Biblical Meaning For The Word Samaritan

Biblical Meaning For The Word Samaritan

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1. From the article and from your work in our class so far, what do you think makes this word important and what do you think it's basic meaning is?
Based off the text and how I interpreted the word Samaritan, I thought that it was just talking about Jesus getting water from a woman that just happened to live in Samaria. I have no idea about what was the point other than her being kind to him. When I have been in church I was always told just that the basic "moral" of the story was be kind to your neighbors, and just by reading the book of John I decided there was no need to question it. John is mostly about showing why people should believe in Jesus and that it is important to let other people know, his stories so they can also believe in the "messiah"
2. How many times does the word appear in the New Testament in the NRSV?
The word Samaritan appears five times out of the six, in the New Testament, it appears in the gospels of Luke and John according to The NRSV Concordance Unabridged, By Kohlenberger.
a. How many times, if and does the word appear in the Old Testament in the NRSV?
The word Samaritan does not appear at all in the Old Testament, according to The NRSV Concordance Unabridged, by Kohlenberger.
b. What might be significant about this?
I feel that this is really significant because the word Samaritan shows up in the New Testament rather than the old, this is important because more people felt a need to talk about Samaritan in the New Testament. Apparently the authors of John and Luke found it more important than any of the other writers. It feel like this is a really big deal do to the fact that this word is extremely unique to Luke do to the fact that Luke is a synoptic gospel, this must have come from source L that makes it unique to Luke because it is not found in any of the other Gospels. A different form of the word maybe but this form is specific to Luke. John on the other hand has nothing to do with what the synoptic gospels say because it is not a part of them. So to find the significance in John you have to look at why the author of John decided to include them, in other words examine the author's agenda for writing the book.

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John was written mostly for the people that were already followers of Jesus and his beliefs, he wanted to express in his writings that everyone needed to understand that Jesus was the Messiah and needed to accept him as such. I make that claim on what the author's agenda was based off of reading the book of John and also what I have read within Harper-Collins Study Bible.

3. IN what book of the New Testament does the word appear most frequently?
In the book of John the word Samaritan shows up the most. Out of the six times we see it used in the New Testament.
a. How many times?
It shows up four times in John, according to The NRSV Concordance Unabridged, by Kohlenberger.
b. What might be significant about this result?
Again, I feel like this is important because John doesn't have a problem with using examples of Jews and Samaritans being together. I feel like he as opposed to many Jews feels like Jesus interacting with a Samaritan is important to understand what and who Jesus was. You need to look again at where this information is coming from and what was its purpose. You also need to understand that the second place that this word shows up most in is Luke. After reading in Ehrman I know that Luke and John are a lot alike. This fact that they both show common ground with each other interests me because John is not part of the synoptic gospels in which Luke is. John is based on making the followers of Jesus better followers and to recruit for Jesus and his cause. Luke on the other hand after also reading it seems to me that Luke is a God fearing man before becoming a Christian and also wants Christians to be Christians and not really associate themselves with Jews, his audience seems to already know kind of what he is talking about, or is supposed to know.
4. Based on the collection of occurrences for the word, what seems to be its essential meaning? Make sure to base your claim on the occurrences. Cite them to support your claim.
The word mostly shows up in chapter four in John, when Jesus is talking to a Samaritan woman and asks her for a drink (paraphrased from the Harper-Collins Study Bible NRSV). In this sense of this you just think this is a story about Jesus asking for water from a woman that happens to be Samaritan. After examining the word you see what the word really means, after a discussion in class we talked about the real meaning behind Samaritan in Jewish society. Samaritan's to Jews were lower than low, so the "parable of the Good Samaritan" was a joke, and if told some people would even kill or hurt Jesus. Jews did not want to be compared to Samaritans at all, because Samaritans did not follow everything the Jews followed. For example Samaritans only accepted the Pentateuch as their religious document. This lead to centuries of conflict and rivalry between the two groups to decide who was right and wrong, therefore they were not able to worship at the temple in Jerusalem according to This is why this story of Jesus asking for water from a Samaritan woman is so radical.
a. How does this compare to your expectations under number one?
I feel like many times we get very watered down versions of people's ideas and perceptions of what the Bible is saying. You never really understand what a word means in until you really understand what it means to the people of the day. If you were to look in any dictionary today, if you looked up the word Samaritan you would find definitions like :"one who is compassionate and helpful to a person in distress, and inhabitant of Samaria" according to But if you actually look at the context of the word and look at what people are saying in the actual passage you'll see something different. For example John 4:9 NRSV " ‘The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" ‘ At first glance you see nothing really profound about this, at first glance I thought that it was the part that he was speaking to a woman that surprised her, I had no idea that it was the fact that she was Samarian that was why she was surprised. This is a perfect example of why you need to find out really what the word means not in today's terms because they were not writing for people in 2008. In today's terms the word Samaritan means a kind person and someone that helps the needy, but when this was written a Samaritan was the scum of the earth and the lowest thing in Jewish culture.
5. What are the benefits of using a concordance in the study of the New Testament?
There are huge benefits to using a concordance when studying the bible. You can look at where everything that you need to know shows up on one page and examine the meaning for yourself. I feel like the concordance really helped me look through the eyes of the author because I understand not only what he is saying but also why it is important that he is saying it. You can also look at who wrote what, and if it shows up in the same places repeatedly, you can also see if it is in the synoptic gospels, and see who thought it was important enough to mention. You see why these authors are writing the way that they are and you are able to understand a deeper meaning of not only a word but also the sentence in which they are using the word in.
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