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Biblical Archaeology Review 48:2, Summer 2022

Test Kitchen: Good Samaritan Hummus

The Samaritans are likely best known in the Western world for one person—the famous “Good Samaritan” of Jesus’s parable found in Luke 10:25-37. This character comes from a rich culture—still thriving today—that traces its descent back to the northern Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, as well as to the tribe of Levi.

Mentioned several times in the Hebrew Bible, the Samaritans helped finance the restoration of the First Temple under King Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:9). However, with the return from exile and the rebuilding of the Temple (Ezra 4), Samaritan assistance was offered but turned away—the returning Jews questioned the Samaritans’ claim to Jewish descent and the syncretic elements of their religion.a This cultural break lasted well into the time of the Second Temple and played a role in Jesus’s parables and ministry.

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