Samaritans in the New Testament

Martina Böhm
2020 Religions  
Four New Testament writings mention Samaritans and Samaria—Luke–Acts, John, and Matthew. We must consider that all Samaritan texts in the New Testament are based on a historically correct knowledge of the cult of YHWH worshippers in Samaria oriented towards the Gerizim. If the YHWH admirers in Samaria are to be understood as one of the two independent "Israel" denominations that existed in the Palestinian heartland during the post-exilic period, consequently, in John, Matthew, and Luke–Acts,
more » ... , and Luke–Acts, attention is paid to their understanding of the ecclesiological significance of "Israel" and to Christological aspects. Moreover, the authors of the Gospels reflect a semantically young phenomenon, when Σαμαρῖται is understood beyond the ethnicon as a term for a group religiously distinct from Judaism. At the time of Paul, the term "Samaritan" had not yet been established to refer to the religiously defined group. This means that care must be taken when interpreting the term "Israel" and "Israelites" in all Jewish or Jewish-Christian texts written before 70 A.D. This also applies to Paul: when Paul speaks of "Israel", "Israelites", and "circumcision", he could have consciously used inclusive terminology that, in principle, included the (later named) "Samaritans" in the diaspora.
doi:10.3390/rel11030147 fatcat:wg4kuquvszfcregdgxxsrtw7ji