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A War Of Words: Intertextuality And The Struggle Over The Legacy Of Christ In The Acta Archelai

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines two processes of intertextuality involved in the testimony that the Acts of Archelaus (AA) affords to this war of, and over, words. Written from the vantage point of one party among many, the AA attempts to paint its rivals as distortions of and deviations from the one true understanding of Christ's legacy. The narrative of the AA depicts Mani, late in his career, conspiring to get his hands on the Christian scriptures for the first time in order to find passages which, when ripped from their proper context, might yield support to his independently conceived, outlandish ideas. Mani's biblical interpretation shows a coherent use of Christian scripture through the lens of a different location of reading, and as the end result of a distinct trajectory of development.

Keywords: Acts of Archelaus (AA); Christ's legacy; Christian scripture; intertextuality; Mani's biblical interpretation



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