than an inoffensive account of the carrying out of the commands of the Torah to set up an altar on Mt. Gerizim and recite a set of blessings and curses, followed by a very short statement that the land was settled in one year with no battles of any importance. The original book of Judges was an equally inoffensive account of an orderly succession of High Priests and Kings for three hundred years, ruling a peaceful society with universal justice and equality.. At the end came an explanation of how this state of affairs degenerated into the world we see now. This form of the two books is now only preserved in the Samaritan tradition, but I have argued that it was originally the common property of Jews and Samaritans. It has been argued convincingly by modern scholars (mostly in Scandinavia and Scotland) that these two inoffensive booklets were turned into long polemical tracts by the agency of the Hasmonaean dynasty. The purpose was to try to attribute divine sanction to their policy of conquering the whole of Palestine, annexing the Trans-Jordan to Palestine in the process. All non-Jews were to be expelled or massacred if possible, but if it turned out to be impossible to make the whole area Kanaanerrein or Syrerrein, the rest could be enslaved. My series of articles is intended to prove this theory of the re-writing of two booklets of an entirely different character, but using a completely new line of proof. This is why I feel compelled to finish the job, even though it takes time away from other activities that are important to me.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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MrMacSon
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Re: The Samaritan schism.

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:45 pm

lsayre wrote:
Sun May 01, 2016 2:46 am
Is there any archaeological evidence for a temple on Mount Gerizim?

Post-exile history

After the end of the Babylonian Captivity, a large schism between the Samaritans and Judaism developed, with the Samaritans, but not the Jews, regarding Mount Gerizim as the holy place chosen by God. Subsequently, in the Persian Period, the Samaritans built a temple there probably in the middle of 5th century BCE, arguing that this was the real location of the Israelite temple which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.

The religious tension between the Jews and the Samaritans led to the temple on Gerizim being destroyed by either John Hyrcanus in the 2nd century BCE (according to Josephus)[27] or by Simeon the Just (according to the Talmud). The date of the Samaritan temple destruction, the 21st of Kislev, became a holiday for the Jews during which it is forbidden to eulogize the dead.[28] However, the mountain evidently continued to be the holy place of the Samaritans, as it is mentioned as such by the Gospel of John [John 4:20-24] and coins produced by a Roman mint situated in Nablus included within their design a depiction of the temple; surviving coins from this mint, dated to 138–161 CE, show a huge temple complex, statues, and a substantive staircase leading from Nablus to the temple itself.

Eventually, when Christianity became the state church of the Roman Empire, Samaritans were barred from worshiping on Mount Gerizim. In 475 CE a Christian church was built on its summit.[21] In 529, Justinian I made Samaritanism illegal, and arranged for a protective wall to be constructed around the church.[3][21] As a result, the same year, Julianus ben Sabar led a pro-Samaritan revolt, and by 530 had captured most of Samaria, destroying churches and killing the priests and officials. However, in 531, after Justinian enlisted the help of Ghassanids, the revolt was completely quashed, and surviving Samaritans were mostly enslaved or exiled. In 533 Justinian had a castle constructed on Mount Gerizim to protect the church from raids by the few disgruntled Samaritans left in the area.[3][21]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Gerizim

Previously
The mountain is sacred to the Samaritans who regard it, rather than Jerusalem's Temple Mount, as having been the location chosen by Yahweh for a holy temple. The mountain continues to be the centre of Samaritan religion to this day, and over 90% of the worldwide population of Samaritans live in very close proximity to Gerizim, mostly in Kiryat Luza, the main village. Passover is celebrated by the Samaritans on Mount Gerizim,[4] and it is additionally considered by them as the location of the Binding of Isaac (the Masoretic Text, Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scroll versions of the Book of Genesis state that this happened on Mount Moriah, which Jews traditionally identify as the Temple Mount).[3] According to rabbinic literature, in order to convert to Judaism, a Samaritan must first and foremost renounce any belief in the sanctity of Mount Gerizim.[3]


Biblical account

Moses instructed the Israelites, when first entering Canaan, to celebrate the event with ceremonies of blessings and cursings on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal respectively.[5][6] The Pulpit Commentary suggests that these mountains were selected for blessings and curses "doubtless, because of their relative position, and probably also because they stand in the center of the land both from north to south, and from east to west". It has been suggested that "Ebal was appointed for the uttering of the curse, and Gerizim for the uttering of the blessing, because the former was barren and rugged, the latter fertile and smooth", but the Pulpit Commentary editors state that "this is not borne out by the actual appearance of the two hills, both being equally barren-looking, though neither is wholly destitute of culture and vegetation".[7] However, the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges argues that "the [north] face of Gerizim, the mount of blessing, is the more fertile; the opposite face of Ebal, the mount of curse, much the more bare."[8]

The Masoretic Text of the Tanakh says the Israelites later built an altar on Mount Ebal, constructed from natural (rather than cut) stones, to place stones there and whiten them with lime,[3] to make korban (peace offerings on the altar), eat there, and write the words of this law on the stone.[9] The Samaritan Pentateuch version of Deuteronomy, and a fragment found at Qumran,[10] holds that the instruction actually mandated the construction of the altar on Mount Gerizim, which the Samaritans view as the site of the tabernacle, not Shiloh.[11][12] Recent Dead Sea Scrolls work supports the accuracy of the Samaritan Pentateuch's designation of Mount Gerizim rather than Mount Ebal as the sacred site.[13]

An instruction immediately subsequent to this orders that, once this is done, the Israelites should split into two groups, one to stay on Mount Ebal and pronounce curses, while the other goes to Mount Gerizim and pronounces blessings.[14] The tribes of Simeon, of Levi, of Judah, of Issachar, of Joseph, and of Benjamin were to be sent to Gerizim, while those of Reuben, of Gad, of Asher, of Zebulun, of Dan, and of Naphtali, were to remain on Ebal.[14] No attempts to explain this division of tribes either by their Biblical ethnology or by their geographical distribution have been generally accepted in academic circles.[12]
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In the Book of Joshua, after the Battle of Ai, Joshua built an altar of unhewn stones there, the Israelites then made peace offerings on it, the law of Moses was written onto the stones, and the Israelites split into the two groups specified in Deuteronomy and pronounced blessings and curses as instructed there.[18] There is some debate between textual scholars as to whether this incident in Joshua is one account or two different accounts spliced together, where one account refers to Joshua building an altar, and making sacrifices on it, while the other account refers to Joshua placing large stone slabs there that had been whitened with lime and then had the law inscribed on them.[3] Either way there are some who believe that the sources of Joshua predate Deuteronomy, and hence that the order to build the altar and make the inscription is likely based on these actions in the sources of Joshua, rather than the other way round, possibly to provide an etiology for the site acceptable to the deuteronomist's theology.[19].
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Scholars consider it plausible for the sanctuary to have been pre-Israelite.[12] It is possible that the name of the mountain is indicative of this, as it is thought that Gerizim may mean mountain of the Gerizites, a tribe in the vicinity of the Philistines that, according to the Hebrew Bible, was conquered by David. A straightforward etymology for Gerizim would give the meaning of mountain cut in two.[21] According to the narrative about Jotham in the Book of Judges, Shechem was a site where there was a sanctuary of El-Berith, also known as Baal-Berith, meaning God of the covenant and Lord of the covenant, respectively;[22] scholars have suggested that the Joshua story about the site derives from a covenant made there in Canaanite times.[23] In the narrative of Judges, the pillar that was in Shechem is seemingly significant enough to have given its name to a nearby plain,[24] and this pillar is thought to be likely to have been a totem of El-Berith; the Joshua story, of a stone being set up as a witness, simply being an attempt to provide an aetiology in accordance with later Israelite theology.[21]

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