Samaritans


Samaritans
The people settled by the Assyrians in the district of Samaria (according to 2 Kgs. 17:29) and who were alleged by Jews to practise a form of Hebrew worship contaminated by combination with their previous cult. However, the evidence is rather that there was no one decisive event which established the breach. The characteristic beliefs and conservative customs were consolidated from the 3rd century BCE after the campaigns of Alexander the Great had created new political conditions throughout the Near East. In NT times Samaritans were despised by Jews as foreigners (Luke 17:18) though in fact they still had much in common with Jews. While the Samaritan Bible consisted only of the Pentateuch, the group claimed to observe it more strictly than the Jews, especially in the regulations for the Sabbath. The Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim was destroyed by Jews in 128 BCE and thereafter the priests conducted the Passover sacrifices on the site (John 4:20). In 6 CE some Samaritans crept into the Jerusalem Temple and scattered human bones in it. After the uproar and other subsequent disturbances Pontius Pilate ordered a massacre on Mount Gerizim, which led to the Samaritans' demand for his deposition in 37 CE. The common heritage of Jews and Samaritans combined with the history of friction and dissent adds to the piquancy of Jesus' friendliness towards them (Luke 17:18; John 4:7) and the astonishing anti-racism of the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:33). In the expansion of the Church from Jerusalem to Rome, the Samaritans occupy a midway position between the evangelization of Palestinian Jews and Hellenistic Jews on the one hand, and Gentiles on the other (Acts 8:12). In spite of persecution and the political and military upheavals of Palestine, a small Samaritan community has survived to modern times.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • SAMARITANS — This article is arranged according to the following outline: history samaritan origins samaritans in the time of nehemiah the samaritans in the second temple period samaritans in the graeco roman diaspora excavations on mt. gerizim late roman to… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Samaritans —    The name given to the new and mixed inhabitants whom Esarhaddon (B.C. 677), the king of Assyria, brought from Babylon and other places and settled in the cities of Samaria, instead of the original inhabitants whom Sargon (B.C. 721) had removed …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Samaritans —    This term refers to the inhabitants of Samaria. The Samaritans rejected the Jerusalem Temple and worshiped at Mount Gerizim. The New Testament mentions the Jewish rejection of Samaritans in both the parable of the Good Samaritan (see Lk 10:29… …   Glossary of theological terms

  • Samaritans — a British charity, started in 1953 by Chad Varah (1911– ), which gives free help and advice to people who are very depressed or thinking of killing themselves. People can call the Samaritans on the telephone and discuss their problems, and… …   Universalium

  • Samaritans — n. a British voluntary organization providing a telephone service for the suicidal and despairing. Started in 1953 by the Rev. Chad Varah in the cellars of a London church (St Stephen, Walbrook) with one telephone, it now has over 200 branches… …   Medical dictionary

  • Samaritans — Sa|mar|i|tans, the a British organization that offers a free telephone service that people who are very sad, worried, or confused can call to talk to someone. The Samaritans listen to people who feel uncomfortable talking to someone they know… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • SAMARITANS —    the descendants of the Northern kingdom of ISRAEL who intermarried with local people thus gaining the scorn and enmity of ORTHODOX JEWS who retained their racial purity. They refused to recognize the TEMPLE in JERUSALEM as the center of… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Samaritans — n. a British voluntary organization providing a telephone service for the suicidal and despairing. Started in 1953 by the Rev. Chad Varah in the cellars of a London church (St Stephen, Walbrook) with one telephone, it now has over 200 branches… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • SAMARITANS —    See SAMARIA …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Samaritans —    Jewish separatists who were never tolerated by the state, and who were persecuted repeatedly for their insurrections in Palestine (q.v.) during the fifth and sixth centuries. After the revolt of 529, in which they crowned one of their leaders …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium


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