NEH Award Funds Commentary on the Mandaean Book of John

The NEH has issued a press release, and so presumably it is OK to announce publicly that the NEH has awarded a grant for the second stage of our project on the Mandaean Book of John, to add a commentary to the translation and Mandaic text that resulted from our past two years of work. [Read More...]

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 [Read More...]

Anush-Uthra vs. Jesus: Smackdown in Jerusalem

I just posted another draft of a chapter from the Mandaean Book of John. In this chapter, chapter 76, there are a few places where the meaning of the text is not entirely clear (do I need to mention this when it is true of pretty much every section of every Mandaic text?). But the [Read More...]

Undecipherable Inscription

Via Bob Becking on Facebook   Posted with Blogsy [Read more...]

Miriai is a Vine, a Tree that Stands at the Mouth of the Euphrates

I’ve just posted on the project blog a draft of my translation of chapter 35 of the Mandaean Book of John, the second and longer of the two chapters focused on the story of Miriai. While chapter 34 was relatively mundane by comparison (but still incredibly interesting, in my opinion!), chapter 35 is full of [Read More...]

Ken Ham is a Con Artist and Wants Other Christians To Be Con Artists Too

The phrase “con artist” developed from the phrase “confidence man” which later became shortened to “con man.” The original focus in the term “con” was not on the swindling of the victim per se, therefore, but on the means of doing so: gaining the victim’s confidence, often through the perpetrator speaking with confidence and in [Read More...]

Miriai’s Story

One of the first stories I became acquainted with in the Mandaean Book of John is the story of Miriai. Since it is one of the excerpts from the book that had previously been translated into English, it was interesting to spend some time wrestling with some of the obscure terms and idioms in the [Read More...]

The EThOS of Open Access

Thanks to Nick Norelli for highlighting that a number of UK doctoral dissertations – including my own – are available for download from the British Library database EThOS, which stands for Electronic Theses Online Service. There are also a couple of theses related to the Mandaeans, one of which served as the basis for the [Read More...]

Geez, I’m a Language Geek

It is surely a clear sign that I am a language geek that when I see the word “Geez” written somewhere, the first thing I think of is not the shortened way of saying “Jesus” to express surprise or frustration… …but rather something that looks like this: [Read more...]

The Importance of Language Learning Illustrated

This morning I had a useful illustration of why learning as much as you can of a language is important. This morning, I left my bag near my room as instructed and went to the elevator. A couple of bellboys passed and I heard one of them say a number in Hebrew. I was fortunate [Read More...]

Happy Easter!

Χριστός ανέστη, Hristos a înviat, and Happy Easter to those who observe the orthodox calendar! Thanks for the above image to Pithless Thoughts – who I hope will also share how one actually says “Christ is Risen” or “Happy Easter” in Klingon, since even the language site Omniglot doesn’t know. I wonder if that is [Read More...]


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