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The Light And The Darkness: The Two Natures, Free Will, And The Scriptural Evidence In The Acta Archelai

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the scriptural evidence used by the Manichaeans for the existence of the Two Natures. It shows that the Acta Archelai, although fictional, accurately portrays the way that the Manichaeans based the Two Natures on the scripture, especially in the use of the Gospel of Matthew and its abundant references to the Two Trees (the Good and the Evil) and their fruit. Evidence from other Manichaean texts and characterizations of Manichaeans in Augustine's writings shows similar usage of Matthew and John. The chapter also shows that Archelaus' response is the same as found in other Christian anti-heretical texts where the two natures are argued against: evil is the result of man's free will and it cannot exist as a separate entity.

Keywords: Acta Archelai; free will; Gospel of Matthew; Manichaeans; scriptural evidence



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