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e-Gorgias (Issue 81, November 2014)


Issue 81
November 2014
Reading Time: 10 minutes

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, we have a number of sales and events on the horizon. In the News Section, you'll find information about our Annual Sale, which runs through New Years with 40% off many titles, and every order receives a 30% discount coupon for orders placed in 2015 (not to be combined with other discounts). In addition, every tenth web order receives an additional 80% discount. You could be a big winner!

Also, Gorgias Press will exhibit at three more conferences before the end of 2014! We are currently exhibiting at ASOR, and will continue through the weekend to exhibit at SBL/AAR. For more information, see the Conferences Section. While at SBL/AAR, we will be interviewing some of the Antioch Bible Contributors at SBL. For more information on that, see the News Section.

Happy holidays and happy reading!


  • Recently Released
  • Coming Soon
  • From the Acquisitions Desk
  • Enthusiast of the Month: James Prather
  • News
  • Reviews
  • Conference Report

For the complete list of recent releases, please visit our Just Published page.

"As for me, I will dwell at Mizpah …”: The Tell en-Nasbeh Excavations after 85 Years
Edited by Jeffrey R. Zorn & Aaron J. Brody

ISBN 978-1-4632-0416-7
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

Collected essays on aspects of daily life at the Israelite site of Tell en-Nasbeh (biblical Mizpah of Benjamin). These include: trade and economy, death and burial, metals, cooking, water management, curation of the site’s materials, and a site bibliography.


Revelation According to the Syriac Version with English Translation
English Translation by Jerome Alan Lund; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-4632-0413-6
 Cloth, $150

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. Although the book of Revelation is not part of the Peshitta, it was translated into Syriac at a later date and added to the Harqlean version.


Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies 14
Volume 14 2014: Edited by Amir Harrak

ISBN 978-1-4632-0469-3
 Paperback, $75 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $67.50)

A refereed journal published annually by the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies. Volume 14 includes articles by Aaron Butts, Istvan Perczel, Emanuela Braida, Hikmat Bashir al-Aswad, and Nasir al-Ka'bi.


Early Readers, Scholars and Editors of the New Testament
Edited by H. A. G. Houghton

ISBN 978-1-4632-0411-2
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

A collection of ten original papers on the New Testament text, first presented in 2013, which reflect the diversity of current research. Examples of ancient engagement with the Bible include Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea and Augustine along with early translations.


Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on Jesus' Temptation
Fascicle 33: Edited and Translated by Adam Carter McCollum

ISBN 978-1-4632-0285-9
 Paperback, $55.64 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $50.08)

This volume presents, with introduction and annotations, two metrical homilies (Bedjan nos. 82, 126) of Jacob of Sarug in which he reflects on the Temptation of Jesus as combat between Satan and Jesus, the latter emerging as the humble victor.


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

The Gospel of John According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation English Translation by Jeff W. Childers & James Prather; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz
This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshiṭta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Childers has translated the Peshiṭta of John, while Kiraz has prepared the Syriac text in the west Syriac script, fully vocalized and pointed. The translation and the Syriac text are presented on facing pages so that both can be studied together. All readers are catered for: those wanting to read the text in English, those wanting to improve their grasp of Syriac by reading the original language along with a translation, and those wanting to focus on a fully vocalized Syriac text.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0412-9, Cloth, $150

The Book of Acts According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation Acts: English Translation by Robert A. Kitchen; 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 978-1-61143-932-8, Cloth, $150

A Smyrneika Lexicon Second Edition: By George Galdies, Alessandro Baltazzi & George Poulimenos
A lexicon of Smyrneika, the Greek dialect that functioned as a lingua franca amongst the Levantine merchant communities of the Mediterranean. Rediscovering Turkey’s Ottoman past, including lost minority cultures… a study by three amateur lexicographers. The vocabulary is followed by a collection of proverbs and a series of dialogues illustrating the language and customs … “ Peter Mackridge
ISBN 978-1-4632-0251-4, Hardback, $175.825 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $158.24)

The Syriac Writers of Qatar in the Seventh Century Edited by Mario Kozah, Abdulrahim Abu-Husayn, Saif Shaheen Al-Murikhi & Haya Al Thani
The Syriac writers of Qatar themselves produced some of the best and most sophisticated writing to be found in all Syriac literature of the seventh century, but they have not received the scholarly attention that they deserve in the last half century. This volume seeks to redress this underdevelopment by setting the standard for further research in the sub-field of Beth Qatraye studies.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0355-9, Paperback, $25 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $22.50)

The Sleeper's Dream By Jeffrey B. Pettis
This analysis probes into the nature and use of bodily healing and dreams in antiquity, examining literary and archaeological evidence in order to gain a sense of how the Greco-Roman world understood each through the Asclepius cult, and to understand references to bodily healings and dreams by early Christian cults and groups.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0256-9, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

Foundations for Syriac Lexicography IV Edited by Kristian S. Heal & Alison G. Salvesen
The fourth published colloquia of the International Syriac Language Project (ISLP), presenting papers from an international team of authors working to develop contemporary, interdisciplinary approaches to linguistics and lexicography.
ISBN 978-1-61143-933-5, Hardback, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $135.00)

This month we’re pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of monographs in the fields of Biblical Studies, Classics, Syriac Studies and Medieval mathematics.

In Humanist Comic Elements in Aristophanes and the Old Testament Benjamin Lazarus argues that the use of comic elements in story-telling and literature is not simply the provenance of one particular culture, but is instead as much a natural and recurring technique as having stories about death, sex, and wonder. Aristophanic Old Comedy and Old Testament narratives come from two completely different traditions of ancient literature, from very different cultures, but both make use of comic elements to get across about what it means to be human and how humanity fits into the overall structure of the world. Each chapter analyses one example of comic elements in an Old Testament story, together with one Aristophanic play. For instance: Numbers 22 (the story of Balaam and his ass) and "Peace," Judges 13 (the birth of Samson) and "Birds," Jonah and "Frogs," and Tobit and "Wealth."

In The Epistle of the Number by Ibn Ahdab Ilana Wartenberg shows how a famous Arabic text on arithmetic and algebra (Talkhis A‘mal al-Hisab) was transmitted into Hebrew by the polymath Isaac Ibn al-Ahdab, resulting in the extensive text The Epistle of the Number. This book presents the first edition of The Epistle of the Number, which was composed in Syracuse, Sicily. It also depicts the fascinating figure of Isaac Ibn al-Ahdab: astronomer, mathematician, poet, exegete and ‘calendar-man,' shedding new light on his persona and intellectual activity. The Hebrew Epistle played a pivotal role in the history of medieval Hebrew mathematics because it is the first known Hebrew treatise which includes extensive algebraic theories and procedures. It is an important witness to the transmission of Arabic science to Jewish circles in Christian Syracuse at the end of the fourteenth century, reflecting the scientific activity of the Jews there, of which still relatively little is known. This book will be of interest to scholars in the fields of Jewish Studies, Hebrew philology, medieval studies, mathematics, history of science, and, in particular, history of medieval Hebrew and Arabic mathematics.

In Icons of the Heavenly Merchant: Ephrem and Pseudo-Ephrem in the Madrashe in Praise of Abraham of Qidun Andrew Hayes examines a cycle of Syriac poetry initially composed in the fourth century by one saint in praise of another. The apparent author, St. Ephrem the Syrian, has enjoyed the more universal fame as the ‘Harp of the Spirit’ for his inspired eloquence as a composer of liturgical poetry. The subject, a priest and ascetic named Abraham, achieved a more limited popularity, from the perspective of the West at least. This little cycle of poems, largely forgotten in one corner of the vast treasury of early Christian hagiography, sheds light on the ascetical theology of Ephrem, the qualities of Abraham, and the history of early Syriac asceticism.

To see the full list of titles in different series, visit our series page.

Melonie Schmierer-Lee

Acquisitions Editor

Humanist Comic Elements in Aristophanes and the Old Testament By Benjamin Lazarus
Lazarus compares and discusses comic elements used for didactic purposes in two separate literary traditions: Old Testament narrative and Aristophanic Comedies. Given that humour relies on taking people's ideas of what is normal and making them incongruous, this volume examines these very different texts to see how they use that comic incongruity to help define what it means to be human within the hierarchy of the universe.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0243-9, Hardback, $182.65 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $164.39)

The Epistle of the Number by Ibn al-Ahdab By Ilana Wartenberg
The first edition of The Epistle of the Number, composed in Syracuse, Sicily, at the end of the 14th century. It is the first known Hebrew treatise to include extensive algebraic theories and procedures, exposing novel mathematical vocabulary, and enhancing our understanding of the linguistic mechanisms which helped create scientific vocabulary in medieval Hebrew.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0417-4, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $85.50)

Icons of the Heavenly Merchant By Andrew Hayes
A detailed study of a cycle of fourth-century liturgical poems, in Syriac, dedicated to a great pioneer of the Syriac ascetical tradition. Hayes analyzes its various portraits of the saint, shaded differently by Ephrem and his later imitators.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0414-3, Hardback, $0 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $0.00)

Annual Catalog Released

Our online annual catalog is now available at this link.

Antioch Bible Interviews

We will be completing video interviews with some of the Antioch Bible Contributors at SBL/AAR this week, and you can be on the lookout for those published interviews next month. What a unique opportunity to hear these contributors describe, in their own words, their work on this project and their estimation of its value.


Attention early shoppers! We are so excited about the upcoming holiday season that we are announcing our ANNUAL WEB SALE now! All BiblioPerks titles are marked down at an amazing 40% off (to see which titles are eligible, just log in). Plus, we’re sweetening the deal by adding a dash of luck. Every tenth web order will automatically win an amazing bargain: Your order subtotal will receive an additional 80% discount! Winners will be notified by email, and will be announced on our website. The additional discount will be applied manually by Gorgias staff. If by chance you do not win the additional discount, you will still receive a 30% discount coupon good for any orders placed in 2015 (note that this coupon can’t be combined with other sale offers).

Don't know where to get started? Try visiting our series page, our recent additions, or our annual catalog.

*The Annual Sale will run until midnight, December 31st, 2014 US Eastern Standard Time. You must log into your Gorgias account to see the discounted prices. Please note that there are some titles that will not be marked down due to co-publication agreements with partners. These items will be marked with a star on your shopping cart. Please check prices carefully before placing your online order as all purchases through this web sale are final -- no cancellations or returns will be accepted. Only customers who pre-pay with a credit card and place a maximum of one order per day are eligible to receive the additional 80% discount.

James Prather began his academic career studying Computer Science at Oklahoma Christian University, followed by a MS in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Dallas. After working in the software engineering world for four years he decided to go back to school for a Master of Divinity and MA Old Testament at Abilene Christian University (ACU). He currently teaches Computer Science at ACU and spends his time researching computer algorithms for automating textual criticism, and Syriac and Ethiopic literature. His lovely wife Erin is a nurse and together they have one son, Ezekiel, who is one year old. His hobbies include camping, Biblical scholarship, and video games.

Some of his favorite books by Gorgias Press are: Simple and Bold: Ephrem’s Art of Symbolic Thought by Kees den Biesen, and Transmission and Reception, edited by Jeff W. Childers & D. C. Parker.

"It's incredible that an independent publisher can not only remain at the forefront of excellent academic work, but also lead the charge on many special initiatives."

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

ISBN 1-59333-397-8
 Hardback, $102 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $91.80)

 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.


Transmission and Reception
  Edited by Jeff W. Childers & D. C. Parker

ISBN 978-1-59333-367-6
 Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $89.10)

 The sixteen studies in this volume explore a variety of topics pertaining to the transmission and reception of the New Testament text. Including articles by Barbara Aland, D. C. Parker, Eldon Epp, Gordon Fee, Everett Ferguson, and others, the results of these studies have important implications for the interpretation of the New Testament and for understanding the formative impact of the text on Early Christianity. Indispensable for those interested in textual criticism, this compilation will be a welcome resource for New Testament scholars, and those interested in Early Christianity.


In a recent review for Review of Biblical Literature, Dr. H.F. van Rooy described The New Syriac Primer as follows:

"This primer can be regarded as one of the best introductory teaching grammars available today. The way it is structured and the availability of the recordings of the readings make it also a very good tool for a person who wants to learn Syriac without the aid of an instructor. It can be recommended for use in the classroom and for personal study."

To read the rest of the review, click here.

The New Syriac Primer, 2nd Edition
  By George Anton Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-59333-325-6
 Paperback, $48 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $43.20)

 A truly useful introduction to the Syriac language is a rare find. This practical initiation to the study of this ancient language of the Christian church speaks with clarity and authority. A fruitful integration of scholarly introduction and practical application, this primer is more than a simple grammar or syntactic introduction to the language. Written in a style designed for beginners, Kiraz avoids technical language and strives for a reader-friendly inductive approach. Readings from actual Syriac texts allow the student to experience the language first hand and the basics of the grammar of the language are ably explained. The book comes with downloadable material so that readers may listen to all reading sentences and text passages in the book.


Gorgias Press has a busy travel month ahead. And our new display banner arrived just in time (see image on right)!

In November and December we will have exhibits at the following conferences:

We hope to see you there!


Gorgias Press
954 River Rd., Piscataway, NJ 08854 USA
Tel. +1 732-885-8900
Fax. +1 732-885-8908