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May 12, 1967 - Image 47

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-05-12

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Important Discovery by Prof. Spiro: Addendum
to Anchor "Acts' Shows Stephen Was Samaritan

An important discovery, in his
New Testament research, was
made by Prof. Abram Spiro, head
of the Near Eastern Department at
Wayne St ate University and a noted
biblical scholar. The newest vol-
ume in the Anchor Bible Series
published by Doubleday, "The Acts
of the Apostles," carries an ap-
pendix culled from the writings of
Dr. Spiro showing that Stephen, one
of the apostles recorded in "Acts",
was a Samaritan.
The new Anchor Bible was edited
by the late Prof. Johannes Munck
of Aarhus University, who was a
visiting professor at Princeton in
1964-65 and who died shortly after
his return to Denmark.
This "Acts" volume was revised

by the editor of Anchor series,
Prof. W. F. Albright, and Dr. C.
S. Mann of London. The brief
preface which was written by
Prof. Munck is supplemented
with an added prefatorial note by
his widow, Elisabeth Munck.

longer as contrasting but as
parallel figures."
appendices deal with Luke's
of the Apostles."
The understanding needed in the ethnic background, with "Eyewit-
reading of the "Acts" is provided nesses" in Luke," with Pentecost
in the scholarly introduction which in Acts and Jerusalem Church in
explained the position of Acts as Acts, as well as with "Hellenists"
following the gospels, preceding and "Hebrews." Of special value
Paul's epistles, originally having and unusual interest is the chapter
been the second part of a single "Stephen's Samaritan Background"
work, the first being the Gospel of which is the condensation of the
material that was prepared by Dr.
Acts' authorship by Luke, the Spiro.
In his analysis of the character
physician who was Peter's fellow
worker, is thoroughly analyzed. of Stephen, Prof. Spiro shows how
Prof. Munck's evaluative study the member of the cast in Acts,
states: "To read Acts through from Stephen, had downgraded Moses.
beginning to end is like traveling lie shows that the exaltation of
in mountainous Switzerland, a land Abraham and the downgrading of
sharply divided into separate areas Moses in Stephen's views repre-
which has nevertheless been molded sented "an early stage in Samari-
1 into a whole both by nature and by tan attachment to Israel." But the
human effort . . . With Acts, the laws of Moses, he declares "were
individual chapters have their own slow in becoming a vital force
character both with regard to form among the Samaritans.
Dr. Spiro's research is exten-
and content, but they are united in
sive. He delves deeply into Sa-
a work that is infused and unified
maritan regulations and the de-
lby the purpose of the author."

a sad background for Christian-
Jewish relations are in "The Acts

Regarding the purpose, the
Prof. Munck's work includes his •
question is posed whether "Acts
comments on the text of "Acts"—
is a piece of propaganda intend-
his explanatory notes on the ex-
ed to represent an adjustment of
periences of the Apostles, on the
the original contrast between
arrests and imprisonment of Paul,
Jewish and Gentile Christianity."
Peter and John, on Paul's experi-
Prof. Muck's view is that "Acts
ences as recorded in the New Test-
is actually an example of the
ament books, on the Crucifixion ani
compromise between the two
the charges against Jews, the San.
contrasting groups, for it de-
hedrin and the priesthood. The
scribes Peter, the representative
Christological elements involving
Jews, the charges and the tragic I of Jewish Christianity, and Paul,
the apostle to the Gentiles, no I
occurrences that established such

velopment of their activities. He
states: "Since the Samaritans de-
rived their knowledge of the
heroes and the lore of Israel—
Abraham, Moses, Egypt, Sinai—
largely from the oral traditions
of the North Israelites among
whom they had been settled,
Moses and his laws, known to
them chiefly from the Pentateuch
which they had imported from
Jerusalem, made relatively slow
progress with them. Moreover,

New Catholic Encyclopedia Contains Vast
Amount of Jewish Facts, Bible Research

Already widely acclaimed for its in the notorious Hilsner case of ' thoroughness in its approaches and
I fairness in dealing with all sub-
highly scholarly character, praised 1899.
Similarly, in numerous other in- l jects of general as well as of
for the objective approaches of its
participating authors, the New stances, this encyclopedia aims at I Catholic interest.
Catholic Encyclopedia, published by
McGraw Hill Book Co., continues to
gain increasing interest.
Filled with data about every con-
ceivable social as well as theologi-
cal subject, with scholars from all
faiths among the participating wri-
ters, the subjects involving Jews
vise the commission in writing
The Michigan Civil Rights Com-
and Judaism are treated with such mission has issued an order to
of specific steps taken to imple-
fairness that the compliers ere General Motors Corp. satisfactorily
ment these commitments.
earning the plaudits. that are resolving a complaint of religious
The commission will make ser-
discrimination by Philip Marlowe, vices of its staff available to assist
Dr. Louis Finkelstein is one of a Jew.
in the general implementation of
the contributing authors, having
The company agreed to terms of this order, and commission repre-
written the essay on "Jewish the order, following issuance of a sentatives will periodically review
Theological Education."
formal charge by the commission with GMC progress made under
terms of this order.
The section dealing with all as- and scheduling of a hearing.
Marlowe had charged that GMC
The order was announced after
pects of the Bible is among the
most impressive from a general the commission determined there discriminated against him by refu-
viewpoint. The contributions to bib- were sufficient grounds to credit sal of opportunity for upgrading;
harassment, including use of dis-
lical studies by all nations are the charges made by Marlowe.
Under the terms of the order, criminatory language relating to
evaluated in this lengthy section.
his religion, by fellow employes
There is a portion devoted to Jew- General Motors Corp. will:
Remove from Marlowe's person- and supervisory personnel; and
ish studies, to the newest revised
English translations of the Bible nel records any indication of dis- excessive and unequal discipline,
conducted by the Jewish Publica- ciplinary actions against him on including suspensions for the bal-
tion Society, including the Tora or about Dec. 21, 1965 and June 7, ance of the shift and two days in
April 1964 and December 1965 and
translation under the chairmanship 1966.
Pay Marlowe $307.32, less de- for the balance of the shift and
of Dr. Harry Orlinsky, as well as
other Jewish efforts in recent and ductions required by law, repre- five days in June 1966.
Although original attempts at
senting the wages he would have
earlier times.
conciliation were unsuccessful, the
A one-volume Prospectus on the earned had such disciplinary ac- negotiations, which followed issu-
New Catholic Encyclopedia issued tions not been taken.
Afford him the same reasonable ance of a formal charge by the
by McGraw Hill epitomizes the 15
opportunities for trans- commission, resulted in a satisfac-
volumes which have gone on sale and equal

GMC Agrees to Terms
Resolving Bias Issue

for $550. with a special rate of $450
to libraries and schools.

ferring and upgrading, in accord-
ance with his rights under nego-
tiated collective bargaining agree-
ments, as are afforded other em-
ployes, similarly situated, without
regard to race, religion, color, na-
tional origin, age or sex.
Explain to supervisory and
hourly personnel of the division
in question, its policy and rules
prohibiting harassment and dis-
crimination against persons in its
employ because of race, reli-
gion, color, national origin, age
or sex. GMC will explain to such
persons that violation of such
policy or rules will result in dis-
ciplinary action. GMC will ad-

The section devoted to the
Bible is enriched by an interest-
ing studies of Aramaic Versions,
Targums and Synagogue liturgy
and other valuable elements re-
lated to biblical history, tradi-
tions and practices.
There are excellent evaluations
of the Masora and other subjects
of special Jewish interest.
The completeness of studies is
indicated in the brief item about
the late Thomas Garrigue Masaryk.
The author of this sketch refers to
Masaryk's role in fighting anti-
Semitism at the time when he led
in exposing the ritual murder libel 48 Friday, May 12, 1967

tory agreement. General Motors
Corp. has declared throughout the
proceedings that there was no dis-
The MCRC secretary, Commis-
sioner Sidney M. Shevitz, said:
"We're gratified that General
Motors Corp., the commission and
Mr. Marlowe could reach an agree-
ment without the expense and time
of a public hearing, and yet achieve
the results which could be achiev-
ed in such a hearing.
`Not only does this settle a dis-
pute with an individual claimant
which always is desirable, but this
also is evidence of a sense of res-
ponsibility by a major employer."


pears, part of the anti Jewish atti-
tude among Samaritans.
Dr. Spiro points to some incon-
sistencies in New Testament books
and he disputes some of the claims
of commentators. He points out
inter alia:
"Paul, the Jew, was hurt by
the anti-Jewish propaganda of
the Samaritan Christians, and it
galled him to see that they had
laid claim to Jesus, making him
either a Samaritan or a champ-
ion of Samaritan causes. Corinth
had a synagogue of the Hebrews,
that is, a Samaritan synagogue.
The Samaritan missionaries of
Corinth presumbly used this syn-
agogue as their base of opera-
tions. Not only were 'Hebrews'
Paul's enemies, but also the allies
of the 'Hebrews,' namely, the
'Hellenists.' We are informed of
Paul soon after his conversion
that 'he spoke and disputed
against the Hellenists; but they
were seeking to kill him' (Acts
IX 29)."

Abraham was intimately con-
nected with Shechem . . Be-
cause of Abraham's association
with their own Mesopotamian
home the people of Samaria pre-
ferred Abraham to Moses . . .
He adds: "But the dominance of
Moses reached great heights
among the Samaritans in the
centuries that followed Stephen."


The new Anchor Bible volume
thus is greatly enriched by schol-
arly research and the Spiro essay
exposes the "anti-Semitism" of the
Samaritans, at the same time indi-
cating the anti-Jewish attitude of
Stephen. Dr. Spiro's research is in
progress and we are informed his
complete text, now in the making,
will take considerable time to con-
clude since it requires much added
study and search for historic data.


In his examination of Stephen's
missionary discourse, Dr. Spiro
shows that the study of it is rela-
tively easy because "it was trans-
mitted faithfully by Luke." Dr.
Spiro points to Stephen's use of the
argument of "the illegitamacy of
Jerusalem" as part of his "polemic
against the Jews." It was, it ap-



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Reading material in vocalized Easy Hebrew, and also material foe
advanced students may be obtained through your local Hebrew.
Organization or by writing to; Brit Ivrit Olamit, P.O.B. 7111,

Published by &it Ivrit Olamit

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