Translating The "Drashia D-Iahia" - The Mandaic Book of John

(That's pronounced something close to "Drash-ee di-hya," btw.)

Well, the cat is finally out of the bag with the NEH announcing the award of the grant so I can speak freely. :-)

And James McGrath is so blasted quick with his blog that he scooped me on it too! :-)

However since he put it so much better than I could, I simply must steal what he said:

The NEH has announced that it will be funding a grant proposal I [James] wrote for a project to translate the Mandaean Book of John into English. Over the next two years, the focus will be on producing a typed eclectic Mandaic text using the available manuscript evidence, and an English translation. The longer-term goal is to publish the Mandaic text and English translation in a volume that also includes commentary.

My principal collaborator on the project is Dr. Charles Häberl of Rutgers University, an expert in Semitic languages whose doctoral research and first book are on a spoken dialect of Neo-Mandaic. Also involved as a consultant is Dr. April DeConick, well known not only for her contribution to scholarship on the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Judas, Gnosticism and mysticism in antiquity, but also for her blog, Forbidden Gospels. Steve Caruso, whom you may know from The Aramaic Blog, will also be involved.

(Emphasis mine.)

In other words: This is a big deal. Not only for Aramaic geeks like me and the rest of the team, but for the Mandeans who are very quickly losing their language (Mandaic Aramaic) and culture.

My primary part in all of this (at least as of now) will be dealing with wrangling and typesetting the actual Mandaic text, for which I foresee developing appropriate fonts and typesetting tools etc., as well as creating and tending a website for the book.

In short, I can't get wait to get started! Stay tuned.


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