For example, I'd never given much thought to the Mt. Ebal vs. Mt. Gerizim debate regarding Dt. 27:4 before (summarized here: https://www.thetorah.com/article/an-alt ... ian-debate), and now I'm persuaded that it originally did say Mt. Gerizim, as per the Samaritan Torah.
And after perusing some books and other articles online and filtering them through my pro-Documentary Hypothesis bias of the origin or the Torah, this is how it looks to me.
The version of the DH I like is that Jeremiah (or his scribe Baruch) was the one who wrote "D" (Deuteronomy along with Joshua through 2 Kings). The similarity between the language of Jeremiah and Deuteronomy through 2 Kings and the lost text found in Jeremiah's time that sounds like Deuteronomy make this seem likely to me. And as noted here about Jeremiah's background:
Jeremiah was born in the year 650 B.C. at Anathoth, a small town situated three miles north of Jerusalem, in the territory of Benjamin. He belonged to a priestly family, probably the same one as cared for the Ark of the Covenant after the return from Egypt, and the one to which the high priest Eli had belonged, but which had retreated to Anathoth when Abiathar, David's priest, was banished by Solomon (I Kings ii. 26).
Given that Jeremiah was related to the priesthood of the Northen Kingdom of Israel, he could have had access to Northern writings, like the one found in his time. And given that Jeremiah's ancestor Eli is blamed by the Samaritans for causing the schism between them and Jews, Jeremiah would have been in a position to "correct" the lost text in a way that was anti-Samaritan (or anti-proto-Samaritan) and pro-Judah (e.g., by changing Gerizim to Ebal and saying the place God "will" choose (i.e., Jerusalem) instead of the place God had already chosen (Mt. Gerizim) "to put his name."
I imagine the Deuteronomistic History was Jeremiah's attempt to blend writings from the Northern Kingdom of Israel ("D") with the writings and views of the Southern Kingdom of Judah and that the Northern refugees in Judah were in no position to reject it. But Israelites who remained in what used to be the Northern Kingdom became the Samaritans and used the original version of Deuteronomy, and the pro-Judah bent of what would become the rest of the OT would not have appealed to them (excepting Joshua).
But now I see a problem for the DH. Why do the Samaritans use other writings in their Torah that are thought to be from pre-exile Judah or post-exilic Persian times ("J" and "P"). Was this a concession they made when the exiles from Judah returned? Was a J, E, D, and P Torah the only Torah around by then and thus the only way Samaritans could have Northern writings (E and D)? Was it a gesture of brotherly unity on their part? As noted on Wikipedia, for example:
The similarities between Samaritans and Jews was such that the rabbis of the Mishnah found it impossible to draw a clear distinction between the two groups. Attempts to date when the schism among Israelites took place, which engendered the division between Samaritans and Judaeans, vary greatly, from the time of Ezra down to the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE and the Revolt of Bar Kochba of 130-135 CE. The emergence of a distinctive Samaritan identity, the outcome of a mutual estrangement between them and Jews, was something that developed over several centuries. Generally, a decisive rupture is believed to have taken place in the Hasmonean period.
In any event, Samaritanism seems like a legitimate form of "Judaism" (so to speak) to me now, as far as history and genetics go. And even if Samaritans had no (or only a little) genetic connection to ancient Israel, they still would seem "Jewish" (or Hebrew) to me, since they live according to an ancient version of the Torah, and how exactly that came to be doesn't affect that status.
And I'm all ears for other ideas that anyone here may have about how the Samaritans and their Torah came to be.