OK, it is official – I will be spending time learning Mandaic between now and the end of next summer, and trying to move from there to doing some work on the Mandaean texts (perhaps revisiting the question of connections with the Gospel of John, from the perspective of the most recent research and resurgence of interest in the Mandaeans).
I noticed that many of the key texts would be difficult to find, and I imagined myself spending long hours photocopying out-of-print interlibrary loan books.
Then I came across this – a group called the “Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis” has scanned a number of E. S. Drower’s key publications of the Mandaic primary texts as well as translations thereof, and made them available online in Acrobat format. The Gnostic Society Library also has a collection of texts.
These groups have done a great service to scholars eager to get into this neglected area of study that connects in multiple interesting ways ancient and contemporary concerns. Thank you!
If anyone has learned (or attempted learning) Mandaic, and has advice to offer, I would welcome it!