Theories of the origin of the Samaritans - Then and now
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionReligions. 2019, 10 (12) 1-14. 10.3390/rel10120661
The article describes the different models for understanding the origin of the Samaritans: the Samaritans’ own view; Flavius Josephus’ two stories; a model based upon the results of the excavations of the cities of Samaria and Shechem, plus information from ancient authors; new insights from the Dead Sea Scrolls; and models based on the results of the Mount Gerizim excavations; and the Delos inscriptions. Each of these models has its modern followers in scholarship, and their various adherents are named. A last part of the article is devoted to the state of the question of the origin of the Samaritans. The presentation is organized according to the sources because the material at hand has produced different solutions to the pertinent questions. Through quoting the texts and presenting the results of the excavations, the author gives the reader an opportunity to form her or his own opinions, both on the different theories and on the origin of the Samaritans.