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Title: A critical investigation and translation of the special liturgies of the Samaritans for their Passover and their Feast of unleavened bread
Author: Lerner, Isaac
ISNI:       0000 0001 2461 9383
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 1956
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The Passover festival is the most outstanding event in the Samaritan calendar and its predominant feature, the slaughter and sacrifice of the paschal lamb, is the last vestige of the Biblical sacrificial rite. which scholars believe to have be n the adaption of an earlier ritual, dating back to the very dawn of humanity The present work is an attempt to present a comprehensive and coherent rendering of the liturgy, which accompanies the performance of the sacrifice ,and of the feast of unleavened Bread, which follows it. he basis of this translation, and the startling point of the investigations o£ which it is the outcome, -is the Hebrew text of the , Passover prayers contained in Prof. A.E. Cowley's the Samaritan Liturgy. These texts have been re-examined in the light of some of he Mss . available to Prof. Cowley and of others that have since come to hand. Prof . Co ley in the introduction his work, has pointed to some of the difficulties involved in translating Samaritan Hebrew, particularly their rhymed hymns - which has been developed in seclusion along distinctive line as an artificial language solely for liturgical use . The research amongst at the additional Mss . has been of assistance in work1 g out an intelligible translation of some of the difficult passages , though others have still been found amenable to only a tentative rendering . The variant Mas readings are furnished together with this translation in the form of footnotes, irrespective of whether they have been taken into account or not. The study of the text has also been accompanied by a wider studies of the theological concepts of the Samaritans in general and of their Passover ritual in particular as well a of various eyewitness as accounts of the sacrificial ceremony. As a result of this, certain features of the liturgy and of the sacrificial ceremonial seem to be particularly associated. and to assume a significance which suggests to the writer, that the Samaritan Passover sacrifice has preserved elements of an ancient Blood Covenant ritual, which scholars believe to have been the antecedent of the Biblical Passover sacrifice. th1s theory is fully developed in the opening chapters of the introduction to this work, which deal with the origin and significance of the Passover and particularly in the chapter on the principal differences between the Jewish and Samaritan Passover rituals. The introduction also describes the development of the liturgy, relat1ng it to its general historical background and that of its authors, concerning whom all available data is likewise given. The various types of liturgical expression occurring in the Passover aeries are analysed and described in detail as well as the unique form of abbreviated Biblical reading known as the KATEF and the antiphonal readings, none of which can be comprehended from the text as presented by Cowley. The analysis of the various elements of the liturgy makes it possible to discern the pattern according to which the service is arranged. Thus in the introductory chapter on the Order of the Service we see that what ostensibly is an endless succession and repetition of phrases and terms, is actually symmetrical and methodical order of service basically uniform throughout the series, as illustrated in the append d tables. Having established the basic order of the service , it is then compared with the Sabbath order of service and parallel features and usages discussed, Comparison with Jewish ritual, both in content and in form, is also made and certain common elements - pointing to their comparative antiquity - are noted. The study of the content of the liturgy is further developed in the introductory chapters on the Theolog1oal concepts reflected therein. The various references are detailed and related to their particular expression in the Samaritan creed.. It has occasionally been necessary to dissent from Cowley's method of presentation of the liturgy • It has been found that, on two occasions, entirely separate services have been grouped together under a common heading and that he has omitted one service completely . For the sake of convenience however Cowley's service headings are maintained in the translation with only addition of a numeral to indicate the separate services that have been n established. Similarly, the service omitted by Cowley has been given in the appendix so as to maintain the general character of the work. In addition to the usual pagination, references to Cowley's page numbers are given throughout in the body of the English text so that the reader can see at a glance the Hebrew original on which the translation is based. The aforementioned observations, on Cowley's arrangement of the services, are supplemented in the final introductory chapter by others, on the authenticity of the text itself. Apart from these comparatively few shortcomings the text presented by Cowley has been proved to offer a sound basis for these studies and a reliable and well nigh exhaustive collection of the Samaritan liturgical compositions. In producing his two volumes of Samaritan liturgy and his other Samaritan studies, Prof. Cowley has made a Vital, if not the greatest , contribution to the scholastic endeavours to understand the ritual and beliefs of the most ancient Jewish sect - the Samaritans, since their re-discovery in the 16th century. In making his acknowledgement the writer also expresses his gratitude to Dr. J. Bowman, Head of the department of Semitic Languages and Literatures at Leeds University, and the members of his staff, who have given invaluable advice and guidance on the preparation of this work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available