Ginza Rabba

central religious text of Mandaeism
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The Ginza Rabba is the most important holy scripture of Mandaeism. It is written in Mandaic, an Eastern Aramaic dialect.

An Arabic translation of the Ginza Rabba published in Baghdad, Iraq


Gelbert, Carlos (2011). Ginza Rba. Sydney: Living Water Books. ISBN 9780958034630. (English translation)
Gelbert, Carlos (2021). Ginza Rba. Sydney: Living Water Books. ISBN 9780958034630. (Arabic translation and Mandaic transcription)

Right GinzaEdit

  • "I am the Life Who was from aforetime; (ana hu hiia ḏ-hun mn l-aqadmia)
I am the kušṭa that was the first at the beginning. (ana hu kušṭa ḏ-hua mn qudam briša)
I am the radiance, I am the light. (ana hu ziua, ana hu nhura)
I am the death, I am the Life. (ana hu muta, ana hu hiia)
I am the darkness, I am the light. (ana hu hšuka, ana hu nhura)
I am the error, I am the truth. (ana hu ṭʿia, ana hu šrara)
I am the destruction, I am the construction. (ana hu hbila, ana hu biniana)
I am the (unwitting) offence, I am the purification. (ana hu mhita, ana hu asuta)
I am the outstanding man who is older and earlier than the builder of the heavens and the earth. (ana hu gabra iatira ḏ-qašiš mn qudam ḏ-bania ʿšumia u-arqa hua)
I have no friend as king, and there is no crown in my kingdom. (habrai b-malkia laiit u-laiit taga b-malkutai)
There is no person who could give me information in the clouds of darkness. (u-laiit kul ʿniš br anaša ḏ-paršigna naitilia b-rpilia ḏ-hšuka)
  • Book 6, paragraphs 16-17

  • Thereupon Shilmai, the master of the house, arose, went before Yathrun, the perfect man. He said to him:
"My father! The piece of information that thou didst wish from me, I will give thee.
When the measure of the world comes to an end,
the earth falls into darkness,
and the heavens shall roll up like a reed-mat.
The sun strips off its radiance,
the moon takes off its gleaming.
The stars and constellations fall down like leaves.
The fire goes to its foundation,
the waters go back into their place of origin.
The four winds grasp themselves by their wings and cease to blow.
Ruha, Mšiha, the planets and the souls of the evil ones who have confessed (their faith) in them, call for each other and grasp each other by the hand, in order to be bound and to be fettered,
and they go off and fall down like a lead pomegranate into ‘Ur, the Lord of darkness, into his own gigantic body!
And smoke curls up in his belly, and the fire shall be fanned and shall consume ‘Ur, the Lord of darkness,
and ‘Uat (Ewath), the lying Ruha, and the planets and the souls of the evil ones who have confessed (their faith) in them."
  • 5.5:47-48

Left GinzaEdit

  • Naked they brought me into the world (arṭil l-alma atalḥ),
and naked they take me out of it (u-riqan minḥ apqun).
Naked they take me out of it (riqan apqun minḥ),
like a bird that is unaccompanied by anything (kḏ ṣipra ḏ-minḥ lalua).
  • Book 3, Hymn 17

Quotes about the Ginza RabbaEdit

  • Again I feel the need and responsibility to defend our principal religious manuscript, the Ginza Rba, the Great Treasure of all Mandaeans. If you want the truth, the Ginza Rba is the backbone of our community. Without it the Mandaeans could never have survived the centuries-long atrocities, fanaticism and extremism of other nations; without it, I am sure, they would soon disappear in the near future. We should not forget that their successful resistance in the past was due to it. If you read the colophon of sheykh Salah Jabbar at the end of this book, you will see that there was a good tradition among the priesthood, namely: to look upon the Ganzibra amongst them, who has succeeded in copying a scroll of the Ginza Rba to the last word with his right hand (nasaka d-kulhun ginzia b-iaminḥ), as a steadfast and reliable religious man. So they valued his knowledge and appreciated his work to a great extent and placed a crown of honour upon his head.

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