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The Torah: Jewish and Samaritan versions compared

Arranged by Mark Shoulson

Cathair na Mart: Evertype, 2008. ISBN 978-1-904808-18-3.
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The Torah: Jewish and Samaritan versions compared
התורה: גרסה יהודית וגרסה שומרונית בהשוואה

The Samaritan community’s culture and religion is unique in the world. The Samaritans share an origin with Jews, but the two peoples diverged thousands of years ago, already in Biblical times. The main schism between the cultures is the location of the Holy Temple, the “place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name.” To the Jews, this meant Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. The Samaritans looked to God’s designation as a place of holiness and sacrifice in the book of Deuteronomy (11:29), and understood the designated site to be Mount Gerizim in Samaria, near the city of Shechem. Indeed, their version of the Torah consistently phrases references to the place in the past tense: “the place the LORD your God has chosen as a dwelling for his Name.” There they continue to worship, and there even to this day they sacrifice the Passover offering every year.

The Samaritans consider only the Pentateuch to be a holy book; the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures are no more a part of the Samaritan Bible than the Christian New Testament is a part of the Jewish Bible. The Samaritan version of the Torah differs in several ways from the Jewish Masoretic version, and those differences are the purpose of this book.

Both texts are given, in modern Square Hebrew script, on facing pages. Minor variations are printed in boldface type slightly larger than the ordinary text. Major variations are also printed in boldface type but even larger still than the minor variations.

Readers will find this text to be an intriguing window on ancient Israelite society, from which came both the Jews and the Samaritans.

Table of Contents

A note on the text
Appendix: the Babel story

 See also Mark Shoulson's website on the Samaritan Pentateuch, shoulson.com/religion/torahcompare.php
HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, 73 Woodgrove, Portlaoise, R32 ENP6, Ireland, 2008-12-21

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