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Manichaean Elements In An Early Version Of The Virgin Mary’s Assumption

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Chapter Summary

In 1955, Antoine Wenger published a collection of Byzantine texts on the Dormition and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Scholars of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem, and Frédéric Manns in particular, have argued that the traditions concerning Mary's Dormition and Assumption have their origin in a second-century Jewish-Christian milieu. This chapter discusses the notion of 'the three servants and the three ways' and the ideas concerning 'the heavenly garment and the relatives'. One of the new Manichaean texts found at Kellis contains a prayer probably spoken by the believer in the face of death. In the tenth century, the Arabic writer al-Nadim gave a useful description of these Manichaean ideas about the fate of the soul. The idea that after death the righteous soul is invested with a new or white or radiant garment was well known in early Christianity.

Keywords: al-Nadim; early Christianity; Jerusalem; Manichaean texts; Virgin Mary



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