Samaritan Pentateuch

On the return from the Exile, the Jews refused the Samaritans
participation with them in the worship at Jerusalem, and the
latter separated from all fellowship with them, and built a
temple for themselves on Mount Gerizim. This temple was razed to
the ground more than one hundred years B.C. Then a system of
worship was instituted similar to that of the temple at
Jerusalem. It was founded on the Law, copies of which had been
multiplied in Israel as well as in Judah. Thus the Pentateuch
was preserved among the Samaritans, although they never called
it by this name, but always "the Law," which they read as one
book. The division into five books, as we now have it, however,
was adopted by the Samaritans, as it was by the Jews, in all
their priests' copies of "the Law," for the sake of convenience.
This was the only portion of the Old Testament which was
accepted by the Samaritans as of divine authority.

The form of the letters in the manuscript copies of the
Samaritan Pentateuch is different from that of the Hebrew
copies, and is probably the same as that which was in general
use before the Captivity. There are other peculiarities in the
writing which need not here be specified.

There are important differences between the Hebrew and the
Samaritan copies of the Pentateuch in the readings of many
sentences. In about two thousand instances in which the
Samaritan and the Jewish texts differ, the LXX. agrees with the
former. The New Testament also, when quoting from the Old
Testament, agrees as a rule with the Samaritan text, where that
differs from the Jewish. Thus Ex. 12:40 in the Samaritan reads,
"Now the sojourning of the children of Israel and of their
fathers which they had dwelt in the land of Canaan and in Egypt
was four hundred and thirty years" (compare Gal. 3:17). It may be
noted that the LXX. has the same reading of this text.