We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

What Franklin Graham says about his Christian brothers and sisters...



rotflmao


What Franklin Graham says about his Christian
brothers and sisters...

I usually have made it a policy not to bring up personal names and institutions at this website which I disagree with; rather, I prefer to speak more generally to the problem, or issue, at hand using generalized categories, if I can. But from time to time I will... as is the case today.
"Cynically, I can't imagine what Franklin Graham would say about Post-Evangelical Process Christians if he thinks my Evangelically Progressive Christian brothers and sisters in Christ are going to hell... oh, wait a minute... I really don't care." - re slater
Many of us who are interested in living out our Christian faith in all facets of our lives also realize that to do this will be the great temptation to always judge other people and their passions. As a Process Christian (or as a Progressive Christian for those who are still in the evangelical camp) we prefer to lead with love and forgiveness even though its one of the hardest things to do around those who do not carry this attitude.

One of the major reasons I moved away from my former conservative evangelical faith was because its center was fixated in condemnation and judgment upon everyone around itself. In order to know who we were we learned that our "Christian" identity was bound up around isolation and exclusion rather than around Jesus whom we gave lip service to but unlike Jesus we struggled with reaching out in love without personal bias or condemnation upon others. Or the world around us. Or even those in our church fellowship.

One of the other major distinctives of my former dominionist church (one which wishes to govern government by removing the imaginary barrier between church and state with its own exclusionary church laws of morality led by racism and white supremacy) is that it is centered in division, hate, and perhaps even self-loathing.

Which is why we know conservative evangelicalism today as a Trumpian form of Christianity having chosen to be led by the infamous ex-President, Donald Trump, and his gangster gang of thieves and rogues. An unhealthy popular personage which many progressive/process Christians will recognize as an antichrist than as Christ's representative on earth. A fellow sinful human being who is a very poor, and tragic idol, for any Christian of faith to follow... and yet, they do, vociferously.

At the last, the Church of Jesus must resist, challenge, re-center itself, and recommit itself to Jesus fully... and in repentance. Loving is hard. Loving others different from our church dogmas and self-beliefs can be even harder. And having been taught not to love has to be the hardest learned trait to break.

But, with Spirit-led confession and repentance it's what must be done. To live in love. Lead in love. Reach out in love. And to determine to center all theological beliefs and teachings around the God of Love. A God who does not condemn and consign to hell but who loves through-and-through-and-through despite what idolatrous church leaders teach and preach.

R.E. Slater
August 30, 2022


...how non-Christians see the Christian faith...



* * * * * *


Do Franklin Graham’s accusations
against progressive Christianity
hold up against truth?

  |  AUGUST 25, 2022


i
Franklin Graham was one of six ministers selected to pray at Donald Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo/Matt Johnson/Creative Commons)

Back on May 1, 2022, Franklin Graham, CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, posted an article in Decision Magazine titled, “The Eternal Peril of Progressive Christianity.” In this article, Graham expressed many poignant statements about the progressive Christian movement and numerous unsubstantiated allegations, including that it is “no gospel at all.”

This soon was followed by a social media blitz that blasted: “Progressive Christianity is dangerous for your soul.” Subscribers to the post received an email with a free (donation requested) PDF document titled, “Progressive Christianity Can Lead You to Hell.”

The PDF includes Graham’s aforementioned article along with Alisa Childers’ recommendations to counter progressive Christianity, Al Mohler’s remarks about theological liberalism, Michael Brown’s call to spiritual warfare, and Erwin Lutzer’s caution about “making the door wider” to be inclusive.

It is apparent that these authors are creating a straw man to demonize. If you build it, you can certainly tear it down.

This is a common tactic among fundamentalists, who seem to be discontent with merely preaching the gospel and need to have someone to theologically villainize and verbally assault. Graham, and others like him, expend their resources to malign other Christians whom they believe follow “a godless liberal media” and are “bent on casting doubt and undermining the foundational principles of God’s word.”

“This is a common tactic among fundamentalists, who seem to be discontent with merely preaching the gospel and need to have someone to theologically villainize and verbally assault.”

So, let us examine the actual views espoused by progressive Christians and see if they align with the allegations expressed by Graham and his cohorts. While there is a large spectrum of views held among adherents of progressive Christianity (as in most religious communities), the following are the eight points of progressive Christianity and the comparable statements from Graham’s article. Since progressive Christianity is not a denominational entity, the following statements are not creedal. Thus, proponents of the movement may agree with or vary from the perspectives provided here from progressivechristianity.org:

“By calling ourselves progressive Christians, we mean that we are Christians who:

“Believe that following the path and teaching of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life.” 

Graham cites Paul’s description of the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, which identifies the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as central to the gospel of Christ. Moreover, he applies “the exact same warning” of Galatians 1:6-9 to the advocates of progressive Christianity. He infers that just as Paul called down a curse on those who preach a “different gospel,” so must modern-day preachers (like himself) condemn the false teaching of progressive Christianity.

Even though Paul’s strong rebuke to Christians in Galatia is over an unknown issue, Graham’s hermeneutic emboldens him to weaponize the passage against people who (as stated above) seek to follow the path and teaching of Jesus.

“Graham’s hermeneutic emboldens him to weaponize the passage against people who seek to follow the path and teaching of Jesus.”

Jesus called his followers to a sacrificial life of self-denial and cross-bearing. This true way of living is found in the Jesus whom progressive Christians affirm and seek to follow. The centrality of the atoning death and resurrection life of Jesus is exemplified, not ignored, by progressive Christians, who seek to live in the others-first way modeled and commanded by the Lord.

“Affirm that the teaching of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey.” 

Graham cites Paul, who certainly gave additional, interpretive explanation on the teachings of Jesus. Paul even suggests that God’s “invisible qualities, eternal power and divine nature” leave us without excuse to relate to and experience God (Romans 1:20). It is not, as Graham claims, “undermining the foundational principles of God’s word” to affirm that the Spirit of the creative God continues to move, direct and use everyday experiences to guide us to the wisdom of God on our spiritual journey.

“Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to: conventional Christians and questioning skeptics, believers and agnostics, women and men, those of all sexual orientations and gender identities, (and) those of all classes and abilities.”  

Graham, and others like him, accuse “proponents of progressive Christianity (of) twist(ing) and distort(ing) the truth of God’s word on sexuality, focusing on such nonsensical trends as gender identity.” He continues, “They deny God’s distinction of the sexes, and instead invent their own misguided standards, unguided by the word of God.”

While many in the progressive Christian movement may differ in their interpretation of God’s word on passages of the Bible, including but not limited to passages that may refer to sexuality, it is commonly done so with an intentional exegesis of the biblical text and not to distort the Bible with nonsense. Progressive Christianity attempts to understand the historical background and culture, the genre and literature, and the deeper complexities of the Bible, which leads to a greater appreciation, a more contemplative understanding, and a stronger application to the Christian life.

“Know that the way we behave toward one another is the fullest expression of what we believe.” 

Graham says progressive Christianity is not “forward thinking” but regresses into “unbiblical thinking and living.” Yet there is nothing more rooted in the teachings of Jesus than to live out a devotion for God through loving others.

Progressive Christianity is not an attempt to develop a new way of living the Christian life; rather, it is an effort to live out the Christological worldview, steeped in the Jewish teachings in Scripture to care for others, especially those in need (such as the widow, fatherless, poor and foreigner).

“Progressive Christianity emphasizes the importance of putting into practice what we preach and living by the biblical code of ethics Jesus modeled for us.”

The “new” commandment given by Jesus is to love one another as demonstrated by Christ’s love for us. Progressive Christianity emphasizes the importance of putting into practice what we preach and living by the biblical code of ethics Jesus modeled for us.

“Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questing than in absolutes.” 

Nine times in his writing, Paul speaks of the truth of God as a “mystery.” To oversimplify the Bible to black-and-white, clear-and-clean truth is to minimize the majesty of God to the finite nature of our limited comprehension.

Graham makes outlandish and unsubstantiated claims that progressive Christianity denies the deity of Christ or the fullness of the Trinity, which “can send a person to hell.”  Progressive Christianity, as a whole, does not deny any such theological doctrine; rather, it embraces the mystery, leaving room for people to doubt, question and search for truth and application.

Loving God with all our mind and seeking to have the same attitude of Christ Jesus necessitate a humble embracing of our limited state and a yearning to grow through being teachable, striving to learn and accepting the divine as greater than what we can fully fathom.

“Strive for peace and justice among all people.” 

Graham takes issue with progressive Christianity’s stance toward social and racial justice (which he admits the Bible addresses) because it “neglects the far more fundamental issue of God’s justice.” His fallacy here is an argument from silence; simply because progressive Christianity emphasizes the importance of social and racial equality does not preclude its adherents from affirming and advocating for divine justice.

For many progressive theologians, it is actually out of a deep recognition that how the marginalized are treated by Christians is a reflection of our devotion to God, the ultimate and only rightful judge of us all.

“Strive to protect and restore the integrity of the earth.” 

Graham does not specifically address environmentalism in this article, but he does incorrectly state that progressive Christianity seeks to earn salvation through good works. Progressive Christianity does not deny the atoning work of Jesus on the Cross as the means of salvation. Instead, progressive Christians seek to live out a fruitful life of faith.

James reminds us that faith without works is dead, which does not mean our good deeds save us but that they should accompany the life of the saved. Hence, progressive Christians affirm the commission in the Garden of Eden in the opening chapters of the Bible to care for creation and all created things.

Graham also states that progressive Christianity “most frequently fails to see the ruinous consequences of mankind’s depraved, sinful state.” This is simply not true. Progressive Christianity identifies human greed as the cause behind climate change, bigotry to lie behind racism, and poverty to be perpetuated by indifference.

“The depravity of humanity is of utmost concern to progressive Christians, who value the care of our world and of people enough to dismantle systems that perpetuate sin.”

The depravity of humanity is of utmost concern to progressive Christians, who value the care of our world and of people enough to dismantle systems that perpetuate sin.

“Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.” 

Graham charges, “Progressive Christianity denies the divinely inspired, authoritative truth of the Bible as it intersects every facet of living.” Yet, he gives no explanation to back this claim.

The most prominent progressive theologians and pastors affirm that the Bible is divinely inspired and authoritative. While fundamentalist and progressive theologians have widely debated the form of inspiration or the definition of infallibility of the Scriptures, it is a complete misrepresentation to state that only one side holds to a high view of the Bible. Furthermore, Graham’s claim that a more literal interpretation of the Bible is more “orthodox” denies the 19th century development of biblical literalism as a response to the previous centuries of the Enlightenment.

In sum, Graham’s concluding statement in his article is just as true for progressive Christians as it is for Graham and other conservatives: “Evangelicals need to guard the truth of genuine scriptural preaching and living, remaining true and bold about exactly what the Bible clearly teaches.” Such a statement begs the question raised by Pontius Pilate: “What is truth?”

Graham seems to have a decisively clear understanding of what he believes and thinks everyone else should hold as truth, but such presumption and self-righteousness is the very concern that leads many to a progressive approach.

Franklin Graham’s scare tactic that “progressive Christianity can lead you to hell” further illustrates the aversion many have to his approach to Christianity. Many people are leaving conservative Christianity not because they are dissatisfied with Jesus but rather because of the repulsive approach of people like Graham who are so unkind and degrading to others and who seek to align with the political establishment to gain power to propagate their version of faith.

This approach is too pharisaical and self-righteous for many, who are finding community in progressive Christianity. The outcome of such an approach will only continue to widen the chasm among followers of Jesus. Such divisions were the very concern that Jesus had in his priestly prayer, where he centered on praying for unity among his followers (John 17:20-21).

Jesus chose quite an eclectic group of disciples who had different approaches to life and faith. He brought them together amidst their differences to work for the expansion of a kingdom that is not of this world. Jesus continues to do the same today.

I hope and pray that as we leave behind the kind of divisive dichotomy espoused by Graham, we will beat our swords into plowshares, and we will unite together — for the love of God.

Patrick Wilson

Patrick Wilson has served as a pastor for 25 years in Dallas and Austin, Texas, and most recently in in Rolla, Mo., where he currently is starting a new community of faith, CrossRoads. He is a graduate of Baylor University, earned two master’s degrees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry degree from Logsdon Seminary.

 

Related articles:

Franklin Graham says he’s not a preacher of hate, so let’s roll the tape and see | Opinion by Rodney Kennedy

Why is anybody still giving money to Franklin Graham? | Opinion by Mark Wingfield


Sunday, August 28, 2022

Walking in the Footsteps of John the Baptist, Part 6

 


Walking in the Footsteps of John the Baptist, Part 6

James McGrath has recently traveled to Israel to walk in the footsteps of John the Baptist. I thought it might be of interest that we journey with James as well to discover the early days of Jesus' ministry through his cousin John. Enjoy.

R.E. Slater
August 25, 2022




In the Footsteps of John the Baptist 6:
Ein Kerem and Birthplace and Wilderness of John

by James F. McGrath
August 15, 2022

More highlights from my trip to the Holy Land. I drove to Ein Kerem, which was a village in Jesus’ time but today is a neighborhood in the modern city of Jerusalem. There is a tradition that identifies it as the birthplace of John the Baptist. Based on a second century source (which I will say more about in a guest post on Bart Ehrman’s blog soon) I think there is another possibility that deserves to be considered, one that the early church otherwise conveniently omitted (the first instance of this being Luke’s vague reference to a town in the hill country of Judah). I will have even more to say about this in what I write during the coming year. The trip was not just exploring places with genuine verifiable connections with John the Baptist. Had it been, it would have been a short trip indeed! The wider influence of John and traditions about him are also within the purview of the project and of interest to me.

In Ein Kerem I visited the church that is supposed to be John’s birthplace. Here are some photos of the exterior, interior, grotto, and artwork.







From there I drove to Even Sapir which appeared to be the way to reach the Monastery of St. John in the Desert. It isn’t in the desert, but it is in the wilderness in the sense of the relevant ancient terms (and of course at one point desert in English had more to do with the place being deserted). I will say more about this below in response to a recent blog post by another New Testament scholar. You’ll see from photos that the area is not arid but lush. I am glad that I did not know a more direct route than trying to get there through Even Sapir, since it gave me the unexpected opportunity to ask for directions at the Essene Farm. This is a healthy living commune that is more New Age than anything to do with the ancient Essenes. However, the suggestion has been made that John might have been an Essene at some point, perhaps even spending time at Qumran (which I also visited and will blog about in a future post). That suggestion is about the ancient Essenes, the group whose texts are known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. So I am really happy to be able to say, and to at least try to work into my book on John the Baptist for a general audience, that when I was trying to find St. John the Baptist in the Wilderness, I stopped to ask directions at the Essene Farm. Here are some photos of the monastery grounds, cave, chapel, and artwork from the interior.







I was particularly struck by the iconography in the hallway inside the part of the monastery that is open to pilgrims and tourists. There are icons of Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets. Seen visually it led me to connect something Jesus said about John with something that the Synoptic Gospels say about Jesus. Jesus said that the Law and Prophets were until John, when the Kingdom of God is proclaimed. The Gospels on the other hand depict Moses and Elijah coming to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Does this story seek to counter what Jesus himself said and have the Law and Prophets be about and until Jesus instead? Here are the photos of the icons I’m referring to. They are modern but nonetheless striking in the way I’ve indicated.



I was also struck by the dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit hanging above the altar in the monastery’s chapel, and thus from the worshipper’s perspective hanging in the air directly over Jesus who is depicted in an icon on the center back wall. There is also a depiction of John in the usual manner holding a staff with a cross at the top and a scroll with some of his words on them, the only one I have seen in which those words are in Hebrew rather than Greek or Latin.



That’s all from Ein Kerem’s Church of St. John and from the Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness. I also visited the Western Wall tunnels for the first time on this trip, where recently a first century mikveh (immersion pool) was discovered. No photos worth sharing of that, but worth mentioning! More photos and commentary will follow. In the meantime, here are some further thoughts about John the Baptist that I have had since returning, and since my last post on the subject.

I have been thinking about the statement in the Samaritan Chronicle of Abu-l Fath that Dositheans prayed while standing in water. Those familiar with the text known as the Life of Adam and Eve will notice the similarity to what Adam and Eve are said to do to express repentance and seek forgiveness after their sin. That same work mentions that a temple will be built, destroyed, and rebuilt, but adds, “At that time, men will be purified by water of their sins. Those unwilling to be purified by water will be condemned.” I wonder whether Life of Adam and Eve might be a Dosithean or a Baptist text, or conversely, might have been an influence on John and/or on his disciple Dositheus.

As you know if you have followed this series (I think), I am wondering about the resonances between Jesus asking about his identity at Caesarea Philippi, which was one of the major sources of the Jordan River if not its primary course, and the response considering John the Baptist as a possible answer. On that see also this recent post by Michael Barber.

I visited Beth Shean on this trip and mentioned John’s activity in its general vicinity, so here is Craig Keener’s recent post about that city.

James Tabor drew attention to the wonderful YouTube video about the Mandaeans’ baptismal practice by Jesse Buckley, with lots of input from his mother Jorunn Buckley who has long been the leading scholar of Mandaeism in our time.

Yung Suk Kim criticized translations which say that the shepherd who went seeking his lost sheep left the other 99 sheep in pastureland rather than the desert. I think it is important to recover the sense that the word we translate most often as wilderness did not mean desert in the specific sense of that English word but rather something more like a deserted place. The English words hermit and hermitage derive from the Greek word in question and hermitages are away from centers of population but are often in areas that are anything but arid.



John the Baptist Series by James F. McGrath

Walking in the Footsteps of John the Baptist, Part 5

    


Walking in the Footsteps of John the Baptist, Part 5

James McGrath has recently traveled to Israel to walk in the footsteps of John the Baptist. I thought it might be of interest that we journey with James as well to discover the early days of Jesus' ministry through his cousin John. Enjoy.

R.E. Slater
August 25, 2022




In the Footsteps of John the Baptist Part 5:
The Pools of Bethesda and Siloam

by James F. McGrath
August 1, 2022


Visiting two of the pools mentioned in the Gospel of John connected directly not just with my "John the Baptist project" but others. My doctoral work and first book, John’s Apologetic Christology, included significant attention to the stories in John 5 and 9. My recent What Jesus Learned from Women features a chapter on Jesus’ grandmother, Mary’s mother Hannah or Anne. As it happens, the Church of St. Anne is built on the location where excavation has revealed the pools of Bethesda. 

Lately I have been thinking about the story in John 5:1-18 and what it might have meant without the addition about an angel coming to trouble the waters so that they took on healing properties. Some scribe was puzzled and added those details to explain the connection between healing and the man’s inability to get into the pool. That scribe was probably not the only one who wondered about this. The author presumably thought what they wrote made sense. Might they have expected readers to connect immersion in a pool with flowing water and healing by way of an implied reference to baptism?

The church has a long history of connecting baptism and healing. Might this story make a point that many readers have also missed in the parallel account in the Synoptic Gospels in which Jesus heals a paralyzed man (Matthew 9:1-8 and parallels)? The meaning in John [may] be that the man wishes to seek forgiveness for sin through immersion but is unable to when the water is flowing, which is when it is acceptable for ritual purposes, whether of purification as in general practice or in the seeking of forgiveness through the immersion John promoted.

The connection of sin and disability is made in the healing stories in both John 5 and John 9, as also in the Synoptic account. In the latter, there is by definition no flowing water in the home, and thus Jesus’ pronouncement of forgiveness of sin may have marked a departure from the practice of John the Baptist. I suspect that one motive John had in developing his baptism was the inequity of access to forgiveness in the Jerusalem temple for both geographic and economic reasons. Some [worshippers] were located very far away. Some would have struggled to offer an animal as a sacrifice that another could easily afford to. Jesus took the same principle further, it seems, and allowed that even flowing water could be omitted if it was too far away and the person faced mobility issues.

Whether John accepted this exception is unclear. It could be something John himself taught all along, something that Jesus innovated which John embraced, or something Jesus did that led to a parting of the ways between Jesus and his mentor. What do you think?



I also visited the Pools of Siloam which feature in the story I have already mentioned in John 9 where Jesus heals a man who had been born blind. Walking to Siloam from the City of David is down a steep incline. [Even] today, with the [present] traffic on the road, it is challenging for me as a sighted person. That makes me wonder what is implied by Jesus sending a blind man who appears to have been near the temple to that pool; the author of the Gospel who tells the story emphasizes that the name of the pool means “sent.” Here is a photo coming back up from the pools through the Herodian drain shaft.


Let me mention a couple of other places I visited in Jerusalem. One is the Church of St. John the Baptist, which only opens on feast days and so I saw only the courtyard. Here I am coming through the tiny door that you have likely passed if you’ve visited the Old City but may never have noticed.


Here is an icon from the courtyard of the church.


Although I did not get to go inside there is a nice video by Eran Frankel about the church including a visit beneath it to what remains of an earlier church structure built on the site:


CHURCH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
Renovated Church of John the Baptist Jerusalem
See fragments of John the Baptist Skull
Feb 3, 2020


Fragments of John the Baptist's SKULL and of Saint Pagagiotes' skeleton at the renovated Greek Orthodox church of John the Baptist in Jerusalem.

Saint Panagiotes was the new martyr who was forced to convert to Islam but did not accept it thus was killed on April 5, 1820


I [also] visited a number of other places connected with John, including the so-called Tomb of Zechariah (which is every bit as unlikely to have any connection with the father of John the Baptist as the Church of St. Anne is with the home of Mary’s parents). It was nice to pass a couple of Muslims who were seeking the tomb. Zechariah is an important figure in Islam as well as in Christianity. John the Baptist likewise features [as a similarly important personage to Muslims]. There was also an inscription in the Kidron Valley that I passed while in the vicinity reminding passersby of the connection of that place with the story of Melchizedek.


More photos will follow in the near future. Meanwhile, also somewhat related to this series and to the place where this post began, here is a really great review of my book in every sense – great as in it is positive, but also great from my perspective as an author who greatly appreciates when someone reads the book with attention to detail and finds value in what I offer in it. I hope you read the review and that it encourages you to read my book!


Phil Long mentioned this series and a number of other things in the latest Biblical Studies Carnival, including my appearance on the MythVision YouTube channel talking about John the Baptist:


Who Was John The Baptist? | James F. McGrath
Streamed live on Jul 25, 2022

Will understanding John the Baptist help us understand who the historical Jesus would have been? In this livestream Dr. James F. McGrath will be discussion his discoveries.
Check out Dr. McGrath's Blog -
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/religio...
Follow him on Twitter - https://twitter.com/ReligionProf

Also, finally, if you’ll be in Indianapolis on Saturday August 6th then stop by the Indianapolis Public Library Author Fair where I’ll have a table and [will] be signing books. No need to buy one (and you can bring one you already own for me to sign if you like). Just say hello!



Friday, August 26, 2022

Walking in the Footsteps of John the Baptist, Part 4 - Samaria


Walking in the Footsteps of John the Baptist,
Part 4 - Samaria

James McGrath has recently traveled to Israel to walk in the footsteps of John the Baptist. I thought it might be of interest that we journey with James as well to discover the early days of Jesus' ministry through his cousin John. Enjoy.

R.E. Slater
August 25, 2022



In the Footsteps of John the Baptist
Part 4: Samaria

by James F. McGrath
July 25, 2022


Another first for me on my recent trip to the Holy Land was visiting Samaria. I had the absolute best guide possible. Seriously, who could possibly offer more insight to the Samaritans and their way of life than Abood Cohen, the grandson of the Samaritan high priest? If you have seen documentaries about the Samaritans, you have probably already seen him. I will include a couple at the end of this post. Here is a link to where you can hire him as a guide. If you have, or may make plans, to visit the Holy Land, take a day to visit Samaria and have Abood as your guide. While it may not feature in every private tour he leads, this one included something that I could never have imagined would be part of my experience. I had the chance to briefly be introduced to his grandfather and to receive the Aaronic priestly blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) from none other than the high priest. These Hebrew words are well known and are the oldest words from the Hebrew Bible/Jewish scriptures/Old Testament recorded anywhere, found as they were on an amulet from around the 6th century BC which today is in the Israel Museum. Seeing it there a little later in this trip was more special than on any previous visit due to having had them pronounced over me, my wife, and our niece who was with us, by none other than the high priest.

While Judaism says that the correct high priestly line remained in Judaism and the correct place of worship was in Jerusalem, these Israelites descended from the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Levi have worshiped in this place since time immemorial. Before the efforts to centralize worship in one place, “the place that the Lord your God will choose” could be more than one place and/or could shift [places which the Lord had visited such as the Samaritan's] place of worship at Shiloh, among many other smaller local shrines. One place I thought about stopping at, but didn’t, while in Jerusalem is Tel Motza, not far from Jerusalem, where there was a full-fledged temple that was active as a place of worship throughout most of the era of the Israelite monarchy. Pre-exilic Israelite religious beliefs and practices did not all simply disappear after the exile. We can see how some ideas and names persist into Mandaeism, and one of the questions I have is whether John the Baptist served as a link in the chain, and if so how that came about. (See my previous posts on the blog about this subject, the Talk Gnosis podcast I was on, and the YouTube video I recorded as a backup in case I had internet issues when giving a paper on this subject at an Enoch Seminar conference.)

Abood took us to Mt. Gerizim to visit the archaeological site there. Given the interchangeability of terms for tabernacle and temple in how Samaritan literature refers to their place of worship, it is a possibility that historically they had a tent according to the Levitical specifications rather than a temple made of stone, at least for part of their history. It is difficult to determine. Today they worship on the site without either building or tabernacle.


We also visited the Samaritan Museum which features contemporary and historical materials related to the Samaritans, including the model of Mount Gerizim and their worship there and the Torah scroll written in Samaritan script seen below. The museum also contains artifacts and texts, genealogies, paintings, and much more.



Abood also took us to his family’s tahini factory, quite possibly the only one in the world to feature a Samaritan mezuzah above the door. Har Bracha Tahini is genuinely the best I’ve ever tasted. As someone who has given up all unnecessary carbs it was a delight to taste their tahini in a tiny paper cup and realize that the flavor I used to like in halva when I ate sweet things can be enjoyed, and appreciated even more, without the sugar added. Although I haven’t placed an order yet I was glad to see that you can order Har Bracha Tahini on Amazon!


We also visited the church built over Jacob’s well in Sychar. Since that location features on the cover of my book What Jesus Learned from Women I had to give Abood a copy of my book there and get a photo of us at the well.


We also went to Sabaste where there is a site that is supposed to be the tomb of John the Baptist. Even if not the actual place he was buried, the fact that such a tradition arose, the fact that Gnosticism traces its origins to disciples of John’s from Samaria, together with things in the New Testament all raise questions about John and Samaria, and how that relates to his vision for all Israel and his conviction that God offered forgiveness of sins rather than exclusively in either the temple in Jerusalem or on Mt. Gerizim.


It was very sunny. I blinked. Sorry. But this was an amazing day, just one of many, but definitely among so many wonderful experiences on this trip still very much a highlight.

As promised, here are a couple of documentaries in which Abood appears and shares his perspective on his people and their heritage.

Samaritan | Documentary | 2018
Feb 23, 2020  2018 | 52 minutes | Documentary
Director: Julien Menanteau

Samaritans, the world’s only holders of dual Israeli-Palestinian nationality, are a unique religious minority on the verge of extinction. In the heights of Nablus, Abdallah Cohen, the high priest’s grandson, seeks to find his own way.

Dying Out: The Last Of The Samaritan Tribe
| Full Documentary | TRACKS
Aug 8, 2019

The Samaritans are one of the most ancient tribes in the world - they’ve been around for over 3,000 years. But the population is now fragile and the tribe at risk of finally dying out...

Their population consists of just four extended families, around only 800 people in total (in Roman times there used to be over a million). They have three men to every one woman. To keep the tribe going they’ve tried bringing in women from afar, including a number from the Ukraine. But is it too little, too late?

Subscribe to see more full documentaries every week: https://bit.ly/2lneXNy

TRACKS publishes unique, unexpected and untold stories from across the world every week.
From How To Save A Tribe Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TRACKSTravel...


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Samaritans

Jump to search
Samaritans
ࠔࠌࠓࠉࠌ
שומרונים
السامريون
Samaritans marking Passover on Mount Gerizim, West Bank - 20060418.jpg
Samaritans marking Passover on Mount Gerizim near Nablus
Total population
~840 (2021)[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Israel (Holon)460 (2021)Total [sic] in 2021 - 840 souls[1]
Total in 2018 – 810 souls[1]
Total number on 1.1.2017 - 796 persons, 381 souls on Mount Gerizim and 415 in the State of Israel, of the 414 males and 382 females.[1]
 State of Palestine[a] (Kiryat Luza)380 (2021)[1]
Languages
Modern spoken languages:
Israeli HebrewLevantine Arabic
Liturgical languages:
Samaritan HebrewSamaritan Aramaic
Religion
Samaritanism
Related ethnic groups
Jews; other Semitic-speaking peoples (Levantine ArabsMandaeans, etc.)

Samaritans (/səˈmærɪtənz/Samaritan Hebrewࠔࠠࠌࠝࠓࠩࠉࠌ‎,[3] romanized: Šā̊merīmtransl. Guardians/Keepers [of the Torah]; HebrewשומרוניםromanizedŠōmrōnīmArabicالسامريونromanizedas-Sāmiriyyūn) are an ethnoreligious group whose traditions affirm they descend from the ancient Israelites. They are native to the Levant and adhere to Samaritanism, an Abrahamic and ethnic religion.

Samaritan tradition states that they descend from the northern Israelite tribes who were not deported by the Neo-Assyrian Empire after the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel. They believe that Samaritanism is the true religion of the ancient Israelites, preserved by those who remained in Palestine during the Babylonian captivity;[4] this belief is held in opposition to Judaism, the ethnic religion of the Jewish people, which Samaritans see as a closely related but altered and amended religion brought back by Judeans returning from Babylonian captivity. Samaritans consider Mount Gerizim (near both Nablus and biblical Shechem), and not the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, to be the holiest place on Earth.[5][6]

Once a large community, the Samaritan population shrunk significantly in the wake of the bloody suppression of the Samaritan Revolts against the Byzantine Empire (mainly in 525 CE and 555 CE). Mass conversions to Christianity under the Byzantines, and later to Islam following the Arab conquest of the Levant, also reduced their numbers significantly.[7] In the 12th century, the Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela estimated that only around 1,900 Samaritans remained in the regions of Palestine and Syria.[8]

As of 2022, the total Samaritan population stands at less than 1,000 people. The Samaritan community is divided between Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim and the Samaritan compound in Holon.[b][10] The head of the community is the Samaritan High Priest. Samaritans in Holon primarily speak Israeli Hebrew, while those in Kiryat Luza speak Levantine Arabic; for the purposes of liturgy, the languages of Samaritan Hebrew and Samaritan Aramaic are used, written in the Samaritan script. There are also a small number of Samaritans living outside the Levant, in Brazil and in Catania (Sicily), Italy. [11]

Samaritans have a standalone religious status in Israel, and there are occasional conversions from Judaism to Samaritanism and vice-versa, largely due to interfaith marriages. While Israel's rabbinic authorities came to consider Samaritanism to be a sect of Judaism,[12] the Chief Rabbinate of Israel requires Samaritans to undergo a formal conversion to Judaism in order to be officially recognized as Halakhic JewsRabbinic literature rejected Samaritans unless they renounced Mount Gerizim as the historical Israelite holy site.[c] Samaritans possessing only Israeli citizenship in Holon are drafted into the Israel Defense Forces, while those holding dual Israeli and Palestinian citizenship in Kiryat Luza are exempted from mandatory military service.


This is an extensive article and may be completed here:


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Samaritanism

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Samaritanism
הדת השומרונית
السامرية
Mezuzah IMG 2124.JPG
Samaritan mezuzahNablus
TypeEthnic
ClassificationAbrahamic
ScriptureSamaritan Torah
TheologyMonotheistic
Samaritan High PriestAabed-El ben Asher ben Matzliach
RegionKiryat LuzaPalestine
HolonIsrael
LanguageSamaritan HebrewSamaritan Aramaic
HeadquartersMount Gerizim
Separated fromJudaismYahwism
Membersc. 840 (Increase 3.7%, 2021)[1]

Samaritanism is the Abrahamicmonotheisticethnic religion[2] of the Samaritan people, an ethnoreligious group who, alongside Jews, originate from the ancient Israelites.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Its central holy text is the Samaritan Pentateuch, which Samaritans believe is the original, unchanged version of the Torah.[9]

The Samaritan religion is internally described as the holy faith that began with Moses, unchanged over the millennia that have since passed. Samaritans believe that the Jewish Torah, and Judaism by extension, have been corrupted by time and no longer serve the duties that God mandated to the Israelites on Mount Sinai. While Jews view the Temple Mount in Jerusalem as the most sacred location in their faith, the holiest site for Samaritans is Mount Gerizim near Nablus.[10]

History

Samaritanism holds that the summit of Mount Gerizim is the true location of God's Holy Place, as opposed to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, as defended in Judaism. As such, Samaritans trace their history as a separate entity from the Jews back to soon after the Israelites' entry into the Promised Land. Samaritan historiography traces the schism itself to High Priest Eli leaving Mount Gerizim, where stood the first Israelite altar in Canaan, and building a competing altar in nearby Shiloh. The dissenting group of Israelites who had followed Eli to Shiloh would be the ones who in later years would head south to conquer Jerusalem (the Jews), whereas the Israelites who stayed on Mount Gerizim, in Samaria, would become known as the Samaritans.[11]

Abu l-Fath, who in the 14th century wrote a major work of Samaritan history, comments on Samaritan origins as follows:[11]

A terrible civil war broke out between Eli son of Yafni, of the line of Ithamar, and the sons of Pincus (Phinehas), because Eli son of Yafni resolved to usurp the High Priesthood from the descendants of Pincus. He used to offer sacrifices on an altar of stones. He was 50 years old, endowed with wealth and in charge of the treasury of the Children of Israel. ...

He offered a sacrifice on the altar, but without salt, as if he were inattentive. When the Great High Priest Ozzi learned of this, and found the sacrifice was not accepted, he thoroughly disowned him; and it is (even) said that he rebuked him.

Thereupon he and the group that sympathized with him, rose in revolt and at once he and his followers and his beasts set off for Shiloh. Thus Israel split in factions. He sent to their leaders saying to them, Anyone who would like to see wonderful things, let him come to me. Then he assembled a large group around him in Shiloh, and built a Temple for himself there; he constructed a place like the Temple [on Mount Gerizim]. He built an altar, omitting no detail—it all corresponded to the original, piece by piece.

At this time the Children of Israel split into three factions. A loyal faction on Mount Gerizim; a heretical faction that followed false gods; and the faction that followed Eli son of Yafni in Shiloh.

Further, the Samaritan Chronicle Adler, or New Chronicle, believed to have been composed in the 18th century using earlier chronicles as sources, states:

And the Children of Israel in his days divided into three groups. One did according to the abominations of the Gentiles and served other gods; another followed Eli the son of Yafni, although many of them turned away from him after he had revealed his intentions; and a third remained with the High Priest Uzzi ben Bukki, the chosen place.

Modern genetic studies (2004) suggest that Samaritans' lineages trace back to a common ancestor with Jews in the paternally-inherited Jewish high priesthood (Cohanim) temporally proximate to the period of the Assyrian conquest of the kingdom of Israel, and are probably descendants of the historical Israelite population,[12][13] albeit isolated given the people's reclusive history.

Conflicts between the Samaritans and the Jews were numerous between the end of the Assyrian diaspora and the Bar Kokhba revolt. Jesus' Parable of the Good Samaritan also gives evidence of conflict. The great Temple of the Samaritans, on top of Mount Gerizim, was destroyed under the orders of Jewish leader John Hyrcanus.[14]

Following the failed revolts, Mount Gerizim was rededicated with a new temple, which was ultimately again destroyed during the Samaritan revolts. Persecution of Samaritans was common in the following centuries.[citation needed]

Beliefs

The principal beliefs of Samaritanism are as follows:[15][16][17]

  • There is one GodYahweh, the same God recognized by the Jewish prophets. Faith is in the unity of the Creator which is absolute unity. It is the cause of the causes, and it fills the entire world. His nature can not be understood by human beings, but according to his actions and according to his revelation to his people and the kindness he showed them.
  • The Torah is the only true holy book and was given by God to Moses. The Torah was created before the creation of the world and whoever believes in it is assured a part in the World to Come. The status of the Torah in Samaritanism as the only holy book causes Samaritans to reject the Oral TorahTalmud, and all prophets and scriptures except for Joshua, whose book in the Samaritan community is significantly different from the Book of Joshua in the Jewish Bible. Essentially, the authority of all post-Torah sections of the Jewish Bible, and classical Jewish Rabbinical works (the Talmud, comprising the Mishnah and the Gemara) is rejected. Moses is considered to be the last of the line of prophets.
  • Mount Gerizim, not Jerusalem, is the one true sanctuary chosen by God. The Samaritans do not recognize the sanctity of Jerusalem and do not recognize the Temple Mount, claiming instead that Mount Gerizim was the place where the binding of Isaac took place.
  • The apocalypse, called "the day of vengeance", will be the end of days, when a figure called the Taheb (essentially the Samaritan equivalent of the Jewish Messiah) from the tribe of Joseph, will come, be a prophet like Moses for forty years and bring about the return of all the Israelites, following which the dead will be resurrected. The Taheb will then discover the tent of Moses' Tabernacle on Mount Gerizim, and will be buried next to Joseph when he dies.

Festivals and observances

The Samaritans preserve the proto-Hebraic script, conserve the institution of a High Priesthood, and the practice of slaughtering and eating lambs on Passover eve. They celebrate PesachShavuotSukkot[18] but use a different mode from that employed in Judaism in order to determine the dates annually.[19] Yom Teru'ah (the Biblical name for "Rosh Hashanah"), at the beginning of Tishrei, is not considered a New Year as it is in Rabbinic Judaism.

Passover is particularly important in the Samaritan community, climaxing with the sacrifice of up to 40 sheep. The Counting of the Omer remains largely unchanged; however, the week before Shavuot is a unique festival celebrating the continued commitment Samaritanism has maintained since the time of Moses. Shavuot is characterized by nearly day-long services of continuous prayer, especially over the stones on Gerizim traditionally attributed to Joshua.

During Sukkot, the sukkah is built inside houses, as opposed to outdoor settings that are traditional among Jews.[20] Samaritan historian Benyamim Tsedaka traces the indoor-sukkah tradition to persecution of Samaritans during the Byzantine Empire.[20] The roof of the Samaritan sukkah is decorated with citrus fruits and the branches of palmmyrtle, and willow trees, according to the Samaritan interpretation of the four species designated in the Torah for the holiday.[20]

Religious texts

"Shema Yisrael" written in Samaritan Hebrew calligraphy

Samaritan law differs from Halakha (Rabbinic Jewish law) and other Jewish movements. The Samaritans have several groups of religious texts, which correspond to Jewish Halakha. A few examples of such texts are:

Samaritan High Priest Yaakov ben Aharon and the Abisha Scroll, 1905
  • Samaritan Pentateuch: There are some 6,000 differences between the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Masoretic Jewish Pentateuch text; and, according to one estimate, 1,900 points of agreement between it and the Greek LXX version. Several passages in the New Testament would also appear to echo a Torah textual tradition not dissimilar to that conserved in the Samaritan text. There are several theories regarding the similarities. The variations, some corroborated by readings in the Old Latin, Syriac and Ethiopian translations, attest to the antiquity of the Samaritan text,[21][22][23] although the exact date of composition is still largely unclear. Granted special attention is the so-called "Abisha Scroll", a manuscript of the Pentateuch tradition attributed to Abishua, grandson of Aaron, traditionally compiled during the Bronze Age. However, testing on the scroll revealed it was created no earlier than the 14th century CE, in fact around a century younger than the world's oldest Torah scroll.
  • Historical writings
  • Hagiographical texts
    • Samaritan Halakhic Text, The Hillukh (Code of Halakha, marriage, circumcision, etc.)
    • Samaritan Halakhic Text, the Kitab at-Tabbah (Halakha and interpretation of some verses and chapters from the Torah, written by Abu Al Hassan 12th century CE)
    • Samaritan Halakhic Text, the Kitab al-Kafi (Book of Halakha, written by Yosef Al Ascar 14th century CE)
    • Al-Asatir—legendary Aramaic texts from the 11th and 12th centuries, containing:
      • Haggadic Midrash, Abu'l Hasan al-Suri
      • Haggadic Midrash, Memar Markah—3rd or 4th century theological treatises attributed to Hakkam Markha
      • Haggadic Midrash, Pinkhas on the Taheb
      • Haggadic Midrash, Molad Maseh (On the birth of Moses)
  • Defter, prayer book of psalms and hymns.[24]
  • Samaritan Haggadah[25]

See also

References

  1. ^ The Samaritan Update Retrieved 28 October 2021
    "Total [sic] in 2021 - 840 souls
    Total in 2018 – 810 souls
    Total number on 1.1.2017 - 796 persons, 381 souls on Mount Gerizim and 415 in the State of Israel, of the 414 males and 382 females."
  2. ^ Shulamit Sela, The Head of the Rabbanite, Karaite and Samaritan Jews: On the History of a Title, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 57, No. 2 (1994), pp. 255–267
  3. ^ Mor, Reiterer & Winkler 2010.
  4. ^ Coggins 1975.
  5. ^ Pummer 2002, pp. 42, 123, 156.
  6. ^ Grunbaum, M.; Geiger, Rapoport (1862). "mitgetheilten ausfsatze uber die samaritaner". Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft: ZDMG. Vol. 16. Harrassowitz. pp. 389–416.
  7. ^ David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 5:941 (New York: Doubleday, 1996, c1992).
  8. ^ See also: Saint Epiphanius (Bishop of Constantia in Cyprus) (1 January 1987). The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis: Book I (sects 1–46). BRILL. p. 30. ISBN 978-90-04-07926-7. Paul Keseling (1921). Die chronik des Eusebius in der syrischen ueberlieferung (auszug). Druck von A. Mecke. p. 184. Origen (1896). The Commentary of Origen on S. John's Gospel: The Text Rev. with a Critical Introd. & Indices. The University Press.
  9. ^ Tsedaka 2013.
  10. ^ UNESCO World Heritage Centre. "Mount Gerizim and the Samaritans"UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  11. Jump up to:a b Anderson & Giles 2002, p. 11–12.
  12. ^ Shen, P; Lavi, T; Kivisild, T; Chou, V; Sengun, D; Gefel, D; Shpirer, I; Woolf, E; Hillel, J (2004). "Reconstruction of patrilineages and matrilineages of Samaritans and other Israeli populations from Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA sequence variation" (PDF)Human Mutation24 (3): 248–60. doi:10.1002/humu.20077PMID 15300852S2CID 1571356.
  13. ^ Kiaris, Hippokratis (2012). Genes, Polymorphisms and the Making of Societies: How Genetic Behavioral Traits Influence Human Cultures. Universal Publishers (published 1 April 2012). p. 21. ISBN 978-1612330938.
  14. ^ "Samaritan | Definition, Religion, & Bible | Britannica"www.britannica.com. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  15. ^ "Religion of the Israelite Samaritans : The Root of all Abrahamic Religions".
  16. ^ "Religion of the Israelite Samaritans".
  17. ^ "Samaritan - Encyclopedia.com"www.encyclopedia.com.
  18. ^ Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme, Before the God in this Place for Good Remembrance: A Comparative Analysis of the Aramaic Votive Inscriptions from Mount Gerizim, Walter de Gruyter, 2013 ISBN 978-3-110-301878- p.52
  19. ^ Sylvia Powels, ‘The Samaritan Calendar and the Roots of Samaritan Chronology,' in A.D. Crown (ed.) The Samaritans, Mohr Siebeck, 1989 ISBN 978-3-161-45237-6 pp.691-741.
  20. Jump up to:a b c Lieber, Dov; Luzi, Iacopo. "Inside the Samaritan high priest's fruity sukkah, literally"www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  21. ^ James VanderKam, Peter Flint, The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Their Significance For Understanding the Bible, Judaism, Jesus, and Christianity, A&C Black, 2nd ed. 2005 p.95.
  22. ^ Timothy Michael Law, When God Spoke Greek: The Septuagint and the Making of the Christian Bible, Oxford University Press, USA, 2013 p.24.
  23. ^ Isac Leo Seeligmann, The Septuagint Version of Isaiah and Cognate Studies,. Mohr Siebeck 2004 pp.64ff.
  24. ^ Samaritan Documents, Relating To Their History, Religion and Life, translated and edited by John Bowman, Pittsburgh Original Texts & Translations Series Number 2, 1977.
  25. ^ זבח קרבן הפסח : הגדה של פסח, נוסח שומרוני (Samaritan Haggada & Pessah Passover / Zevaḥ ḳorban ha-Pesaḥ : Hagadah shel Pesaḥ, nusaḥ Shomroni = Samaritan Haggada & Pessah Passover), Avraham Nur Tsedaḳah, Tel Aviv, 1958

Bibliography