Jewish Groups and Views of the Messiah. Samaritans. Great variety in beliefs amongst Jews Samaritans Religion was similar to Judaism; believed temple belonged on Mt. Gerazim , at capital of Samaria; John Hyrcanus , a Hasmonean king, destroyed the temple
1) The Samaritans themselves believed they descended from a remnant of Israelites which remained faithful after most of Israel stopped following God after the Ark of the Covenant was lost in battle (1 Sam 4:3-11).
2) They were half-Jewish, half-foreigner. This view holds that, after 722 BC, when the northern nation of Israel was taken into captivity, their Assyrian conquerors followed their usual policy of taking half of one conquered nation and half of another conquered nation, and switching them. This view was popular for a long time, but has recently been largely rejected by scholarship.
3) The dominant view in scholarship today is that the Samaritans didn’t begin to exist until a few centuries before Christ, when a group of Israelites moved north from Jerusalem to resettle the area around Shechem and Mt. Gerazim. They brought their own priests with them and established a priesthood which was separate from the one in Jerusalem. Over time, the Jews and Samaritans drifted further apart.