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Use, Authority and Exegesis of Mikra in the Samaritan Tradition

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Chapter Summary

The Samaritans agree with rabbinic Judaism, against the Qumran Covenanteers and against the Karaites, that there is much not said by the text that could never be derived by exegesis. They know and understand the rabbinic theory of a Written and Oral Tora, and reject the rabbinic concept of Oral Tora explicitly and unequivocally, whenever the matter comes under discussion. The theoretical difference between the rabbinic and Samaritan concepts of tradition is that the Samaritans are not willing to give the tradition the same status as the text. The learning by heart of the Tora referred to by Baba Rabba would then be the acquisition of the knowledge of the application of the Ten Canons to every sense-unit, and the exact pronunciation of every single word. The application of Samaritan theory seems to work consistently for what else is known of the Sadducaean theory of the interpretation of the Tora.

Keywords: Baba Rabba; Oral Tora; rabbinic Judaism; Samaritans; Scriptural exegesis; Ten Canons

10.1163/9789004275102_017
/content/books/b9789004275102s017
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