Samaritan Pentateuch

The Samaritan Pentateuch, sometimes called Samaritan Torah, (Hebrew: תורה שומרונית torah shomroniyt), is a version of the Hebrew language Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, traditionally written in the Samaritan alphabet and used by the Samaritans. It constitutes their entire biblical canon.

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Samaritan practices are based on their version of the Five Books of Moses, which is slightly different from the Masoretic text or the Greek Septuagint texts. Some six thousand differences exist between the Samaritan and the Masoretic text. Most are minor variations in the spelling of words or grammatical constructions, but others involve significant semantic changes such as the uniquely Samaritan commandment to construct an altar on Mount Gerizim. Nearly two thousand textual variations from the Masoretic text agree with the Septuagint and some are shared with the Latin Vulgate. Throughout their history, Samaritans have made use of translations of the Samaritan Pentateuch into Aramaic, Greek and Arabic as well as liturgical and exegetical works based upon it.

Its value for determining the original text of the Pentateuch has been a subject of contentious debate especially after the publication of a manuscript of the Samaritan Pentateuch in Europe in the 17th century. Some Pentateuchal manuscripts discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls have been identified as bearing a "pre-Samaritan" text type. Wide agreement now exists among textual critics that the Samaritan Pentateuch represents an authentic ancient textual tradition despite the presence of some unique variants introduced by the Samaritans.

Read more about Samaritan PentateuchEvaluations of Its Relevance For Textual Criticism

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Samaritan Pentateuch - Manuscripts and Printed Editions - Printed Editions
... Wider interest in the Samaritan Pentateuch was awakened in 1616 when the traveler Pietro della Valle purchased a copy of the text in Damascus ... Until the latter half of the 20th century, critical editions of the Samaritan Pentateuch were largely based upon Codex B ... The most notable of these is Der Hebräische Pentateuch der Samaritaner (The Hebrew Pentateuch of the Samaritans) compiled by August von Gall and published in 1918 ...