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e-Gorgias (Issue 65, May 2013)


Issue 65
May 2013
Reading Time: 10 minutes

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The days are getting longer and (finally!) warmer and Gorgias is looking forward to the summer. While our thoughts may be “down the shore,” we remain working our hardest to bring you the finest Gorgias Press has to offer.

Summer conference season is nearly upon us, and we are very excited for the opportunity to see our authors and fans once again. Check out the Conferences section below to see our schedule and be sure to stop by our booth!

We have been very impressed by the quality of submissions for our Gorgias Book Grant. Once we have contacted all of our applicants individually, we will announce the winner in next month’s edition of e-Gorgias.

We were extremely excited to receive proofs of the next volumes of the Antioch Bible, Jeremiah and St. Paul (Galatians-Philemon)! They look fantastic and we couldn't be prouder of how they came out. In case you haven't seen the series, check out a sample of the Isaiah volume by going here and clicking on the Download button.

If you haven't already, sign up for our amazing, limited-time only 50%-off Antioch Bible deal (orig. $150/volume, now $75/volume with subscription discount). Please note that the 50% off is only for subscribers to the series and not the individual books. Hurry and subscribe now!

Finally, if you would like to unsubscribe from eGorgias, the link can be found at the top and bottom of this newsletter.

Happy reading,

Christine Kiraz



  • Recently Released
  • Coming Soon
  • From the Acquisitions Desk
  • In Memoriam: Peter Ralph Burton
  • Enthusiast of the Month: Colby Scott
  • Reviews
  • Conferences



Below is a select list of recent releases. For the complete list, please visit our Just Published page.


The Story of Mar Pinhas
  Edited and Translated by Adam Carter McCollum

ISBN 978-1-4632-0217-0
 Paperback, $63.80

 This volume contains the Syriac Life of Mar Pinhas, a purported martyr under the Sasanian Empire. This edition contains the Syriac text (first published in 1894 by Paul Bedjan), an English translation, explanatory annotations, and Addai Scher's Arabic version of the story.


Perspectives on Hebrew Scriptures VIII
  Edited by Ehud Ben Zvi

ISBN 978-1-4632-0220-0
 Hardback, $277.81

 This volume incorporates all the articles and reviews published in volume 11 (2011) of the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures.


Pragmatic Studies in Judaism
  Edited by Andrew Schumann

ISBN 978-1-4632-0222-4
 Hardback, $185.77

 This book is the first attempt to apply formal pragmatics to Judaic studies as a discipline as well as within the broader discipline of cultural studies.


English Grammar Guide for Language Students
  By Peter Burton

ISBN 978-1-61143-864-2
 Paperback, $99.32

 A detailed exploration of English grammar for students and teachers of Biblical Hebrew and Greek, Latin and related languages. Commonly assumed grammatical concepts are explained step by step. Includes an extensive glossary and an annotated bibliography.


Eve: The Unbearable Flaming Fire
  Edited by Mishael M. Caspi & John T. Greene

ISBN 978-1-4632-0160-9
 Hardback, $165.49

 The book is about how Eve, the literary character, has fared in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as by the independent, non-aligned scholar of literature. All of the essays contained in this anthology were presented during an international seminar on biblical characters in the three traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam that took place at the University of Vienna (2007).


Queen Esther’s Garden
  By Vera Basch Moreen

ISBN 978-1-4632-0161-6
 Paperback, $108.25

 This anthology brings to English-language readers the riches of the Judaeo-Persian literary tradition produced by the Jewish community of Iran between the eighth and nineteenth centuries. Most of the translations were prepared specifically for this anthology from unpublished manuscripts. Extensive notes accompany each selection to clarify its meaning in Jewish and Islamic history and legend.


Seeing the God
  Edited by Jeffrey B. Pettis

ISBN 978-1-61143-251-0
 Hardback, $176.80

 Seeing the God: Ways of Envisioning the Divine in Ancient Mediterranean Religion is a collection of essays exploring the concept of how the ancients “envisioned” the deities within various ancient religious traditions, including Judaism, Gnosticism, Syriac Christianity, Byzantium, and Classical Greco-Roman religion and philosophy.


A History of the Syrian Community of Grand Rapids, 1890-1945
  By James F. Goode

ISBN 978-1-61719-028-5
 Hardback, $163.15

 Provides the first history of the old Syrian community of Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1890-1945, focusing on the slow process of ethnic acculturation during which community members developed a hybrid culture, drawing on elements of the old and the new.


Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies (volume 15)
  Volume 15: General Editor George A. Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-4632-0219-4
 Paperback, $75

 Widely regarded as a premier journal dedicated to the study of Syriac, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies was established in 1998 as a venue devoted exclusively to the discipline. An organ of Beth Mardutho, the Syriac Institute, the journal appears semi-annually and will be printed in annual editions. A peer-reviewed journal, Hugoye is a respected academic source for up-to-date information about the state of Syriac studies and for discovering what is going on in the field. Contributors include some of the most respected names in the world of Syriac today.



Here is a select list of forthcoming publications. Click here for a complete list.


Galatians to Philemon According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation Galatians–Philemon: English Translation by J. Edward Walters; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz
This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshitta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars.
ISBN 978-1-61143-893-2, Hardback, $150 ($75/volume with subscription)

Jeremiah According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation Jeremiah: English Translation by Gillian Greenberg & Donald M. Walter; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz & Joseph Bali
This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshitta carried out by an international team of scholars. The fully vocalized and pointed Syriac text, and the English translation, are presented on facing pages so that both can be studied together. Much supplementary information is given in annotations, Addenda, and Appendices.
ISBN 978-1-61143-892-5, Hardback, $150 ($75/volume with subscription)

John the Solitary on the Soul Translation and Introduction by Mary T. Hansbury
In this treatise, John the Solitary enters into a dialogue with two disciples who have come past the beginning stage of the spiritual life and have brought him their struggle against the passions in the way of life of the inner person (barnâšâ gawwâyâ). John’s description of the life of the soul is outlined here in a framework of the stages of the spiritual life. Included is his analysis of the passions, showing very little if any Evagrian influence. The Dialogue on the Soul is a difficult text. It is hoped that this Syriac-English presentation will enable others to take the discussion forward. John’s genial thought merits this.
ISBN 978-1-60724-044-0, Paperback, $75

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Sinful Woman Translation and Introduction by Scott Fitzgerald Johnson
This volume gives a bilingual Syriac-English edition of Saint Jacob of Sarug’s homily on the Sinful Woman. The Syriac text is fully vocalized, and the translation is annotated with a commentary and biblical references. The volume constitutes a fascicle of Gorgias’s Complete Homilies of Saint Jacob of Sarug.
ISBN 978-1-61719-834-2, Paperback, $52.91



Gorgias is pleased to announce forthcoming publication of the following titles in the fields of historical linguistics, manuscript studies, Syriac, and the study of biblical literature.

May will see the next volume in Perspectives on Linguistics and Ancient Languages go to press. Tarsee Li’s Greek Indicative Verbs in the Christian Palestinian Aramaic Gospels is the third in this series, and is an important contribution to the description of this Aramaic dialect, taking into account both translation technique and diachronic comparative evidence.

In An East Syrian Manuscript of the Syriac ‘Masora’ Dated to 899 CE: A Facsimile Reproduction of British Library, Add. 12138 Jonathan Loopstra has prepared a high-quality, full-colour facsimile reproduction of the only known manuscript of the so-called East Syrian ‘Masora’, and the earliest complete collection of fully-vocalized, diacritically-marked and accentuated sample texts from the Syriac Old and New Testaments. A companion volume scheduled for later publication will contain a comprehensive index to all scriptural citations and philological notes.

We are also looking forward to the next volume forthcoming in Biblical Intersections. Opening Heaven’s Floodgates: The Genesis Flood Narrative, its Context, and Reception (edited by Jason Silverman) contains sixteen essays drawing on textual, historical, comparative and theological approaches to this topic of perennial interest.

Melonie Schmierer-Lee

Acquisitions Editor



We at Gorgias Press are immensely saddened to hear about the death of one of our authors.

Peter Ralph Burton passed away peacefully from complications of ALS on October 5, 2012. He was born in Windsor, New South Wales, on August 5, 1952. At age 17 Peter became a Christian and it was that calling that shaped the rest of his life and vocation.

Peter was a beloved teacher of Biblical languages, always willing to put in the extra work to tutor struggling students and always eager to impress upon people the importance of studying the Bible in the original languages. His passion was making the languages of the Bible more easily accessible and useable by people regardless of their training or background. To this end he published English Grammar Guide for Language Students with us, a book which introduces grammatical concepts that are often assumed by Biblical grammars to students who might not have a strong grounding in grammar by showing how those concepts operate in English. When he died he was working on a New Testament Annotated Greek-English Series so that pastors and others with some Greek training could better understand the word of God.

Peter helped found the Biblical Lexicography section of the Society of Biblical Literature and co-chaired that section for over a decade.

He is survived by his wife, Louise; children Christine, Andrew, and Jonathan; brothers Russell, James, and Bruce, and countless students.

Peter wished that memorials might by made to the ALS Association and the L’Abri Fellowship.



Gorgias Enthusiast of the Month: Colby Scott

Colby A. Scott became interested in Syriac and Arabic Christian literature while studying history with Thomas Sizgorich at the University of New Mexico, where he received his BA in history in 2009. For the last three years, Colby has been continuing his studies of Syriac and Arabic Christianity while pursuing a PhD from the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures under the direction of Sidney H. Griffith at the Catholic of University of America. Colby has done several research projects relating to the relationship between monastic practice and the development of a distinct Miaphysite identity during the sixth century. In this regard, he has labored over the hurried style of John of Ephesus’ Ecclesiastical History as well as the carefully composed letters of Philoxenus. Currently, he is exploring the reception of Evagrius Ponticus in the Syriac milieu within the memrē of Jacob of Serugh. Colby is particularly fond of the poetry of St. Ephrem, whose beautiful compositions always challenge both mind and heart. After Colby takes his PhD comprehensive exams in the Fall, he has plans to continue researching and translating St. Ephrem’s memrē On Reprehension. Recently, Colby has had the privilege to be a Syriac tutor for the seminarians at the Maronite Seminary in Washington D.C. Besides Syriac and Arabic, Colby has one other passion in life: his family. Colby and his wife Kim homeschool their three beautiful and brilliant children.

Shortly after I began studying Syriac and Arabic, I came across a Gorgias Press catalog, which I subsequently read from cover to cover. Reading those titles and book descriptions was one of several factors that helped me realize that I wanted to spend the rest of my life studying Christians in the Near East.


A Syriac Lexicon
  By Michael Sokoloff

ISBN 978-1-60724-620-6
 Hardback, $149.50

 The second edition of Carl Brockelmann’s Lexicon Syriacum, published in 1928, is a highly reputable Syriac dictionary. However, its Latin language and the ordering of words according to triliteral Semitic roots make its use difficult for most students and scholars. This revised edition by Sokoloff renders meanings in English, arranges words alphabetically, and includes many useful tools on a CD.


Simple and Bold: Ephrem’s Art of Symbolic Thought
  By Kees den Biesen

ISBN 1-59333-397-8
 Hardback, $102

 Ephrem the Syrian is known as one of the greatest Christian poets and as a unique author whose mode of thought is usually described as “symbolic.” In this work, Kees den Biesen explores the literary, intellectual, and theological mechanisms at work in Ephrem’s writings with the specific aim of identifying the exact nature of his “symbolic thought” and evaluating its contemporary relevance. Den Biesen elaborates a comprehensive approach that integrates a variety of methods into a genuinely theological methodology. He then proposes his own comprehensive understanding of the nature and merits of Ephrem’s symbolic thought.


John of Tella’s Profession of Faith
  Translation and Introduction by Volker Menze & Kutlu Akalin

ISBN 978-1-59333-843-5
 Paperback, $60

 John of Tella, in the 520s and 530s, was one of the most dangerous ecclesiastical opponents of the emperor Justinian I. The present letter by John lays out his faith, and gives an inside view of how a Syrian Orthodox bishop locates himself within the Christian tradition.


Symbols of Church and Kingdom
  By Robert Murray

ISBN 1-59333-150-9
 Paperback, $84

 In this revised and updated edition of his classic work, Robert Murray offers the fullest and most vivid picture yet available of the development and character of the culture. It will be of interest to a wide range of readers.


Syriac Orthography (A Grammar of the Syriac Language, Volume 1)
  By George Anton Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-4632-0183-8
 Cloth, $247

 This volume, the first in a comprehensive grammar of the Syriac language, is a thematic presentation of orthography in the Syriac grammatical tradition, bringing the study of Syriac writing closer to modern linguistic accounts of writing systems.



Review of Kamash's Archaeologies of Water in the Roman Near East: 63 B.C. - A.D. 638 in Near Eastern Archaeological Society Bulletin vol. 57

The Near Eastern Archaeological Society Bulletin (vol. 57 (2012), p. 56-57) published a review of Zena Kamash's Archaeologies of Water in the Roman Near East: 63 B.C. - A.D. 638 (Gorgias Dissertations in Near Eastern Studies 54) by David E. Graves of Liberty Online University who concludes:

While there is a considerable amount of background research from his dissertation on water systems, the main focus of this book is on the daily anthropological impact of water. As Kamash explains, it examines the "attitudes towards water and water use, exploring in particular what constrained or enabled the changing behaviours of those living in the Roman Near East" (p. 231). This is a valuable volume for those doing comparative research in the area of Roman Hydraulics.


Archaeologies of Water in the Roman Near East
  By Zena Kamash

ISBN 978-1-61143-421-7
 Hardback, $137.50

 This book explores the attitudes of the inhabitants of the Roman Near East towards water and water use. It aims to see how this can inform us about the nature of Roman Imperialism, the Roman economy, change and transformation in late Antiquity and the role of religion in people's lives.




Gorgias Press will be exhibiting at the conferences and meetings listed below, offering a special discount to conference attendees for not just the books in display, but for all items in our current catalog. In addition, our editors will also be present at these meetings should you have a manuscript proposal which you would like to discuss with us.





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Fax. +1 732-885-8908