A Ganzibra (singular form in Classical Mandaic: ࡂࡀࡍࡆࡉࡁࡓࡀ, plural form in Classical Mandaic: ࡂࡀࡍࡆࡉࡁࡓࡉࡀ ganzibria, literally 'treasurer' in Mandaic; Persian: گنزورا) is a high priest in Mandaeism. Tarmidas, or junior priests, rank below the Ganzibras.[1]

Symbolically, ganzibras are considered to be uthras on earth (Tibil). Their responsibilities include performing masbuta, masiqta, wedding ceremonies, and other rituals, all of which can only be performed by priests. They must prepare their own food to maintain ritual purity.[2] Ganzibra priests are also prohibited from consuming stimulants such as wine, tobacco, and coffee.[3]


The ganzibras go through an elaborate set of initiation rituals that are separate from those performed for the tarmidas.[2] According Drower (1937), a ganzibra can only be initiated immediately before the death of a pious member of the Mandaean community. Two ganzibras and two shgandas are required to perform the initiation.[3]

The bukra is the first masiqta performed by a ganzibra priest just after ordination.[4]

The ʿngirta (lit.'message'; also refers to Qolasta prayers 73–74) is a ceremony used to inform the World of Light about the ordination of a ganzibra.[5]

In Mandaean texts

In Right Ginza 15.7, 15.8, 16.1, and 17.1, the uthra Yura is mentioned as Yura Rba Ganzibra, or "Great Yura the Ganzibra."[6]

Notable ganzibria

Notable ganzibria include:

See also


  1. ^ Drower, E. S. 1960. The Secret Adam: A Study of Nasoraean Gnosis. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  2. ^ a b Buckley, Jorunn Jacobsen (2002). The Mandaeans: ancient texts and modern people. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515385-5. OCLC 65198443.
  3. ^ a b Drower, E. S. 1937. The Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran. Leiden: Brill (1962 reprint).
  4. ^ Aldihisi, Sabah (2008). The story of creation in the Mandaean holy book in the Ginza Rba (PhD). University College London.
  5. ^ Häberl, Charles (2022). The Book of Kings and the Explanations of This World: A Universal History from the Late Sasanian Empire. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. p. 214. ISBN 978-1-80085-627-1.
  6. ^ Gelbert, Carlos (2011). Ginza Rba. Sydney: Living Water Books. ISBN 9780958034630.