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A Diatessaron reading in a latin manichaean codex

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Chapter Summary

There is a serious possibility that the oldest translations of the Bible in the vernacular languages of Western Europe are based upon a deviating Latin Gospel harmony of Manichaean origin. The Latin parchment codex found near Tebessa in Algeria in 1918 and preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris is the only Manichaean document in Latin discovered to this date. It tries to show that the Manichaean hierarchy of electi and auditores is based upon the teachings of Jesus and Paul. The excavations at Kellis in the Egyptian desert west of Luxor have shown that a Manichaean literature in Greek did exist in Antiquity. It is completely sure that Manichaeans writing in Latin like the translator of Augustine's opponent Adimantus quote a very deviant version of the Diatessaron. The Manichaeans of Africa knew and used the Diatessaron in a Latin translation. This is also suggested by the Codex from Tebessa.

Keywords: Diatessaron; Latin gospel harmony; Latin Manichaean Codex; Tebessa



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