The Samaritans

As a teacher you learn loads from your students. A few years ago, one of my students, decided that they wanted to look at nationalism and the New Testament. After some discussion, she decided that examining the Jew–Samaritan relationship would be useful for her project. Little did we know what new things her research would unearth for both of us!

Dorothea Relić Macedo’s dissertation ended up being called “The Israelites on the Other Mountain”, and her work completely redefined how I look at the Samaritans in the New Testament. You can read her dissertation online.

I write a monthly-ish article for Spectrum Magazine, an Adventist journal and website featuring Adventist and Christian viewpoints and news. This month I wrote some thoughts on the Samaritans and what nationalistic and racist biases underlie how we often interpret them.

It starts like this:

The story goes that Jesus tries to answer the question “who is my neighbor.” He tells of a man who is assaulted, and three passers-by. A priest passes, a Levite passes, a Samaritan doesn’t pass. The Samaritan takes care of the man. The usual interpretation is that there is an irony here. The parable is oxymoronic—it’s about a good Samaritan.

Read the rest!

If you want to learn a bit more about the Samaritans, check out this amazing video:

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