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The Manichaean Cosmogonical Myth As A ‘Re-Written Bible’

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Chapter Summary

Considering the studies on Manichaean doctrine and the complicated myth of Mani one can clearly discern two main lines: a Zoroastrian one and a Gnostic-Christian one. Much research has been done in the field of Bible interpretation and Biblical parallels found in Gnostic texts. There is also a very important common feature in the legends of the Haggada and Gnostic mythology: both of them are mostly secondary by their origin, i.e. they return to an interpretation of the text, to a paraphrase or even an allegory. This common tendency of Late Antiquity also influenced the Judaism of the time, including its exegesis of the Bible. Striking parallels are also revealed in the exposition of the elements as primary constituents of the Manichaean cosmos.

Keywords: Gnostic texts; Judaism; late antiquity; Manichaean doctrine



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