Quote of the Day

“It’s not lost, it’s not a gospel, it’s a very naughty marketing campaign.” – Rev. Arun Arora, speaking about the claims in Simcha Jacobovici’s book The Lost Gospel. [Read more...]

Married with Children? Recent Headlines About Jesus and Mary Magdalene

Lots of people have been sharing the “news” headlines that a Syriac text allegedly reveals that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children with her. The fact that the book these news articles are designed to promote mentions “decoding” an ancient text is the first sign that this is dubious. That the “decoding” will be carried [Read More...]

Lexidion Codicis Nasaraei

I had the privilege of visiting the rare books room at Christian Theological Seminary yesterday. One item that caught my eye is the one I took a photo of above, Matthias Norberg’s Lexidion Codicis Nasaraei. It is a dictionary of the words in the Ginza Rba (Great Treasure), the principal sacred text of the Mandaeans. [Read More...]

Helicopters and Spaceships in Ancient Hieroglyphics?

OK, admit it, when you look at this picture, it does remind a modern person of helicopters and spaceships, right? So is there a logical explanation for this – one that doesn’t involve ancient aliens? There most certainly is, and I’m grateful to Michael Heiser for drawing attention to it. Click through to the MDW-NTR blog to [Read More...]

Supernatural Syriac

I’ve had the TV show Supernatural on my radar as something I should watch at least since 2009, when a student pointed out to me that a Mandaean amulet got a mention on the show. Today I was nearby when someone was watching an episode, and I did a double take when I saw Syriac writing [Read More...]

Expository Preaching in the First Century

  Via Anglican Memes and Humour on Facebook.   [Read more...]

Online Resources

A wealth of online resources have come to my attention in recent days: Older issues of the journal Neotestamentica are available online for free. David Meadow shared materials from an epigraphy workshop. AWOL pointed out a wealth of Coptic resources, as well as a free app for taking a field trip to Corinth. Jim West [Read More...]

Abba isn’t Daddy

Both Steve Caruso and I have made this point before. But Steve has reduced the point to a very simple infographic, and so I thought it was worth sharing.   [Read more...]

Betascript Publishing

Sometimes when I’m on eBay, I’ll type in a word related to my research interests, to see what’s there. When I typed in “Mandaean” today, I saw a book that I had never seen before, on the Mandaic Language, selling for $68.93, published by Betascript Publishing. A quick glance at the cover had this self-contradictory [Read More...]

Speaking in Tongues at Crooked Creek Baptist Church

Today at my church, as it was Pentecost, we had the text (Acts 2:1-13) read in several different languages. I contributed by reading the text in Koine Greek. I was rather annoyed with myself for not being able to read it out loud in a more fluent manner, without stumbling a bit over longer words [Read More...]

Syriac Manuscripts from the Vatican Library Online

The Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts at Brigham Young University announced that a large number of additional Syriac manuscripts in the Vatican Library are now available in digital form online. Click through for a list of the manuscripts with details about what each one is. [Read more...]


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