Tradition Kept

The Literature of the Samaritans

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"An attractive and accessible collection of often hard to find Samaritan literature that will likely become a standard tool for undergraduate students and educated individuals wishing to consult a wide range of Samaritan literature in translation."--Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

In this volume, Samaritan experts Anderson and Giles have created an accessible introduction to the sacred literature of the Samaritans. The book features fresh translations of the most important and least available portions of this literature. It includes major historical works, liturgies, theological compositions, and even samplings of Samaritan astronomical and amulet texts. Students and scholars will particularly benefit from a bibliography that provides direction for further research into the corpus of Samaritan sacred texts.

Tradition Kept is an effective companion to the authors' history of the Samaritans, The Keepers.

The Authors

  1. Robert T. Anderson

    Robert T. Anderson

    Robert T. Anderson, author of Samaritan Manuscripts and Artifacts, is professor emeritus of religious studies at Michigan State University.

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  2. Terry Giles

    Terry Giles

    Terry Giles teaches biblical studies as professor of theology at Gannon University. He has also been active in higher education administration and served as guest teaching faculty in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

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"Anderson and Giles attempt to fill a longstanding hole by treating the Samaritan writings as a subject for student inquiry. The chapter on the Samaritan Pentateuch is especially welcome in beginning to cure a much neglected part of studies of Second Temple Judaic tradition. The value of the chapter on the Samaritan Pentateuch . . . accents the need for student-oriented writings on the pentateuchal witnesses at the turn of the era."--Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"In constructing an introduction to Samaritan literature, Anderson and Giles are successful in their stated goals. Tradition Kept is an attractive and accessible collection of often hard to find Samaritan literature that will likely become a standard tool for undergraduate students and educated individuals wishing to consult a wide range of Samaritan literature in translation. The various texts that Anderson and Giles include present the Samaritan community's view of its own history and greatly illuminate the theological and liturgical framework of Samaritan religion and culture."--Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

"Various aspects of Samaritan literature are explored, including the relation of many of its features to Jewish, early Christian, and Muslim traditions. Although the material is treated in depth, the authors succeed in making the book accessible not only to an academic audience, but to a larger public interested in the humanities. The book is recommended for academic institutions of higher learning that have departments of Bible, religion, or Semitic studies, and for public libraries."--Association of Jewish Libraries

"A very useful book. It makes accessible in full or in lengthy excerpts most of the core texts of Samaritan history, theology, and liturgy . . . . Tradition Kept enables the biblical scholar to include Samaritan tradition and history in research. It gives voice to the role of the Samaritan Israelites in the formation of biblical traditions as well as religio-political relationships between Samaritans and Jews since the early postexilic period."--Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"Tradition Kept deserves an appreciative readership. Anderson and Giles have done a noble deed in helping us understand and value the contributions of a small, too neglected community."--Restoration Quarterly

"Without doubt, Anderson and Giles have again produced a work that will prove very useful to the intended readership. The introductions and notes accompanying the selected texts are valuable and indeed indispensable aids for beginners. As in their first book, the authors have made good use of the collection of Samaritan manuscripts in the Chamberlain-Warren Collection at Michigan State University. Although either of the two works can be read and used profitably by itself, ideally a student should use both volumes in tandem. . . . Together with its companion volume, The Keepers, Anderson's and Giles's work is an excellent introduction to the history, beliefs, and literature of Samaritanism, a sister-religion of Judaism and Christianity."--Theoforum

"Tradition Kept covers the literature of the Samaritans and is comprehensive but not exhaustive, since major works are merely sampled. . . .The authors state that their goal is to provide 'a window into the Samaritan self understanding,' and they seem to do a good job of that. The translations are very readable. Their observations are generally pertinent and helpful, providing valuable insight into a sect and ethnic group mentioned in both Testaments. . . . The book provides a good overview of the Samaritan corpus of literature. As such, Tradition Kept is an important reference work, especially for intertestamental and NT studies."--Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"The great merit of the present book is that it seeks to provide some basic texts for students in a way which treats the Samaritans as a subject of interest in their own right. . . . The aims and general approach taken in this book are laudable. . . . Anything that can be done to encourage wider acquaintance with this remarkable community and its equally remarkable history and form of Jewish faith is to be welcomed."--Shofar

"Supplementing their book The Keepers, Anderson and Giles now offer an introduction to traditional Samaritan literature of which they reproduce a generous anthology in fresh English translation. For biblical studies, the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Josephus-like 'Samaritan Joshua' are particularly relevant. This is a most useful book, and it will no doubt help to put Samaritan studies back on the agenda of biblical scholarship."--International Review of Biblical Studies

"A welcome addition to the growing body of resources available for the study of one of the religious communities we encounter in the pages of the New Testament. . . . The translations, while not all original to the editors, are reasonably contemporary in style and contain helpful guides to interpretation. . . . This volume makes accessible some resources of interest to biblical scholars and students of religious history, both in the sense that the original texts are otherwise not easy to find, and in the sense that the discussion of them enables the non-specialist to gain a feel for this body of religious texts and the people who gave it birth. There are helpful indexes of authors, subjects, and ancient sources."--John A. Davies, Reformed Theological Review