School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Theses

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    The history of the Defter of the Samaritan liturgy
    Fraser, James Garfield ( 1969)
    The typescript of what was intended to be the final draft for the present work was already well advanced at the time when Zeev Ben-Hayyim’s erudite contribution to Defter studies, The Recitation of Prayers and Hymns, became available. Even a superficial reading of this volume indicated that my own work ought to be revised at several points, but a more careful study revealed nothing that required abandonment of the line of inquiry which I had pursued. It did provoke, however, certain doubts that brought disquiet and unrest to my mind until I could provide an answer to a vexacious problem. It raised the question whether Ben-Hayyim and every other writer on the Samaritan liturgy subsequent to Cowley's printed edition, myself included, had placed too much reliance on his work. Since the answer appeared to lie in the affirmative, there could be no other alternative for me than to begin again. Where the method and techniques of earlier scholarship could stand before modern criticism the results could be accepted, but elsewhere new techniques had to be developed. Hence the present form of this thesis is concerned primarily with problems of method, and of interpreting manuscript evidence. If Cowley's successors must be criticized for their uncritical use of his work, Cowley himself ought to bear responsibility for the methods that he employed. However few if any of his successors have taken the trouble to determine his primary aim or the validity of his method. Although aspects of his work are rejected in the ensuing pages as no longer holding sufficient a degree of accuracy to be used as a basis for further research, the greater part is still extremely valuable even if it must be used with caution. Allowance ought to be made for the fact that new techniques developed subsequent to his work, yet he may not be absolved from all blame because of the way in which he employed the manuscripts which he classified as Defters. Whilst this deficiency is sought out and displayed in the present work, my own admiration for his achievement in his time has increased rather than diminished. (From Preface)
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    The British Museum manuscript or 5034 of the Samaritan Defter: an introduction, and a critical edition of the earlier portion of the text
    Fraser, James Garfield ( 1965)
    During the year 1896, the British Museum acquired a Samaritan liturgical manuscript which it designated OR 5034. It was a composite manuscript containing an early arrangement of the Defter, or Samaritan prayer book. At this time Sir Arthur Ernest Cowley had already seen a substantial portion of his critical edition of the Samaritan liturgy printed, and hence only a portion of the text of this manuscript was utilised in his edition. In an appendix he included the few hymns or portions of hymns not elsewhere extant. Moreover Cowley did not publish the text of any of the Qetafim contained in the various Defter manuscripts. He seems to have regarded them as catenas of quotations from the Pentateuch, whereas they probably represent the development of a lectionary system peculiar to the Samaritans. Such studies as have been made upon them stress their importance, both for the history of the liturgy and the development of Samaritan theology. In codex OR 5034 they are certainly of special value in these two aspects for this manuscript comes from an era before the reconciliation of the priestly and Dosithean parties. Different manuscripts vary in their selection of Qetafim, and these merit publication, even if for no other purpose than to indicate the actual form and content of the liturgy during the various periods from which the manuscripts originate. (From Preface)