Books of John

As I’ve been working on the commentary on the Mandaean Book of John this summer, I’ve been struck from time to time by seemingly close parallels and points of intersection with the New Testament. For instance, here’s an excerpt from the start of chapter 13, from which the quote above is taken: It is to [Read More...]

Translating Names

Charles Häberl has blogged about an issue that translators regularly face, and which we must deal with as we work towards the final version of our translation of the Mandaean Book of John (or as it might perhaps better be called, The Doctrine of John or The Teaching of John). How are names best translated? When [Read More...]

ASMEA Opportunity to Research the Mandaeans

The Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa has research awards to support scholars. The 2014 subject areas include repressive regimes, Minority Faiths and Co-existence/Adaptation, and the Ancient Sources of the Modern Religious Traditions. If there’s someone interested in branching out to include the Mandaeans as part of their scholarly research, this would [Read More...]

AAR Call for Papers (Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity)

The American Academy of Religion call for papers for the 2014 annual meeting is now live, and it includes a brand new program unit which I co-chair. Here are the details. Click through to submit a paper proposal! Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Group Statement of Purpose: This program unit focused on Late Antiquity in [Read More...]

Unpublished Mandaean Texts

Marek Vinklat has shared a book chapter of his on Academia.edu, “Forgotten Mandaic Magic Texts in the British Museum.” The chapter begins by noting that there are numerous neglected, misidentified, and otherwise unknown Mandaic texts in various museums and libraries, and then goes on to offer a study of one of them.   [Read more...]

#AARSBL Day 3

Yesterday I chaired the “Traditions of East Late Antiquity” exploratory session. Apparently exploratory sessions get a set time slot irrespective of the number of papers, and so we had had to set a time limit of 15 minutes each. The result was actually quite remarkable – each paper was focused and fit exactly in the [Read More...]

Mandaeans at AAR/SBL 2013

Those interested in the Mandaeans find themselves overlapping the AAR and SBL groups, and there is a session hoping to lead to a new AAR program unit which is offered this year with a view to providing a natural home for the study of the Mandaeans and other traditions. Since some who study Mandaeism are [Read More...]

Dissimulation and Survival: from the Mandaeans to Doctor Who

Charles Haberl shared his latest publication on the Mandaeans and their religious history. It looks at how they have used a strategy of emphasizing to those in power their relatedness to and acceptability from the perspective of the dominant religion on the one hand, while also emphasizing within their community their own distinctiveness and superiority [Read More...]

Beyond Library Walls

Today’s Indianapolis Star includes an article by Stephanie Wang on academic libraries’ move in the direction of focusing on digital resources. The article mentions me, as I spoke with Ms. Wang on the phone the other day. She had heard from our dean of libraries, whom she also interviewed for the article she was working [Read More...]

Pre-Christian Gnosticism and Christology

Larry Hurtado posted recently about his talk on “fallacies and fashions” in New Testament studies. One fashionable fallacy he focused on is the notion of a pre-Christian Gnostic redeemer myth, as was posited by the History of Religion School in the 20th century. As Hurtado mentions, Carsten Colpe (in Die religionsgeschichtliche Schule: Darstellung und Kritik [Read More...]

He Shall Be Called a Nazorean: Intertextuality Without an Intertext?

In 2010 I read a conference paper at SBL on the reference in the Gospel of Matthew to something prophets had supposedly said, “He shall be called a Nazorean.” I looked at it from the perspective of intertextuality, and also brought my work on the Mandaeans into the picture. Since I still have not found [Read More...]


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