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...]

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 Disciples’ Field Trip

The theme of yesterday’s service at my church was the story in Mark 2:23-28. My wife referred to it as Jesus taking the disciples on a “field trip”  - literally! – since the story is set in a field. The story is often viewed as implausible, being understood to envisage Pharisees hanging around fields in [Read More...]

Yahia Yuhana: How Do You Translate a Name and its Translation?

The characteristic introduction in the sections of the Mandaean Book of John focused on John the Baptist (pictured above from Lidzbarski’s edition) reads “Yahia teaches in the nights, Yuhana in the evenings of the nights…” In the translation above, I’ve merely transliterated the names used. But what we have in the text is synonymous parallelism, [Read More...]

Mythicism as Selectively Critical: The Example of Couchoud’s Treatment of John the Baptist

That mythicism is selectively critical, and selectively applies rigorous skepticism to sources, is easy to illustrate. Take  Couchoud’s treatment of John the Baptist as summarized in a recent post on the blog Vridar. There is no skepticism expressed about the words and views attributed to John the Baptist in the New Testament, no suggestion that [Read More...]

The Mandaic Book of John

As an update on the Mandaean Book of John translation project, let me share the news that a blog has been created for the purpose of posting completed drafts of both the typed Mandaic text and English translation of the Mandaean Book of John. It can be visited at http://rogueleaf.com/book-of-john/ Please keep in mind that, [Read More...]


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