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After the Assyrian invasion, many Israelites were removed from the land and placed in cities around the Caspian Sea. People from other nations were brought in to populate the land, and by the time of Christ they had come to be called Samaritans.
Over time the Samaritans mixed their pagan teachings with that of the Jews. While the Samaritans embraced some truth, their religion was still corrupted with their former paganism. They even worshipped on a different mountain in a different city, as mentioned in John 4:20.
There also appears to be a connection between the syncretism of these pagan practices with the teachings of the Pentateuch and the rise of counterfeit Christianity, which mixes the true worship of God and knowledge about Christ with the ancient pagan practices of the Babylonian Samaritans.
This syncretism began under the leadership of Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:9) during the time of Christ’s ministry. After his baptism by Philip, Simon attempted to buy the office of apostle from Peter, hoping to obtain the power to grant others the Holy Spirit. Motivated by greed for power and influence, he faked conversion and managed to receive baptism to appear Christian (Acts 8:9-23). Later historical sources indicate that he blended various elements of paganism and mysticism into a counterfeit Christian philosophy.
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