Married with Children? Recent Headlines About Jesus and Mary Magdalene

Lots of people have been sharing the “news” headlines that a Syriac text allegedly reveals that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children with her. The fact that the book these news articles are designed to promote mentions “decoding” an ancient text is the first sign that this is dubious. That the “decoding” will be carried [Read More...]

Lexidion Codicis Nasaraei

I had the privilege of visiting the rare books room at Christian Theological Seminary yesterday. One item that caught my eye is the one I took a photo of above, Matthias Norberg’s Lexidion Codicis Nasaraei. It is a dictionary of the words in the Ginza Rba (Great Treasure), the principal sacred text of the Mandaeans. [Read More...]

Supernatural Syriac

I’ve had the TV show Supernatural on my radar as something I should watch at least since 2009, when a student pointed out to me that a Mandaean amulet got a mention on the show. Today I was nearby when someone was watching an episode, and I did a double take when I saw Syriac writing [Read More...]

Syriac Manuscripts from the Vatican Library Online

The Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts at Brigham Young University announced that a large number of additional Syriac manuscripts in the Vatican Library are now available in digital form online. Click through for a list of the manuscripts with details about what each one is. [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...]

Review of Lexical Tools to the Syriac New Testament (Logos Edition)

I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to review the Logos version of an incredibly helpful Syriac language-learning tool, Lexical Tools to the Syriac New Testament by George Kiraz. I used the print edition of this book when learning Syriac, and found it very helpful. It incorporates learning aids of a sort that [Read More...]

Grants for Cataloging Eastern Christian Manuscripts

The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) announces grants available for cataloging work in its eastern Christian collections in Arabic/Garšūnī, Armenian, Old Church Slavonic, and Syriac. These grants are funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Many of these collections are greatly understudied and catalogers thus have prime opportunities for new and further research, as [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...]

The “Original Aramaic Lord’s Prayer” is None of the Above

After it came up on this blog a while back, I’ve wanted to return to the topic of the “Original Aramaic Lord’s Prayer.” Why? Because the thing that can be found online referred to in this way is not original, not Aramaic, not a translation, and not the Lord’s Prayer. Let me elaborate further. This [Read More...]

A Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christianity

Via NASCAS I learned that a trial version of the “Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christianity” is now available online. [Read more...]

Discussion of Languages and New Testament Study around the Blogosphere

The discussion of which languages you need for New Testament study seems to have gone viral. Here are links to those who have chimed in since I wrote my own post on the subject: James Crossley Chris Brady Duane Smith Larry Hurtado (twice) BW16 (twice) Jim West Matthew R. Malcolm See also Mike Kok’s contribution [Read More...]


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