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Grant number like: RQ-50485-10

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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RQ-50485-10Research Programs: Scholarly Editions and TranslationsButler UniversityThe Mandaean Book of John: Critical Edition, Translation and Commentary6/1/2010 - 5/31/2012$130,000.00JamesFrankMcGrath   Butler UniversityIndianapolisIN46208-3443USA2010History of ReligionScholarly Editions and TranslationsResearch Programs13000001300000

Work on one of the central ancient texts of the only surviving Gnostic sect, the Mandaeans, who number some 60,000 people now mostly in diaspora from their Mesopotamian homeland.

The Book of John is one of two central texts of the Mandaean religion, and yet it has never been translated into English in its entirety. The Mandaeans are the only Gnostic group from the ancient world to have survived until the present day, and their texts are the only Gnostic texts composed solely in a Semitic language (Mandaic is a dialect of Aramaic). The Book of John mentions figures from Judaism such as Adam, Seth and Moses, as well as figures central to early Christian writings, such as Jesus and John the Baptist. The proposed project will produce a critical edition of the Mandaic text typeset in Mandaic font, together with an English translation and commentary. Our work will provide an invaluable resource to scholars studying the Mandaeans, other Gnostic groups and their literature, ancient Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as the Mandaeans themselves, as they increasingly struggle to preserve their heritage in an English-speaking Diaspora.