Nov/ Dec 2009

Vol.  IX - No.2

In This Issue

·      Legends

·      Publications

·      Call for Papers

·      Web Casts

·      Recent Findings

·         Misc. articles

·      Web Links

·         Books for sale


The Samaritan Update, is a Bi-Monthly Internet Newsletter


Editor: Shomron

Co-Editor: Osher    


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     The Samaritans call themselves

    Bene-Yisrael (“Children of Israel”), or Shamerim (“Observant Ones”)



    Studies and Related Conferences:

    2010 International Meeting

    Tartu, Estonia

    Meeting Begins: 7/25/2010
    Meeting Ends: 7/29/2010

    Call For Papers Opens: 10/1/2009
    Call For Papers Closes: 1/31/2010


    Keep Up with the Samaritan Basketball team on FANS of Samritan basketball team

    Community Youth Club Samaritan on


    سطورة السامرية

    האגדה השומרונית الا

    A group of young Samaritans people who is interested in their culture, heritage and the future of their small community, we establish an association which is called Samaritan myth. This association is aimed on the definition of Samaritan's culture and heritage the internal and external one. Can be found on

    and see




    Important Links


    Samaritan Museum on Mount Gerizim.

    New Samaritans-

    A DOCUMENTARY on Samaritan brides from the Ukraine



     Have you purchased your book lately?


    Notices Of The Modern Samaritans: Illustrated By Incidents In The Life Of Jacob Esh Shelaby (1855) by Jacob Esh Shelaby and Edward Thomas Rogers (Paperback - Mar 20, 2009) 


    Forth Coming Books

    The English Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch

    Update on the English Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch from Logos

    Unknown publication date


      The first-ever English translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch, prepared by Benyamin Tsedaka WILL be published by Logos.  The book shall be published near the end of this year. We shall keep you informed when we learn more.





    1927 Photo of Mount Gerizim taken by German photographer P. Homel.


    Samaritan Legends to Lecture in Jordan    محاضرة في الاردن

    تلقت جمعية الاسطوره دعوة ثانية من احد اكبر الجمعيات الاردنية لعقد ندوة حول الطائفة السامرية  بالاضافة الى الدعوة الموجهة من جمعية عيبال الاردنية ومن المقرر ان تعقد الندوتان في 19 و20 من الشهر الحالي  في العاصمة الاردنية عمان

    The Samaritans'  LEGEND Association has received a second call from one of the largest associations in Jordan to hold a symposium on the Samaritan community in addition to the invitation of the Jordanian Society Ebal is due to hold symposia on 19 and 20 of this Jan. in Amman, Jordan


    New Publications


    The Samaritans in Flavius Josephus

    A recent book by Reinhard Pummer

    The Samaritans in Flavius Josephus
    2009. XVIII, 356 pages. TSAJ 129 ISBN 978-3-16-150106-7 cloth € 109.00

    The first-century C.E. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus is our main source of information for the early history of the Samaritans, a community closely related to Judaism whose development as an independent religion is commonly dated in the Hellenistic-Roman period. Josephus’ two main works, Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities, contain a number of passages that purport to describe the origin, character and actions of the Samaritans. In composing his histories, Josephus drew on different sources, some identifiable others unknown to us. Contemporary Josephus research has shown that he did so not as a mere compiler but as a creative writer who selected and quoted his sources carefully and deliberately and employed them to express his personal views. Rather than trying to isolate and identify Josephus’ authorities and to determine the meaning these texts had in their original setting, Reinhard Pummer examines what Josephus himself intended to convey to his audience when he depicted the Samaritans in the way he did. He attempts to combine composition criticism and historical research and argues that the differences in Josephus' portrayal of the Samaritans in War on the one hand and in Antiquities on the other are due to the different aims the historian pursued in the two works.


    The Origin of the Samaritans by Magnar Kartveit

    Many Bible readers will think that chapter 17 of the second book of Kings refers to the origin of the Samaritans. This understanding of the chapter has its earliest attestation in the works of Josephus. The present book evaluates the methods often used for finding the origin of the Samaritans, makes an assessment of well known and new material, and ventures into some uncharted territory. It is suggested that the moment of birth of the Samaritans was the construction of the temple on Mount Gerizim. This happened in the first part of the fourth century b.c.e. in accordance with the original commandment of Moses in Deut 27:4.

    Brill Academic Publishers



    Samaritan Studies (EABS) Call For Papers

    2010 International Meeting-Tartu, Estonia

    Program Unit Type: Section
    Accepting Papers? Yes

    Call For Papers: Anybody interested, please write to, with an abstract of about 50-100 words.

    Program Unit Chairs - Ingrid Hjelm  (

    Meeting Begins: 7/25/2010
    Meeting Ends: 7/29/2010

    Call For Papers Opens: 10/1/2009
    Call For Papers Closes: 1/31/2010
    Requirements to Submit a Paper Proposal 

    2010 Annual Meeting- Atlanta, GA, USA
    Meeting Begins: 11/20/2010
    Meeting Ends: 11/23/2010

    Call For Papers Opens: 12/15/2009
    Call For Papers Closes: 3/1/2010
    Requirements to Submit a Paper Proposal


    Web Casts

    From RabbiRockShows's Channel with Binyamin Tsedaka

    الحان سامريه خالده





    From the Editor

    Recently we have had requests for articles and translations in Spanish. To my knowledge there is a very limited information on the Samaritans in Spanish. Some of the requests were for the Samaritan Torah translation as well as the book of Joshua. I have a translation program for Spanish but my I am unable to proofread the Spanish Translation. If anyone is interested please contact me at


    Recent Findings

    Most ancient Hebrew biblical inscription deciphered

    'It indicates that the kingdom of Israel already existed in the 10th century BCE, and that at least some of the biblical texts were written hundreds of years before the dates presented in current research.',35176.aspx


    Noah's Ark was Not Circular from the Editor

    According to an article found below, Noah's Ark was not circular as it reads from Toorah, "And this is how you will make it (the Ark) the length shall be three hundred cubits and the breadth fifty cubits and the height thirty cubits. Nothing circular about Noah's Ark. So b


    Relic reveals Noah's ark was circular

    That they processed aboard the enormous floating wildlife collection two-by-two is well known. Less familiar, however, is the possibility that the animals Noah shepherded on to his ark then went round and round inside.

    According to newly translated instructions inscribed in ancient Babylonian on a clay tablet telling the story of the ark, the vessel that saved one virtuous man, his family and the animals from god's watery wrath was not the pointy-prowed craft of popular imagination but rather a giant circular reed raft. 


    Misc. Articles

    Studies from Court and Cloister: being essays, historical and literary dealing mainly with subjects relating to the XVIth and XVIIth centuries / Stone, J. M. (Jean Mary), 1853-1908

    Thus, in 1627, Sir James Ware sent a manuscript register of St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin; and the year after Archbishop Ussher presented a Samaritan Pentateuch (Claudius, B 8). Already in 1625 he had mentioned this book in a letter to Cotton:
    "Touching the Samaritan Pentateuch, the copye which I have is (as I guess) about three hundred years old, but the work itself commeth very short of the tyme of Esdras and Malachy. I have compared the testymonyes cited out of it by the ancient Fathers, Eusebius, Jerome, Cyrill, and others, and find them precisely to agree with my booke, which makes me highly to esteeme of it."

    In 1628 he writes apologetically for his long silence and his delay in returning books lent to him by Cotton:
    "A farre longer time than good manners would well permitt, for which fault yett I hope to make some kinde of expiation by sending you shortlye, together with your own my ancient copye of the Samaritan Pentateuch, which I have long since destinated unto that librarye of
    yours, to which I have been beholden for so many good things no where else to be found. I shall [God willing] ere long finish my collation of it with the Hebrew text, and then hang it up ut votivam Tabulam at that Sacrarium of yours."

    "I thank you very hartilye for the care which you have taken in causing my Samaritan Bible to be so faire bound. " Read more at:

    THE LANDS OF THE SARACEN or, Pictures of Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain. by Bayard Taylor. Twentieth Edition. 1863

    Nablous is noted for the existence of a small remnant of the ancient Samaritans. The stock has gradually dwindled away, and amounts to only forty families, containing little more than a hundred and fifty individuals. They live in a particular quarter of the city, and are easily distinguished from the other inhabitants by the cast of their features. After our guide, a native of Nablous, had pointed out three or four, I had no difficulty in recognising all the others we met. They have long, but not prominent noses, like the Jews; small, oblong eyes, narrow lips, and fair complexions, most of them having brown hair. They appear to be held in considerable obloquy by the Moslems. Our attendant, who was of the low class of Arabs, took the boys we met very unceremoniously by the head, calling out: "Here is another Samaritan!" He then conducted us to their synagogue, to see the celebrated Pentateuch, which is there preserved. We were taken to a small, open court, shaded by an apricot-tree, where the priest, an old man in a green robe and white turban, was seated in meditation. He had a long grey beard, and black eyes, that lighted up with a sudden expression of eager greed when we promised him backsheesh for a sight of the sacred book. He arose and took us into a sort of chapel, followed by a number of Samaritan boys. Kneeling down at a niche in the wall, he produced from behind a wooden case a piece of ragged parchment, written with Hebrew characters. But the guide was familiar with this deception, and rated him so soundly that, after a little hesitation, he laid the fragment away, and produced a large tin cylinder, covered with a piece of green satin embroidered in gold. The boys stooped down and reverently kissed the blazoned cover, before it was removed. The cylinder, sliding open by two rows of hinges, opened at the same time the parchment scroll, which was rolled at both ends. It was, indeed, a very ancient manuscript, and in remarkable preservation. The
    rents have been carefully repaired and the scroll neatly stitched upon another piece of parchment, covered on the outside with violet satin. The priest informed me that it was written by the son of Aaron; but this does not coincide with the fact that the Samaritan Pentateuch is different from that of the Jews. It is, however, no doubt one of the oldest parchment records in the world, and the Samaritans look upon it with unbounded faith and reverence. The Pentateuch, according to their version, contains their only form of religion. They reject everything else which the Old Testament contains. Three or four days ago was their grand feast of sacrifice, when they made a burnt offering of a lamb, on the top of Mount Gerizim. Within a short time, it is said they have shown some curiosity to become acquainted with the New Testament, and the High Priest sent to Jerusalem to procure Arabic copies.

    I asked one of the wild-eyed boys whether he could read the sacred book. "Oh, yes," said the priest, "all these boys can read it;" and the one I addressed immediately pulled a volume from his breast, and commenced reading in fluent Hebrew. It appeared to be a part of their church service, for both the priest and _boab_, or door-keeper, kept up a running series of responses, and occasionally the whole crowd shouted out some deep-mouthed word in chorus. The old man leaned forward with an expression as fixed and intense as if the text had become incarnate in him, following with his lips the sound of the boy's voice. It was a strange picture of religious enthusiasm, and was of itself sufficient to convince me of the legitimacy of the Samaritan's descent. When I rose to leave I gave him the promised fee, and a smaller one to the boy who read the service. This was the signal for a general attack from the door-keeper and all the boys who were present. They surrounded me with eyes sparkling with the desire of gain, kissed the border of my jacket, stroked my beard coaxingly with their hands, which they then kissed, and, crowding up with a boisterous show of affection, were about to fall on my neck in a heap, after the old Hebrew fashion. The priest, clamorous for more, followed with glowing face, and the whole group had a riotous and bacchanalian character, which I should never have imagined could spring from such a passion as avarice.



    Web Links


    The Samaritan Version of the Tenth Commandment 

    Author: Gershon Hepner

    DOI: 10.1080/09018320600757101

    Publication Frequency: 2 issues per year

    Published in:  Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament, Volume 20, Issue 1 May 2006 , pages 147 - 152

    Formats available: PDF (English) 

    Good Genes: How Science Helped the Samaritans Find Their Roots


    The Origin and History of the Samaritans by Wayne Brindle PDF


    The Manuscripts of  Thomas Erpenius by J.C.T. Oakes PDF


    Books For Sale

    The Samaritan Pentateuch and Modern Criticism: -1911 by J. Iverach Munro (Paperback - Jul 8, 2009) Buy new: $16.98 In Stock

     Samaritan Pentateuch Manuscripts by W. (William) Watson

    ISBN 10: 1593338929 / 1-59333-892-9 ISBN 13: 9781593338923
    Publisher: Gorgias Press Publication Date: 2008-02-01 Binding: Paperback

    The Samaritan Pentateuch (Texts and Studies in the Hebrew Language and Related Subjects, Volume VIII)

    Bookseller: Global Village Books (Kailua, HI, U.S.A.) Book Description: Tel Aviv University, The Chaim Rosenberg School of Jewish Studies, 1994. Soft cover. Book Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. Tel Aviv University, The Chaim Rosenberg School of Jewish Studies, 1994. Softcover. Book Condition: Fine, Ex-Library. 1st Edition. Approximately 9.75x7.25x0.5 inches. Minimal rubbing to cover, few creases at front bottom. Usual library stamps, labels, and pocket. Rare, extremely difficult to find. 211 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 000073

    Adler Israel (editor). YUVAL STUDIES OF THE JEWISH MUSIC RESEARCH CENTRE. Magnes, 1968. 252+40+48 pp. bookplate. Hardcover & Dust Jacket. Includes "The Reading of marka's Poems by the Samaritans on the Sabbath," Shlomo Hoffman. $36.00.


    Gaster, M. HEBREW ILLUMINATED BIBLES OF THE IXTH AND XTH CENTURIES AND A SAMARITAN SCROLL OF THE LAW OF THE XITH CENTURY. Harrison and Sons, 1901. 51 pp, large tome, covers a bit worn, crown and base bumped. Cloth. Good. reprinted from the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology June 1900, eight plates of facsimiles from the Genizah l. $200.00.

     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . Copyright 2009-10

    Credit is given to the author of the internet link and is only displaced here for educational reasons.