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e-Gorgias (Issue 85, March 2015)


Issue 85
March 2015
Reading Time: 10 minutes

This month's newsletter includes updates regarding a number of exciting updates to Gorgias' availability and offerings as we approach our 15th anniversary (see the News section), a report from our sister institute, Beth Mardutho (see the Conferences section), and information regarding a number of exciting recently released and forthcoming publications!

Building off the success of our first ever Syriac Summer course in 2014, Beth Mardutho (The Syriac Institute), in collaboration with Rutgers University, will be holding two intensive Syriac summer courses from July 20-August 7. The class will be taught by Dr. George A. Kiraz who has a long experience in teaching the Syriac language at various levels. There will also be a series of guest lectures on various topcis by Syriac scholars. See the News section for more!

George would like to thank all of those who sent their birthday wishes as he hit 50! George said:

I want to thank the Gorgias staff for surprising me with the Birthday Tributes in the last issue of eGorgias, and in particular those who wrote so many kind words that I do not deserve. I have never had a more challenging job than running Gorgias, with its ups an downs, but at the same time, I have never had such a fulfilling job. What makes it fulfilling is being surrounded by awesome staff, great authors, and appreciative customers!

As always, we hope you are aware of our deal regarding a subscription to the Antioch Bible, 50%-off for a limited-time only (originally $150/volume, $75/volume with subscription discount). Please note that the 50% discount applies only to subscribers to the series and not to the individual books. Subscribe now!

Happy reading!


  • Recently Released
  • Coming Soon
  • From the Acquisitions Desk
  • Enthusiast of the Month: Dr. Hugh Houghton
  • News
  • Conferences

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

Soteriology as Motivation in the Apocalypse of John
By Alexander E. Stewart

ISBN 978-1-4632-0419-8
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

This monograph employs Toulmin’s model of argumentation analysis to examine how the Apocalypse of John motivates its hearers to respond to John’s prophetic apocalyptic exhortation. John’s visions of salvation and judgment provide the positive and negative grounds for motivational argumentation.


Neo-Aramaic and its Linguistic Context
Edited by Geoffrey Khan & Lidia Napiorkowska

ISBN 978-1-4632-0410-5
 Hardback, $120 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $108.00)

This volume contains papers on the Eastern Neo-Aramaic dialects and the languages in contact with them. The papers make important contributions to the documentation of the dialects and to the understanding of their development in the context of non-Semitic contact languages.


Humanist Comic Elements in Aristophanes and the Old Testament
By Benjamin M. Lazarus

ISBN 978-1-4632-0243-9
 Hardback, $191.815 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $172.63)

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.


The Martyrs of Mount Ber'ain
Edited and Translated by Sebastian P. Brock; Introduction by Paul C. Dilley

ISBN 978-1-4632-0421-1
 Paperback, $51.155 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $46.04)

The Martyrs of Mount Ber’ain is the poignant tale of three noble Iranian siblings who are martyred under Shapur II. Composed in the seventh century, it demonstrates enduring concerns of Christian self-definition in Iran, especially with respect to the Zoroastrian priesthood.


The Sleeper's Dream
By Jeffrey B. Pettis

ISBN 978-1-4632-0256-9
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

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.


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

Common Grounds without Foundations By David Kratz Mathies
An alternative, fallibilist model of moral reasoning rooted in the American Pragmatic tradition. Additional resources drawn from Chinese philosophy, Jain epistemology, modern philosophy of mathematics, and the Gadamerian hermeneutical tradition serve both to corroborate the argumentation and to provide examples of continuities in reasoning that cross the boundaries of disparate traditions.
ISBN 978-1-60724-042-6, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

Samuel 1 & 2 According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation Samuel: English Translation by Donald M. Walter & Gillian Greenberg; 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 978-1-4632-0423-5, Cloth, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $135.00)

The Syriac Dot By George A. Kiraz
The dot is used for everything in Syriac from tense to gender, number, and pronunciation, and unsurprisingly represents one of the biggest obstacles to learning the language. Using inscriptions, early grammars, and experiments with modern scribes, Dr. Kiraz peels back the evolution of the dot layer by layer to explain each of its uses in detail and to show how it adopted the wide range of uses it has today.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0425-9, Hardback, $42 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $37.80)

An East Syrian Manuscript of the Syriac 'Masora' Dated to 899 CE Volume 2: Prepared by Jonathan Loopstra
This unique manuscript of the East Syrian Syriac ‘Masora’ is essential for any study of early Syriac vocalization, accentuation, and punctuation. In Volume 1, Gorgias Press has published a facsimile reproduction of this unique ‘masoretic’ manuscript. This volume (Volume 2) includes an introduction and comprehensive lists of all scriptural sample texts and marginal notes in this compilation.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0391-7, Hardback, $228.09 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $205.28)

Gorgias Concise Syriac-English, English-Syriac Dictionary By Sebastian P. Brock & George A. Kiraz
As the first two-way Syriac-English/English-Syriac dictionary, the Concise Dictionary is both a convenient academic resource and a door into the world of Modern Literary Syriac. With 13,000 entries drawn from the major existing works, the Syriac-English section is a practical tool for all but the most specialized Classical Syriac texts, while the English-Syriac entries open up new opportunities for scholars to compose their own texts and to participate in modern Syriac usage.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0224-8, Hardback, $48 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $43.20)

This month, we're pleased to announce the following forthcoming publication in the field of linguistics.

Structural Lexicology and the Greek New Testament, by Todd Price, is a new approach to translating the Bible more accurately. Instead of treating words as discrete units with a range of many possible meanings, from which the translator then has to select, Price applies corpus linguistics to analyze Greek words in their context. Price offers an introduction to the use of digital corpora in the description and definition of New Testament Greek, introduces the concept of structural lexicology through the use of computational linguistics, computational lexicography and corpus linguistics, and explains the rationale and method for determining the contextual meaning of New Testament Greek words and phrases through an analysis of their collocations, colligations and semantic preferences. Case studies are included to show how Price’s method can improve modern exegesis.

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

Melonie Schmierer-Lee

Acquisitions Editor

Structural Lexicology and the Greek New Testament By Todd Price
This study demonstrates a method for using corpus linguistics to disambiguate polysemes in the Greek New Testament. Included are several examples applying the method to exegetically problematic texts.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0534-8, Hardback, $180.7 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $162.63)

Summer Syriac Program: Registration Now Open

For the second year in a row, George Kiraz (president of Gorgias Press, director of Beth Mardutho, and PhD in Computational Linguistics) will be teaching two Syriac language courses at Beth Mardutho (Gorgias' sister institute) this summer from July 20-August 7.

  • Introductory Syriac (reading/writing) - Students with no prior experience in Syriac will learn introductory reading, writing, grammar, and should be able to translate introductory texts by the end of the course. A hybrid method of teaching will be used drawing from both traditional reading/writing and immersion (conversational) models. Classes will be held Mon–Thursday, 3-4 hours per day. Students are expected to spend the rest of the day doing homework and preparing for the next day lesson. For more information and to register, visit Beth Mardutho.
  • Intermediate-Advanced Syriac (grammar, advanced reading) - This course is geared toward students who have already done Syriac and would like to dig deeper into the grammar and nuances of the language. A hybrid method of teaching will be used drawing from both traditional reading/writing and immersion (conversational) models which will allow the student to get a better command of the language. Intermediate-advanced texts will be read.

For more information and to register, visit Beth Mardutho.Visit this website to register or for more information, and pass the word and the website along to your friends, students, and interested colleagues.

Sayfo Books

To commemorate the centennial anniversary of Sayfo, and to spread awareness about the genocide, we are offering 30% off our books related to the genocide, including historical documents, academic studies, poems, illustrated books, and DVDs. A full list of books can be found at this link. To redeem your 30% discount, please enter coupon code 041C782E at checkout.

Recommendation Form for Libraries

Gorgias has just released a new program that will let students and faculty recommend books to their collection development librarians. Under each book title, you'll see the text: "E-mail this product to your librarian or to a friend." All you have to do is click on the link, enter the appropriate email address and a short note to explain why the book would help you in your research, and hit "send."

Book Launch Lecture: Travels to Jerusalem and Mount Athos

On the occasion of a launch of the new book Travels to Jerusalem and Mount Athos by Petre Konchoshvili, translated by Mzia Ebanoidze & John Wilkinson, The Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL), in association with the Friends of Academic Research in Georgia (FaRiG), is hosting a lecture entitled "Revisiting Jerusalem Pilgrims: debates for the coming generation," followed by a book signing. If you find yourself in London on March 25, you may be interested in attending!

Dr. Hugh Houghton has been based at the University of Birmingham since 2002. He is currently a senior research fellow at the Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing, where he works on scholarly editions of the New Testament in Latin and Greek. He is also executive editor of Gorgias' Texts and Studies series.

One of his favorite Gorgias titles is Early Syriac Translation Technique and the Textual Criticism of the Greek Gospels, by P. J. Williams, which is a fascinating and well-argued survey of the sorts of evidence Syriac translations can provide for the Greek tradition from which they were translated - as well as a warning about where their evidence should not be used! He also recommends Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus by Dirk Jongkind and The Passion of S. Perpetua by J. A. Robinson. Dr. Houghton first became interested in early Latin Christianity and its texts as a Classics undergraduate and I used Robinson's book when writing his third-year dissertation examining the language of some early Acts of the Christian Martyrs. Regarding this work, and Gorgias Press more generally, Houghton says:

I hope that our modern critical editions will last as long in service as classic scholarship like [Robinson's book]! Gorgias Press enables scholars to work with the attention to detail that enables new advances in our understanding of ancient texts.

Early Syriac Translation Technique and the Textual Criticism of the Greek Gospels
  By Peter John Williams

ISBN 1-59333-096-0
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

 Although scholars have often made inferences about the Greek texts that lay behind the Old Syriac and Peshitta versions of the Gospels, very few have ever attempted to formulate systematic rules for such inferences. This volume investigates a wide range of textual phenomena and formulates clear and simple rules for the use of Syriac texts as witnesses to the underlying Greek. It becomes possible to uncover errors that have accumulated during the evolution of the Greek New Testament textual apparatus. Williams argues these errors generally stem from the unjustified use of Syriac witnesses.


Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus
  By Dirk Jongkind

ISBN 978-1-59333-422-2
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

 Codex Sinaiticus is one of the oldest, famous, and most important manuscripts of the Bible. At least three scribes copied the text manually, and they were faced with many decisions: What do I do when I spot an error in the text I just copied? What is the right spelling of this word? Is it time for a new paragraph? This book studies a variety of textual and non-textual phenomena in Codex Sinaiticus. We discover more about this important biblical manuscript as well as the individuals with their own habits, qualities, and skill levels who produced it.


The Passion of S. Perpetua
  By J. A. Robinson

ISBN 1-59333-277-7
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

 The story of the two women martyrs S. Perpetua and her slave S. Felicitas (d. 203 CE) have captivated generations of Christians. In this book, the late Cambridge scholar J. A. Robinson provides a study of the Greek and Latin texts of the Passio based on newly discovered manuscripts, as well as the original Latin text of the Scillitan Martyrs, another text of late 2nd century North African martyrdom.


On March 6-7, Gorgias Press staff attended the annual Hugoye Syriac Symposium at Rutgers University, co-sponsored by our sister institute Beth Mardutho.

The topic this year was “Syriac and the Digital Humanities,” a theme of great interest to us as we continue to expand into digital publishing as well as print publishing. As always, the speakers were stellar, the participants were attentive (see image at right), and the papers showed great promise for new advances in Syriac Studies.

We look forward to next year!


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