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King and Prophet in Mandaean Sources

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Chapter Summary

The discovery of the Mandaeans by modern western scholarship parallels in many respects the rediscovery of the Samaritans. In both cases a remnant of the ancient sect survived in isolation, preserving very old cultic practices and traditions as well as a literature of great importance. This chapter describes the various passages within which the terms "king" and "prophet" and the related imagery occur. The three largest Mandaean sources furnish almost all the information which is of direct relevance to the chapter. The first of these is the Qulasta or book of liturgies, of foremost importance because of the centrality of the cult in the life of the sect. The second and longest of the basic texts is the Ginza, also called "the Book of Adam". The third major Mandaean compilation is the "Book of John", so called from the tractate on John the Baptist which it contains.

Keywords: book of John; Ginza; Mandaean sources; prophet; Qulasta; Samaritans



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