The Christians of St. John – Mandaeans

Professor James McGrath posted a link to a video about rare languages spoken in New York. He is asking for a Mandaean copy of the Book of John as well, but for those not familiar with Mandaeans you can check out the Mandaean Union Webpage. There beliefs are really odd, don’t you think:

  • A monotheistic belief system
  • Adam was the first Mandaean who received the religious instructions directly from God.
  • Last Prophet or teacher is John the Baptist
  • Only God may take a life – no Mandaean may ever take a life
  • The Mandaeans do have an elaborate baptism ritual system.
  • Marriage and children are held in great esteem
  • There are strict dietary requirements
  • The Mandaeans have no symbols, no idols, and no images that can be used to pray to
  • Sunday (with the exception of specific religious holidays) is their holy day
  • Please refer to Mandaean values pages to get a learn about their moral belief system
  • Their language is called Mandaic and Modern Mandaic is still spoken in Iran among the laypeople. Also all the priests still speak Mandaic.

Further, they have a stranger holiness code…

  • “And when ye , my chosen ones give alms, do not proclaim it to anybody. If ye proclaim it to anybody ye do not give. When ye give alms with your right hand do not tell your left hand: when you give alms with your left hand, do not tell your right hand. He who gives alms and proclaim it – to him the reward shall be denied and it shall not abscribed to him.”
  • “Blessed are they that listen and believe”
  • “all things whatsoever that are hateful to you, do not ye do them to your neighbor”
  • “Honor thy mother and thy father and thy elder brothers as thy father”
  • “Perfect and faithful: do not deviate from your words and love not lies and falsehood. “
  • “If ye have children…then teach them, when they have grown up the wisdom of truth and let them wander the road of Kusta (truth): if ye do not teach them ye will be deem guilty in the house of judgment: if ye teach them and they do not learn they have to account for their sins themselves”
  • “Take a wife and found a family, so that the world may multiply through you”
  • “Love not gold and silver and the possessions of this world, for this world will come to nothing and perish and its possessions and its works will be abandoned. “
  • “Give bread, water, and shelter to poor and persecuted people who suffer persecution.”
  • “Do not commit adultery or fornicate, do not sing or dance. Do not let your heart be fettered by Satan ’s singing, which is full of magic, deception, and seduction … “
  • “Do not eat the blood of animals, not one dead, not one pregnant, not one casting its young, not one standing (or, what has fallen), and not one which a wild animal attacked. But slaughter with iron and rinse, wash, purify, cook, and eat it.”
  • Do not worship Satan , the idols, the images, the error, and the confusion of this world: whoever worships Satan falls into the blazing fire until the day of judgment, until the hour, the hours of release, as long as the sublime King of Light desires it.”

In all sincerity, I feel that protecting some of these groups just may be our responsibility. I have been following this group for a bit, and feel that beyond the humanitarian reason, there is the pull of Acts 19, the Historical Jesus, and digging deeper into the time around the New Testament.

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