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Baba Rabba, literally "The Great Father", was one of the greatest of the Samaritan High Priests. He is believed to have lived during the late third and early fourth century AD; Cohen puts his birth at 288 and his death at 328.
The son of the Samaritan high priest Nethanel, Baba Rabba was probably born in Shechem. Little is known about his life. According to later Samaritan works, he was a religious reformer and together with the scholar Marqah helped codify Samaritan liturgy and worship. He appears to have had connections with the Roman authorities, and may have exercised some temporal authority over the Samaritan community, which appears to have been relatively autonomous during this period. One chronicle places his death at 362 in Constantinople.
Baba Rabba's reign is remembered as a golden age by Samaritans to this day. Tales of his piety and miracle-working are a mainstay of Samaritan folklore.
- Cohen, Jeffrey M. (1981). A Samaritan chronicle: a source-critical analysis of the life and times of the great Samaritan reformer, Baba Rabbah. Studia Post-Biblica 30. Leiden: Brill. pp. 225–226. ISBN 9789004062153.
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