Reading Philo in Greek

I just recently started meeting with some colleagues and a student in a Greek reading group. I suggested to a colleague in Classics that it might be interesting to read Philo of Alexandria together, and she got very excited about the idea, and some other colleagues in Religion also expressed an interest. And so lately, [Read More...]

KJV-Onlyism

Libby Anne has posted an entry on her blog about that movement which claims that the King James Version of the Bible is the best, the only true Word of God. Since she gave me a mention in her post, I thought I should give her a shout out here – and also share a [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 MandaeanNetwork.org 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...]

You Know What I Did Last Summer

Summers are special times for professors. At the start of them, we make implausibly grandiose plans about what we are going to accomplish during them. At the end of them, we wonder where the time has gone. Here are some of the things I did this summer: Took students to Israel. Finished work on translating [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┬áThe Teaching of John rather than┬áThe 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...]

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...]

Hebrew Text on Darth Vader’s Armor?

A post that appeared today on IO9 drew to my attention a topic at the intersection of religion and science fiction that I somehow managed to remain completely unaware of. Apparently there is Hebrew writing on the front panel of Darth Vader’s armor. Here’s an image (you will probably need to zoom in to see [Read More...]


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