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...]

The Mandaean Book of John – Hacked!

As Steve Caruso and Jim West have mentioned on their blogs, a hacker has brought down GoDaddy sites, including RogueLeaf which is where we have been posting chapters of our English translation of the Mandaean Book of John as we completed them. The plan has always been to move them elsewhere once everything was ready, [Read More...]

Eyes Encyclopedia of Knowledge: Mandaic and Arabic Editions of Mandaean Texts Online

The web site (connected with one that bears the title “The Eyes Encyclopedia of Knowledge“) has a number of useful items on it, including an Arabic translation of the Book of John and bilingual Mandaic and Arabic editions of other texts such as the Haran Gawaita, which can be read online. [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...]

Anush-Uthra vs. Jesus: Smackdown in Jerusalem

I just posted another draft of a chapter from the Mandaean Book of John. In this chapter, chapter 76, there are a few places where the meaning of the text is not entirely clear (do I need to mention this when it is true of pretty much every section of every Mandaic text?). But the [Read More...]

Miriai is a Vine, a Tree that Stands at the Mouth of the Euphrates

I’ve just posted on the project blog a draft of my translation of chapter 35 of the Mandaean Book of John, the second and longer of the two chapters focused on the story of Miriai. While chapter 34 was relatively mundane by comparison (but still incredibly interesting, in my opinion!), chapter 35 is full of [Read More...]

Melammu, the Mandaeans and other Mesopotamians

Charles Jones posted at Ancient World Online about the Melammu project, which has a digital library dedicated to “The Intellectual Heritage of Assyria and Babylonia in East and West.” The site contains numerous interesting pieces, but not surprisingly the one that grabbed my attention was Amar Annus’ “Some Otherworldly Journeys in Mesopotamian, Jewish, Mandaean and [Read More...]

Matthew Morgenstern reviews Charles Häberl’s The Neo-Mandaic Dialect of Khorramshahr

Here’s the conclusion from a review of the book The Neo-Mandaic Dialect of Khorramshahr by my co-worker on the Mandaean Book of John translation project, Charles Häberl: In summary, we have before us an outstanding contribution to the study of one of the rarest Semitic languages spoken today. Häberl is to be thanked for having [Read More...]

Digital Analysis of Mandaic Manuscripts

My collaborator on the Mandaean Book of John translation project, Charles G. Häberl of Rutgers University, is scheduled to present on “Digital Analysis of Mandaic Manuscripts” at the workshop “Ancient Religion, Modern Technology” to be held February 13-14 at Brown University. Some of the other presentations also look fascinating, covering topics from Syriac linguistics to ancient [Read More...]