August 28, 2005

Introduction to

James A Montgomery’s

Samaritans

the earliest Jewish sect

their history, theology, and literature

By
David Steinberg

http://www.houseofdavid.ca/

 

Introduction to Montgomery’s Samaritans

Contact Between Jews and Samaritans

Samaritan Studies

§         What We Cannot Learn

§         What We Can Learn

§         Problems in Samaritan Studies

 

Select Bibliography and Links

 

Introduction to Montgomery’s Samaritans

James Montgomery, a Christian clergyman, based this book on his Bohlen Lectures of 1906. The book itself was published in 1907.  As the author states in his preface

The following work has grown out of the author's desire to gain an answer for the question: Who are the Samaritans?

… In large part this work is a digest of the labors of many scholars for over three centuries…. The difficult problem of the origin of the Samaritan sect has been here discussed in the light of modern criticism as a preliminary to the subsequent history.

Their own Chronicles have been carefully explored for historical data…. The Jewish, Christian, and Muslim references have been collated, and a digested treatment of the Talmudic references is offered. The Samaritan theology has been treated formally and at some length….

Judging by Montgomery’s text, he would feel quite at home with the current scholarly consensus that the key points in the separation of Samaritans an Jews were the building of the Samaritan temple on Mt. Girizim, in the late fourth century B.C.E. and its destruction, by the Jewish king John Hyrcanus (128 BCE). (see).  In the words of Anderson and Giles pp.

Very likely, the designation "Samaritan" has had a long history of referents and only gradually became identified with a religious sect based in Samaria.[1] In light of this evolving identification, the history of the early Samaritan community will be divided into two sections: (1) the protohistory of the Samaritans, which will include their origins … and the journey toward the development of the Samaritan sect … and (2) the early history of the Samaritan sect…. The movement from protohistory to history, that is, the formation of the Samaritan sect, will be identified when three criteria are met: (1) a self-awareness as a religious sect, (2) the use of the Samaritan Pentateuch as the holy text,[2] and (3) the preference for Mount Gerizim as the proper place of worship.[3] These three criteria will define "Samaritan" as a member of a religious sect and not primarily as a resident of a geographic region or participant in a political ideology.

Using these three proofs to mark the beginning of the religious sect, it is reasonable to identify the Hasmonean period (168-123 B.C.E.) as the stage at which the Samaritan sect clearly emerges on the historical horizon….  It can be demonstrated that the Samaritan sect existed as a self-conscious religious group utilizing the Samaritan Pentateuch and preferring Mount Gerizim as the place for worship in the mid-second century B.C.E. Accordingly, prior to the Maccabean revolt, we can identify and describe the origins and early history of a group of Samaritans, which we will call Proto-Samaritans, and after John Hyrcanus, we can more categorically identify the Samaritan religious sect.

Montgomery’s book was a fine example of quality synthesis that stood the test of time for many decades though it has now been definitively superseded at many points by the books listed in the Bibliography below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Select Bibliography and Links[4]

 

The Samaritan Community’s own web site  - http://the-samaritans.com/ and The Samaritan Update

 Search in the following (usually available in university libraries) for “Samaritan”

Index To Theses (http://www.theses.com/ ) - A comprehensive listing of theses with abstracts accepted for higher degrees by universities in Great Britain and Ireland since 1716. There are just under half a million theses in this collection.

ProQuest Digital Dissertations – key online searchable source.

 

Bibliographies

Crown Alan. D., A Bibliography of the Samaritans, Scarecrow Press; 2nd Edition edition (1993), ISBN: 0810826461

- A Bibliography of the Samaritans, supplement to the Second Edition, Sydney, 1996.  19 p.  Paperback

Crown Alan. D. and Reinhard Pummer, A Bibliography of the Samaritans: Revised, Expanded And Annotated (Atla Bibliography Series), Scarecrow Press; 3rd edition (2005), ISBN: 081085659X

Purvis Collection’s Samaritan Bibliography

 

Summary and Encyclopedic Works 

Crown Alan. D. (ed.), The Samaritans, Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1989.

Crown Alan. D., Reinhard Pummer, and Abraham Tal., (eds.), A Companion to Samaritan Studies, Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1993. 244 p

Pummer, Reinhard, “The Present State of Samaritan Studies: I”, Journal of Semitic Studies 21 (1976): 39-61.

- “The Present State of Samaritan Studies: II”, Journal of Semitic Studies 22 (1977): 27-47.

- The Samaritans (Iconography of Religions Xxii/5), Brill Academic Publishers (1987), ISBN: 9004078916  

Encyclopedia Judaica, “Samaritans article in volume 14 columns 725-758, Keter 1972

Wikipedia article “Samaritan”

Samaritan -- Facts, Info, and Encyclopedia article – this has some interesting links

 

History, Religion and Culture 

Anderson, Robert T. and Terry Giles, The Keepers: An Introduction to the History and Culture of the Samaritans, Hendrickson Publishers (2002), ISBN: 1565635191 - see review

- Tradition Kept: The Literature Of The Samaritans[5], Hendrickson Publishers (2005), ISBN: 156563747X

Boid, I. R. M., Principles of Samaritan Halachah (Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity, Vol 38), Brill Academic Publishers (1997) ISBN: 9004074791  

Crown Alan. D. (ed.), The Samaritans: Their Religion, Literature, Society and Culture, Coronet Books Inc (1988), ISBN: 3161452372

Feldman, Louis H., "Josephus' Attitude toward the Samaritans: A Study in Ambivalence" in   Volume 3: Jewish Sects, Religious Movements,and Political Parties in Proceedings of the Third Annual Symposium of the Philip M. & Ethel Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization  October 14-15, 1990. © 1992. ISBN 1-881871-04-5

Hjelm Ingrid, Samaritans and Early Judaism: A Literary Analysis (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 303)  (2000)

- “What do Samaritans and Jews have in Common? Recent Trends in Samaritan Studies, Currents in Biblical Research 2004 3: 9-59

Ireton, Sean, The Samaritans - A Jewish Sect in Israel: Strategies for Survival of an Ethno-religious Minority in the Twenty First Century

Purvis, James D., The Samaritan Pentateuch and Origin of the Samaritan Sect, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1968.

Schur, Nathan, History of the Samaritans (Beitrage Zur Erforschung Des Alten Testaments Und Des Antiken Judentums, Bd 18), Peter Lang Pub Inc; 2nd Rev/En edition (1992), ISBN: 3631436424

- The Karaite Encyclopedia (Beitrage Zur Erforschung Des Alten Testaments Und Des Antiken Judentums, 38), Peter Lang Pub Inc (1995) ISBN: 3631477422

Steinberg, David, The Origin and Nature of the Samaritans and their Relationship to Second Temple Jewish Sects

- Israelite Religion to Judaism: the Evolution of the Religion of Israel

- Jewish Sects of the Second Temple Period

- Flavius Josephus, Judaea and Rome: A Question of Context

- The Greek Influence on Judaism from the Hellenistic Period Through the Middle Ages c. 300 BCE- 1200 CE

- Jewish History Tables

Whaley, Ernest Boyd, "Josephus' Antiquities 11.297-347: Unraveling the Evidence Regarding the Founding of the Gerizim Temple and the Background of the Samaritan Religious Community" in   Volume 3: Jewish Sects, Religious Movements and Political Parties in Proceedings of the Third Annual Symposium of the Philip M. & Ethel Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization  October 14-15, 1990. © 1992. ISBN 1-881871-04-5

Whaley, Ernest Boyd, Samaria and the Samaritans in Josephus's 'Antiquities' 1-11, PhD thesis EMORY UNIVERSITY, 1989, 539 pages AAT 8924720

 

Liturgy[6] and Literature

Ben Hayyim, Ze' ev. Tibat Marqe: A Collection of Samaritan Midrashim, Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1988 (Hebrew). (See review in The Jewish Quarterly Review LXXXII, Nos. 3-4 (January-April, 1992) 515-518)

Brown, S., “Critical edition and translation of the ancient Samaritan Defter (i.e. liturgy) and a comparison of it with early Jewish liturgy”, 1954 – 1955, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Leeds, 5-62

Cowley, Arthur. E. The Samaritan Liturgy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1909.

MacDonald, J., Memar Marqah. 2 vols. Berlin: Topelmann, 1963.

 

Texts and Language

Ben-Hayyim, Z. and Abraham Tal,  A Grammar of Samaritan Hebrew: Based on the Recitation of the Law in Comparison With the Tiberian and Other Jewish Traditions, Eisenbrauns; Rev edition (2000) ISBN: 1575060477

Shehadeh, Haseeb, The Arabic Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch Vol. I: Genesis-Exodus, The Israel Academy of Science and Humanities, 1989

- The Arabic Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch Volume II: Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, The Israel Academy of Science and Humanities, 2002

Purvis, James D., The Samaritan Pentateuch and Origin of the Samaritan Sect, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1968.

Tal, Abraham, A Dictionary of Samaritan Aramaic (Handbook of Oriental Studies/Handbuch Der Orientalistik), Brill Academic Publishers (2000), ISBN: 9004116451

- “The Samaritan Targum to the Pentateuch, its Distinctive Characteristics”, Journal of Semitic Studies.1976; XXI: 26-38.

- The Samaritan Targum to the Pentateuch. 3 vols. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University, 1980-1983



[1] Richard J. Coggins, Samaritans and Jews: The Origins of Samaritanism Reconsidered (Atlanta: John Knox, 1975),

[2] Purvis pp. 13-14, for a strong statement correlating the appearance of the Samaritan sect with the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch.

[3] That worship on Gerizim alone is not sufficient to determine a separate Jewish sect is evidenced by the temples at Elephantine, Leontopolis, 'Araq-el-Emir, and Qumran. See Coggins, Samaritans and Jews, 112, and H. H. Rowley, "Sanballat and the Samaritan Temple," BJRL 38 (1955): 166-268. Yet, against this view and arguing that the temple on

Gerizim had a strongly divisive effect, see Purvis, Samaritan Pentateuch, 10-12.

[4] Most fundamental works in largest font.

[5] Contains commentaries on various Samaritan works and selections from them in English. Includes bibliographical references and indexes. Contents - Samaritan Pentateuch -- Samaritan Joshua -- Kitab al-tarikh (The annals of Abu'l Fath) -- Additional Samaritan chronicles: The new chronicle (Chronicle Adler) and Chronicle II -- Tibat Marqe (Memar Marqe) -- The Samaritan liturgy -- Miscellaneous texts.

[6] “The texts of the liturgy were collected by Cowley in his two volume work of 1909, The Samaritan Liturgy. It is an admirable work which prints the text in Hebrew letters (almost 900 pages), has a lengthy introduction (100 pages), a glossary, lists of high priests, genealogical tables, as well as indices of authors and initial lines of poems. Unfortunately it is not without shortcomings….  Since Cowley, further liturgical texts have been edited, especially by Ben--Hayyim.  In Leeds a number of theses were written which present introductions, the Samaritan text (in Hebrew letters) and/or English translations of a number of texts….  However, they are not easily accessible.”  Pummer 1987 p. 14.  The Leeds theses, referred to by Dr. Pummer are –

Baguley, E. C., “A critical study and translation of the Samaritan New Year liturgy with a comparison with the corresponding Jewish rite”, 1955 – 1956, unpublished M.A. thesis, Leeds, 6-305

- “A Critical Edition with Translation of the Hebrew Text of the Malef: and a Comparison of its Teachings with those in the Samaritan Liturgy”, 1962,  unpublished PhD. thesis, Leeds

Boys, D. J., “A Critical edition and translation of the Samaritan Festival Liturgy for Hag Shavuot, with special reference to the use of the Law”, 1956, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Leeds

Brown, S., “A Critical edition and translation of the ancient Samaritan Defter (i.e. liturgy) and a comparison of it with early Jewish liturgy”, 1954 – 1955, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Leeds, 5-62

Cowley, Arthur. E. The Samaritan Liturgy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1909.

Crown, A.D., “A critical edition and translation of the Samaritan burial services and a comparative study of the related Jewish liturgies”, 1957 – 1958, unpublished M.A. thesis, Leeds, 8-291

Gale, N.E., “A critical edition and translation of the Karaite liturgy for the Sabbath and a comparison of it with the corresponding Rabbanite and Samaritan liturgies”, 1962 – 1963, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Leeds, 13-347

Green, Leslie C., “A Critical Edition and Translation of the Liturgy for the Samaritan Feast of hag ha-Succoth, with Special Reference to the Historical Development Involved”, 1958, unpublished Ph.D., Leeds

Lerner, Isaac, “A Critical Investigation and Translation of the Special Liturgies of the Samaritans for their Passover and their Feast of Unleavened Bread”, 1956, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Leeds.

MacDonald, J., “A critical edition of the text of the Samaritan Yom-ha Kippur liturgy with translation thereof and comparison with the corresponding Jewish liturgies”. 1957 – 1958, unpublished Ph.D., Leeds, 8-293

- The Samaritan day of atonement liturgy: With selected translations (Monograph series - Leeds University Oriental Society), 1963, ASIN: B0007J1S14

Mowbray, D. D. W., “A critical edition and translation of  the Samaritan Liturgies for the Zimmut of  Pesah and Zimmut Sukkot ans Associates Semi-Festival Liturgies”, 1959, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Leeds

Trotter, R. J. F., A Critical Study of the ideological Background of 14th Century Samaritanism with Special Reference to the Works of Abisha b. Phinehas, to Abdullah b. Solomon and Ben manir, 1962, unpublished Ph.D., Leeds

Turetsky, M., “A critical investigation and translation of the Karaite liturgy for the Passover services, and a comparison of it with the corresponding Rabbanite and Samaritan liturgies” 1962 – 1963, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Leeds, 13-348

Unsdorfer, J., “A critical edition and translation of the Karaite Liturgy for Yom Ha' Kippur, and a comparison of it with the corresponding Rabbanite and Samaritan liturgies”, 1961 – 1962, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Leeds, 12-331