Samaritan Druids


#1

Do any of you know anything about the Samaritan Druids? My son was confronted with them in one of his classes. I have found some writings that explain their beliefs’ (vaguely) that the Samaritan society was a mixture of Judaism and paganism.

My son seems shaken by comments made by the professors that the Catholic Mass has it roots in the Samarian Druids beliefs and practices. The most striking thing for him goes to the heart of the Mass - the Eucharist. That is their priest would transform bread and wine into the substance of their god. They consume it so that their spirit may go on. (Note they believe in a form of reincarnation) That their practices right down letter of the thier liturgy are in fact where Catholics got their worship services.

If any of you have some resources or know of some books or web sites that I can review I would appreciate your help. Thanks
Mike


#2

A problem with neo-Pagans, which is what your son seems to have come up against, is that they base their so-called religion on anything and nothing. They are extremely poorly catechised in any mainstream religion, and construct their own based on myths and legends.

Another problem is that we find a lot of these people on university faculties.

You won’t find much about authentic Druidic beliefs anywhere for one simple reason: The Druids didn’t leave any written records!! None!! The only thing we have are fragmentary Roman records, and siginificantly later transcriptions of legends, legends that had continued to evolve for centuries after the Romans wiped out most of the Druids.

One of these legends is that Simon the Samaritan magician from Acts chapter 8 went to Rome, and the stories of him got caught up in Irish legends when the Romans conquered Brittainia. See this link (scroll down to pages 53 and 54): History and Origins of Druids

The only real weight these kinds of stories have comes from shock value. It is so radically unexpected that we tend to listen simply out of shock and disbelief. Closer examination, however, shows that most of these are as solid as smoke.

Most of the other links I was able to pull up had to do with fantasy role-playing games. That’s actually very significant. If there was any validity to these Druidic claims, we should find a great deal more legitimate research on them.

It’s time to bring out the Big Guns.

  1. The first recorded use of bread and wine in the worship of God is not with the Druids, it’s in Genesis.
    Gen 14:18 Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine, and being a priest of God Most High, he blessed Abram.
  2. At the Last Supper Christ didn’t invent some new kind of food and beverage because bread and wine had been tainted by Druidism. He took the bread and wine and blessed them. Bread and wine were always God’s creation to begin with. Why shouldn’t He reclaim them from the pagans for His own use?
  3. Here’s a link the section in the Catechism of the Catholic Church dealing with the institution of the Eucharist and the Mass. Take particular note of the footnotes that reference scripture and the Early Church Fathers.
  4. Have your son ask the teacher for the Druidic source information so that you and he can examine it yourselves. I wouldn’t be surprised if you get no response. If you do, though, bring it here and we’ll help you pick it apart.

Nan


#3

[quote=Michaelj86]My son seems shaken by comments made by the professors that the Catholic Mass has it roots in the Samarian Druids beliefs and practices. The most striking thing for him goes to the heart of the Mass - the Eucharist. That is their priest would transform bread and wine into the substance of their god. They consume it so that their spirit may go on. (Note they believe in a form of reincarnation) That their practices right down letter of the thier liturgy are in fact where Catholics got their worship services.
[/quote]

Oh, balderdash. What he needs to do is confront the professor and demand that the prof provide primary source documents to back up his claim.

He won’t be ablt to do it, because there aren’t any. The closest he might be able to come up with are nineteenth-century screeds like The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop, all of which have been thoroughly discredited.


#4

Do you mean the Druze?


#5

When I was in Israel we visited a few Druze villages. Here’s an article I found about them. There are probably other sects that consider themself Druze as well throughout the world.

jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Society_&_Culture/druze.html

Steph


#6

I have never heard of any Druid rites that involved a sacrificial meal, however, there were many pagan traditions that involved the consumption of sacred meal.

The Mithra cult, for example, did include the consumption of a divine substance as far as I know.

The Christian Eucharist has some clear pagan resonances…however to say that Christians “took” the Eucharist from a pagan rite is anyone’s guess. Many religious rituals and traditions have similarities without having come into direct contact.

It’s important to bear in mind that Christianity began as a strictly Jewish tradition and that the Eucharist is present in the Christian tradition, historically, as soon as St. Paul who was a devote Jew. The Eucharist has its roots, I would say, not in a pagan rite but obviously in the Jewish Passover in which the the body of a sacrificed lamb as sign to escape the wrath of the angel of death was logically appropriate imagery for Jesus who was taught to be that lamb in a new covenant.


#7

Well, I belong to the largest Neopagan Druidic group in the US (have for a number of years) and I have not encountered any reference to Samaritan Druids nor a line of Druidry based on Simon Magus, so I don’t think that the issue is Neopaganism, at least not anything I recognize as mainstream Neopaganism.

I would be very interested in hearing, Michael, about the writings you said you had found in relation to this group and that explain their beliefs however vaguely. Also, which professor was it, what was his field? What was the context of the reference? What sort of educational institution is this–state university, private, religiously affiliated, etc? The professor should indeed be asked for his sources for such a claim.


#8

I apologize to anyone trying to follow the link I put in Post #2 above. I went back to that link and the pages 53-54 that reference Simon did not come up immediately. However, after a bit of fumbling I was able to get them to re-appear.

Here’s what the book History and Origins of Druidism says about Simon the Magician:

Simon Magus was, of course, that Samarian sorcerer mentioned in Acts viii, who later went to Rome to spread his heresies there. Among other magical acts, he flew through the air, on beholding which, St. Peter charitably prayed that he might fall, whereupon he crashed to earth at Nero’s feet, In Irish legend he is said to have assisted the Druid Mog Ruith, to whose feats of magical flight I have alluded, in the manufacture of his celebrated wheel, the Roth Fail, which had the property of flight. In Ireland Simon came to be regarded as a Druid, probably because the word magus, or magician, was employed as a Latin equivalent for “Druid.”

I also found the Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Simon Magus (Simon the Magician) The Bible mentions the Samaritan magician Simon in Acts 8:10, saying that he used sorcery to bewitch the people of Samaria. His teacher was said to be Dositheus, and he was believed to have many magical powers, among them invisibility, being able to pass through fire, the ability to cure the sick and to raise the dead, and the ability to fly.
Simon Peter (Saint Peter) followed him around, outmiracling him at every opportunity and finally encountering him in Rome. In desperation, Simon Magus announced that he would fly to heaven from a specially erected tower in the Campus Martius. Despite his claims to flight, he fell from the tower when Saint Peter prayed to have him fail in his attempt. Simon broke both legs and subsequently died of his injuries.
In Irish folklore, Simon Magus appears associated with Druidic practices and is referred to there as Simon the Druid.

I’d like to re-emphasize an important point I made earlier about Jesus consecrating bread and wine into His Body and Blood:

At the Last Supper Christ didn’t invent some new kind of food and beverage because bread and wine had been tainted by Druidism. He took the bread and wine and blessed them. Bread and wine were always God’s creation to begin with. Why shouldn’t He reclaim them from the pagans for His own use?

Nan


#9

Thank all of you for your insights. I will try to address all of the comments here.

I have told my son to ask for reference material from his Professors; the class is “World Thought One. The college is a Liberal Arts college here in Oklahoma. My son is in his senior year but this is a freshman level course.

I know the school does have a few neo-pagan groups among some of the students. and there are some modern day Wicca’s amoung them. I don’t know much about thier practices.

As for the reference I used, it was on-line and it was addressing the Samarian society as being Jewish and a pagan mix. If you took my statement to mean anything else, I apologize.

I had forgotten about Simon Magus, and I will look at the “DRUEZ” link and the other reference material you have provided me.

I thank each of you for you input: I was truly baffled by my son’s comments. I’ve done some research in ST. Louis University Library, and I haven’t found anything that refers to this “group”. I’m beginning to think that if you will pardon the pun, some one is blowing smoke… Now I will need to get my son to read your comments and nail these professors down.
I will let you know what they provide as their proof or referances.
Michael J


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