Contents | Index
Jews and Samaritans
Because of their defective devotion to Judaism and their partly pagan
ancestry, the Samaritans were despised by ordinary Jews. Because the Samaritans were
sometimes hostile, and also the fact that a Jew believed that he could become
contaminated by passing through Samaritan territory, Jews who were traveling from
Judea to Galilee or vice versa would cross over the Jordan river and avoid
Samaria by going through Transjordan, and cross back over the river again once they
had reached their destination.
(See Map of Samaria in NT Times)
The Samaritans often taunted the Jews. They rejected all of the Old Testament
except the Pentateuch, and they claimed to have an older copy than the Jews and
boast that they observe the precepts better.
The Jews repaid them with hatred. They rejected the Samaritan copy of the law
and publicly denounced that Samaritans were of any Jewish birth (John 4:12).
- The Samaritan was publicly cursed in their synagogues.
- He could not serve as a witness in the Jewish courts.
- He could not be converted to Judaism as a proselyte.
- He was excluded from the after life."
The Samaritans Home
Bible History Online