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Jews and SamaritansThe Origins and History of Their Early Relations$
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Gary N. Knoppers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780195329544

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195329544.001.0001

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An Absolute Breach?

An Absolute Breach?

(p.217) 8An Absolute Breach?
Jews and Samaritans

Gary N. Knoppers

Oxford University Press

Was the Roman era one in which Samaritan-Jewish relations deteriorated to the point of outright hatred, jealousy, and factionalism? As the Gospel story with which the book began and other literary evidence suggests, such a sweeping conclusion would be too far-reaching. Even in Roman times, there are signs of occasional interaction, communications, and respect. Both groups developed similar religious symbols (menorahs, mezuzot), institutions (mikva’ot, synagogues), and literary genres, such as the Targum (Aramaic translations and paraphrases of the Scriptures). In this respect, ancient polemics mask continuing interaction and an ongoing process of competitive emulation between the two communities. The book concludes that as early Jews and Samaritans increasingly pursued their own distinctive paths, they often did so in paradoxically similar fashion.

Keywords:   Roman era, Samaritans in the New Testament, Jewish Wars, menorahs, mezuzot, mikva’ot, synagogues

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