Monday, August 24, 2015

Rabanites vs. Karaites vs. Samaritans

I just wanted to provide a quick overview of three Jewish denominations: Rabbanites, Karaites and Samaritans and what books they believe to be divine.

Rabbanites (aka Rabbinic Judaism):

It comes in all shapes and forms and is known as "the Jews" in colloquial sense of this word as this denomination is the most widespread and common. This denomination accepts NK (Neviim and Ketuvim / Prophets and Writings) of the TaNaKh (Torah/Neviim/Ketuvim) plus extra biblical writings known as Oral Law or Oral Torah (Torah shebaal peh) which is basically Talmud (Mishnah and Gemarah) as well as other derrivative Rabbinic writings and commentaries.

Karaites (Karaite Judaism) 

This denomination accepts NK but rejects Oral Torah. However, Karaites have their own traditions that determine how the Torah is interpreted, which is similar to Rabbanites and their Oral Torah.

Samaritans 

This denomination accepts only Torah plus the Book of Joshua. Samaritans also have their own traditions (Oral Torah) that define how Torah is interpreted.

Here is the summary comparison:

  • Rabbanites: Written Torah + Neviim + Ketuvim + "Oral Torah"
  • Karaites:     Written Torah + Neviim + Ketuvim + "traditions"
  • Samaritans: Written Torah + Joshuah + "traditions"
  • Me:             Written Torah ONLY

As you can see, not a single Jewish sect or denomination follows the Written Torah. All these sects and denominations add something to the Written Torah which is in clear violation of Torah's prohibition of adding to it. Basically, there is no pure form of "Judaism" that exists. This is the most important and significant detail to be considered if you are choosing what to believe.

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