You have no items in your shopping cart.

e-Gorgias (Issue 86, April 2015)


Issue 86
April 2015
Reading Time: 10 minutes

This month's newsletter includes an introduction to our 2015 Book Grant Winners in the Enthusiast of the Month column, and in the News column, information regarding a job opportunity at Gorgias Press and continued discounts.

Also in the News section, 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.

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
  • News
  • Enthusiast of the Month: Radu Mustata and Mila Neishtadt
  • Reviews of Gorgias Books

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

Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam
By Patricia Crone

ISBN 978-1-59333-102-3
 Hardback, $89 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $80.10)

Patricia Crone reassesses one of the most widely accepted dogmas in contemporary accounts of the beginnings of Islam: the supposition that Mecca was a trading center. In addition, she seeks to elucidate sources on which we should reconstruct our picture of the birth of the new religion in Arabia.


An East Syrian Manuscript of the Syriac 'Masora' Dated to 899 CE
Volume 2: Prepared by Jonathan Loopstra

ISBN 978-1-4632-0391-7
 Hardback, $228.09 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $205.28)

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.


Common Grounds without Foundations
By David Kratz Mathies

ISBN 978-1-60724-042-6
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

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.


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.


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

Leviticus According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation Leviticus: English Translation by James D. Moore; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz & Joseph Bali
This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshi?ta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0468-6, Cloth, $150

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)

Histoire des Mongols Volume 1–Volume 4: By Constantin Mouradgea d' Ohsson
This four-volume set narrates the history of the Mongols by a Swedish diplomat of Armenian descent.
ISBN 978-1-61143-280-0, Hardback, $992.68 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $893.41)

Narrative of Facts, characterizing the supernatural manifestations in members of Mr. Irving’s congregation, and other individuals in England and Scotland; and formerly in the writer himself. By Matthew Boyd Hope
The article reviews a pamphlet by a supposed prophet. The pamphlet tells of the prophet’s development and his trials. He struggles to know if the prophecy is God’s or Satan’s. The reviewer says the believers are delusional.
ISBN 978-1-61143-193-3, Paperback, $31.655 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $28.49)

The Origins of the Islamic State Volume 1–Volume 2: By Philip Khûri Hitti & Francis Clark Murgotten
This set is one of the most reliable sources on the beginnings of Islamic statehood. It covers the wars of Prophet Muhammad, the ridda wars, the conquests of Syria, Armenia, Egypt, Morocco, and the occupation of Iraq and Persia. The set also covers the spread of Islam into the outer-lying areas of the Middle East.
ISBN 978-1-59333-763-6, Hardback, $320.645 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $288.58)

This month, we are pleased to announce the following forthcoming books in the fields of Biblical Studies, Early Christianity, and Syriac Studies.

Divine Motive in the Hebrew Bible: A Comprehensive Survey and Analysis, by J. Michael Thigpen, is the first comprehensive study of divine motive in the Hebrew Bible. Building on the works of B. Gemser and Abraham Heschel, Thigpen suggests that while Yahweh’s actions are often interpreted as capricious by modern readers, the writers of the Bible intended them to be understood according to set patterns with specific motives and goals, which are made explicit in the text. Thigpen categorizes more than 500 of these motive statements from across the Hebrew canon, with a special emphasis on Jeremiah and Ezekiel, which contain 25% of the divine motive statements in the Hebrew Bible. After an exploration of significant example passages, the survey concludes with an analysis of the major categories of divine motive.

The Mystery of Anointing: Hippolytus’ Commentary on the Song of Songs in Social and Critical Contexts, by Yancy Smith, presents the first ever English translation of Hippolytus’ third-century commentary on the Song of Songs from the Georgian, Greek, Paleo-Slavonic, Armenian and Syriac texts. Smith interprets the commentary as a mystagogy, an oral instruction in the mysteries of the faith for newly baptized Christians during the Passover season, and suggests that Hippolytus is skillfully re-imagining Christian liturgy to show that Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism and Greco-Roman paganism. By reading Hippolytus’ commentary against the background of proto-orthodox Christianity’s struggle with paganism and competing heretical sects, Smith also provides new insights into the development of third-century Roman Christianity. The foreword is written by noted liturgical scholar Alistair Stewart.

An Anthology of Syriac Writers from Qatar in the Seventh Century (edited by Mario Kozah, Abdulrahim Abu-Husayn, Saif Shaheen Al-Murikhi, and Haya Al Than) continues the work begun by The Syriac Writers of Qatar (Gorgias Press, 2014). This anthology presents the first English translations of works by Isaac of Qatar, Dadisho of Qatar, Abraham bar Lipah, and Ahob of Qatar, with accompanying Syriac and Garshuni editions. Topics include liturgy, hagiography, asceticism, and exegesis, many of which had a major impact on the spirituality of the Church of the East.

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

Melonie Schmierer-Lee

Acquisitions Editor

Divine Motive in the Hebrew Bible By Michael Thigpen
This study begins with a comprehensive survey and analysis of divine motive in the Hebrew Bible. Building on the survey it explores divine motive in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, which contain 25% of the divine motive statements in the Hebrew canon.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0532-4, Hardback, $0 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $0.00)

The Mystery of Anointing: Hippolytus' Commentary on the Song of Songs in Social and Critical Contexts By Yancy Smith
The first English translation and study of St. Hippolytus' fascinating, early third-century commentary 'On the Song of Songs'. Important for the history of biblical interpretation, rival identities of early Christians, liturgy, and mystagogy in the pre-Constantinian church.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0218-7, Hardback, $170 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $153.00)

An Anthology of Syriac Writers from Qatar in the Seventh Century Edited by Mario Kozah, Abdulrahim Abu-Husayn, Saif Shaheen Al-Murikhi & Haya Al Thani
The Syriac writers of Qatar have not received the scholarly attention that they deserve in the last half century. This anthology seeks to redress such an underdevelopment by providing new material in English translation with accompanying Syriac and Garshuni editions to encourage further research in the sub-field of Beth Qatraye studies. It includes the work of some of the most prominent scholars in this field.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0547-8, Hardback, $110 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $99.00)

Job Opening at Gorgias Press: Graphic Designer

Gorgias Press LLC, an independent academic publishing house based in Piscataway NJ, is seeking a freelance graphic designer to work on a project-by-project basis. Tasks will include designing book covers, pamphlets, catalog inserts, and other advertising materials to appeal to an academic market. Candidates can work remotely from any region in the U.S. This is an ideal position for a student or recent graduate who is looking to build their portfolio and make some money on the side. For more information, including qualifications, visit this link

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.

This month's "Enthusiast of the Month" column is devoted to introducing our 2015 Gorgias Book Grant Winners: Radu Mustata and Mila Neishtadt.

Radu Mustaţă is a PhD probationary student in Medieval Studies at Central European University in Budapest. His current research is related to the early modern Syriac manuscripts of the Saint Thomas Christians from South India, with a special focus on the Jesuit Syriac literary production. He has previously earned degrees in Classical Philology (from the University of Bucharest), Humanities (from the Vivarium Novum Academy in Rome), and Religious Studies (from Central European University). Besides early modern Syriac manuscripts, he is also interested in Patristics and the history of biblical interpretation. He is obliged for receiving the Gorgias Press Book Grant and intends to use it in order to acquire some books which are instrumental for his research in the field of early modern Syriac manuscripts.

“Being awarded the present book grant is both a privilege and an honor, and I would like to thank Gorgias Press for their generosity."

Mila Neishtadt completed her BA and MA studies in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Tel-Aviv University and is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is interested in Semitic Linguistics, while focusing on Arabic Linguistics and Language Contact. In her dissertation, "Studies in the Aramaic Substrate of Palestinian Arabic," she identifies and analyzes the Aramaic lexical remnants in Palestinian Arabic from phonological, morphological and semantic aspects.

"I am excited and honored to be awarded the 2015 Book Grant from Gorgias Press, a publishing house that has been promoting a wide variety of works in the field of Near Eastern Studies, and has been exceptionally dedicated to Aramaic language and culture. The grant will enable me to acquire several Arabic and Aramaic lexicographical sources that are essential for my current and future scholarly research."


Fatima, Daughter of Muhammad Praised in Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies

Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies recently published a review of Christopher Clohessy's book, Fatima, Daughter of Muhammad, which brings the story of Fatima to the West. In their words: "The picture of Fatimah that thoroughly and refreshingly human yet deeply inspiring, and one to which men and women can relate."

RBL Lavishes High Praise on Scribal Wit by David Marcus

Christopher Dost, in a recent review for Review of Biblical Literature, offers high praise for the scholarship and writing of Scribal Wit. In his words:

"Scribal Wit is both creative and methodologically sound. It draws from masoretic studies, textual criticism, Hebrew grammar, and Jewish Aramaic language and literature to paint a detailed picture of the sophistication of the Tiberian Masoretes and their Masorah. The book’s tone is inviting, and the arcane subject matter is explained concisely and clearly without needless scholarly jargon so that even nonexperts can benefit from this work.The book is highly recommended to students and scholars alike who have at least some foundation in Masorah."

You can read the rest of the review here.

RBL Recommends Studies on Magic and Divination in the Biblical World

Craig Evans, of Acadia Divinity School, recommends Studies on Magic and Divination in the Biblical World for anyone interested in exploring the role of magic in ancient Israel, where magical practices continued to exist even though they had been forbidden. In his words:

"The underlying impulse behind the meetings and the papers in the book is inspired by the laws against magic and divination expressed in Deut 18:9-22. Although magic was forbidden by law, it was still practiced in one form or another in the biblical period and beyond. It is within this social context of inconsistency and conflict that magic in the biblical world should be viewed. These essays make for fascinating reading. . . The editors and contributors are to be commended."

You can read the rest of the review here.

Fatima, Daughter of Muhammad
  By Christopher Paul Clohessy

ISBN 978-1-59333-979-1
 Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $89.10)

 The only child of Muhammad to survive him, Fatima was from early times taken up by Shî’a Islam, for whose adherents she is the virgin mother, the heavenly intercessor with untold power before God’s throne, and the grieving mother of al-Husayn, the Shi’a's most important martyr. During her life she was impoverished and weak, neglected, marginalized, and divested of justice: but her reward in heaven comprises incalculable riches, all those in heaven will bow their heads to her, and her company will be the angels and the friends of God. Here, for the first time, her story is told.


Scribal Wit
  By David Marcus

ISBN 978-1-61143-904-5
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

 This book presents a detailed analysis of the Aramaic mnemonics, those short witty sentences written in Aramaic as memory aids in the margins of one of the oldest extant biblical Hebrew manuscripts, the Leningrad Codex (1008 CE). The material is presented in clear, user-friendly charts. Each mnemonic is set alongside the Hebrew verses it represents. This book demonstrates the ingenuity of the Masoretes in their grand endeavor to preserve the text of the Hebrew Bible precisely in the form that it had reached them.


Studies on Magic and Divination in the Biblical World
  Edited by Helen R. Jacobus, Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme & Philippe Guillaume

ISBN 978-1-61143-869-7
 Hardback, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $135.00)

 A selection of essays on magic and divination in relation to the biblical world, including Mesopotamian demonology, Akkadian literary influences, exorcism, healing, calendars, astrology, bibliomancy, dreams, ritual magic, priestly divination, prophecy, magic in the Christian Apocrypha and the New Testament, magic in rabbinic literature, and Jewish Aramaic magic bowls.


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