No Wait, I Can Fix This…

Steve Caruso shared an image related to his work on the Mandaean Book of John project – this image illustrating a scribe’s “indecisiveness” about what to write, as it unfolded in an era before erasers: Click through to read more about it, and to see Steve’s color-coded explanation of the letters. It is a good [Read More…]

Mandaean Roots of Christianity?

This book came to my attention recently via Facebook. There is also a promotional video which contains only text plus images that can be found on the internet. This self-published book is unlikely to offer anything useful to scholars interested in the Mandaeans. That doesn’t mean, however, that it is impossible there were connections between [Read More…]

The Bells of Saint John

The end of this month Doctor Who will return and the title of that first new episode will be “The Bells of Saint John.” Regular readers will know that this is a blog which regularly focuses on religion and Doctor Who. But it is also a blog where Johns who might be prefixed by “Saint” [Read More…]

The Mandaeans: Around the World in 80 Faiths

A friend drew my attention to the above video which, starting around the 3:37 mark, is about the Mandaeans in Sydney, Australia. The video is from the BBC documentary series, Around the World in 80 Faiths. On the BBC documentary’s web site, you can also see many other video clips, including about the Samaritan Passover. [Read more…]

The Mandaean Good Shepherd

Charles Häberl mentioned on his blog that he has posted his translation of chapters 11 and 12 of the Mandaean Book of John (or as it might also be called, the Doctrine of John or Teaching of John). Here are links to the relevant chapters on our project blog: Chapter 11 Chapter 12 The title he [Read More…]

John the Baptist and the Gnostics

Miguel Conner has an article in The Examiner highlighting the various mentions of and views about John the Baptist in Gnostic sources. In it, he links to one of the chapters I translated from the Mandaean Book of John! There is a need for a detailed scholarly treatment of this topic. When G. R. S. [Read More…]

#sblaar Mandaean Running

Yesterday morning was the first bit of genuinely free time I have had at the conference, and so I spent some time in the book exhibit and elsewhere, talking with friends. This rest was helpful in preparing for what lay in store that afternoon… First there was a session on mysticism, esotericism, and Gnosticism, in [Read More…]

Late Texts, Early Traditions continued: Chronicles, John, and the Mandaeans

Yesterday Jim West shared a linkto an article which ties in directly to the question I have been exploring in a couple of recent posts. The article is “THE “SPRING OF THE YEAR” (2 CHRONICLES 36:10) AND THE CHRONICLER’S SOURCES” by Michael Avioz, published in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures. In this particular instance, Chronicles provides information about [Read More…]

Late Texts, Early Traditions continued: Thomases, Johns, and Marks

Here I am continuing some preliminary reflections related to my upcoming conference paper (which I began in an earlier post). My research interests which intersect with the methodological question I raised in my previous post, about the discerning of ancient traditions and of independent traditions in relatively late texts, seem to revolve around Johns and Thomases. [Read More…]

Mandaean Baptism in Liverpool

I was telling a colleague about the fact that there are Mandaean baptisms on YouTube, and she did a search and found this really nice video I had not seen before, which includes Mandaeans talking about the meaning of baptism for them. [Read more…]