Abstract and Keywords
This chapter offers an introduction to the history of the Samaritans from their origin until the seventh century CE and gives detailed information on the Samaritan Literature in the Roman Period. The Samaritans formed the backbone of central and northern Palestine’s population and shared beliefs and traditions with southern Palestine’s Jewish population. However, their traditions developed differently in Samaritanism’s strong emphasis on a purely Mosaic Yahwism (as in the Five Books of Moses), which did not adopt the teachings of the larger Jewish canon (i.e. the Old Testament). Compared with Jewish and Christian literature, Samaritan literature is quite limited. It consists of the Samaritan Pentateuch, the SamaritanTargum of the Pentateuch in Aramaic, a midrashic compilation called Tibat or Memar Marqe, and the earliest prayer book called the Defter, which contains hymns from the third to fourth century CE. An additional paragraph deals with Samaritan use of biblical literature in inscriptions and artefacts.
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