Magic Bowls at #AARSBL15 in Atlanta

For those interested in Judaism, Mandaeism, Late Antiquity, ancient magic, Aramaic, and any number of other topics, there are two sessions at AAR this year that you ought not to miss. One is the Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity session, about which I’ll include details further below. But the other is a session which will [Read More...]

Syriac Summer School

VHMML has added a range of resources to its website, including a school for learning to read Syriac manuscripts. Byzantine News shared news about the summer school HMML and Dumbarton Oaks will be holding this summer. Tony Burke blogged about the critical edition of the Syriac Infancy Gospel of Thomas that he has been working on. Of [Read More...]

Strong Ability in Biblical Languages

As I sought feedback on the Swahili lyrics of Baba Yetu recently, one of the most crucial kinds of feedback I received was of the sort that said “X rather than Y sounds more natural to a native speaker.” As Bill Mounce pointed out in a recent blog post, this is the kind of instinctive [Read More...]

The Swahili of Baba Yetu

Gamers have been fascinated by the lyrics to Baba Yetu, Christopher Tin’s award-winning music for the video game Civilization IV, for more than a decade. When the song was first released, there were attempts to transcribe and translate the lyrics, with some comical results – such as where someone thought the lyrics at one point [Read More...]

A Neo-Mandaic Story

Steve Caruso drew attention to a video that Charles Häberl has made of a Neo-Mandaic folk tale, narrated by Nasser Abu Issa Sobbi. If you are interested in the Mandaeans, the Middle East, or modern spoken Aramaic, you should definitely watch this video. [Read more...]

Et YouTube, Brutus?

Via He Has A Wife You Know. Reminiscent somehow of the sacred selfies I shared recently. [Read more...]

First Mandaean on Pluto

Jim Davila noticed before I did that Charles Häberl‘s social media campaign to get part of Pluto named after Krun – the Mandaean lord of the underworld – was successful. The designation of one of Pluto’s recently-revealed land features with the name Krun marks the first time that a celestial body has been given a Mandaean name [Read More...]

Baba Yetu

I’ve mentioned the song Baba Yetu before. It is music from the game Civilization IV, and the words are the Lord’s Prayer in Swahili. This a capella version by Peter Hollens with Malukah is a nice arrangement. Now that I am diving into learning Swahili, I should probably apply something that has proven helpful with [Read More...]

Fundamentalists and Scholarship

I made the same point some years ago in a blog post. But the above image, shared on Facebook by the page Science & Scripture, makes the point much more effectively and succinctly. Does someone claim that they simply read the Bible and have no need for scholars, when they are reading the Bible in translation, [Read More...]

Bad Hebrew = Free Advertising

There is a blog dedicated to bad Hebrew tattoos. I had apparently neglected it for a long time, because in a post from quite some time ago, they shared this gem: The person apparently wanted to profess their love for someone, and so decided to do so in Hebrew using Babylon translation software. If you [Read More...]

Parque Jurasico V

I learned today of the above video, set on Butler University’s campus. It was created as part of a Spanish language course, in which students were required to make videos which incorporated multiple instances of a particular grammatical form. Can you tell which one? The video has subtitles, for those who need them. I share [Read More...]