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The Seventh, On The Five Fathers

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, Mani explains that the Five Fathers have their origin in the Father of Greatness and that all have shared in the victory over the powers of darkness. These Five Fathers represent the five ontological levels at which the work of salvation takes place: (1) the pre-cosmic context of the Light-realm (Father of Greatness), (2) the cosmic context of creation and the defeat of the Archons (Third Messenger), (3) the eschatological context of human history, judgement, and redemption (Jesus the Splendour), (4) the prophetological context of revelation and apostleship (Light-Mind), and (5) the ethical and ecclesiological context of the Holy Church (Light-Form). The chapter states that the Third Messenger emanated three powers: (1) the Column of Glory/Perfect Man, (2) Jesus the Splendour, and (3) a single Virgin of Light (1Ke 35.7-17).

Keywords:column of glory; father of greatness; five fathers; Holy Church; Jesus the splendour; Kephalaia; third messenger; virgin of light

10.1163/ej.9789004174368.i-244.40
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