The Bible and Beyond Podcast Episode
Getting to know the Mandaens and their deep roots with John the Baptist
An Interview with Dr. James McGrath
photo courtesy of Wipf and Stock Publishers
Dr. James McGrath introduces us to the Mandaeans, a modern-day community that practices a religion with ancient roots. Their sacred texts mention John the Baptist and Jesus and other names that are familiar from the Bible. If you’re interested in the New Testament, in Christianity, you’ll also be interested in this group. Since they practice baptism as their main ritual, these people may be the 2,000 year-long descendants of John the Baptist.
Dr. James McGrath brings a rich background to this conversation from his research and time spent studying the modern and ancient communities of the Mandaeans. His two-volume critical edition, translation, and commentary on the Mandaean Book of John, in collaboration with Charles Heberl, represents the first edition of the complete work in English based on all the known manuscripts. At Butler University, James is the Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature. He also loves the way science fiction and religion weave together.