New Testament Bible Class




One country of Israel under judges (1400s – 1300s BC)

Worshipped at the Tabernacle/Tent of Meeting

First at Shiloh (near Shechem) and moved when Eli was priest when Ark of the Covenant captured by Philistines ( 1 Samuel 4ff)


One country of Israel under kings David and Solomon  (1020 BC)

Worshipped first at Tabernacle and then the Temple was built


            Kingdom split under Solomon’s son Rehoboam  (930 BC)

                        Israel – Northern 10 tribes

First King Jeroboam I initiated worship at Bethel (where Jacob/Israel had set up a commemorative stone after his dram of steps to heaven when fleeing his brother Esau (Genesis 28:10-17)

                        Judah – Southern 2 tribes (Benjamin & Judah)

                                    Worshipped at the Temple


Israel conquered by Assyrians (722 BC, 2 Kings 17:24)

            Brought in other conquered people

            Took away many Jews

            Jews and transplanted people intermarried and mix religions = Samaritans

            Samaria destroyed


            Judah conquered by the Babylonians (586 BC)

                        Took away many Jews

                        Temple & Jerusalem destroyed


            Persia conquers Babylonia (538 BC)

                        Allow many Jews to return to Judah

                        Rebuild the Temple (515 BC) and then the Walls of Jerusalem (445 BC)

                        Samaritans threatened by rebuilding of the Temple & Jerusalem (Ezra 4)


Samaritan temple built on Mt. Gerizim (388 BC) near and hereditary priesthood established (near Shiloh & Shechem/Samaria/Sebaste (today))  According to Josephus

High Priest Manasseh at Jerusalem threatened with expulsion from Jerusalem because he had married a foreign woman, daughter of the Samaritan Sanballat who promised to preserve the priesthood under Manasseh, appoint him as governor, and build a temple on Mt. Gerizim like that in Jerusalem if Manasseh would remain with his daughter

During Greek domination under the Seleucids, the temple there was renamed for Zeus

The Maccabees attacked and destroyed the Samaritan temple (128 BC)

  So, in the time of Jesus

Samaritans occupied area between the Jewish strongholds of Galilee (north) and Judea (south).

Samaritans worshipped on Mt. Gerizim

Jews worshipped at Temple in Jerusalem

Jews considered Samaritans to be ethnic and religious “half-breeds”

Samaritans consider themselves to be the true believers

Worshipping at the correct place where the Tabernacle was originally placed (Deut. 11:29 & 30, John 4:19 & 20). 

Only accept the Pentateuch/Torah (first 5 books of OT) like the Sadducees & revered Moses.

Expected a Messiah (Woman at the Well, John 4:25, According to Deut. 18:18)

Were openly hostile to each other.

For example, Samaritans would often not provide food and lodging for Jewish pilgrims from Galilee to Jerusalem.

“Woman at the Well”’s comment in John 4:9

Samaritans scattered bones in the Jewish Temple during Passorver 6-7 AD.

Samaritans massacred Galilean pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem.

Jesus’s conversation with the Woman at the Well (John 4) seems to show that He viewed Samaritans as a misguided subgroup of the covenant people.


            Jewish Temple destroyed (70 AD) and never rebuilt

            Emperor Hadrian built a temple for Zeus on the site of the Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim (100s AD)

            Christian Emperor Justinian built a church on the same spot

            The Muslims destroyed the church (600s)


Samaritans still exist

A few still worship in the old ways (sacrifices) at Mt. Gerizim


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