John 8:48-59 Sunday School
“I know you are, but what am I?”
The relationship between Jews and Samaritans, which was rocky during the Persian period, grew more hostile during the Hellenistic era. Sirach (late third century) records the earliest evidence for Jewish hostility toward the Samaritans, stating that “the foolish people who live in Shechem are “not even a people” (Sirach 50:25–26).
Both Samaritans and Jews were affected by the persecutions of Antiochus IV; however, 2 Maccabees and Josephus provide different interpretations of the Samaritans’ reaction. According to 2 Macc 6:2, Antiochus IV forced the Samaritans to dedicate their sanctuary to Zeus Xenios; in contrast, Josephus claims that the Samaritans did this willingly.
The Samaritans’ religious practices were similar to the Jews with a few major exceptions—mainly, the Samaritans thought of Mount Gerizim, not Jerusalem, as the proper place of worship. The Samaritans, like the Sadducees, were more “conservative” than other Jews in that they the rejected the authority of the prophets and writings, and relied exclusively on their edition of the Pentateuch (Samaritan Pentateuch). The Samaritans also did not celebrate Purim or Hanukkah.
A primary difference between Samaritans and Jews is that they believed that Yahweh should be worshiped in Shechem rather than Jerusalem. Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman in the Gospel of John highlights this difference (John 4:20–21).
The Truth Comes Out
“I know you are but what am I infinity!!”
The Bomb is Dropped
it means: you have not even indirectly made His acquaintance, but I have made His acquaintance directly; I. have looked at Him and know Him by intention.