This was originally published here four years ago, and is by Jessica. It is a companion piece to Audre’s this morning and a welcome reminder of the blog’s founder. C451

All Along the Watchtower

the-woman-at-the-well-daniel-bonnell The Woman at the Well by Daniel Bonnell

We are so familiar with the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman that we might miss how revolutionary it is in terms of the world in which Jesus lived. Most orthodox Jews would have chosen to avoid passing through Samaria and would have taken the long way round to Galilee, for the inhabitants were considered unclean. The Samaritans descended from people who had cooperated with the Assyrians years before, and when in exile had adopted some of the customs of that place – bringing them back to their old homeland when they returned – including the worship of other gods. The Samaritans married with Gentiles and non-Jews, as well as with Jews; orthodox Jews would, literally, pass by on the other side rather than encounter them; if they had no choice but to meet them, they would seek ritual cleansing afterwards. Yet…

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