My article “Revisiting the Mandaeans and the New Testament” has appeared today in The Bible and Interpretation.
Could it be safely said the Mandaeans are a Jewish Gnotic sect rejecting the claims of Christianity?
Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son
I am pretty happy with that way of putting things. But it needs to be added that, while the origins of Mandaeism are in Judaism, as a Gnostic group they reject Judaism and the Jewish Creator God quite emphatically.
There is absolutely no evidence which can proof that Mandaeans are a sect of Judaism. If anything scholarship had proven that Mandaeans are separate from Jews & Christians. Scholarship has also examined how much of an influence Mandaean religion has had on Christianity. For example Gospel of Thomas which later was rejected by Catholics, is almost word for word from Mandaean writings. Another example is Manichaeism. As well Manichaeism wirings at times were also word for word translations of Mandaean manuscripts. There are many other reasons which shows that Mandaeans are totally opposite to Judaism which I happily discuss with you if interested.
I think you are misunderstanding what is being said. It is possible to say both that Judaism and Christianity are separate religions, and that the latter began as a movement within the former. I address some of the evidence in this article which appeared in ARAM Periodical: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/facsch_papers/193/
The Gospel of Thomas does not contain anything that is explicitly or distinctively Mandaean, and the fact that it has a positive view of Jesus seems like decisive evidence that it has no connection with Mandaeism.