- Reinhard Pummer
The Samaritans are an ethno-religious community cognate with, but different from, Judaism. Both religions are branches of Yhwh-worshiping Israelites that parted ways around the turn of the era. Both, however, base their beliefs and religious practices on the Pentateuch/Torah. In the Persian period the Yahwistic Samarians built a temple on Mount Gerizim which eventually came to be seen as a rival temple to the temple in Jerusalem. Thus, the origin of the Samaritans lies in antiquity but a small community still exists today. Besides inscriptions and archaeological finds, our main source for the early history of the Samaritans is Flavius Josephus. For the Late Roman and the Byzantine periods, we have a variety of non-Samaritan texts and Samaritan chronicles. The latter, however, were compiled only in the Middle Ages, although they rely on older sources.
- Ancient Geography
- Jewish Studies
Updated in this version
Article rewritten to reflect current scholarship. Digital materials and figures added.
The Identity of the Samaritans
Samaritans are an ethno-religious community cognate with, but different from, Judaism. Both religions worship Yhwh as the only god and differ principally with respect to the site that each holds most sacred: Mount Gerizim near the Roman city of Flavia Neapolis (modern Nablus) for the Samaritans and Mount Zion or Jerusalem for the Jews. Samaritan communities have existed from antiquity to the present day; this article addresses the ancient contexts alone. Already in the 2nd century bce the Samaritans of the Greek island of Delos identified themselves with reference to Mount Gerizim, as two inscriptions testify.
In these inscriptions, Mount Gerizim is written as one word, ΑΡΓΑΡΙΖΕΙΝ (ARGARIZEIN) (for a detailed discussion and further references see Noy, IJO, Ach66 and Ach67). This is typical for Samaritan sources, which contract the Hebrew הר גריזים (hr grizim) into הרגריזים (hrgizim). Other important differences relate to the two groups’ sacred scriptures: while the Samaritans rely on the Pentateuch alone, the Jews include also the Prophets (nevi’im) and the Writings (ketuvim) in their canon. The question of Samaritan modifications in the Pentateuch is a much-discussed issue and scholarly opinions differ widely. Some speak of six thousand differences between the Masoretic Text (MT) and the Samaritan Pentateuch (SP), a number that goes back to a list in the London Polyglot of 1657 but is also quoted in more recent publications;1 others claim there are no changes in the SP that are based on Samaritan theology and beliefs.2 Most recently, however, a number of biblical scholars have shown that the SP does contain specifically Samaritan alterations with respect to the identification of a central cult site;3 alterations regarding the tenth commandment exist as well.4 Moreover, the SP contains several readings that were introduced by the Samaritans to emphasize the priority of Mount Gerizim over Jerusalem. Furthermore, taking into account the insights gained from the Dead Sea Scrolls, current research has shown that the SP was not taken over from the Judeans but was the common possession of Samarian and Judean Yahwists, although we do not know when the Samaritans made the additions to the Pentateuch that created what only later began to be identified as the Samaritan Pentateuch.
The Origin of the Samaritans
Various theories about the origin of the Samaritans have been advanced. Older theories relied on the only passage in the Bible that seemingly mentions them, 2 Kings 17:24–41, a multilayered account of the neo-Assyrian conquest of Samaria, the deportation of the Yahwistic population and the colonization of the country with various peoples imported by the conquerors.5 It was above all Flavius Josephus (37 ce–c. 100 ce) who contributed to the spread of a particular reading of this passage. In AJ 9.288–291 he mentions the Χουθαῖοι (Chouthaioi) “from the region called Χουθᾶ [Choutha] which is in Persia”;6 this people was imported to Samaria by the neo-Assyrians after the defeat of the Northern Kingdom in the late 8th century bce. In the same passage Josephus adds that the Χουθαῖοι are called Σαμαρεῖται (Samareitai) in Greek.7 In 2 Kings, the new inhabitants are depicted as religiously syncretistic, worshipping Yhwh and their own gods. Until recently, Bible translations in European languages reflected Jospehus’s view, as did the main rabbinic term for Samaritans, Kutim. However, the Hebrew term שמרנים (Shomronim) in this Bible passage refers not to the Samaritans as they are presently understood, but simply to the inhabitants of Samaria, although scholars have suggested that the passage was nonetheless anti-Samaritan.8 Moreover, it is now known that not all Samarians were deported and replaced with foreign settlers after the Assyrian conquest. Modern theories about the time period during which the Samaritans originated range from the Persian period—i.e., the 5th and early 4th century bce—9 to the 3rd century ce.10 Most Samaritan scholars now subscribe to the position that the two communities, the Samarian Yahwists and the Judean Yahwists, began to go their separate ways in the Hasmonean period (152–63 bce); the destruction of the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim by John Hyrcanus in c. 110 bce probably played a major role in this process. This does not mean that there was no discord between the two groups earlier, although it has become clear that tensions between Samarians and Judeans did not characterize the whole period of the Persian rule.11 Close analysis of such sources as Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles shows that only in the late 4th or the early 3rd century bce did the relations between the two groups begin to deteriorate.12
Sources for the Early History of the Samaritans
The sources for the early history of the Samaritans are scanty. Besides the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls, there are the works of Flavius Josephus, the New Testament, some Greek and Latin authors, the Wadi Daliyeh finds, early Christian authors, and early rabbinic writings. It goes without saying that these ancient literary sources present their specific challenges when it comes to using them for historical reconstruction. In addition, archaeological excavations on the main peak of Mount Gerizim have brought to light remains of the temenos of the Samaritan temple and the city surrounding it, as well as inscriptions once connected with the sanctuary. Furthermore, vestiges of early Samaritan synagogues have been unearthed in various locations within and outside the region of Samaria. The Samaritans themselves have preserved accounts of their early history in their so-called chronicles. The extant Samaritan chronicles, however, were compiled in the Middle Ages, although they incorporate earlier traditions. Much of what they recount is unfortunately difficult or even impossible to verify.
The Samaritans in the Persian Period (539–332 bce)
Around the mid-5th century bce, Yahwistic Samarians built a temple on the main peak of Mount Gerizim (Arabic Jebel eṭ-Ṭūr), which is located south of the modern city of Nablus and rises to 500 m (1,640 feet) above the city and 868 m (2,847 feet) above sea level. Although the temple was destroyed by the Hasmoneans (152–37 bce) in 110 bce, the mountain has remained sacred to the Yahwistic Samarians/Samaritans down to the present day. Excavations between 1983 and 2006 showed that the temple was dedicated to Yhwh. This is deduced from a number of votive inscriptions unearthed on the peak as well as from the faunal remains of what seem to have been sacrifices.13 It is noteworthy that present-day Samaritans deny that there ever was a temple on Mount Gerizim, despite the literary sources and the archaeological finds.
The temple as such—or whatever may remain of it—has so far not been found due to later constructions on the site. These include the church of Mary Theotokos, built by Emperor Zeno (474–491 ce) after the Samaritan revolt of 484 (John Malalas, Excerpta historica: De insidiis 44; Procop. Aed. 5.7.7), and additional fortifications constructed by Emperor Justinian I (527–565 ce) in the 6th century (Procop. Aed. 5.7.17). However, everything speaks in favour of a temple—i.e., a roofed building, not an open-air sanctuary—having existed on the mountain.14
Around 1962, bones of 205 persons and fragments of legal documents, coins, and clay seals were discovered in the Abu Shinjeh cave in Wadi Daliyeh, a valley located c. 14 km (8.7 miles) north of Jericho and 12 km (7.45 miles) west of the river Jordan. The documents, now referred to as Wadi Daliyeh Samaria Papyri, date from the last decades of the Persian period.15 The manuscript fragments, coins, and seals originated from the city of Samaria, although not all signatories necessarily resided there.16 The documents show that in the 4th century bce the names of the inhabitants of Samaria were chiefly Yahwistic, containing the elements yhw-, -yh, and -yhw. Thus, the supposed wholesale deportation of the Israelites to Assyria mentioned in the Bible (2 Kings 17:6 and 23) cannot be historical.17 Nevertheless, the Yahwistic Samarians of this period cannot yet be called “Samaritans” as defined here. At that time, in other words, both populations, the Samarian Yahwists and the Judean Yahwists, acknowledged each other as legitimate Israelites. It was only in the late Persian and in the Hellenistic Period that animosities between Judeans and Samarians are detectable in some biblical writings, and eventually these animosities come to the fore.
The Samaritans in the Hellenistic Period (332–63 bce)
According to Josephus, it was at the beginning of the Hellenistic Period that Alexander the Great (356–323 bce) gave the Samaritans permission to build a temple on Mount Gerizim (AJ 11.321–325).18 As we know now from the excavations, this is incorrect. Josephus may have confused the expansion of the sanctuary and the growth of a large city around it in the Hellenistic period—i.e., in the early 2nd century bce—with the original building of it.19 Clearly, the temple and the large city on top of Mount Gerizim were the religious centre of the Samarian Yahwists. When Josephus, in AJ 11.340, calls Shechem (modern Tell Balāṭah) the μητρόπολις (mētropolis) of the Samaritans, this cannot be understood in the sense of an administrative centre.20 (In fact, it is only here and in AJ 12.10 that Josephus calls the Samaritans “Shechemites.”) The administrative centre—i.e., the city of Samaria—was destroyed by Alexander in 332 bce when he returned from Egypt. Before his expedition to Egypt, he had appointed Andromachus as prefect of Syria (Curt. IV.5.9; Jer. Chron. 47.123.16–24 (123d); George Syncellus, Ecloga chronographica 314.8–13). While Alexander was in Egypt, the inhabitants of the city of Samaria burned Andromachus alive. On learning of this crime, Alexander returned to Samaria and punished the perpetrators (Curt. IV.8.9–11). It is this incident that seems to have caused the flight of those upper-class Samarians whose documents and remains were found in Wadi Daliyeh. The city of Samaria now became a military garrison.21 Notwithstanding the speculations of some authors, it is not likely that the Samarians, expelled from the city of Samaria, fled to Shechem and rebuilt it to make it into their capital or μητρόπολις.22 At that time, Shechem was either uninhabited or a stronghold garrisoned by Macedonian troops. Archaeology has shown that there was an occupation gap of 150 years between 475 and 325 bce.23 It is worth remembering, in this context, that the Samarians who fled the city of Samaria were not yet Samaritans as defined here—i.e., Yahwistic Samarians who had separated from the Judean Yahwists. At that time, the separation was still in statu nascendi: the process that eventually led to a division between the two communities had its proximate beginnings in the Hellenistic period.
Fresh analyses of Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles and other books of the Bible have shown that certain biblical passages, written in the Hellenistic rather than in the Persian period, point to deteriorating relations between the two communities beginning in the 4th or 3rd century bce.24 Most present-day scholars date the parting of the ways to the 2nd century BCE—more precisely, to the Hasmonean period. Some see expressions of enmity in Jewish writings that probably originated at that time (e.g., Ben-Sira 50.25–26; Book of Jubilees 30; Theodotus, On the Jews; 4QNarrative and Poetic Compositiona-c (4Q372); the Aramaic Levi Document; the Testament of Levi; Judith; Joseph and Aseneth; Philo, De migratione Abrahami 224; De mutatione nominum 193–195, 199–200; and Pseudo-Philo, Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum 8.7). However, it is far from certain that these writings express hostility towards the Samaritans.25 1 Maccabees 5:22–23 and 2 Maccabees 6:1–2 see Judean and Samarian Yahwists as one γένος (genos, “people”). 1 Maccabees was probably written before 125 bce, i.e., during the reign of John Hyrcanus (134–104 bce).26 2 Maccabees is an abridgment of a larger work by Jason of Cyrene, about whom nothing else is known. Taking into account the time needed for its composition, abridgment, and editing in Jerusalem, it is probably to be dated between 160 and 124 bce.27 In other words, during this period Judean and Samarian Yahwists had not yet gone their separate ways.
It was in the Hasmonean period that a serious, although not definitive, break between Samaritans and Jews occurred. More precisely, it was under the rule of John Hyrcanus that a major attack on the Samaritans took place. Toward the end of his rule, between the years 112 and 107 bce,28 John Hyrcanus expanded his territory to include not only the cities of Madaba (30 km [19 miles] south-west of Amman) and Samaga (identity disputed), along with neighbouring places, but also Shechem (Tell Balāṭah) and Mount Gerizim, where he conquered the Cuthean nation (from Cutha in 2 Kings 17:24) who dwelt around the temple that was, according to Josephus, “modelled on that in Jerusalem” (BJ 1.62–63; AJ 13.254–256).29 It was at this time that the temple on Mount Gerizim was destroyed. Since Josephus gives no reason for John Hyrcanus’s destruction of the temple, scholars have proposed different reasons for his action.30 But whichever reason one prefers to embrace, for the Samaritans this was a most serious blow and a traumatic event. Nevertheless, as we know from archaeological and literary sources, it was not the case that Samaritans and Jews had no more dealings with each other thereafter.
The Samaritans in the Early Roman Period (63 bce–135 ce)
Our main source for the early Roman period is Josephus, but, as is well known, what he says about the Samaritans is to be taken with more than a grain of salt.31 In writing about them, Josephus had his own agenda which his selection and presentation of his sources reflects. In his Jewish Antiquities he contrasts the Samaritans as unreliable citizens with the Jews as trustworthy subjects of Rome.
According to Josephus (AJ 18.29–30), the first incident during Roman rule that involved Samaritans occurred in the time of the governor (ἐπίτροπος, epitropos) of Judea, Coponius (c. 6–9 ce), a Roman of the equestrian order (BJ 2.117). Around 8 ce, during Passover, when the priests first opened the gates of the temple after midnight, “some Samaritans, who had secretly entered Jerusalem, began to scatter human bones in the porticoes and throughout the temple” (AJ 18.30); the priests reacted by excluding everyone from the temple and taking other measures to protect it. In this passage from Josephus, the text is not only corrupt but also poses several puzzling questions. Why does Josephus state that the Samaritans entered Jerusalem “secretly,” and what was the motive behind their action? Some scholars question whether there is even a historical basis for Josephus’s story.32
In 36 ce, under Pontius Pilate, the fifth governor of Judea (26–36 ce), the Samaritans clashed with the Romans in a village at the foot of Mount Gerizim (Joseph. AJ 18.85–89). A man “who made light of mendacity and in all his designs catered to the mob” (Joseph. AJ 18.85) persuaded the Samaritans to go with him to the top of Mount Gerizim, where he would show them the sacred vessels that Moses had buried there. A large number believed him and appeared in arms, ready to climb the mountain. But Pilate sent cavalry and infantry and put down the uprising, taking prisoners and executing the leaders. The Samaritans accused Pilate before Vitellius, the Roman governor of Syria (35–39 ce), who ordered Pilate to report to Rome. Together with John 4:4–42 this passage is the oldest hint that the Samaritans believed in the coming of a figure like Moses in the end times (cf. Deuteronomy 18:15 and 18). In the later Aramaic sources, this figure is called Taheb, the returning one; he is to bring back the Tabernacle of which the sacred vessels in the Josephan passage are a part.
Another altercation between Samaritans and Jews that involved the Romans occurred in 52 ce while Ventidius Cumanus was procurator of Judea (48–c. 52 ce). According to Josephus (BJ 2:232–246; AJ 20:118–136), a Jew (or many Jews) from the village of Gema (modern Jenin) in Galilee was murdered by Samaritans while on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to participate in a festival. In revenge, the Jews of Jerusalem burned some villages in Samaria and massacred their inhabitants. Cumanus then attacked the Jews and the Samaritans demanded of Ummidius Quadratus, the governor of Syria (51–60 ce), that the Jews be punished. The Jews too went to Quadratus and blamed the Samaritans as well as Cumanus for not penalizing the murderers themselves. In the end, the leading Jews and Samaritans were executed, and other members of the two communities as well as Cumanus were sent to Rome. Emperor Claudius (41–54 ce) declared the Samaritans guilty and exiled Cumanus, making Felix his successor (c. 52–60 ce) (cf. Tac. Ann. 12.54). Again, a corresponding narrative can be found in the New Testament. According to Luke 9:53, Jesus was not allowed to stay in a village of the Samaritans “because his face was set toward Jerusalem,” just as the Galilean pilgrims in Josephus were attacked because they were on the way to Jerusalem, the rival sanctuary to Mount Gerizim.
Fifteen years after this event, in July of 67 ce, another altercation between Samaritans and Romans took place (Joseph. BJ 3:307–315). A gathering of the Samaritans on the top of Mount Gerizim made the Romans suspicious; they thought that the Samaritans were preparing to revolt. To forestall this, Emperor Vespasian (69–79 ce) sent the commander of the fifth legion, Sextus Cerealis Vettulenus, with a large number of cavalry and infantry to confront the suspected revolutionaries. Seeing the Samaritans’ large numbers, Cerealis did not attack but instead surrounded the base of the mountain and waited for them to surrender. Some did, but others died of thirst and still others deserted to the Romans. Cerealis then ascended the mountain and killed 11,600 Samaritans who refused to surrender.
It is not clear whether the Samaritans participated in the Jewish uprising against the Romans in the revolt of 66–70 ce. If they did, their decisive defeat on Mount Gerizim in 67 ce probably ended their involvement in it.
The Samaritans in the Late Roman Period (135–324 ce)
Just as it is uncertain whether the Samaritans participated in the first revolt against the Romans, it is not known whether they participated in the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132–135 ce. Scholarly opinions range from complete denial to the assumption that at least some Samaritans took part in it. In the last analysis, our sources are too late and unreliable to allow a clear-cut verdict.33
The great Samaritan hero Baba Rabba, eldest son of the high priest Nathaniel, may have lived during this period, although no confirmation apart from Samaritan chronicles is available.34 Among other initiatives, he is said to have built eight synagogues. None have been discovered thus far in the cities in which he is supposed to have built them, but Samaritan synagogues built in the 4th century have been unearthed in other localities, both in and outside Samaria.35
It is particularly during this period that we hear of the activities of certain Samaritan sects which differed in their theology and practice from the majority of the community. Although the origin of these groups seems to go back to a time before the turn of the era. Very little is known about these sects and none has survived.36
On the whole, the 4th century was a period of peace and growth for the Samaritans. Their literature flourished, as works (in Aramaic) by the scholar-poets Amram Dare, Marqe, and Marqe’s son Ninna testify. In the following period, however, the situation of the Samaritans changed for the worse.
The Samaritans in the Byzantine Period (324–636 ce)
When the Byzantine rulers began to issue laws against non-Christians, the Samaritans’ condition soon changed from peace to persecution.37 Initially, the laws did not mention the Samaritans specifically but were directed against Jews and idolaters. From the beginning of the 5th century on, however, the Samaritans were named in a number of laws and became subject to various prohibitions. For example, they could not hold a state office, their converts to Christianity could not be disinherited, they were not allowed to act as lawyers, and they were not allowed to possess Christian slaves. No new synagogues could be erected, and in fact their synagogues were to be destroyed. Many such disabilities, and others besides, were imposed on them by various emperors.38 Some of the laws in question were promulgated more than once—an indication that they were not complied with the first time. Small wonder, then, that the Samaritans rose up against their oppressors. This first occurred in 484 ce under Emperor Zeno, when the Samaritans killed many Christians, destroyed churches, and crowned a certain Justasas as their leader. After the suppression of the revolt, Zeno replaced the Samaritan synagogue on Mount Gerizim with a church dedicated to Mary the Mother of God (Theotokos) whose ruins are still visible today. Apart from smaller disturbances, the next serious uprisings occurred under Emperor Justinian I (527–565 ce): the first of these was in 529 and another followed in 556. Some Samaritans converted to Christianity, albeit only outwardly in some cases, during these trying times. Others were forced to convert. At the end of the Byzantine period the Samaritans’ numbers had drastically decreased and their ability and will to resist oppression were broken. When the Muslims conquered Palestine in 636, the change of government came as a relief to many Samaritans. In the following centuries, however, their numbers decreased more and more until they numbered slightly more than one hundred individuals.39 It was only by marrying non-Samaritan women—a long-forbidden practice which started only in the 19th century—that their numbers began to increase, rising to more than eight hundred individuals by the early 21st century.
- Abū ʾl-Fatḥ, Kitāb al-Tarīkh.
- George Syncellus, Ecloga Chronographica.
- Jerome, Chronicle.
- John Malalas, Excerpta historica.
- Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia.
- Procopius of Caesarea, De aedificiis.
- Quintus Curtius Rufus, Historia Alexandri Magni.
- Tacitus, Annales.
- Linder, Amnon, ed. The Jews in Roman Imperial Legislation. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1987.
- Noy, David, Alexander Panayotov, and Hanswulf Bloedhorn, eds. Inscriptiones Judaicae Orientis. Vol. 1, Eastern Europe. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 101. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2004.
- Noy, David, and Hanswulf Bloedhorn, eds. Inscriptiones Judaicae Orientis. Vol. 3, Syria and Cyprus. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 102. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2004.
- Pummer, Reinhard. Early Christian Authors on Samaritans and Samaritanism: Texts, Translations and Commentary. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 92. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2002.
- Rabello, Alfredo M. Giustiniano, Ebrei e Samaritani alla luce delle fonti storico-letterarie, ecclesiastiche e giuridiche. 2 vols. Monografie del Vocabolario di Giustiniano 1–2. Milan: A. Giuffrè, 1987–1988.
- Stenhouse, Paul. The Kitāb al-Tarīkh of Abū ʾl-Fatḥ: Translated into English with Notes. Studies in Judaica 1. Sydney: Mandelbaum Trust, University of Sydney, 1985.
- Stern, Menahem. Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism. 3 vols. Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1974–1998.
- Crown, Alan David, ed. The Samaritans. Tübingen, Germany: J. C. B. Mohr, 1989.
- Crown, Alan D., Reinhard Pummer, and Abraham Tal, eds. A Companion to Samaritan Studies. Tübingen, Germany: J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1993.
- Crown, Alan D., and Reinhard Pummer. A Bibliography of the Samaritans. 3rd ed., revised, expanded, and annotated. ATLA Bibliography 51. Lanham, MD, Toronto, and Oxford: Scarecrow, 2005.
- Dušek, Jan. Les manuscrits araméens du Wadi Daliyeh et la Samarie vers 450–332 av. J.-C. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 30. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2007.
- Grabbe, Lester L. A History of the Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple Period. Vol. 3, The Maccabaean Revolt, Hasmonaean Rule, and Herod the Great (175–4 bce). Library of Second Temple Studies 95. London and New York: T&T Clark, 2020.
- Heckl, Raik. Neuanfang und Kontinuität in Jerusalem. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 104. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.
- Hensel, Benedikt. Juda und Samaria: Zum Verhältnis zweier nach-exilischer Jahwismen. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 110. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.
- Kartveit, Magnar. The Origin of the Samaritans. Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 128. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2009.
- Knoppers, Gary N. Jews and Samaritans: The Origins and History of Their Early Relations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Magen, Yitzhak, Haggai Misgav, and Levana Tsfania. Mount Gerizim Excavations. Vol. 1, The Aramaic, Hebrew and Samaritan Inscriptions. Judea and Samaria Publications 2. Jerusalem: Staff Officer of Archaeology, Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, 2004.
- Magen, Yitzhak. Mount Gerizim Excavations. Vol. 2, A Temple City. Judea and Samaria Publications 8. Jerusalem: Staff Officer of Archaeology, Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, 2008.
- Magen, Yitzhak. The Samaritans and the Good Samaritan. Judea and Samaria Publications 7. Jerusalem: Staff Officer of Archaeology, Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, 2008.
- Magen, Yitzhak. Flavia Neapolis: Shechem in the Roman Period. 2 vols. Judea and Samaria Publications 11. Jerusalem: Staff Officer of Archaeology, Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, 2009.
- Matassa, Lidia D. Invention of the First-Century Synagogue. Edited by Jason M. Silverman and Watson J. Murray. Ancient Near East Monographs 22. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2018.
- Pummer, Reinhard. The Samaritans in Flavius Josephus. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 129. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2009.
- Pummer, Reinhard. The Samaritans: A Profile. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2016.
- Pummer, Reinhard. “Samaria/Samaritans.” In Oxford Bibliographies: Biblical Studies. 3rd version. Edited by Christopher R. Matthews. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.
1. Esther Eshel and Hanan Eshel, “Dating the Samaritan Pentateuch’s Compilation in Light of the Qumran Biblical Scrolls,” in Emanuel: Studies in Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, and Dead Sea Scrolls in Honor of Emanuel Tov, ed. Shalom M. Paul, et al., Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 94 (Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2003), 215–240.
2. Stefan Schorch, “The So-Called Gerizim Commandment in the Samaritan Pentateuch,” in The Samaritan Pentateuch and the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. Michael Langlois, Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology 94 (Leuven, Belgium, Paris, and Bristol, CT: Peeters, 2019), 77–97.
3. Raik Heckl, Neuanfang und Kontinuität in Jerusalem, Forschungen zum Alten Testament 104 (Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016); Raik Heckl, “Überlegungen zu Form und Funktion der Zentralisationsformel im Konzept des samaritanischen Pentateuchs, zugleich ein Plädoyer für die Ursprünglichkeit der masoretischen Lesart,” Zeitschrift für Altorientalische und Biblische Rechtsgeschichte 23 (2017): 191–208; Reinhard Pummer, “The Samaritans and Their Pentateuch,” in Pentateuch as Torah: New Models for Understanding Its Promulgation and Acceptance, ed. Gary N. Knoppers and Bernard M. Levinson (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2007), 237–269; and Molly M. Zahn, Rethinking Rewritten Scripture: Composition and Exegesis in the 4QReworked Pentateuch Manuscripts, Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah 95 (Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2011), 135–177.
4. Gary N. Knoppers, “The Samaritan Tenth Commandment: Origins, Content, and Context,” in Judah and Samaria in Postmonarchic Times: Essays on Their Histories and Literatures, by Gary N. Knoppers, Forschungen zum Alte Testament 129 (Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2019), 275–299.
5. Jonathan Miles Robker, “Die Texttraditionen von 2. Könige 17 als Spiegel der Entwicklung des Verhältnisses von Juden und Samaritanern,” in Yahwistic Diversity and the Hebrew Bible: Tracing Perspectives of Group Identity from Judah, Samaria, and the Diaspora in Biblical Traditions, ed. Benedikt Hensel, Dany Nocquet, and Bartosz Adamczewski, Forschungen zum Alten Testament, 2. Reihe, 120 (Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2020), 303–324.
6. Cuthah, probably modern Tell Ibrāhīm, located approximately 50 km (31 miles) northeast of Babylon.
7. Reinhard Pummer, “Samaritan Ethnicity in Josephus: Rhetoric and Historicity,” Judaïsme Ancien Ancient Judaism 7 (2019): 45–73.
8. Gary N. Knoppers, “Cutheans or Children of Jacob? The Issue of Samaritan Origins in 2 Kings 17,” in Reflection and Refraction: Studies in Biblical Historiography in Honour of A. Graeme Auld, ed. Robert Rezetko, Timothy H. Lim, and W. Brian Aucker, Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 113 (Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2007), 223–239; Ronnie Goldstein, “A Suggestion Regarding the Meaning of 2 Kings 17:9 and the Composition of 2 Kings 17:7–23,” Vetus Testamentum 63 (2013): 393–407; Benedikt Hensel, “Das JHWH-Heiligtum am Garizim: Ein archäologischer Befund und seine literar- und theologiegeschichtliche Einordnung,” Vetus Testamentum 68 (2018): 73–93; Benedikt Hensel, Juda und Samaria: Zum Verhältnis zweier nach-exilischer Jahwismen, Forschungen zum Alten Testament 110 (Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2016), 367–389; Magnar Kartveit, “Anti-Samaritan Polemics in the Hebrew Bible? The Case of 2 Kings 17:24–41,” in The Samaritans in Historical, Cultural and Linguistic Perspectives, ed. Jan Dušek, Studia Judaica 110, Studia Samaritana 11 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018), 3–18; Magnar Kartveit, “The Date of II Reg 17,24–41,” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 126 (2014): 31–44; and Klaus Koenen, Bethel: Geschichte, Kult und Theologie, Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 192 (Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003), 50.
9. Magnar Kartveit, The Origin of the Samaritans, Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 128 (Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2009); and John S. Bergsma, “A ‘Samaritan’ Pentateuch? The Implications of the Pro-Northern Tendency of the Common Pentateuch,” in Paradigm Change in Pentateuchal Research, ed. Matthias Armgardt, Benjamin Kilchör, and Markus Zehnder, Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für altorientalische und biblische Rechtsgeschichte 22 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2019), 297n25 (arguing for c. 450 bce). In a later publication, however, Kartveit emphasizes that the destruction of the temple is more important than its erection: Magnar Kartveit, “Samaritan Self-Consciousness in the First Half of the Second Century B.C.E. in Light of the Inscriptions from Mount Gerizim and Delos,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 45 (2014): 451.
10. Alan David Crown, “Redating the Schism Between the Judaeans and the Samaritans,” Jewish Quarterly Review 82 (1991): 17–50.
11. Gary N. Knoppers, Jews and Samaritans: The Origins and History of Their Early Relations (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 22; and Benedikt Hensel, “On the Relationship of Judah and Samaria in Post-Exilic Times: A Farewell to the Conflict Paradigm,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 44 (2019): 19–42.
12. Hensel, “On the Relationship of Judah and Samaria”; and Hensel, Juda and Samaria; Benedikt Hensel, “Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles—New Insights into the Early History of Samari(t)an-Jewish Relations,” Religion 11, no. 2 (2020): 98.
13. Yitzhak Magen, Haggai Misgav, and Levana Tsfania, Mount Gerizim Excavations, vol. 1, The Aramaic, Hebrew and Samaritan Inscriptions, Judea and Samaria Publications 2 (Jerusalem: Staff Officer of Archaeology, Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, 2004), 2 and 272; Yitzhak Magen, Mount Gerizim Excavations, vol. 2, A Temple City, Judea and Samaria Publications 8 (Jerusalem: Staff Officer of Archaeology, Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, 2008); Yitzhak Magen, The Samaritans and the Good Samaritan, Judea and Samaria Publications 7 (Jerusalem: Staff Officer of Archaeology, Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, 2008); and Yitzhak Magen, “The Dating of the First Phase of the Samaritan Temple on Mount Gerizim in Light of the Archaeological Evidence,” in Judah and the Judeans in the Fourth Century B.C.E., ed. Oded Lipschits, Gary N. Knoppers, and Rainer Albertz (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2007), 157–211.
14. Reinhard Pummer, “Was There an Altar or a Temple in the Sacred Precinct on Mount Gerizim?” Journal for the Study of Judaism 47 (2016): 1–21; and Gary N. Knoppers, “The Temple at Mount Gerizim in the Persian Period: Precedents, Problems, and Paradoxes,” in Judah and Samaria in Postmonarchic Times: Essays on Their Histories and Literatures, by Gary N. Knoppers, Forschungen zum Alten Testament 129 (Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2019), 129–151.
15. Douglas M. Gropp, Wadi Daliyeh II: The Samaria Papyri from Wadi Daliyeh, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 28 (Oxford: Clarendon, 2001), 1–117; Jan Dušek, Les manuscrits araméens du Wadi Daliyeh et la Samarie vers 450–332 av. J.-C., Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 30 (Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2007); Jan Dušek, “The Importance of the Wadi Daliyeh Manuscripts for the History of Samaria and the Samaritans,” Religions 11, no. 2 (2020): 63; and Mary Joan Winn Leith, “Samaria Papyri,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law, ed. Brent E. Strawn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 261–265.
16. Mary Joan Winn Leith, Wadi Daliyeh I: The Wadi Daliyeh Seal Impressions, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 24 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997); and Mary Joan Winn Leith, “Seals and Coins in Persian Samaria,” in The Dead Sea Scrolls Fifty Years After Their Discovery: Proceedings of the Jerusalem Congress, July 20–25, 1997, ed. Lawrence W. Schiffman, Emanuel Tov, and James C. VanderKam (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society in cooperation with The Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum, 2000), 691–707.
17. Knoppers, Jews and Samaritans, 18–44.
19. Magen, “The Dating of the First Phase of the Samaritan Temple,” 157–211; Magen, Mount Gerizim Excavations, vol. 2, 98 and 176; and Dušek, Les manuscrits araméens du Wadi Daliyeh.
20. Pummer, The Samaritans in Flavius Josephus, 123; Gary N. Knoppers, “Were the Jerusalem and Mount Gerizim Temples the Economic Epicenters of Their Province? Assessing the Textual, Archaeological, and Epigraphic Evidence,” in Judah and Samaria in Postmonarchic Times: Essays on Their Histories and Literatures, by Gary N. Knoppers, Forschungen zum Alten Testament 129 (Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2019), 153–175; and Paul Spilsbury and Chris Seeman, Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary, vol. 6a, Judean Antiquities 11 (Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2017), 124.
21. Hervé Gonzalez and Marc Mendoza, “‘What Have the Macedonians Ever Done for Us?’: A Reassessment of the Changes in Samaria by the Start of the Hellenistic Period,” in Yahwistic Diversity and the Hebrew Bible: Tracing Perspectives of Group Identity from Judah, Samaria, and the Diaspora in Biblical Tradition, ed. Benedikt Hensel, Dany Nocquet, and Bartosz Adamczewski, Forschungen zum Alten Testament, 2. Reihe 120 (Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2020), 169–229.
22. Yitzhak Magen, Flavia Neapolis: Shechem in the Roman Period, 2 vols., Judea and Samaria Publications 11 (Jerusalem: Staff Officer of Archaeology, Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, 2009), 1:24–26; Pummer, The Samaritans in Flavius Josephus, 143; Hensel, Juda und Samaria, 75; and Gonzalez and Mendoza, “‘What Have the Macedonians Ever Done for Us?’” 181, 213.
23. Nancy L. Lapp, “The Stratum V Pottery from Balâṭah (Shechem),” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 257 (1985): 19–43; and Nancy L. Lapp, Shechem IV: The Persian-Hellenistic Pottery of Shechem/Tell Balâṭah, American Schools of Oriental Research Archaeological Reports 11 (Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research, 2008), 15n4.
24. Knoppers, Jews and Samaritans; Knoppers, Judah and Samaria in Postmonarchic Times; Hensel, Juda and Samaria; Benedikt Hensel, “Ethnic Fiction and Identity-Formation: A New Explanation for the Background of the Question of Intermarriage in Ezra-Nehemiah,” in The Bible, Qumran, and the Samaritans, ed. Magnar Kartveit and Gary N. Knoppers, Studia Judaica 104, Studia Samaritana 10 (Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2018), 133–148; Hensel, “On the Relationship of Judah and Samaria”; Hensel, “Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles”; Heckl, Neuanfang; Raik Heckl, “The Composition of Ezra-Nehemiah as a Testimony for the Competition Between the Temples in Jerusalem and on Mount Gerizim in the Early Years of the Seleucid Rule Over Judah,” in The Bible, Qumran, and the Samaritans, ed. Magnar Kartveit and Gary N. Knoppers, Studia Judaica 104, Studia Samaritana 10 (Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2018), 115–132; and Christophe Nihan and Hervé Gonzalez, “Competing Attitudes Toward Samaria in Chronicles and Second Zechariah,” in The Bible, Qumran, and the Samaritans, ed. Magnar Kartveit and Gary N. Knoppers, Studia Judaica 104, Studia Samaritana 10 (Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2018), 93–114.
25. Reinhard Pummer, “Antisamaritanische Polemik in jüdischen Schriften aus der intertestamentarischen Zeit,” Biblische Zeitschrift 26 (1982): 224–242; Reinhard Pummer, “Genesis 34 in Jewish Writings of the Hellenistic and Roman Periods,” Harvard Theological Review 75 (1982): 177–188; Kartveit, The Origin of the Samaritans, 109–202; Jonathan Bourgel, “Brethren or Strangers? Samaritans in the Eyes of Second-Century B.C.E. Jews,” Biblica 98 (2017): 382–408; Jonathan Bourgel, “The Samaritans During the Hasmonean Period: The Affirmation of a Discrete Identity?” Religions 10, no. 11 (2019): 628; Pieter W. van der Horst, “The Ancient Samaritans and Greek Culture,” Religions 10, no. 4 (2019): 290; and Dany Nocquet, La Samarie, la Diaspora et l’achèvement de la Torah: Territorialités et internationalités dans l’Hexateuque, Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 284 (Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2017), 85.
26. Uriel Rappaport, “Maccabees, First Book of,” in The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism, ed. John J. Collins and Daniel C. Harlow (Grand Rapids, MI, and Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans, 2010), 904.
27. Daniel R. Schwartz, “Maccabees, Second Book of,” in The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism, ed. John J. Collins and Daniel C. Harlow (Grand Rapids, MI, and Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans, 2010), 907.
28. Gerald Finkielsztejn, “More Evidence on John Hyrcanus I’s Conquests: Lead Weights and Rhodian Amphora Stamps,” Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society 16 (1998): 33–63; and Magen, “The Dating of the First Phase of the Samaritan Temple,” 193n43.
29. George Ernest Wright, “The Samaritans at Shechem,” Harvard Theological Review 55 (1962): 357–366; George Ernest Wright, Shechem: The Biography of a Biblical City (London: Gerald Duckworth, 1965); Edward Fay Campbell, Shechem III: The Stratigraphy and Architecture of Shechem/Tell Balâṭah, vol. 1, Text, ASOR Archaeological Reports 6 (Boston, MA: American Schools of Oriental Research, 2002); and Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme, “Was the Temple on Mount Gerizim Modelled After the Jerusalem Temple?,” Religions 11, no. 2 (2020): 73.
30. Bourgel, “The Samarians During the Hasmonean Period,” 11–12.
31. Pummer, The Samaritans in Flavius Josephus; and Pummer, “Samaritan Ethnicity in Josephus.”
32. Pummer, The Samaritans in Flavius Josephus, 223–230.
33. Menachem Mor, “The Samaritans and the Bar-Kokhbah Revolt,” in The Samaritans, ed. Alan D. Crown (Tübingen, Germany: J. C. B. Mohr, 1989), 19–31; Menachem Mor, The Second Jewish Revolt: The Bar Kokhba War, 132–136 ce, Brill Reference Library of Judaism 50 (Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2016), 363–384; and Reinhard Pummer, The Samaritans: A Profile (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2016), 130–131.
34. Reinhard Pummer, “Baba Rabba,” in Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity, ed. Oliver Nicholson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 191; Paul Stenhouse, Kitāb, 173–206; and Paul Stenhouse, “Baba Rabba: Historical or Legendary Figure? Some Observations,” in New Samaritan Studies of the Société d’Études Samaritaines III & IV, ed. Alan D. Crown and Lucy Davey (Sydney: Mandelbaum Publishing, 1996), 327–332.
35. Reinhard Pummer, “Samaritan Synagogues and Jewish Synagogues: Similarities and Differences,” in Jews, Christians, and Polytheists in the Ancient Synagogue: Cultural Interaction During the Greco-Roman Period, ed. Steven Fine, Baltimore Studies in the History of Judaism (London and New York: Routledge, 1999), 118–160; and Magen, The Samaritans and the Good Samaritan, 117–180.
36. Stanley Jerome Isser, The Dositheans: A Samaritan Sect in Late Antiquity, Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity 17 (Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1976); Stanley Jerome Isser, “The Samaritans and Their Sects,” in Cambridge History of Judaism: The Early Roman Period, ed. William Horbury, William David Davies, and John Sturdy (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 569–595; and Pummer, The Samaritans: A Profile, 119–127.
37. Pummer, The Samaritans: A Profile, 135–141.
38. Amnon Linder, ed., The Jews in Roman Imperial Legislation (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1987).
39. Nathan Schur, History of the Samaritans, 2nd rev. ed., Beiträge zur Erforschung des Alten Testamentes und des antiken Judentums 18 (Frankfurt am Main, Bern, New York, and Paris: Peter Lang, 1992), 151–154.