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Franzmann MM. Jesus in the Manichaean Writings. 2003.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/647
Jesus in the Manichaean Writings
Prior to the last quarter of the twentieth century, works on the Manichaean Christology were few, although major Manichaean texts, such as the Homilies, Psalm Book and Kephalaia, were published in German or English editions from the mid 1930s to 1940. Of course, some early scholars like Polotsky were not convinced that the Christian elements within Manichaeism were central to the system but rather an addendum resulting from increasing Manichaean contact with Christianity through missionary activity. This might account for a certain lack of interest. Also, perhaps, like the Nag Hammadi texts discovered a little later in the mid-twentieth century, Manichaean writings were not valued sources of important information about the development of Christologies to complement those Christologies that emanated from the mainstream Christian tradition. This present work recognizes that Christian elements and the Jesus figure have a central place in Manichaeism, and that they are important in any understanding of the development of Christologies, whether within mainstream Christianity or within associated (heterodox) groups.Before presenting my own interpretations of the Manichaean Jesus, I need to consider what those before me have proposed. I have divided this material into two sections: the first deals with the more general question of Manichaean Christology, its origins and its relative importance for the Manichaean system as a whole; and the second investigates the work on Christology in some detail - the classification of Jesus figures, the relative importance of individual figures to Christology, and the possibility of an essential unity underlying the figures. My own interpretations will focus on the essential unity of the Jesus figures.