The Mandaeans: Around the World in 80 Faiths

A friend drew my attention to the above video which, starting around the 3:37 mark, is about the Mandaeans in Sydney, Australia. The video is from the BBC documentary series, Around the World in 80 Faiths. On the BBC documentary’s web site, you can also see many other video clips, including about the Samaritan Passover. [Read more...]

βαπτιστων

Brian Le Port has an interesting post about John the Baptist and related matters. He draws attention to a reference by Justin Martyr to a Jewish group which he refers to as βαπτιστων. The term is used in modern Greek for “Baptists” (as in the Christian denomination). I wonder whether the term most likely denoted [Read More...]

John the Baptist and the Gnostics

Miguel Conner has an article in The Examiner highlighting the various mentions of and views about John the Baptist in Gnostic sources. In it, he links to one of the chapters I translated from the Mandaean Book of John! There is a need for a detailed scholarly treatment of this topic. When G. R. S. [Read More...]

#sblaar Mandaean Running

Yesterday morning was the first bit of genuinely free time I have had at the conference, and so I spent some time in the book exhibit and elsewhere, talking with friends. This rest was helpful in preparing for what lay in store that afternoon… First there was a session on mysticism, esotericism, and Gnosticism, in [Read More...]

Online Version of #SBLAAR Conference Paper: Revisiting the Relationship between the Mandaean Book of John and the New Testament

I have posted a copy of my conference paper which I will be reading at the Society of Biblical Literature Conference. This version has full quotation of several relevant chapters from the Mandaean Book of John embedded within the text of the paper at relevant points, online. Those same texts and more can be found at [Read More...]

#SBLAAR Conference Paper Teaser: John-Books and Sabbath-Loosing

I will post a link from my blog to a full version of my conference paper soon, with primary texts and extra sections included that I do not have time to include in the actual presentation. I will post that on the day I actually read the paper, so that the link will be at [Read More...]

Late Texts, Early Traditions continued: Thomases, Johns, and Marks

Here I am continuing some preliminary reflections related to my upcoming conference paper (which I began in an earlier post). My research interests which intersect with the methodological question I raised in my previous post, about the discerning of ancient traditions and of independent traditions in relatively late texts, seem to revolve around Johns and Thomases. [Read More...]

Blogging One’s Conference Paper

The night before last, I put the finishing touches on the first completed draft of my conference paper for the upcoming Society of Biblical Literature conference in Chicago. It will still need to be worked on – most likely to trim it to the appropriate length. I anticipate posting the complete paper on the blog [Read More...]

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...]

Bones of John the Baptist?

The news has been making the rounds that bones have been found which some think might have belonged to John the Baptist. This is a story which first appeared in 2010, but which has been revived by the carbon dating of the knuckle bone to the first century. The site Skeptic reports on the matter [Read More...]


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