Abiding Questions

In working on my conference paper on lightworld visitors to Jerusalem in the Mandaean Book of John, I've been looking up related passages in the Nag Hammadi texts. Below is a passage from “The Sophia of Jesus Christ,” which always strikes me, because the response of Philip on behalf of the disciples describes something that [Read More...]

Jesus vs. Mandaean Lightworld Figures in the Great Treasure

Here are another couple of excerpts from the Great Treasure or Ginza Rba, which are relevant to my conference paper on depictions of lightworld visitors to Jerusalem in the Mandaean Book of John. They are also related to one another. First here is GR 1.199-200, : If he harasses you, tell him: “We belong to [Read More...]

Final Program for the ARAM Conference on the Mandaeans

I received the final version of the program for the upcoming conference on the Mandaeans at the Oriental Institute in Oxford. Here it is: MONDAY, JULY 08, 2013 (Venue: The Oriental Institute, Pusey Lane) Chairperson:Rifaat Ebied (Sydney University) 09:00-10:00     Charles G. Häberl (The State University of New Jersey) “Dating the language of the Mandaean Book [Read More...]

Intertextual Echoes in the Great Treasure 3.589-590

In preparing a conference paper related to the Mandaean Book of John, I have been doing some reading in the Ginza Rba (Great Treasure) looking for related texts. In reading Robert Haardt’s translation of 3.589.8-3.590.34, I was struck by just how many echoes there are of other texts – and by what those texts are. [Read More...]

The Mandaeans and John the Baptist

I was asked a question on the Mandaean Book of John blog, and thought I’d share my answer here as well. The question was about whether there could have been a historical connection between John the Baptist and the Mandaeans. Here’s what I answered: I think that it is entirely possible that there is some [Read More...]

Mandaean Handicrafts

Here is another gallery of photos kindly provided by Brian Mubaraki (for which he and I apologize for the overlaid copyright symbol). They give an illustration of the range of beautiful crafts that Mandaeans produce. While they are most famous for their work with silver, the photos show that their skills are not limited to [Read More...]

Jerusalem’s Construction and Destruction (Right Ginza 15.11.328-333)

This is a quick translation of this passage from the Great Treasure (Ginza Rba), the Mandaean sacred text. It relies heavily on Lidzbarski’s German translation, cross-referenced with the online Ginza concordance mostly when either the German was ambiguous, or I was curious what the underlying Mandaic was. In most instances when I looked because the German [Read More...]

Mandi in Australia

Brian Mubaraki has kindly shared some more photos from the Mandaean community in Australia. I’ve made a gallery below, so that you can click on each image to see it larger, and a second time to see it full size if you wish to. Brian shared this information about the photos: The pictures are of [Read More...]

Maligning Mythicist and Nazareth Nazorean

Richard Carrier has written a characteristically-long blog post which ends with the following sentence: “But alas, when people make false claims about our work and straw man our arguments in an effort to malign our competence, sometimes we have to pay at least the respect of exposing what they’ve done.” The post also mentions a [Read More...]

Mandaean Resources Online

In one of those interesting internet convergences, two blogs I subscribe to offered links to web resources related to the Mandaeans in the past couple of days. First, Hieroi Logoi highlighted several online resources, in particular the Mandaean Book of John project that I am involved in. And then shortly after, Ancient World Online shared [Read More...]

No Wait, I Can Fix This…

Steve Caruso shared an image related to his work on the Mandaean Book of John project – this image illustrating a scribe’s “indecisiveness” about what to write, as it unfolded in an era before erasers: Click through to read more about it, and to see Steve’s color-coded explanation of the letters. It is a good [Read More...]


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