July 3rd, 2003

 

In This Issue

 

  • Wedding on the Mount

  • Joseph's Tomb

  • Reply Concerning Sketches

  • From The Editor

  • North American Review

  • The Samaritans

  • The Asatir


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Mount Gerizim, All the Days of Our Lives


Wedding on the Mount

Nahed and Aalla, of Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim was married on  June 24th, 2003.
Their Katuba (marriage agreement) was read by the Priest Aaron Cohen in front of friends and family. Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Reply Concerning Sketches

Recently an inquiry was made to the descendants of the Rogers family concerning the sketches that were made by Mary E. Rogers. She sketched many of the Samaritans. Ms. Rogers was the author of Domestic Life in Palestine (which will soon be located at our website the-samaritans.com). This was their reply:

"In reply to your enquiry about sketches done by Mary Eliza Rogers, as far as I know the only possible place some of her drawings were published would be in a British magazine called THE ART JOURNAL which was published weekly, I believe during the later half of the 19th century.  If you look at the 1874 on pages 49 to 52, there is an article entitled "Art-Work in Syria and Palestine - Jewelers and Goldsmiths Work" written by her and I believe the sketches of jewelry were done by her.  There are other articles written by Mary Eliza Rogers that same year in the same magazine, with the following titles: Art-Work in Syria and Palestine - Pottery (pages 113 to 116 and pages 245 to 247 and pages 277 to 280) Art-Work in Syria and Palestine - Mural Decoration (pages 329 to 331 and pages 369 to 371) THE ART JOURNAL of 1880 has the following articles: "Causes of Certain Differences in the Styles of Domestic Architecture in Syria and Palestine" (pages 49 to  52 and pages 113 to 116)  I hope you can find these articles.  Any good reference library usually has them. Mrs. J. Stephenson


From The Editor

I was recently browsing through A Companion to Samaritan Studies edited by Alan D. Crown, Reinhard Pummer, Abraham Tal, J.C.B. Mohr, Tubingen, 1993. I was reading the Bio on Robertson, Edward (1880-1964) written by C.S.C., (Choon Shik Chang, correction made 7.27.03) I take this to mean Alan Crown.  The think that sparked my interest was the last line. It reveals that Professor Robertson was in his late years had collected and began to form a book on the correspondences between Moses Gaster and his friends, the Samaritans. This would have made a wonderful book had Robertson been able to finish his work. It will be interesting to see if anyone takes up where Robertson left off. If someone should decide to finish the work, I would be interested in a copy. (The photo above is said to be the Joseph site, what that means is unclear but the structure lays in the valley near Gerizim. I like to add rear photos of the area when I can, enjoy)


North American Review, vol. XIII, Boston, 1826,

Samaritan and Hebrew Pentateuch.

p. 275b In the mean time, between the years 1620 and 1630, archbishop Usher, so distinguished for his zeal in the cause of sacred literature, and for the knowledge of it which he himself acquired, had succeeded by persevering efforts in obtaining six additional copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch from the East, some of which were complete, and others incomplete. Five of these are still in England, deposited in different libraries; and one, which the archbishop presented to Ludovicus de Dieu, appears to have been lost.

p.276b-277 The Christian world before Morin published his famous Exercitiones Ecclesiasticae in utrumque Samaritanorum Pentateuchum, (1631), had been accustomed to resort only to the Jewish Hebrew Scripture, as exhibiting the well authenticated and established text of the Mosaic law. From this remark may be excepted the few, who attached a high value to the Septuagint version, and preferred many of its readings to those, which are found in the Jewish Scriptures. But the publication of Morin soon excited a controversy, which, even at the present hour, has not wholly subsided. As the Samaritan copy of the law, in a multitude of places, agreed with the version of the Seventy, Morin maintained that the authority of the Samaritan, particularly when supported by the Septuagint, was paramount to that of the Jewish text. he labored, moreover, to show, that in a multitude of passages, which in that text as it now stands are obscure and difficult, or unharmonious, the Samaritan offers the better reading ; that the Jews have corrupted their Scriptures by negligence, or ignorance, or superstition; and that the safe and only way of purifying them is, to correct them from the Samaritan in connexion with the Septuagint.

The signal was now given for the great contest, which ensued. Cappell, in his Critica Sacra, followed in the steps of Morin; but De Muis, Hottinger, Stephen Morin, Buxtorf, Fuller, Leusden, A. Pfeiffer, each in separate works published within the seventeenth century, attached the positions of Morin and Cappell. Their principal aim was to overthrow his positions, rather than to examine the subject before them in a critical and thorough manner.

Much less like disputants, and more like impartial critics, did Father Simon, Walton in his Prolegomena, and Le Clerc conducted themselves, relative to the question about the value and authority of the Samaritan Pentateuch. In particular, Simon has thrown suggestions, which imply for substance the same opinions on many controverted points, that the latest and best critics, after all the discussion which has taken place, have adopted.

(The full article from page 274 to 317 will soon be available at our main web site: the-samaritans.com.


THE SAMARITANS

The Earliest Jewish Sect, Their History, Theology and Literature

By James Alan Montgomery

1907 The John C. Winston Co., Philadelphia. Page 204-251

 Chapter XII. THE THEOLOGY OF THE SAMARITANS.

§ 2. THE SAMARITAN CREED.

   WE SAY: MY FAITH IS IN THEE, YHWH; AND IN MOSES SON OF AMRAM, THY SERVANT; AND IN THE HOLY LAW; AND IN MOUNT GERIZIM BETH-EL; AND IN THE DAY OF VENGEANCE AND RECOMPENSE.

   Such is the Samaritan confession of faith, constantly appearing in the literature. It takes its place alongside of the Christian Creed, and of Islam’s confession, “There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his prophet.” The statement is parallel to the latter religion’s six articles of faith, which consist in belief of God, in his angels, his scriptures, his prophets, the resurrection and Day of Judgment, and in God’s absolute decree. The first three points of the Samaritan creed are identical with the cardinal beliefs of Judaism, while the fourth is the cause of schism between the two communities. These first four points sometimes appear by themselves, the fifth article concerning the Latter Things being a later addition to the Samaritan theology. In the discussion of our theme we cannot do better than follow the formal scheme of this creed. 

§ 3. THE BELIEF IN GOD; ANGELS, CREATION, ETC. 

(I.) THE ONE GOD.

   The doctrine of the oneness, the uniqueness, and the spirituality of God is the supreme theme of Samaritan theology, and he is the sole object of all worship. The character of the Samaritan notion of God may be appreciated from the following passage of a hymn: (page 208)

There is nothing like him or as he is; There is neither likeness nor body. None knows who he is but he himself, None is his creator or his fellow. He fills the whole world, Yet there is no chancing upon him. He appears from every side and quarter, But no place contains him. Hidden yet withal manifest, he sees And knows everything hidden. Hidden nor appearing to sight, Nothing is before him and after him nothing.


Section from The Asatir,

the Samaritan Book of the Secrets of Moses

Together with the Pitron or Samaritan Commentary

Written and translated by Moses Gaster, 1927. page 197b and 199a

And it came to pass when Enoch, the son of Jered, heard of the deeds of the sons of Kain he was very wroth against them, and he separated himself, and Enoch walked with Go; and at that time the days of his life were [three hundred and] sixty-five years. And he walked in the fear of God, and Enoch rebuilt the altar of his forefather Adam and he begat Methushael and Methushael begat lamech, and Lemech begat Noah; and the birth of Noah was in the month of Nisan. And it came to pass on the fourth day from his birth a sign appeared in the heavens and when the creatures of the world saw it, there fell upon them the fear of God and they came to Adam to Badan in order to ask him about this sign which had been seen in the midst of the heavens. "And Adam rose in the height of his wisdom and he foretold the Flood saying that so long as Enoch was alive it would  not happen." After this Adam- on whom be peace- saw by the holy spirit the destruction of the whole world, and he was telling of the Advent of Moses- upon whom be peace. And when Noah was born, Adam was comforted through him and he knew that he would be the master of the settlement and that no one would be saved from the Flood save Noah and his three sons. And Adam told his sons about this, and this is shown from his saying in the Asatir, "for he saw signs and he told his children." And perhaps there is found in it a mystical illusion to Abraham; for the numerical value of the word "Nkms" is that of "Beabraham:" And Adam alluded in this to the fact that the peace and salvation is in Abraham. And when Noah-upon whom be peace- grew up, his father brought him to Adam that he might teach him his Writing. And when Adam saw him, he said "This one will comfort us from our deeds and from the sorrow of our hand upon the earth, which the Lord hath cursed. " For he was good from his birth; and this was shown in that the light was revealed on the day of his birth, a great light in the midst of the heavens. And this is shown from his saying- upon whom be peace- "And he was good from his birth" or that there was light in his face. And Lamech built a town and called its name Rift and that is the hill which is overshadowed [by clouds] and is on the north side of Mount Gerizim.


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