Click here for the Chinese edition (此文章乃英語原版。中文譯本按此)
Who are the Samaritans? And what can we learn from their portrayal in the New Testament? To begin, many of us are familiar with the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman found in John 4. Their dialogue highlights some commonalities and distinctions between the Jews and the Samaritans. We learn from the woman that the Samaritans shared a common ancestry with the Jews — note how she claimed “our father Jacob,” the son of Abraham (4:12), as part of her heritage. The place where she and Jesus met was at Jacob’s well (John 4:6, Genesis 33:19, Joshua 24:32). Moreover, as their conversation proceeds, we learn that the Samaritans and Jews disagreed on where proper worship could be carried out — the Jews insisted on Jerusalem, whereas the Samaritans worshipped on a mountain in Samaria, Mt. Gerizim. Finally, like the Jews, the Samaritans likewise were awaiting a “Messiah” (4:25).