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The MandaeansAncient Texts and Modern People$
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Jorunn Jacobsen Buckley

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195153859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195153855.001.0001

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(p.49) 5 Miriai
The Mandaeans

Jorunn Jacobsen Buckley (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Focuses on the mythological figure of Miriai, who in some Mandaean traditions is Jesus’ mother, while in others she is portrayed as a positive figure, but with no associations with Jesus. The presence of Miriai in Mandaeism raises the possibility that there was a brief Christian stage in early stage in the religion. An examination is made of how the Mandaeans present Miriai in their mythologies. This first discusses the traditions about her in the Book of John, next her conversion from Judaism to Mandaeism, and then her appearance in the Friday and Saturday prayers preceding and following the Jewish Sabbath – as a repeater of the statement cutting the ties of Mandaeism with Judaism. The last section of the chapter is a general discussion of Miriai's elevated position in Mandaeism, as one whose traditions portray Mandaeism's critical attitude to its former home of Judaism.

Keywords:   conversion, Jesus, Jewish Sabbath, Judaism, Mandaeans, Mandaeism, Miriai, mythological figures, myths

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