May/ June 2010

Vol.  IX - No.5

In This Issue

·      Museum

·      Legend

·      Latest News

·      Disagreeing

·      Conferences

·      Web Resources

·       Publications

·       Books for sale

The Samaritan Update, is a Bi-Monthly Internet Newsletter


Editor: Larry Rynearson


Contact information:

The Editor 


The Samaritan Update is trying something new. Please give us your feedback!

Choose a language to translate this page!


Your link to the Update Index

  • Subscribe To the Newsletter -The Samaritan Update.

    Sign Up !

    Name & Last Name:

    Email Address:

    For More Information

     The Samaritans call themselves

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



    Studies and Related Conferences:


    Unknown at this time




    Keep Up with the Samaritan Basketball team on FANS of Samaritan 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.

    Security Mount Gerizim

    A group of young people keen on the security of Mount Gerizim

    Both groups 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.



  •   New Samaritan Museum

    Article w/ photos of the new Museum

    Open from Sunday until Friday time 8:00 - 17:00, the New museum is about 100 meters away from the original location.,110,111.html




    A group of Samaritans have been educating people on the Samaritans throughout the land.

    U.S. consulate in Jerusalem decided to camp care, love and peace, organized by the Association legend to bear all the expenses
    Society received a letter today from the University of Jordan to study the possibility of organizing an exhibition on campus for two days!/pages/Samaritan-Museum/327873085745?v=wall



    Latest news

    National Geographic Magazine is preparing a feature story on David and Solomon in their December Issue 2010. Their photographer was at the Samaritan Passover Sacrifice obtaining photos for this article. 


    A producer from CBN News that focuses on a documentaries about archaeology in the Middle East will visit Mount Gerizim in the middle of July for interviews and to film the mount.


    The Endangered Alphabets Project is finished (and the book version is nearly ready). You can find all the details at,

    but I thought you'd like to see a photo of the finished text.
    Very best wishes,
    Tim Brookes


    Disagreeing View of a Greek Inscription

    by the Editor

       Recently I read an article, One God Supreme: A Case Study of Religious Tolerance and Survival by Michael Meerson, Princeton University. The article was written in the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism vol. 7 (2010)32-50.

       Meerson's article focuses on the Greek inscription found on a sundial in the essay of Y. Magan, 'Mount Gerizim- A Temple City.' This essay was in the 33rd (2000) issue of Qadmoniot, published by Israel Exploration Society . This is one of five Hellenistic era Greek inscriptions found on Mount Gerizim. The inscription, Greek for 'the God Most High" is the primary interest of Meerson's article relating it to similar discoveries in other areas.

       The article is worth reading but I disagree that the Samaritan Israelites would have kept this at their own discretion. I would have thought they they would have used one of the Torah names; Bethel (Gen. 12:8), House of God (Gen. 28:17), Luz (Gen. 28:19), the Chosen Place (Deut. 12:11), and the Everlasting Hill (Deut. 33:15).

       The sundial itself was believed to be first used in Egypt in the form of an obelisks (3500 BC) and used later by the Greeks, hence the Greek script. The sundial was an instrument that was adopted by the Romans to my knowledge wrote in Greek. Further the sun dial, a smaller version of the Obelisk would have been associated with a sun deity which the Samaritans would have well known, been forbidden by them to associate.

    There was another sun dial that was found on Gerizim in 1968 from the ruins of Tel Er Ras of the Roman Hysistos build by Roman Emperor Hadrian. See article below. This attests to the Roman- Greek usage.

       Even though Ahaz has been associated with a sundial (Isaiah 38:8 and II Kings 20:11) in roughly 700 BC, does and does not mean that the Samaritans did not have something similar for calculating their calendar. But had they, I can only feel that if any writing was on their instrument, it would have not been Greek.

       The Hellenistic period according to Menachem Mor (The Samaritans Edited by Alan Crown JCB Mohr 1989, pg 14), 'Can one identify different ideologies among the Samaritan population? One group would have been the Samaritan Hellenists, who preferred to adopt the Hellenistic way of life and perhaps looked forward to changing the status of Shechem...' This would have been a small and unauthorized by the larger and priestly ruling class that preferred to remain with the ancestral laws that their forefathers had instructed them.

       Anything on Mount Gerizim would have been watched over very carefully by the Priestly family until and only when they would not have been permitted to ascend to the summit when under foreign rule. This is documented when foreign rulers built their structures on the mount.

       The sundial in question in my opinion, was in fact the remains of a foreign influence that was properly broken up and discarded in which the remains were found. The would have never been any willingness of the 'Samaritans permit the Greek god to come and go,' as Meerson so concludes. For the Samaritan Israelites to permit this as Meerson suggests, would have been a great sin on them and Torah would not allow them to associate with foreign deities.


    A Tripartite Sundial from Tell er Râs on Mt. Gerizim by Robert J. Bull Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 219 (Oct., 1975), pp. 29-37   (article consists of 9 pages) Published by: The American Schools of Oriental Research


    June 30-July 2, 2010

    University of Zurich, Theological Seminar Kirshwasser 9 Room 2000
    For program, click here:

    The conference, "The Samaritans in biblical traditions", will take place from the 30th June to 2nd July 2010 in Zurich. For internet posting of the program, with many links, go to


    Web Resources

    Ancient site near Nablus 'too problematic' to open.

    Mount Gerizim is sacred to the Samaritans who regard it, rather than Jerusalem's Temple Mount, as the location chosen by God for a holy temple. By Chaim Levinson Tags: Israel news

    Behind the rusty iron fence surrounding the archaeological work on Mount Gerizim lies one of Israel's most impressive antiquities sites. But the Civil Administration is keeping the compound closed despite its huge tourism potential. It says planning at the site near Nablus in the West Bank is "too problematic."  cont.



    Grilled greatness: From the Samaritans' sacrifice to the 'shipudiyot' eateries in the marketplace - every skewer of meat has its own inimitable taste. By Ronit Vered

    "It's the fire of hell," says the Samaritan priest, pointing at the infernal flames leaping from the three large roasting ovens. The ovens, two-meter-deep pits lined with stone, have been fed chunks of olive wood since the early morning hours of Passover eve. These are the hours when the members of the sect still have enough patience to explain to folklore-hungry guests the customs of ancient forefathers, which have been preserved for thousands of years. Meanwhile, children are throwing branches with green leaves into the ovens, and happily watching frightened onlookers flee for their lives from the tongues of fire and the clouds of sparks. The square on which this special ceremony is conducted, in the heart of the Samaritan neighborhood on Mount Gerizim, is still quite empty.  cont.



    Samaritans Perform Passover Sacrifices

    by Malkah Fleisher
    On Wednesday, a small and ancient community in the Samaria region performed a Passover offering just as it has done for over two thousand years.
    Israel's small Samaritan community gathered, as it does annually, to offer sacrifices on Mount Gerizim, overlooking Shechem. Heads of Samaritan households slaughtered 35 sheep that were offered in a way very similar to that prescribed in the Torah, for sacrifices at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

    ......His research of the people and ethnic groups who lived in the Land of Israel is summarized in a book dedicated mainly to the Samaritan sect: From Samaria to Shechem: The Samaritan Sect in the Ancient Period. He also published  bibliographical collections ,with Uriel Rappaport, covering the extensive works on the Second temple period and numerous articles in the field of Ancient Jewish History.



    Visit to Samaritan Passover Sacrifice

    Yesteday (28/4/10) as part of a Departmental field trip, I had the opportunity to visit the fascinating Samaritan Passover Sacrifice on Mt. Gerizim, just next to Shechem/Nablus. Without getting into the very complicated, and controversial, history of the Samaritans, the Samaritans celebrated their traditional Passover (on a different day from the Jewish Passover) and include in it, as their central act, a very impressive sacrifice of many sheep. The whole process, besides being quite breathtaking (and at times, quite gory), is a real “time tunnel” back to methods of sacrifice and ritual of ancient times. In fact, standing there and watching the various parts of the ceremony, one can almost see a visual representation of portions of the biblical texts on sacrifice (as in, e.g., Leviticus), or other ancient near texts on sacrificial practices. It is definitely something that everyone dealing with ancient cultic practices should see. Here are some pictures from the ceremony. Please note – some are rather gory.



    Celebrating the conclusion of the tenth annual Zajel International Volunteering Camp Near the conclusion of the Zajel volunteering camp, the internationals made a visit to the Samaritan sect in Nablus. Mr. Ya'qoub Samiri, head of the Samaritan Myth Society in the city spoke about the history of the Samaritans, their traditions, customs, religious rituals, and their historical affiliation with Nablus. He also described the religious tolerance that characterizes its relationship with other religions and sects in the city. The volunteers were further involved in discussions about several topics related to the Samaritan way of life, how they deal with others, the reality of the Samaritan woman, as well as the Samaritan traditions that characterize their different social celebrations and occasions.




    Samaritans: Past and Present Current Studies

    Ed. by Mor, Menachem / Reiterer, Friedrich V.
    In collab. with Winkler, Waltraud

    2010 | Hardcover | RRP Euro [D] 79.95 / for USA, Canada, Mexico US$ 124.00. 

    ISBN 978-3-11-019497-5
    Series: Studia Samaritana 5


    Jews and Samaritans: The Origins and History of Their Early Relations by Gary Knoppers  (Oxford University Press, 2010) New Release
    Hardcover, Not Yet Printed, Expected: 8/15/2010

    Mount Gerizim ~ Frederic P. Miller (Editor), Agnes F. Vandome (Editor), John McBrewster (Editor) Paperback: 172 pages Publisher: Alphascript Publishing (February 16, 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 6130668473 ISBN-13: 978-6130668471

    Product Description

    Mount Gerizim is one of the two mountains in the immediate vicinity of the West Bank city of Nablus, and forms the southern side of the valley in which Nablus is situated, the northern side being formed by Mount Ebal. The mountain is one of the highest peaks in the West Bank, as well as being higher than most mountain peaks in Israel, and rises to 2849 feet (881 meters) above sea level, 228 feet (69.5 meters) shorter than Mount Ebal. The mountain is particularly steep on the northern side, is sparsely covered at the top with shrubbery, and lower down there is a spring with a high yield of fresh water. The mountain is sacred to the Samaritans who regard it, rather than Jerusalem's Temple Mount, as having been the location chosen by Yahweh for a holy temple. The mountain continues to be the centre of Samaritan religion to this day, and over 90% of the worldwide population of Samaritans live in very close proximity to Gerizim, mostly in Kiryat Luza, the main village. The Passover is celebrated by the Samaritans on Mount Gerizim, and it is additionally considered by them as the location of the near-sacrifice of Isaac. According to classical rabbinical sources, in order to convert to Judaism, a Samaritan must first and foremost renounce any belief in the sanctity of Mount Gerizim.


    The Origin of the Samaritans by Magnar Kartveit Publication year: 2009 Series:  Vetus Testamentum, Supplements, 128


    A Grammar of the Samaritan Language: With Extracts and Vocabulary (Classic Reprint) ~ George Frederick Nicholl (Author) Paperback: 148 pages Publisher: Forgotten Books (April 19, 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 1440071063 ISBN-13: 978-1440071065

    Three months' residence at Nablus, and an account of the modern Samaritans (Hardcover) ~ John Mills (Author) Hardcover: 350 pages Publisher: BiblioLife (April 4, 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 1117943488 ISBN-13: 978-1117943480

    Remarks On Dr. Sharp's Pieces On the Words Elohim and Berith, Among Which, in Shewing the Absolute Unfitness of the Arabic Tongue to Give Root to the Divine ... Samaritan, and Arabic Dialects; Shewin ~ Benjamin Holloway (Author) Product Description: This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. Paperback: 72 pages Publisher: Nabu Press (April 20, 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 1148939121 ISBN-13: 978-1148939124

    The Samaritans, the Earliest Jewish Sect: Their History, Theology and Literature (Hardcover)~ James Alan Montgomery (Author), The John C. Winston Co. (Creator) This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published Hardcover: 424 pages Publisher: BiblioLife (April 6, 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 1140521195 ISBN-13: 978-1140521198

    The Samaritans (Hardcover)~ J E.H Thomson (Author) Hardcover: 452 pages Publisher: BiblioLife (April 4, 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 1117937186 ISBN-13: 978-1117937182


    Samaritans: Samaritan, Al-Khadra Mosque, Sanballat the Horonite, Delos Synagogue, Eudokia of Heliopolis, Julianus Ben Sabar, Abu L-Fath  Books LLC (Creator) Paperback: 56 pages Publisher: Books LLC (May 29, 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 1157341322 ISBN-13: 978-1157341321 Product Description

    Purchase includes free access to book updates online and a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Chapters: Samaritan, Al-Khadra Mosque, Sanballat the Horonite, Delos Synagogue, Eudokia of Heliopolis, Julianus Ben Sabar, Abu L-Fath, Amram Ibn Salameh, Hananiah, Abu Sa'id Al-Afif, Kiryat Luza. Excerpt: The Samaritans (Hebrew: Shomronim, Arabic: as-Smariyyn) are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Religiously, they are the adherents to Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism. Based on the Samaritan Torah, Samaritans claim their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian Exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to Judaism, which they assert is a related but altered and amended religion brought back by the exiled returnees. Ancestrally, they claim descent from a group of Israelite inhabitants who have connections to ancient Samaria from the beginning of the Babylonian Exile up to the beginning of the Common Era. The Samaritans, however, derive their name not from this geographical designation, but rather from the Hebrew term , "Keepers ". In the Talmud, a central post-exilic religious text of Judaism, their claim of ancestral origin is disputed, and in those texts they are called Cutheans (Hebrew: , Kuthim), allegedly from the ancient city of Cuthah (Kutha), geographically located in what is today Iraq. Modern genetics has suggested some truth to both the claims of the Samaritans and Jewish accounts in the Talmud. Although historically they were a large community up to more than a million in late Roman times, then gradually reduced to several tens of thousands up to a few centuries ago their unprecedented demographic shrinkage has been a result of various historical events, including most notably the bloody repression of the Third Samaritan Revolt (529 CE) aga... More:


    Samaritan Culture and History: Simon Magus, Samaria, Justin Martyr, Sargon Ii, Tribe of Ephraim, Parable of the Good Samaritan ~ Books LLC (Creator) Paperback: 66 pages Publisher: Books LLC (May 29, 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 1157341330 ISBN-13: 978-1157341338

     Product Description:

    Purchase includes free access to book updates online and a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Chapters: Simon Magus, Samaria, Justin Martyr, Sargon Ii, Tribe of Ephraim, Parable of the Good Samaritan, Tribe of Manasseh, Samaritan Script, Mount Gerizim, Mount Ebal, Shechem, Holon, Tribe of Joseph, Samaritan Hebrew Language, Kutha, Samaritan Aramaic Language, Yahu-Bihdi, Andronicus Ben Meshullam, Sanballat Ii, Olympias, Malthace. Excerpt: Justin Martyr (also Justin the Martyr, Justin of Caesarea, Justin the Philosopher, Latin Iustinus Martyr or Flavius Iustinus) (103165) was an early Christian apologist and saint. His works represent the earliest surviving Christian "apologies" of notable size. Most of what is known about the life of Justin Martyr comes from his own writings. He was born at Flavia Neapolis (ancient Shechem in Judaea/Palaestina, now modern-day Nablus). According to the traditional accounts of the church, Justin suffered martyrdom at Rome under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius when Junius Rusticus was prefect of the city (between 162 and 168). Justin called himself a Samaritan, but his father and grandfather were probably Greek or Roman, and he was brought up as a pagan. It seems that St Justin had property, studied philosophy, converted to Christianity, and devoted the rest of his life to teaching what he considered the true philosophy, still wearing his philosopher's gown to indicate that he had attained the truth. He probably traveled widely and ultimately settled in Rome as a Christian teacher. It is alleged that his relics are housed in the church of St. John the Baptist in Sacrofano, a few kilometers north of Rome. In 1882 Pope Leo XIII had a Mass and an Office composed for his feast day, which he set at 14 April, the day after the day indicated as that of his death in the Martyrology of Florus; but since this date quite often fal... More:


    Torah: Masoretic Text, Sacrifice, Samaritan Torah, the Bible Code, Shittah-Tree, Biblical and Talmudic Units of Measurement, (Paperback) LLC Books (Creator) Paperback: 154 pages, Publisher: Books LLC (May 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 1157529097 ISBN-13: 978-1157529095

     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . Copyright 2010

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