The Life and Teaching of John the Baptist according to the Mandaean Book of John

Now that I have finished at least a still provisional but nevertheless complete translation of the chapters in the “Drasha d-Yahia” (which itself might be better rendered The Teaching of John rather than The Book of John) about the life and teaching of John the Baptist, I wanted to share links to them here.

18. Portents of the Birth of John the Baptist
19. A Garment from the First Life
20. John Discusses Halos with the Sun
21. No One Compares to John
22. A Proclamation of War in the World
23. The Pitfall of Impure Women
24. More on the Pitfall of Impure Women
25. Sleeping in the Day of Judgment
26. Seeking a Garment of Eight
27. John’s Teaching Rocks the Temple
28. John Teaches about Punishments
29. John Teaches on the Importance of Charity
30. Jesus Comes to John to be Baptized
31. John Marries Anhar
32. John’s Parents Continued

Of related interest, I happened across the English translation of an Introduction to the New Testament by Johann David Michaelis on Google Books. As you will see if you click through, already in the late 18th century, there were those who were not only taking an interest in Mandaean sources, but who saw a relationship between them and the Gospel of John.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Harrison/1558354000 Jim Harrison

    Point of information (not entirely on topic, but you seem to be the right guy to ask): J. Massyngberde Ford, the editor/translator of the Anchor Bible volume on Revelation, had the theory that Revelation was largely the work of followers of John the Baptist rather than early Christians. Does anybody take this theory seriously at present?

    • Allan

      I thought the current trend was to see Revelation as the work of a so-called “Judaizer” – one of whose whom Saint Paul had it in for.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        Sorry for the long delay in replying. The possibility that the work originated with followers of John the Baptist has never been given that much attention by scholars. It would be interesting to consider that hypothesis in conjunction with George Beasley-Murray’s, which suggests that Revelation is a Christianized version of an earlier Jewish apocalypse.

        That the author was a “Judaizer” (I dislike the term, since the term in the New Testament refers to those who adopt Jewish customs, not those who promote their doing so) – or better, a conservative Jewish Christian of the sort that opposed Paul – is plausible. The author takes a hardline stance on food sacrificed to idols which is different from that adopted by Paul, regarding the matter as relatively unimportant as long as it does not lead others into idol worship.


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