The Mandaean Book of John: Critical Edition, Translation, and Commentary

I was delighted to see the following in the latest De Gruyter catalog:

MBJ DeGruyter

I have no idea why it is in the “church history” section of the catalog. But it is good that this project is so close to being wrapped up and completed that the publisher has begun spreading the word about what I am convinced is a very important forthcoming work!

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  • Will Barton

    Did you do the translation work on this project?

    • James F. McGrath

      I did the first run through on some sections. But I always deferred to Charles Häberl’s linguistic expertise.

      • Will Barton

        You got me curious. I’d never heard much about this religion, and checked it out on Wikipedia (which I know, is not a perfect source). It sounds like it shares aspects of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; but I was interested by the fact that (according to Wikipedia, which could be wrong) they don’t claim Abraham because they associate him with circumcision, which they reject. So they wouldn’t think of themselves as an “abrahamic” religion, as the others are.

        • James F. McGrath

          You might want to start with E. S. Drower’s book on I also have a video on YouTube that might be of interest to you.

          • Will Barton


          • Gary

            Just happened to notice, on Drower’s book source, this:
            “The Digital Library of India is Hosted by: Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in co-operation with CMU, IIIT-H, NSF, ERNET MCIT for the Govt. of India and 21 major participating centers.”

            Maybe just a coincidence. But if there is interest in Mandaens in India, it seems like someone there would have been interested in comparing Thomas Christian texts/customs in India with Mandaen traditions in Iraq. Maybe they have been too contaminated with Portugese Catholicism for any valid comparison. But if some ancient common traditions between the two exist, it would seem that they would have originated “way-back-when”.

  • Neko


    • James F. McGrath

      Thank you!