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Author Topic: Jesus Christ a Samaritan?  (Read 2692 times)
obscurus
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« on: October 16, 2006, 10:45:PM »

In the context of a discussion, someone (a Catholic) posed the question that Jesus Christ may have been a Samaritan. Is this blatantly false?

"Then that Samaritan woman saith to him: How dost thou, being a Jew, ask of me to drink, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans." (St. John 4:9)

That seems to settle the case.  I am trying to figure out where someone would even get the idea that Jesus Christ could be a Samaritan?

I mean is there even ONE Father of the Church, saint or scholar who has ever hinted that Jesus Christ could be a Samaritan??? It seems that some are reading the Bible with skewed lenses.

Also when Jesus Christ was called a Samaritan by the Jews it clearly was meant to be a term of derision (not to be taken literally) since many of the Jews hated the Samaritans because of their false worship in the Temple of Mt. Garizim.  

"The Jews therefore answered and said to him: Do not we say well that thou art a Samaritan and hast a devil?" (St. John 8:48)

Sorry it seems like I am talking to myself but I just want to verify that I am correct in my assessment.

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jovan66102
La foi Catholique d'abord! La mort à l'Islam!
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2006, 12:04:AM »

And where would anyone get such a loopy idea? In almost 50 years or studying Christianity in its various forms and spending the last 25 in Catholicism (Deo gratias!) I've never heard anyone ask such a dumb question. I can guarantee you that had Christ been a Samaritan, none of the Apostles, who were all obviously Jewish, would have followed him. If he was a Samaritan, he would NOT have worshipped in the Temple in Jerusalem, he would have worshipped on Mount Garizim:

 

The Gospel according to St John:

 

4:20. "Our fathers adored on this mountain: and you say that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore."

This mountain. . .Garizim, where the Samaritans had their schismatical temple. (Note from the Challoner revision, Douai-Rheims.

 

Obviously, our Lord was a Jew and not a Samaritan!

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Jovan-Marya Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

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QuisUtDeus
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2006, 02:03:AM »

He was a Jew.  There is no question about it whatsoever.

 

That's also why the parable of the Good Samaritan hit them really hard.

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Quo_Vadis_Petre
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2006, 09:32:AM »

I read in a commentary that Jesus is the "Samaritan." By this, I mean the Good Samaritan, in the parable. Many of the Church Fathers see this, and say that the two pence represent the Old and New Testaments. The man who was left for dead on the way to Jericho is the human race, wounded by Original Sin.

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Catholicmilkman
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2006, 12:37:AM »

Well I for one KNOW that Jesus is a Samaritan, according to the flesh that is. But then again that depends on what you believe is the definition of "Samaritan". Samaritan really, and I believe historically, means someone who is part Jew (from the tribe of Judah) and part some other tribe/s; Now there are those who believe that Samaritan is a religion inwhich they would be right too just as "Jews" are both a religion and a race. Now, King David was part from Judah and part from Moab (Ruth, his grandmother was a Moabitess) could be considered a Samaritan and Jesus too as He is David's Son. Another thing Moab was the product of incest between Lot and one of his daughters so it makes you think twice about condemning incest as intrinsically evil and especially as an excuse for abortion, but then again we as Catholic already know that.

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lumengentleman
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Posts: 1,663


« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2006, 07:38:AM »

Quote from: Catholicmilkman
Well I for one KNOW that Jesus is a Samaritan, according to the flesh that is. But then again that depends on what you believe is the definition of "Samaritan".

 

Yes, it does, but I've not heard your definition before - perhaps you can reference a source?

 

Quote from: Catholicmilkman
Samaritan really, and I believe historically, means someone who is part Jew (from the tribe of Judah) and part some other tribe/s

 

That's partly right, but not quite accurate.  You say later that David could be considered a Samaritan, for example, and that's an anachronism.  Israel existed in 12 united tribes under David and Solomon.  They split into north and south under Rehoboam.  The capital city of the southern kingdom was Judah (hence the name "Jew"), and the capital city of the northern kingdom was Samaria (hence the name "Samaritan"). 

 

But even at that point in history the northern-kingdom citizens weren't known as Samaritans - they were known as Israelites.

 

In 722 the northern kingdom was captured and exiled by Assyria; the Assyrian king then brought in foreigners from five different territories to displace the northern Israelites.  The straggling few Israelites who were left behind simply intermarried with the newly arrived foreigners, thus creating a half-breed.

 

It is this particular group of post-exile half-breeds in the northern kingdom who were derisively called "Samaritans," because they lived in what was once the northern Israelite kingdom, the capital of which was Samaria, but they no longer deserved to be called "Israelites."

 

As for Jesus being called a Samaritan by His critics, that's a little more difficult.  He was born of the tribe of Judah, the capital tribe of the southern kingdom, and thus, He was a Jew to the core.  However, He lived in Galilee, which was one of the towns in the northernmost part of the northern kingdom.  Some of those citizens remained faithful to the Judah-centered, Jerusalem-centered worship, and still made the long journey south for holy days such as Passover.  But not all.

 

It's not hard to see why Jesus would be confused for a Samaritan by His contemporaries; He lived up north, and He kept saying things that could be understood as "anti-Temple," predicting the destruction of the temple and so on - things that only a Samaritan would say!  It would be like if a Traditional Catholic who lived in Moscow started writing books on Distributism; here he is, living in Russia, writing books on the evils of capitalism ... he must be a Communist, right?

 

Anyway, as was pointed out, it's clear from Scripture that Jesus was a Jew from the southern tribe of Judah.  If He were not, He could make no valid claim to be the Messiah.

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Catholicmilkman
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2006, 11:11:PM »

Quote from: lumengentleman
Yes, it does, but I've not heard your definition before - perhaps you can reference a source?
   

Lumen, I think you know exactly what I think one of the definitions of the word "Samaritan" is. But I'll clarify; Samaritans were known as "half-breeds" since the beginning and that is how it became synonymous with that definition among many people; As well every definition I've ever heard of the word states something like "racially mixed Jews" in so many words.

 

Quote
That's partly right, but not quite accurate. 

That doesn't matter because that is what people think (or "know") is the definition.

 

Quote
 You say later that David could be considered a Samaritan, for example, and that's an anachronism.  Israel existed in 12 united tribes under David and Solomon.  They split into north and south under Rehoboam.  The capital city of the southern kingdom was Judah (hence the name "Jew"), and the capital city of the northern kingdom was Samaria (hence the name "Samaritan").

I'm sorry, what's "anachronism" mean?

 

Quote
Anyway, as was pointed out, it's clear from Scripture that Jesus was a Jew from the southern tribe of Judah.  If He were not, He could make no valid claim to be the Messiah.

I don't disagree if your talking religiously but even at that time Judaism was considered what the High Priests, scribes, and Pharisees taught and thought, just as people do today with the Church; people don't see the Catholic Faith as the Tridentine Faith but the "Novus Ordo" modernist faith.

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Sophia
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2006, 11:37:AM »

Quote from: Catholicmilkman
Quote from: lumengentleman
Yes, it does, but I've not heard your definition before - perhaps you can reference a source?
   

Lumen, I think you know exactly what I think one of the definitions of the word "Samaritan" is. But I'll clarify; Samaritans were known as "half-breeds" since the beginning and that is how it became synonymous with that definition among many people; As well every definition I've ever heard of the word states something like "racially mixed Jews" in so many words.

 

 

I don't see how this definition could possibly be associated with Christ.  I think Lumen gave a very good explanation of what a Samaritan is.  If you can find some passage in the Fathers that does so, please give the location.

 

Quote

Quote
That's partly right, but not quite accurate. 

That doesn't matter because that is what people think (or "know") is the definition.

 

Actually, I always understood the word to mean more of what Lumen was describing, though I couldn't have given you all the details.  If people have some other notion of what a Samaritan is, then that is because of ignorance and/or the normal corruption of speech, and not because of it's true meaning in the Bible, from whence it came.

 

Quote

Quote
 You say later that David could be considered a Samaritan, for example, and that's an anachronism.  Israel existed in 12 united tribes under David and Solomon.  They split into north and south under Rehoboam.  The capital city of the southern kingdom was Judah (hence the name "Jew"), and the capital city of the northern kingdom was Samaria (hence the name "Samaritan").

I'm sorry, what's "anachronism" mean?

 

It isn't an uncommon word, but here is a definition from wordsmith.org:

1. The error of placing a person, object, custom, or event in the wrong historical period.  

2. A person, thing, or practice that does not belong in a time period.  

[From French anachronisme, from Latin anachronismus, from Greek anakhronismos, from ana-, (backwards) + khronos (time).]

So, an example of an anachronism would be Shakespeare's Julius Caesar speaking of a clock.  Another one would be considering David to be a Samaritan, since the Samaritans did not exist yet in David's time.

 

Quote

Quote
Anyway, as was pointed out, it's clear from Scripture that Jesus was a Jew from the southern tribe of Judah.  If He were not, He could make no valid claim to be the Messiah.

I don't disagree if your talking religiously but even at that time Judaism was considered what the High Priests, scribes, and Pharisees taught and thought, just as people do today with the Church; people don't see the Catholic Faith as the Tridentine Faith but the "Novus Ordo" modernist faith.

[/QUOTE]

 

  I don't understand how your analogy fits into this argument.  The Pharisees, et. al., could only possibly have considered him a Samaritan if they didn't know where he came from.  I think they did know where he came from- they were familiar with the Scriptures. 

 

I also really don't understand why you are trying to justify calling Jesus a Samaritan.  It seems to me that the Pharisees meant it as an insult, as we would say that someone is a "bastard" but we don't mean literally.  How you could build up a theory that Christ was a Samaritan over one passage in Scripture, when dozens of other texts, and indeed the whole Bible contradicts it, is beyond me.

 

I can see that it may be true that Christ is considered the "good Samaritan" in a symbolic way from that parable, but that would not mean that he was literally a Samaritan (any more than we would call Him a bastard, forgive the analogy.) If that is true, then it still would not justify calling Christ a Samaritan outside of the references to the parable.

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Catholicmilkman
Guest
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2006, 09:10:PM »

Quote from: Sophia
I can see that it may be true that Christ is considered the "good Samaritan" in a symbolic way from that parable, but that would not mean that he was literally a Samaritan (any more than we would call Him a bastard, forgive the analogy.) If that is true, then it still would not justify calling Christ a Samaritan outside of the references to the parable.

It's just funny how you can not take Jesus' words and sentence as if He Himself meant to imply that He was a Samaritan. First, the Pharisees call Him one and He doesn't deny it and then He references through a parable that He is one. I don't know what the strict definition of Samaritan is. True. But I know what Jesus said and what is in the Gospels. Second I don't even know if Samaritan had such a strict definition in the time of our Lord so forgive me if I'm ignorant of history 2000 years old. Funny thing is though that our Lord preached that all of the Gentiles are included in salvation just as the Samaritans but the Pharisees did not.

 

Last thing: Who to say that any one of Jesus' ancestors was not a Samaritan? Not even the Scriptures say. But the same Scriptures infallibly and dogmatically prove that one of Jesus's ancestors, Ruth, was a Moabite and not a Israelite.

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obscurus
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2006, 09:29:PM »

Catholicmilkman,
Show me at least ONE Catholic source which even hints that Our Lord was a Samaritan.  Just one source!
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