The Samaritans

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

Post by rgprice »

No, you're misunderstanding the framework.

No one denies that Israel was a kingdom, that Samaria existed, that the Jewish scriptures contain authentic Israelite/Canaanite traditions, laws, and prayers, etc.

The issue is the narrative crafted around these features.

Imagine that 100 years from now America were taken over by Scientologists. The country came to be ruled by a Scientologist junta. This administration created a book of the history of America, which stated that the Pilgrims were Scientologists and that the Founding Fathers were all Scientologists. The scriptures of Scientology had actually been given to the Pilgrims by Xenu. The book recounted portions of actual American history, but stated that the Constitution of the United States was handed to George Washington on a mountaintop. It stated that the Bill of Rights was found by Thomas Jefferson under a loose stone that he had been directed to by a dream given to him by Xenu, etc., etc.

Yes, such a book would contain many things that correlated to actual history. But it would still not be an actual account of history. It would project aa religion that was invented in the mid-20th century back into the 17th century. It may well be that the Scientologist junta contained individuals whose ancestry could be traced back to the Pilgrims, but that wouldn't mean that the Pilgrims were actually Scientologists.

Likewise, many Jews may have been descendants of the Israelites (though in fact the region contained an ethnically mixed population), but that doesn't mean the Israelites were actually Jews any more than the Pilgrims were Scientologists.
ABuddhist
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Re: The Samaritans

Post by ABuddhist »

John T wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 8:56 am
ABuddhist wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 7:32 am
John T wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 7:00 am The Samaritans were the remnants of the lost 10 tribes of Israel. The Assyrian empire under Sargon II (722-705 BCE) conquered and removed 27,290 people from the capital city of Samaria and rebuilt the city.
Why should we accept that as the truth rather than as anti-Samaritan polemic by Jews, though? Such a narrative associates Samaritans for foreign, non-Hebrew, intrusions into a pure Hebrew religion - exactly what anti-Samaritan Jews would want them to be condemned as.

The palace of Khorsabad contained many reliefs regarding the conquests of Sargon II. One relief portrays Sargon’s capture of Ashdod in 711 BC. The inscription in room 14 reads:

"I conquered and sacked the towns Shinuhtu (and) Samaria, and all Israel (Omri-Land Bit Hu-um-ri-ia). I caught, like a fish, the Greek (Ionians) who live on islands amidst the Western Sea."...Sargon II

https://thinkingtobelieve.com/2011/08/1 ... criptions/

This is a common theme by mythicists. No such event happened because there is no evidence. Then when evidence shows up the charge is interpolation.

Wet, lather, rinse, and repeat.
1. The words which you quote do not refer to Assyrian deportations from Samaria or to Assyrian importations of people into Israel, meaning that the evidence which you have cited does not address my comment directly; after all, I was not denying that Sargon II was a great conqueror. Furthermore, even if you were to provide to me evidence that there were such mass deportations and importations, that would still not address my actual point, which is why Samaritanism should be assumed to have arised from the disruption of such mass deportations and importations rather than being a continuation of an earlier religious tradition or a later development unrelated to Assyrian mass deportations and importations.

2. I am no mythicist.
ABuddhist
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Re: The Samaritans

Post by ABuddhist »

rgprice wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 9:37 am No, you're misunderstanding the framework.

No one denies that Israel was a kingdom, that Samaria existed, that the Jewish scriptures contain authentic Israelite/Canaanite traditions, laws, and prayers, etc.

The issue is the narrative crafted around these features.

Imagine that 100 years from now America were taken over by Scientologists. The country came to be ruled by a Scientologist junta. This administration created a book of the history of America, which stated that the Pilgrims were Scientologists and that the Founding Fathers were all Scientologists. The scriptures of Scientology had actually been given to the Pilgrims by Xenu. The book recounted portions of actual American history, but stated that the Constitution of the United States was handed to George Washington on a mountaintop. It stated that the Bill of Rights was found by Thomas Jefferson under a loose stone that he had been directed to by a dream given to him by Xenu, etc., etc.

Yes, such a book would contain many things that correlated to actual history. But it would still not be an actual account of history. It would project aa religion that was invented in the mid-20th century back into the 17th century. It may well be that the Scientologist junta contained individuals whose ancestry could be traced back to the Pilgrims, but that wouldn't mean that the Pilgrims were actually Scientologists.
I entirely agree with your assertions, but I note that in Scientolgy, Xenu is an evil being - trapped in the Pyrenees, apparently, after having been overthrown in a coup.
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Secret Alias
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Re: The Samaritans

Post by Secret Alias »

I recall that the "J" part seems to reflect Judah in the way E and D seem to be Northern
No one of the tribe of Judah would have/could have written Genesis chapter 38. His fellow Jews would have run him out of town.
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John T
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Re: The Samaritans

Post by John T »

Once again, I offer a short video by Matt Baker that breaks down the most popular thinking by scholars on who wrote the Torah.

https://youtu.be/NY-l0X7yGY0

Of course, I will always suggest Enochic Judaism for the oldest source for Genesis. :cheers:
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Secret Alias
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Re: The Samaritans

Post by Secret Alias »

I haven't watched the video but Enoch isn't older than the Pentateuch (I am assuming that's what you are suggesting).
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Secret Alias
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Re: The Samaritans

Post by Secret Alias »

Enoch 1:9:

And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His Saints To execute judgment upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly: And to convict all flesh Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

The source for 1 Enoch 1:9 is Masoretic Deuteronomy 33:2: "He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones" the text reproduces the Masoretic of Deuteronomy 33 in reading אָתָא‎ = ερκεται, whereas the Samaritan read "with him" μετ αυτου. Here the Septuagint diverges wholly.

The author of Enoch was Jewish and used a later Jewish copy of the original (Samaritan) Pentateuch.
John2
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Re: The Samaritans

Post by John2 »

Secret Alias wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 11:04 am
I recall that the "J" part seems to reflect Judah in the way E and D seem to be Northern
No one of the tribe of Judah would have/could have written Genesis chapter 38. His fellow Jews would have run him out of town.

I've been chewing on this and I don't have a good answer beyond noting that the lives of characters in the Torah aren't always pretty regardless of the supposed sources. While I'm not certain of the source behind the Golden Calf incident in Exodus 32, it is commonly attributed to the northern E source, as noted here, for example:

Within the rather bewildering variety of views with regard to the source division of Exodus 32-34, the broad pattern that can be discerned and is held by most scholars is that the original literary tradition of Exodus 34 of the making of the covenant is different from the original literary source underlying Exodus 32: the former is attributed to J, and the latter usually to E.


https://www.google.com/books/edition/Th ... frontcover

https://webpages.scu.edu/ftp/cmurphy/co ... lohist.htm



So maybe the question should be, why did Hebrews (in the Northern and Southern Kingdoms) create writings that in some cases make themselves look bad?
John2
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Re: The Samaritans

Post by John2 »

rgprice wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 3:30 amIt seems that you don't subscribe to Gmirkin's thesis. But consider that the Torah was created around 270 BCE and that virtually all of the works of the Jewish/Samaritan scriptures were produced after that time.

I don't subscribe to Gmirkin's thesis but I should give it a closer look. I've only read a few posts about it on Neil's blog and the idea hasn't done anything for me, but I thought the same thing about Doherty at first and then gave him a closer look (which also didn't sway me, but it was interesting to re-consider everything I thought I knew), and I figure Gmirkin deserves the same.
John2
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Re: The Samaritans

Post by John2 »

After further reflection, my new guess (since that's about all we can do) is that Jeremiah (or his scribe Baruch) wrote Deuteronomy through 2 Kings (using Northern and Southern writings with a pro-Judah bias), but he did not change Mt. Gerizim to Ebal or the place God had already chosen (Mt. Gerizim) to the place God "will" choose (Jerusalem). It would have been enough for him at that time to malign the Samaritans (or proto-Samaritans) in 2 Kings 17 and the Northern Kingdom in general.

I'm thinking it was only later, after the schism had become more pronounced (like, say, during Hasmonean times) that these changes were made by Jews. This would explain why the Samaritans use more or less the same Torah with Northern and Southern writings (though with the Samaritan version being closer to the original version read and/or created by Ezra). But after certain verses that are important to Samaritanism became a bigger issue, then changes were made to them.

So I figure the Samaritans before Ezra's time didn't have or didn't remember much about a written Torah (like the common people of Judah as per Neh. 8), and this is why they accepted Ezra's new combined Torah (which at least has some Northern writings). And given that it is all presented as being the Torah of Moses, and given that it was the only Torah in town, the Samaritans accepted it. But given that the rest of what was the OT at that time was largely anti-Samaritan, anti-Northern Kingdom and pro-Judah, and given that these writings have a lesser status than the Torah, the Samaritans were able to reject them.
Last edited by John2 on Wed Sep 14, 2022 3:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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