1,1 The Manichaeans also called Acvanites after a veteran from Mesopotamia named Acvas who practiced the profession of the pernicious Mani at Eleutheropolis. (2) They began to preach to the world at that time, and brought a great evil on the world after the of Sabellius. For they arose in the time of the emperor Aurelian, about the fourth year of his reign (3) This sect is widely reported and is talked of in many parts of the world, and as I said, owes its worldwide spread to a man named Mani.
1,4 Mani was from Persia, and was originally named Cubricus. But he changed his name to Mani (Μάνη) to call himself mad, I suspect by God’s providence. (5) And as he thought, he was calling himself “vessel,” in Babylonian if you please; “vessel” (μάνη) translated from Babylonian to Greek, suggests the name. But as the truth shows, he was named for the madness which caused the wretch to propagate his heresy in the world.
1,6 Cubricus was the slave of a widow who had died childless and left him an incalculable wealth of gold, silver, spices and other goods. (7) She herself had inherited the property from a Terbinthus who had also been a slave, whose name had been changed to “Buddha,” in Assyrian. And Terbinthus himself had been the slave of a Scythianus, who was a Saracen but had been brought up on the borders of Palestine, that is, in Arabia.
1,8 Scythianus had been taught the language and literature of the Greeks there, and had become proficient in their futile worldly doctrines. (9) But he made continual business trips to India, and did a great deal of trading. And so he acquired worldly goods and as he traveled through the Thebaid—there are various harbours on the Red Sea, (10) at the different gateways to the Roman realm. One of these is at Aelan—Aelon in sacred scripture. It was perhaps there that Solomon’s ship arrived every three years, bringing gold, elephant’s tusks, spices, peacocks and the rest. (11) Another harbor is at Castrum in Clysma, and another is the northernmost, at a place called Bernice. Goods are brought to the Thebaid by way of this port called Bernice, and the various kinds of merchandise from India are either distributed there in the Thebaid or to Alexandria by way of the river Chrysorroes—I mean the Nile, which is called Gihon in the scriptures— and to all of Egypt as far as Pelusium. (12) And this is how merchants from India who reach the other lands by sea make trading voyages to the Roman Empire.
2,1 I have been at pains to convey this in full detail for your information, so that those who care to read this will not go uninformed even of the remote causes of every affair. For whoever embarks on a narrative must start it the best way he can, and introduce it from the very beginning. This is how the truth comes to light too, (2) and even though the speaker has no command of polished speech and elegant language the wise will still be told what they should be by the truthful account.
2,3 To begin with, then, Scythianus was puffed up by his great wealth, and his possessions of spices and other goods from India. (4) And in traveling over the Thebaid to a town called Hypsele, he found a woman there who was extremely depraved though of evident beauty, and made a deep impression on his stupidity. Taking her from the brothel—she was a prostitute—he grew fond of the woman and set her free, and she became his wife. (5) After a long while, because of the extreme luxury in his possession, nothing would do the sinner but that, like an idle person accustomed to evil by the extreme wantonness of his luxury, he must finally think of something new, in keeping with his taste, to offer the world. (6) And out of his own head he made up some such words as these—for he did not take them from the sacred scripture and the utterance of the Holy Spirit, but said, on the basis of wretched human reasoning, (7) “What is the reason for the inequalities throughout the visible vault of creation—black and white, flushed and pale, wet and dry, heaven and earth, night and day, soul and body, good and evil, righteous and unrighteous—unless, surely, these things originate from two roots, or two principles?” (8) But to employ him for further warfare against the human race, the devil spawned the horrid supposition in his mind that non-being does not know being. This was meant to start a war in the minds of the dupes who believe that there is something more than Him Who Is, and that all things are products of two roots, as it were, or two principles. This [last] is the most impious and unsound idea of all.
2,9 But I shall speak of this another time. Scythianus, whose mind was blind about these things, took his cue from Pythagoras and held such beliefs, and composed four books of his own. He called one the Book of the Mysteries the second the Book of the Summaries, the third the Gospel and the fourth the Treasury. (10) In them he contrasted and the personae, in every respect perfectly balanced and evenly matched, two principles. Pathetically he supposed and imagined that he had made a great discovery about this. And he had indeed discovered a great evil, for himself and the people he misleads.
3,1 Scythianus was busy with this, but had heard how the prophets and the Law spoke prophetically of the creation of the world, of the one, sover-eign, everlasting Father who will have no end, and of his Son and the Holy Spirit. (2) Since he lived in greater luxury [than they], made fun of them in his boorish mind, and was egged on by the haughty arrogance within him he chose to travel to Jerusalem, about the apostles’ time, (3) and dispute there, if you please, with the preachers of <God’s> sovereignty and the [creation of] God’s creatures.
3,4 On his arrival the unfortunate man began to challenge the elders there—who were living by the legislation which God had given to Moses and by the inspired teaching of every prophet—(5) with,“How can you say that God is one, if he made night and day, flesh and soul, dry and wet, heaven and earth, darkness and light?” (6) They gave him a plain explanation—the truth is no secret—but he was not ashamed to contradict them. And though he could not achieve his aim, he still behaved with stubborn shamelessness.
3,7 But since he met with no success but was worsted instead, he produced an illusion with the magic books he owned. (He was a sorcerer too, and had obtained the horrid, pernicious arts of magic from the heathen wisdom of the Indians and Egyptians.) (8) he went up on a house-top and conjured, but still achieved nothing—instead he fell off the roof and ended his life. He had lived in Jerusalem for some years.
3,9 He had had just one disciple with him, the Terbinthus we mentioned earlier. He had entrusted his possessions to this disciple, as to a very faithful servant who obeyed him with a good will. (10) When Scythianus died Terbinthus buried him with all kindness but once he had buried him planned not to return to the woman, the former harlot or captive who had been married to Scythianus. Instead he took all the property, the gold, the silver and the rest, (11) and fled to Persia. And to escape detection he changed his name as I have said, and called himself Buddha instead of Terbinthus.
3,12 For his evil inheritance he in his turn obtained Scythianus’ four books and his implements of magic and conjuring—for he too was very well educated. (13) In Persia he lodged with an elderly widow and in his turn debated about the two principles with the attendants and priests of the idol of Mithra, with a prophet named Parcus, and with Labdacus, but . Since he could not even dispute with the promoters of idolatry but was refuted by them and disgraced, (14) he went up on the housetop with the same intention as Scythianus—to work magic, if you please, so that no one could answer his arguments. But he was pulled down by an angel and fell, and so died from the same magic that he had intended to work.
3,15 The old woman saw to his burial, and came into possession of his property. Having no children or relatives, she remained alone for a long while. (16) But later she purchased Cubricus, or Mani, to wait on her. And when she died28 she left the evil inheritance to him, like poison left by an asp, for the ruin and destruction of many.
4,1 In his turn Cubricus, who had taken the name Mani, lived in the same place and conducted discussions there. And no one believed him; everyone who heard Mani’s teaching was annoyed, and rejected it for its novelty, shocking stories, and empty imposture.(2) Seeing the defeat of his own mischievous formularies, the feather-brain looked for some way of proving the truth of this dreadful fabrication of his.
4,3 It was rumoured that the son of the king of Persia had fallen victim to some disease and was confined to his bed in the capital city of Persia— Mani did not live there, but in another place, a long way from the capital. (4) Blinded by his own wickedness, and thinking that he might be able to perform cures on the king’s son from the books he had acquired of Scythianus’ successor, his own master Terbinthus or Buddha, Mani left his place of residence and ventured to introduce himself, claiming that he could be of service.
4,5 But though he administered various drugs to the king’s ailing child, his expectation was disappointed. The boy finally died under his ministrations, to the confusion of all empty claims falsely made.32 (6) After this outcome, Mani was imprisoned by royal decree. (7) (The kings of Persia do not execute persons guilty of major crimes at once; they find ways of inflicting a further sentence of death, by torture, on those who are [already] faced with that threat.) And so much for that.
5,1 Thus Mani, or Cubricus, remained confinement, visited by his own disciples. (2) For by now the scum had gathered a band, as it were, already about twenty-two, whom he called disciples. (3) He chose three of these, one named Thomas, and Hermeias, and Addas, with the intention . For he had heard of the sacred books to be found in Judaea and the world over—I mean < the > Christian books, the Law and Prophets, the Gospels, and the Apostles.
5,4 Giving his disciples money, he sent them to Jerusalem. (5) (But he had done this before his imprisonment, when he found himself unable to sustain his doctrine in discussion with many. (6) Having heard of the name of Christ, and of his disciples, I mean the Christians, he had determined to deceive his dupes with the name of the Christian religion.)
5,7 They went off and purchased the books, for they made no delay. But when, on their return, they found Mani no longer at liberty but in the prison, they entered even that and showed him the books. (8) He took and examined them, and fraudulently combined his own falsehood with the truth wherever he found the form of a word, or a name, which could show a resemblance to this doctrine. In this way he finally provided confirmation for the sham of his sect.
5,9 In the meantime, however, he escaped by importuning his jailer and bribing him heavily, and he left Persia, and arrived at the Roman realm. (10) But when he reached the border between Mesopotamia and Persia and was still in the desert, he heard of an eminent man named Marcellus who was famous for piety of the finest sort and lived in the Mesopotamian city of Caschar. Marcellus was a thoroughgoing Christian and remarkable for his righteous works, and supplied the needs of widows, the poor, orphans and the destitute.
5,11 It was Mani’s intent to attach himself to Marcellus, to gain control of him and be able not only to rule Mesopotamia through him, but the whole region adjacent to Syria and the Roman Empire. (12) But he sent him a letter from the boundary of the river Stranga, from a place called Fort Arabio, by Turbo, one of his disciples, and this is what it said. Read it, and have a look at the instrument of the fraud’s wickedness!
6,1 Mani, an apostle of Jesus Christ, and all the saints and virgins who are with me, to my beloved son, Marcellus: Grace, mercy, peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. And the Light’s right hand preserve you from the present evil age and its mischances, and the snares of the evil one. Amen.
6,2 I am overjoyed to hear that your love is very great, but grieved that your faith is not in accord with the right reason. (3) I therefore feel impelled to send you this letter, since I am sent for the correction of the human race, and care for those who have given themselves over to imposture and error. (4) [I write], first for the salvation of your own soul, and then for the salvation of those who are with you, so that you may not have an undiscerning mind, as the guides of the simple teach, who say that good and evil are brought by the same [God], and introduce a single first principle. (5) As I have said, they neither distinguish nor differentiate darkness from light, good from wicked and evil, and the outer man from the inner, but never cease to confuse and confound the one with the other.
6,6 But do you, my son, not combine the two as most men do, absurdly and foolishly in any chance way, and ascribe them both to the God of goodness. For those “whose end is nigh unto cursing” trace the beginning, end and father of these evils to God. (7) Neither do they believe what is said in the Gospels by our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ himself, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, nor, assuredly, can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.” (8) And how they dare to say that God is the maker and artificer of Satan and his ills, is amazing to me.
6,9 And would that their vain effort stopped with this, and they did not say that the Only-begotten, the Christ who has descended from the bosom of the Father, was the son of a woman, Mary, born of blood and flesh and women’s ill-smelling effluent! (10) And since I have no native eloquence I shall rest content with this, not to abuse your forbearance by writing at length, for a considerable time, in this letter. (11) You shall know the whole when I come to you—if, indeed, you are still tender of your salvation. For I put a noose on no one, in the manner of the senseless [teachers] of the multitude. “Mark what I say,” most honored son!
7,1 The most distinguished, godfearing and eminent Marcellus was surprised and shocked when he read this letter. For as it happened, the bishop of the town, Archelaus, was in his home with him the day the servant of God received Mani’s letter. (2) When Archelaus found what the matter was and had read the letter, he gnashed his teeth like a roaring lion and with godly zeal made as to rush off to where Mani was and arrest him for a foreigner come from the barbarians, from whom he was hastening to destroy the human race.
7,3 But Marcellus in his wisdom begged the bishop to calm down, but told Turbo to terminate his [return] journey to Mani, [who was] at Fort Arabio, where he would be awaiting Turbo. (This fortress is on the border between Persia and Mesopotamia.) (4) Marcellus declined to go to Mani, and not to compel Turbo to do so sent one of his own runners, and wrote Mani the following letter.
7,5 Greetings from the distinguished personage, Marcellus, to Manichaeus, who is made known by the letter. I have accepted the letter you have writ- ten, and of my kindness extended hospitality to Turbo. But I have no way of understanding the sense of your letter unless you come, as you promise in your letter, and explain each point in detail. Farewell.
8,1 When Mani learned of this he thought that the absence of the detained Turbo boded no good. (To confirm his own notion, Mani often deceived even himself by drawing wrong conclusions). All the same, he took the letter as an occasion for hurrying to Marcellus.
8,2 Now as well as being intelligent the bishop Archelaus had a zeal for the faith. His advice was to have Mani executed at once, if possible—as though he had trapped a leopard or wolf, or some other wild beast—so that the flock would not be harmed by the onslaught of such a predator. (3) But Marcellus asked for the of patience, and that there be a restrained discussion between Archelaus and Mani. (4) Archelaus, however, by now learned the whole essence of Mani’s opinion, for Turbo had told them—him and Marcellus—all of the sect’s nonsense.
8,5 Mani teaches that there are two first principles without beginnings, which are eternal and never cease to be, and are opposed to each other. He names one light and good, but the other, darkness and evil, which makes them God and the devil. But sometimes he calls them both gods, a good god and an evil god
8,6 All things stem and originate from these two principles. The one principle makes all good things; the other, likewise, the evil things. In the world the substances of these two principles are mixed together, and the one principle has made the body, while the soul belongs to the other. (7) The soul in human beings, and the soul in every beast, bird, reptile and bug is the same; and not only this, but Mani claims that the living moisture in plants is a movement of the soul which he says is in human beings.
9,1 But he teaches as much other mythology when he says that whoever eats meat eats a soul, and is liable to the punishment of becoming the same himself—(2) becoming a pig in his own turn if he ate a pig, or a bull, or bird, or any edible creature. Manichaeans therefore do not eat meat. And if one plants a fig tree, an olive, a grapevine, a sycamore, or a persea, his soul at his own death is entangled in the branches of the trees he planted and unable to get by them. (3) And if one marries a woman, he says, he is embodied again after his departure and becomes a woman himself, so that he may be married. (4) And if someone killed a man his soul is returned to the body of a leper after departing the body, or a mouse or snake or else will in his own turn become something of the kind that he killed.
9,5 Again, he claimed that since it desires the soul which is dispersed in all things, God’s heavenly wisdom61—(6) (for he and his Manichaean followers say that the soul is a part of God and has been dragged away from him and as the prisoner of the archons of the opposing principle and root. it has been cast down into bodies in this way, because it is the food of the archons who have seized teacher of grammar, and the other a sophist. (3) And after many words on both sides, with Mani advancing his fabricated teachings and Archelaus, like the bravest of soldiers, destroying the enemy’s weapons by his own strength, and when Mani was finally beaten and the judges had awarded the prize to the truth—(4) that was no surprise. The truth is self-authenticating and cannot be overthrown even if wickedness shamelessly opposes the precept of the truth. For like the shadow of darkness, like the slippery footing of a snake’s onset, like the snake’s lack of support without feet, falsehood has no ground or foundation.
11,1 And then Mani escaped, though the people would have stoned him if Marcellus had not come forward and shamed the mob with his venerable presence—otherwise, if he had stayed, the miserable dead man would have died a long time earlier. Mani withdrew and came to a village of Caschar called Diodoris, (2) where the people’s presbyter at the time was a very mild man named Trypho. Mani lodged with Trypho and confused him in turn with his boasts, for he realized that Trypho, while a good man in other respects and a marvel of piety, was lacking in eloquence. (3) Even here, however, he was not able to mock Christ’s servant as he had supposed he could. God’s way is to prepare the gifts of the Spirit and supply them to those who hope in him, as the One who never lies has promised, “Take no thought what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of my Father which speaketh in you.”
11,4 And so Mani chose to debate once more, with the presbyter Trypho. Trypho answered him at many points and wrote to Archelaus about this matter, (5) “A man has come here like a fierce wolf and is trying to destroy the fold. I beg you to send me instructions on how to deal with him or in what terms I should reply to his heresy. And if you should see fit to come yourself, you would relieve the minds of Christ’s fold, and his sheep.” Archelaus sent him two books the ready understanding of Mani, and told him to expect him in person.
11,6 At early morning Mani came into the middle of the village, pretending to challenge Trypho to debate as a colleague. And after Trypho had made his appearance, (7) and with his God-given understanding had answered Mani’s questions point by point to the fraud’s discomfiture— [though] somewhat softly where he felt doubtful—Archelaus turned up like a powerful householder protecting his property, confidently attacked the would-be plunderer, and took him to task.
11,8 As soon as Mani saw Archelaus he said, with fawning hypocrisy, “Allow me to debate with Trypho. Since a bishop, you out-rank me.” (9) But together with the repudiation of that remark Archelaus silenced Mani by exposing him as an [even] greater hypocrite, and again put him to shame by answering his arguments, so that he could say nothing further. And the people once more grew angry and tried to lay hands on the offender. He, however, escaped the mob and once more to Fort Arabio.
12,1 And then, when the king of Persia learned of Mani’s hideout, he sent and arrested him in the fortress. He dragged him ignominiously back to Persia and punished him by ordering that he be flayed with a reed.74 (2) They still have his skin in Persia, flayed with a reed and stuffed with straw. And this is how he died; Manichaeans themselves sleep on reed mattresses for this reason.
12,3 After he had died like that and had left his disciples whom we have mentioned, Addas, Thomas and Hermeias—he had sent them> out before he was punished as we described—(4) Hermeias went > to Egypt. Many met him. For the sect is not an ancient one, and the people who had met this Hermeias, Mani’s disciple, described him to me. (5) Addas, however, went north and Thomas to Judaea, and the doctrine has gained in strength to this day by their efforts. (6) Mani, however, said that he was the Paraclete Spirit, and calls himself an apostle of Christ on some occasions, and the Paraclete Spirit on others. And there is a great variation of the heresies in his blindness.
13,1 Now at length, beloved, I need to say about the sect and its nonsense; all that precedes, I have described for your information. (2) Now then, the savage Mani begins his teaching, speaking and writing in his work on faith. (3) For he issued various books, one composed of to match twenty-two letters of the Syriac alphabet. (4) (Most Persians use the Syrian letters besides Persian, just as, with us, many nations use the Greek letters even though nearly every nation has its own. (5) But others pride themselves on the oldest dialect of Syriac, if you please, and the Palmyrene—it and its letters. But there are twenty-two of them, and the book is thus divided into twenty-two sections.)
13,6 He calls this book the Mysteries of Manichaeus, and another one the Treasury. And he makes a show of other books he has stitched together, the Lesser Treasury, as one is called, and another on astrology. (7) Manichaeans have no shortage of this sort of jugglery; they have astrology for a handy subject of boasting, and phylacteries—I mean amulets—and certain other incantations and spells.
This is how Mani begins his book:
14,1 There were God and matter, light and darkness, good and evil, all in direct opposition to each other, so that neither side has anything in common with the other. And this is the scum’s prologue; (2) he begins his mischief there. And broadly speaking, that is the book, which contains certain bad propositions of this sort, the difficulty of which, and the contradiction at the very outset between the words and their aim, must be understood. (3) For even though the rest of his nonsense and fabricated religion is extensive, the whole of his wickedness will be shown by its introduction.
For the words, “There were God and matter,” taught nothing less than the futile speculation of the Greeks. (4) But it is easy to detect, understand and refute this valueless sophistical notion. to anyone with good judgment that the conclusion that there are two contemporaneous eternals cannot be reached by correct reasoning and well-intended intelligence. And anyone with sense must find this out. (5) If the two [eternals] are contemporaneous they cannot be different, even in name. For anything that is contemporaneous [with one of them] is also co-eternal. But this co-eternal and ever existent thing is God, particularly as he has no cause. For nothing is eternal but God alone.
14,6 But with your barbarous mind and enmity toward the human race you have referred to these principles by different names. You have spoken of one as “light,” but the other as “darkness,” and again, of the one as “good” and the other as “evil.” But you claim that they are in total opposition in every respect, so that neither has anything in common with the other. You separate them, then; for it is plain that they are opposites, as you have said. (7) (If they are partners, however, the partners will be found to be friendly and in agreement, because they live together in fellowship and from their profound affection never leave one another.)
14,8 However, if [Mani’s first principles] are separate from each other, each of them is surely bounded. But nothing that is bounded is perfect; it is limited by its boundedness. (9) Besides, a boundary will be needed for the delimitation of both, or both territories will touch at the ends, be in contact with each other through the ends, have something in common, and violate the rule of their opposition. And if you grant that there is a divider between the two, (10) the divider cannot be like them, but neither can it be different from both. (11) For if the divider can be called comparable to one of the two eternals we mentioned [even] in one part of it, then, because of the comparable part, the divider cannot be different from [the eternal]. Instead it will be connected with the one with which it is comparable, there will be a junction at the part that matches, and [the divider] will no longer be bounded where it parts the two substances from each other
14,12 If, however, it is not like the two and has no share of a part of either, there cannot be two eternals and everlastings; there must, in the last analysis, be three. And there can no longer be two principles, and two primordials opposed to each other. There must be another, third thing, which is opposed to both and unlike both, and which divides the two and, because of its foreignness to them, has nothing in common with either and no likeness to either. And in the end there are no longer two, but these three.
14,13 And besides, another will also be required, a fourth, to mediate and set this boundary. For the two could not set the boundary or partition without another to be the umpire who put the divider between them—a skillful, wise and fair umpire, what is more, with higher rank [than either] so that he can persuade them both to a peaceable reconciliation. (14) Thus there will be one to set the boundary, one to divide, and two to be bounded, and there cannot be only two first principles; there must even be three and four. And in this way one can think of many first principles, ignoring real things and imagining unreal ones.
15,1 In the offender’s effort not to allow evil, of all things, to touch God— in fact, to ascribe to God is an absurdity. In the standard form of the church’s teaching it is agreed that the Godhead has nothing to do with evil and no admixture of it. (2) For God made nothing evil; he made “all things very good,” since God is by nature good and of an incomprehensible essence, and contains all things but is himself contained by none. Evil, therefore, did not always exist, nor was evil made by God.
15,3 Since evil does not always exist, then, and was not made by God, it remains to examine the nature of this thing that does not always exist but has a beginning, and that is coming to its end and perishing, and has no permanence— how it began. (4) And in examining this we must first consider the sort of thing that evil is and the sort of thing in which evil arises, and whether it is an object or, as it were, has a body or substance, or whether it can even have a root. (5) And when we think this through we shall find that evil is without substance and has no root, but is limited to the deeds of human activity at work. (6) While we are doing it, evil exists; while we are not doing it, it does not. It is our good judgment that discovers what it means to do evil—to do the thing that does not please God, and can neither contradict God nor resist the Godhead. For when anything can be rooted out and destroyed by men, all the more can it not hold out against God.
16,1 At the same time we must understand that the devil was not made evil by nature at the creation but discovered evildoing for himself later, and not without the knowledge of what he would become. With all creatures he was created well, with the utmost serviceability because of superior righteousness. (2) For though God in his supreme goodness willed that all persons and creatures be , and though he offered his good gifts to all, he still, by allowing the freedom to choose, permits all creatures to undertake whichever action each chooses by its own will. Thus God cannot be responsible for the evils, though there will be a separation of those who progress to virtue and win the rewards of goodness.
16,3 But though this madman Mani (Mάνης) means to exempt God from evil, he has instead set evil over against God on equal terms. (4) And at the same time, while he is abusing all creation, he is not ashamed to use our human errors as his excuse for interweaving evenly matched with all created being. He has in fact become the champion and defender of the evil he claims to forbid. And when he grants its existence and declares its eternity, and that, together with God, it always is and never ceases to be, he is embracing a sort of fondness for evil and fellowship with it instead of a hatred toward it.
16,5 And Mani’s departure from the truth can be detected from his use of certain terms for evil in every subject [he discusses]. For the goodness of God’s whole creation is proved by the texts Mani himself cites. (17,1) First of all he has called evil, “matter,” and holds matter to be corruption in the same sense [as evil] And to begin with, if matter is corruption, what can it be the corruption of? If it is the corruption of other things, but matter itself is enduring, then matter would have destroyed everything long ago; and after putting its power into operation for so long without being extirpated, only it would exist.
17,2 But if matter is the corruption of itself, and if it corrupts, assails, consumes and destroys itself, it is on its way to destruction and can- not endure, since it is the source of its own destruction and corruption (3) How could it have lasted for so long, as the scum claims, but at the same time have nothing at all to do with life, and not in fact of life or goodness?
17,4 But since there is also goodness in each of the creatures Mani abuses, his account of evil is altogether mistaken; each of the principles he speaks of has something in common with the other. (5) All that is has been made for a purpose, but the things that Mani abuses by name contain the opposite of evil. Take snakes, for example and the other . (6) The sources of deadly poison also contain an antidote to do away with death and suffering. And the daytime is indeed for human labor, as well as for illumination and vision; but the night, which Mani disparages by name, is also a rest which God has given to man. (7) And so it is evident that each thing individually is good, and cannot be termed evil, or given a name synonymous with evil, because of our sins.
18,1 For all things are good and pleasant, and nothing is rejected by the God , “And behold, all things are very good.” And nowhere is there a root of evil. (2) This is why, when God was making the whole world by his goodness, he ascribed goodness to each of his creatures at the outset, and said, “And God saw that it was good”—testifying to its goodness and confounding the shrewdness of the plotters against mankind, who want to conceal the truth from men with their evil stories. (3) For God made heaven and earth, the light, and the things on the earth, on the first day, “And he saw, and behold it was good,” says the scripture. (4) Didn’t he know he would make something good, then, since he says, “Behold, it is good,” after it was made? And so, in succession, of the waters, the sea, vegetation, trees, the heavenly luminaries, cattle, birds, reptiles and fish. (5) For scripture said, “And God saw, and behold, it was good,” in every case—but not because God did not know this beforehand or because he <learned> it after the thing was made, as though he had acquired his knowledge of its goodness by experience. Because of the opinion of the injudicious he declared in advance that all things are good, and that evil has no existence anywhere. (6) Since all things are good, and since their goodness is attested by the absolutely true testimony of the Good,
Privation of all that is evil and of all wickedness said, “Behold, it is good”, for the refutation of men’s whole artificial opinion of evil, and the demolition of the entire notion of those who introduce this mischievous teaching.
18,7 Then, when he came to man, God did not say that man is “good,” and did not say that man is “bad.” And yet man is the most excellent of all earthly creatures, created by God, with his ineffable wisdom, to rule the world—and God would give him dominion over all his creatures as he says, (8) “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over the creeping things of the earth, and cattle and beasts, and over all that is on the earth.” (9) Since man had been made in God’s image, holy writ was content with such a great dignity, which needed no further addition. (10) For if man possessed the image of Goodness itself at his creation—I mean the image of the Lord God, the artificer, and good artificer, of all creatures, the wellspring of all goodness and the source of the good in all—why would man need the further testimony of “Behold, it is good?” He had received the image of the Good himself.
18,11 But later at the end of the whole account, after the making of all of God’s handiwork, the word of God, in conclusion, bore the same witness for all and said, (12) “And God saw all that he had made, and behold, it was very good,” adding the word, “very.” This was the sixth day, and the seventh day of rest. The point was to remove the root of [Mani’s] of evil, so that never again would anyone find an excuse for daring to believe that evil is eternal. (13) For this same account of evil had been demolished. There was no evil anywhere, for all things were very good, and had been made and witnessed to by a good God.
19,1 “Matter” can mean two things. On the one hand, in the offender’s sense of the word, it is the name of an activity, as I said, and a consuming corruption. But we ordinarily say “matter” of the material by craftsmen in the production of every article—wooden matter, for example, ceramic matter, the matter of gold, the matter of silver. The result of the bodily process which is caused by the decomposition of food is also called “matter.” All right, let’s have the newly arrived diviner (μάντις), who claims to have been before the ages, tell us . (2) For he even dared to say he was the Paraclete Spirit—though on other occasions he calls himself an apostle of Jesus Christ, as I said. And yet he never took the form of a dove, or put on the Paraclete Spirit who was sent to the apostles from heaven to be their garment of immortality the power . (3) The Only-begotten promised to send this Spirit, and set the time for it “not many days hence” but directly after his ascension—as he said, “If I depart, he will come.” And on their return from the Mount of Olives, “they were filled with the Holy Spirit” at once in the upper room (4) as the scripture says, “There appeared to them cloven tongues of fire.” And the house was filled as with a violent blast of wind, and the Spirit settled on each of them, and they spoke of God’s wonders in tongues, and all heard them in their own languages. (5) For they came from every people under heaven and yet each of them was comforted by the Spirit—the apostles by the gift, and all the nations by the sound of God’s wondrous teaching.
19,6 For if the Paraclete Spirit the Lord promised his disciples was this scum—this true Maniac, and bearer of the name by his own self-designation—
apostles went to their rest cheated of the promise, though the Lord who does not lie had told them, “Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit after these few days.”
19,7 And it will be found that the fraud is falsely accusing Christ of failure to keep his word. For the apostles’ generation is gone—I mean the generation from Peter until Paul, and until John who even lived until the time of Trajan. And James is gone, the first to exercise the episcopate in Jerusalem. (James was called the Lord’s brother but he was Joseph’s son, born, like the rest of his brothers, of Joseph’s real wife. (8) Because the Lord Jesus Christ, who was born in the flesh of the ever-virgin Mary, was brought up with them,
were in the position of brothers to him, and he was called their brother.) And all the saints who shared James’ throne are gone, and Symeon, the son of James’ uncle, with them—Symeon, the son of Cleopas the brother of Joseph.
19,9 I subjoin their successive episcopates one by one, beginning with the episcopate of James— bishops who were appointed in Jerusalem during each emperor’s reign until the time of Aurelian and Probus, when this Mani, a Persian, became known, and produced this outlandish teaching.
The list follows:
20,1 James, who was martyred in Jerusalem by beating with a cudgel. [He lived] until the time of Nero.
Symeon, was crucified under Trajan. Judah
John, bringing us to the ninth [or] tenth year of Trajan.
Justus, bringing us to Hadrian.
15. Judah, bringing us to the eleventh year of Antonius. The above
were the circumcised bishops of Jerusalem. The following were gentiles:
20. Julian. These all exercised their office up until the tenth year of
Gaius, bringing us to the time of Verus, in the eighth year of his reign. Julian
Maximus, bringing us to the sixteenth year of Verus.
Dolichian, bringing us to Commodus.
Dius, bringing us to Severus.
Gordius, bringing us to Antoninus.
Narcissus, the same person, bringing us to Alexander the son of
Mamaea—not Alexander of Macedon, but a different one. Alexander, bringing us to the same Alexander. Mazabanus, bringing us to Gallus and Volusian. Hymenaeus, bringing us to Aurelian.
20,3 According to some annalists there are 276105 years altogether from Christ’s ascension until the time of Mani, Aurelian and Probus. According to others, there are 246.
And there have been eight other bishops from that time until the present: Bazas, Hermo, Macaris, Maximus, Cyril, Herennis, Cyril once more, and Hilarion, the present occupant of the see, who is accused of consorting with the Arians.
20,4 And the successive emperors whose reigns coincided [with these last eight episcopates] are: The remaining one year of the remaining part of Aurelian’s reign; Tacitus, who reigned for six months; <Probus, six years>; Carus, Carinus and Numerian, two years. Diocletian, twenty years. Maximian, Licinius, Constantine, Constantius, Julian, Jovian, Valentinian, Valens, Gratian, <73 years altogether>. (5) Thus there are 101 years from Mani until the present, that is, till the thirteenth year of Valens, the ninth of Gratian, the first of Valentinian the Younger and the ninety-third of the Diocletian era. (6) , so that he could be sent to the world as [his] emissary in the fourth year of Aurelian and the episcopate of Hymenaeus at Jerusalem, deprive and cheat his followers of the truth through the working of imposture and delusion by the devil who inhabited him.
21,1 Hence his entire trickery has been fully exposed since, through their accurate discovery of everything, the minds of the wise will surely find his false notion out. (2) And all his other beliefs are sophisms, filled with foolishness—perverse, uncertain and, to all the wise, ridiculous. to analyze them phrase by phrase, and set down the arguments against them all, I am going to make the refutatory part of my work against him very bulky. (3) Marvelously good replies to him have already been composed by great men—by Archelaus the bishop, as has been said; and, I have heard, by Origen; and by Eusebius of Caesarea and Eusebius of Emesa, Serapion of Thmuis, Athanasius of Alexandria, George of Laodicea, Apollinaris of Laodicea, Titus, and many who have spoken in opposition to him.
21,4 Still, even in my poverty it will do no harm to make a few remarks to the wretched man’s shame, in refutation of what I have already called his entirely false notion. (5) And I would prefer not to put his refutation in harsh terms but as gently as possible, except that, impudently, he does not hesitate to blaspheme the Lord of all and deny at the outset that he is the creator—this though he made this whole vault of heaven, earth, and everything in them, and everything in the world. But in imagining another God who does not exist, Mani has abandoned the One who does. (6) He has been deprived of the truth, and has had the experience in the comic proverb, where the crow had food in its mouth and saw the reflection of the food in the water, and wanting to get something else to eat, lost the food it had and still didn’t get the food it didn’t.
21,7 But who can tolerate the blasphemer? If we have fathers of flesh and blood and cannot bear to hear them criticized, how much more if we hear the Lord God of all blasphemed by the savage Mani?
21,8 When, in the divine goodness, storms are sent by the mercy of God, Mani is not ashamed to say blaspehmously that storms do not come from God, but from the effluent of the archons. (22,1) But who could fail to laugh out loud to say the rest, since the tales of Philistion probably carry more conviction than Mani’s mimes? (2) He teaches about a mythical porter who supports the whole world, and says that every thirty years the porter’s shoulder gets tired, and he shifts the world to the other shoulder, and there are earthquakes.
22,3 But if this were so, the thing would be a fact of nature, not super- natural. (4) And the Saviour’s words refute the charlatan, for he said, “Become good like your Father in heaven, for he maketh his sun to rise on the just and on the unjust, and sendeth his rain on the evil and on the good,” and, “There shall be earthquakes in divers places, and famines and pestilences.” (5) If earthquakes were natural or normal, < but > perhaps there were frequent quakes in a country and the earth happened to shake many times a night for a whole year, would that be because the porter’s shoulders hurt, and he was uncomfortable and made the quake continuous? And who can endure this sort of nonsense?
22,6 But what else credible has he not dared to say? For he claims that souls which have acquired knowledge of his imposture are taken up into the moon, since the essence of the soul is luminous. (7) This is why the moon waxes and wanes, he says; it becomes filled with the souls which have died in the knowledge of his unbelief. (8) Then, he says, they are offloaded from the moon—the smaller ship, he calls it—to the sun. And
takes them aboard and deposits them in the aeon of the blessed.
22,9 But wickedness is always blind, and unaware of its own shame—how it is refuted by its own words, because it cannot make its lies consistent.
(23,1) For one man was formed to begin with, Adam, and had sons and daughters. But in the beginning of the creation, around Adam’s hundredth year, Abel was killed at roughly the age of thirty (2) After this first victim of murder the first man, Adam, died, at about the age of 930. But the sun, moon and stars had been fixed and established in the sky on the fourth day of creation. (3) Now what should we say, Mister? Should we agree that your stupidity has been exposed? How could 930 years go by without the moon’s waning and waxing? (4) With which departed souls was the sun filled and loaded? Well? But Mani did not know that there are wise persons who cannot be convinced by lying words, but [only] by the most authentic proofs.
23,5 But if we do grant that this is so—heaven help us, it can’t be! [But if we grant that it is so], and the moon, in growing full, is crammed with the souls of Manicheans, still how can such a proposition be sustained?
(6) If no Manichean died after the fifteenth of the month, and it was fore-ordained that Manicheans would die up until the fifteenth, but no more after the fifteenth until the moon’s cargo had been unloaded to start loading again at the new moon, their lie would be convincing. As it is, it is unpersuasive. (7) Manicheans die every day, and the heavenly bodies which God has ordained know their course. And once more, the slop about the souls in the moon, which he has made up, won’t do.
24,1 Again, some of them with villainous intent, say that the Mother of all allowed her power to come down from heaven to steal the archons and rob them of the power they had taken from on high. (2) For Mani says that the principalities and authorities made war on the living God and seized great and incomprehensible from him, a power which he calls the soul.
24,3 How very absurd of him! Whoever is seized and handled with violence has been bested. If the principalities oppressed the good God and took power from his armour, they must be more powerful than he. (4) And if he gave in to them to begin with, he does not have the ability to take the power, or armour, which they stole from him back from them—not when he was unable to resist his enemies in the first place.
24,5 To put it another way, suppose that he could win a victory at some time, prevail over his antagonists, and take back the power they had stolen from him. Since the root of evil, its first principle with no beginning, would still be in existence and impossible to destroy altogether, it would win in another war, prevail by the exercise of some power, and again take more power from the good God, as well as his power which he had taken back. (6) And evil will always be ranged against the good God and never controllable, so that it will be forever seizing and being seized.
24,7 But even though these people, whose wits are damaged who are in every way deluded, say that if the good God frees the part of his armour that has been seized from him, he will then do away with the principalities and authorities of the opposing power and destroy them altogether—even if this will happen, and the good God will indeed get rid of them entirely and destroy them, the scum’s argument is still all wrong. For he is claiming that the “good” God is not just and does not condemn the sinner, either by consigning him to torments or by putting him to death. (8) For if he makes any attempt to do away with the devil, or opposing power, and destroy him, either he cannot be good in himself, as Mani’s account of him says he is; or, if he is good and still destroys evil, then this Lord who made heaven and earth must be , as in fact he is, since he “rendereth to every man according to his deeds.” For with extreme goodness he provides the good man, who has grown weary in well-doing, with good, and metes out justice to the evildoer. (9) And it has been shown in every way that Mani’s talk gradually turns men’s hearts to the opposites [of his teachings].
25,1 But next I appropriately insert Mani’s doctrine word for word as Turbo himself revealed it, one of Mani’s disciples whom I mentioned earlier, taking this from Archelaus’ arguments against Mani in the debate with him. (2) When the bishop Archelaus, and Marcellus, questioned Turbo about Mani’s teaching, Turbo replied in the words I quote from the book. They are as follows:
25,3 The beginning of Mani’s godless teachings
If you wish to learn the creed of Mani, hear it from me in a concise form. Mani believes in two gods, unbegotten, self-engendering, eternal, and the opposites of each other. And he teaches that one is good and the other evil, and calls the one Light, and the other, Darkness. The soul in human beings is part of the light, but the body is part of the darkness and the creature of matter.
25,4 Now says that a mixture or confusion of these has come about as follows, likening the two to the following illustration: Suppose two kings were at war with each other, and they had been enemies from the first, and each had his respective territory. But in the battle the darkness sallied forth from its territory and assailed the light. (5) Now when the good Father found the darkness had invaded his land he emitted a power from himself called Mother of life, and she emitted First Man with the five elements. These are wind, light, water, fire and matter. (6) Putting these on as battle gear, he went below and did battle with the darkness. But as they fought against him the archons of the darkness ate part of his armour, that is, the soul.
25,7 Then First Man was fearfully hard pressed there below by the darkness. And if the Father had not heard his prayer and sent another power he had emitted, called Living Spirit, and if Living Spirit had not descended and given First Man his right hand and drawn him out of the darkness, First Man might well have been in danger of capture long ago.
25,8 After this First Man abandoned the soul below. And when Manicheans meet they give each other their right hands for this reason, as a sign that they have been saved from the darkness. For Mani says that all the sects are in the darkness. Then Living Spirit created the world and he himself descended clothed with three other powers, brought the archons up and crucified them in the firmament, which is their body, the sphere.
26,1 Then in turn, Living Spirit created the luminaries, which are remnants of the soul and made them circle the firmament. And he created the earth in its turn, in eight forms. But beneath it the Porter, who bears ; and whenever he gets tired of bearing it he shivers, becoming the cause of an earthquake out of its time. (2) This is why the good Father sent his Son from bosom to the heart of the earth and its lowest depths, to give the Porter his due punishment. For whenever there is an earthquake he is either trembling from fatigue or shifting the earth to his other shoulder.
26,3 Next, matter too created growing things from herself. And since they were being stolen by certain archons, she called all the chief archons, took power from each, made this man in the image of that First Man, and bound the soul in him. This is the reason for the mixture.
26,4 But when Living Father saw the soul squeezed into the body, in his mercy and compassion he sent his beloved Son for the soul’s salvation—for he sent him [both] for this reason and on account of the Porter. And when the Son arrived he changed his appearance into a man’s and appeared to men as a man, though he was not one; and people supposed that he had been begotten [like a man]. (6) And when he came he created the things that were meant for the salvation of souls and set up a device with twelve water jars which is turned by the sphere and draws up the souls of the dying. And the greater luminary takes these with its rays, cleanses them and transfers them to the moon, and this is how what we call the disk of the moon becomes full—for Mani says that the two luminaries are ships, or ferry-boats.
26,7 Then, if the moon is filled [with souls], it ferries them across to the east wind, and thus gets its load dislodged and is lightened, and begins to wane. And it fills the ferry-boat again, and again discharges its cargo of the souls which are drawn up by the water jars, until it has saved its part of the soul. For Mani says that all soul, and every living and moving thing, is a partaker of the essence of the good Father.
26,8 When the moon has delivered her load of souls to the aeons of the Father, they remain in the pillar of glory, which is called the perfect air. But this air is a pillar of light, since it is full of souls being purified. This is the reason the souls are saved.
27,1 But this, in turn, is the reason why people die. A lovely, beautifully adorned Virgin, very attractive, is attempting to rob the archons who have been brought up by Living Spirit and crucified in the firmament. She appears as a lovely women to the males and as a handsome, desirable youth to the females. (2) And when the archons see her with all her adornment they go mad with love; and because they cannot catch her they become dreadfully hot, and their minds are ravished with desire (3) Now when they run after her the Virgin disappears. Then the chief archon emits the clouds to darken the world in his anger; and if he is extremely vexed he perspires and is out of breath, like a man. And his sweat is the rain.
27,4 At the same time, if the archon of destruction is robbed by the Virgin, he sheds pestilence on the whole world to slay human beings. For this body of ours may be called a world which answers to great world, and all people have roots below which are fastened to the realms on high. Thus, when the archon is robbed by the Virgin, he begins to cut men’s roots. (5) And when their roots are cut a pestilence sets in and they die. But if he shakes the heavens by [tugging at) the cord of their root, the result is an earthquake, for the Porter is moved at the same time. This is the reason for death.
28,1 And I shall also tell you how the soul is reincarnate in other bodies. First a little of it is purified, and then it is put into the body of a dog or camel, or another animal. But if a soul has committed murder, it is put into the bodies of lepers. If it is found to have reaped grain, it is put into stammerers. (These are the names of the soul: reason, mind, intelligence, thought, understanding.)
28,2 But reapers, who reap grain, are like the archons who were in the darkness at the beginning, when they ate some of First Man’s armour. Thus they must be reembodied in grass, beans, barley, wheat or vegetables so that may be reaped and cut down. (3) Again, if someone eats bread he must become bread himself and be eaten. If one kills a bird, will be a bird. If one kills a mouse, he will also be a mouse. (4) And again, if one is rich in this world, he must be reembodied in a poor man when he leaves his tabernacle, so that he may go begging and after this go away to eternal punishment.
28,5 Since this body is the body of the archons and matter, whoever plants a persea must pass through many bodies until that persea is planted. But if anyone builds a house, bits of him will be put into all the kinds of bodies there are. Whoever bathes plants his soul in the water. (6) And whoever does not give his alms to the elect will be punished in the hells and reincarnate in the bodies of catechumens until he gives many alms. And for this reason they offer the elect whatever food is their choicest.
28,7 And when they are about to eat bread they pray first, and tell the bread, “I neither reaped you, nor ground you, nor pounded you, nor put you into an oven; someone else did these things, and brought you to me. I have been eating without guilt.” And whenever [an electus] says this for himself, he tells the catechumen, “I have prayed for you,” and the catechumen withdraws. (8) For as I told you a moment ago that whoever reaps will be reaped, so whoever throws wheat into a thresher will be thrown in himself— or if he kneads dough he will be kneaded, or if he bakes bread he will be baked. And for this reason they are forbidden to do work.
28,9 And again, <they say that> there are other worlds, since the luminaries set from this world and rise in those. And whoever walks on the ground injures the earth—and whoever moves his hand injures the air, because the air is the soul of men, animals, birds, fish, reptiles and everything in the world. <For> I have told you that this body does not belong to God but to matter, and that it is darkness and must itself be made dark.
29,1 But as to Paradise, which is a name for the world: Its plants are lusts and other impostures which destroy men’s reasonings. But that plant in Paradise through which the good is recognized is Jesus1 the knowledge of him in the world.” One who takes [its fruit] can distinguish good from evil. (2) The world itself, however, is not God’s but was formed from a part of matter, and all things are therefore destroyed.
The thing the archons stole from First Man is the very thing that fills the moon, and is cleaned out of the world every day. (3) And if the soul departs without knowing the truth, it is given to the demons to subdue in the hells of fire. And after its punishment it is put into bodies to be subdued, and so it is thrown into the great fire until the consummation.
30,1 Now this is what he says about your prophets. There are spirits of impiety or iniquity which belong to the darkness that arose at the beginning, and because the prophets were deceived by these they did not tell. For archon has blinded their minds. (2) And anyone who follows their words will die forever, imprisoned in the clod [of earth], because he did not learn the Paraclete’s knowledge.
30,3 Mani has commanded only his elect, of whom there are no more than seven, “When you finish eating, pray and put on your heads oil which has been exorcized with many names, as a support for this faith.” The names have not been revealed to me for only the seven employ them. (4) And again, that the name of Sabaoth, which is revered and of great importance among you, is human in nature and a father of lust. And so, he says, the foolish worship lust, thinking it is God.
30,5 This is what he says about the creation of Adam. The person who said, “Come, and let us make man in our image and after our likeness”—that is, “in accordance with the form which we have seen”—is the archon who told the other archons, “Give me of the light which we have taken and let us make a man in the form of us archons the form we have seen, which is First Man.”
And so they created the man. (6) But they likewise created Eve and gave her some of their lust for Adam’s deception. And the fashioning of the world from the archons’ handiwork was done through Adam and Eve.
31,1 God has nothing to do with the world itself and takes no pleasure in it, because it was stolen from him by the archons at the beginning and became a burden to him. This is why he sends emissaries and steals his soul from them (i.e., the archons) every day through these luminaries, the sun and the moon, by which the whole world, and all creation, is taken away. (2) Mani says that the god who spoke with Moses, and with the Jews and their priests, is the archon of darkness; thus Christians, Jews and pagans are one and the same since they believe in the same god. (3) For as that god is not the God of truth, he deceives them with his lusts. Therefore all who hope in that god, the god who spoke with Moses and the prophets, must be imprisoned with him, since they have not hoped in the God of truth. For that god spoke with them in accordance with his lusts,
31,4 After all this he finally says, as he himself has written. When the elder makes his image184 manifest, the Porter will drop the earth outside. Then the great fire will be let loose and consume the whole world. (5) Next he will drop the clod <that is interposed> between [the world and] the new aeon, so that all the souls of sinners may be imprisoned forever. These things will take place when the image arrives.
31,6 But all the emanations—Jesus, who is in the smaller ship, Mother of Life, the twelve steersmen, the Virgin of Light, the third Elder, who is in the larger ship, Living Spirit, the wall of the great fire, the wall of the wind, the air, the water, and the living fire within—have their dwellings near the lesser luminary, until the fire destroys the whole world over a period of years whose length I do not know. (7) And after this there will be a restoration of the two natures, and the archons will occupy their own realms below, while the Father will occupy the realms above, and have received his own back.
31,8 Mani imparted this entire teaching to his three disciples and told each of them to make his way to his own area: Addas was assigned the east, Syria fell to Thomas, but the other, Hermeias, journeyed to Egypt. And they are there to this day for the purpose of establishing the teaching of this religion.
32,1 These are the passages I have quoted from the book by Archelaus that I mentioned. And this is the way Mani introduc the seed of his tares to the world when he belched out the tares of his teaching. (2) One could offer quantities of answers to however much there is of this mime’s slander, as must be plain to everyone. For even if the counter-arguments are not polished, the mere knowledge that this is what they believe will be enough to put them to shame, for their tenets are shaky and have no cogency. (3) For Mani overturns his earlier statements with his later ones, and says things later that are different from what he has said earlier. He sometimes would have it that the world is God’s creation, but sometimes that it comes from the archons and that God bears no responsibility for it, but that it is slated to perish. And sometimes he says that the firmament is the archons’ hides, but sometimes that they are crucified up above in the celestial sphere—< and > that they chase people, and make clouds, and get excited and wild at the sight of the virgin and the handsomeness of the youth.
33,1 What a disgrace! What could be worse, more disgusting, and more shameful than for the Spirit of truth to change himself into a female, but sometimes to appear in male form to the archons? It is disgraceful for a man to get drunk and act and look like a woman. But for women to act like men and dress in men’s clothes is the most disgraceful of all. (2) And if this spirit is the Spirit of virtue, and divine, why will it not have been insulted rather [than glorified] by its inventor Mani? And how can the archons go wild after having been skinned? Tell me that, Mister! How were they skinned after being crucified? And if they have indeed been crucified, how can they run after the power when it disappears?
33,3 Who can put up with the blasphemer, with his declaration that we draw our nourishment from the archons’ sweat, and that the rain pours down on us from their dirty fluids? How can Mani drink himself—since he, along with his disciples, draws his water from the rain? What else can he be but absurd, to be so mastered by bodily needs that he drinks sweat?
33,4 There are various degrees of sin, and the unintentional sinner will not be punished as severely as the one who commits the sin deliberately. (5) Even if this were true—and perish that thought, it’s the nut’s imagination—[but if it were true], then people who draw and drink sweat and dirty fluids without knowing it excusable, and more entitled to mercy than someone who succumbs to his own frailty and, for no good reason, is moved to draw and drink water, with full knowledge, from the archons’ drinks and their other bodily functions.
34,1 And there are many ways in which he has deceived his followers with his lying mouth. Which of his notions is not absurd? The idea that seeds of herbs, produce and pulse are souls! (2) To venture joke, to refute him in terms of his own mythology I may say that if the seeds of lentils, beans, chick-peas and the rest are souls, but the soul of a bull is the same, then, on his premises, people who eat meat have more to their credit than ascetics do. (3) For as his rigmarole goes, he is afraid that if he eats living things—(4) animals and the rest—he will become like them himself. on the contrary! For if fifty, or even a hundred men get together all dine on one bull, as his vain calumny goes. But in refutation we must still say that the fifty, or the hundred, become guilty [of the murder] of one soul, but someone who eats the grains of seeds will be guilty of ingesting thirty or forty souls at one gulp! And all the things he says are worthless and absurd.
35,1 For to everyone whose mind in the Lord, the signs of the truth must surely be apparent from the true teaching itself; as a revelation of men’s salvation, nothing is more reliable than the Saviour. (2) This barbarian who has come to us from Persia and has the mind of a slave—being a slave physically never bothered him—says that all souls are alike and that the one soul is in all: people, domestic animals, wild beasts, birds, reptiles, creatures that fly and swim, bugs and the seeds of produce, trees and all other visible things. (3) But our Lord didn’t tell us this. When he came to save humanity did he also see to the cure of cattle, and the healing and resurrection of dead beasts by gathering
? He neither described this nor taught this to us, (4) far from it, but he knew the saving of human souls, as he said concisely in the riddle, “I am not come but for the lost sheep,” meaning all humankind.
35,5 And what does scripture say? “He healed all whom they brought unto him, that were lunatick and were taken with diverse diseases.” They brought him the blind, the deaf, the lame, the palsied, the maimed, and he extended his benefaction and healing to all of them; but scripture nowhere says that they brought him animals.
35,6 Then again, “He came to the parts of Gergestha,” as Mark says—or, “in the coasts of the Gergesenes,” as Luke says; or “of the Gadarenes,” as in Matthew, or “of the Gergesenes” as some copies [of Matthew] have it. (The site was in between the three territories.) (7) “And behold two possessed with devils, exceeding fierce, coming out of the tombs, and they cried out, saying, Let us alone, what have we to do with thee, Jesus thou Son of God, that thou hast come before the time to torment us? We know thee who thou art, the holy one of God. And there was an herd of swine there feeding and the devils besought him saying, If thou cast us out of the men, send us into the swine. And they ran violently into the sea and perished in the waters. And they that kept them fled and told it in the city.”
35,8 And in Matthew we are told of two possessed, but it simply mentions swine and does not give the number. (9) But Mark even reported the exact number of the swine and said, “He came unto the parts of Gergestha, and there met him one possessed of a devil, and he had been bound with iron chains and plucked the chains asunder, and he had his dwelling among the tombs and cried out, Let us alone, what have we to do with thee, Jesus thou Son of God? Thou hast come before the time to torment us. And Jesus asked him, What is thy name? And he said, Legion, for many devils had entered into him. And they besought him not to be sent out of the country, but to enter into the swine. For there was there an herd of swine feeding, and he gave them leave to enter into the swine. And the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea (for they were about two thousand) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city.”
35,10 Then did the divine Word who had become man for us ask in ignorance, and not know the demon’s name before he asked? No, it is the Godhead’s way to make the causes of each event clear from through the lips of persons who are questioned. (11) And here too, to show the frightfulness and the great number of the demons, he asks the question, so that the marvelous deed will be made known out of their own mouths. “And the devils besought him saying, Send us not into the abyss, but give us leave to enter into the swine. And he gave them leave. And the devils went out and entered into the swine, and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.”
36,1 What great kindness of God! How he confounds falsehood but shows his servants the truth, through deeds, words and all of his care! For he has shown by a deed that the same soul is not in people, cattle and beasts. (2) If the soul were the same, why did he not refrain from destroy- ing two thousand souls at once when his aim was to purify one person or save one soul, the demoniac’s? If it were the same, why did he purify the one man or < save > the one soul, but permit the demons to enter the other bodies, or indeed, the other souls?
36,3 Are the deeds of the light not plain to see? Are these words not “performed in the light?” Is the truth’s face not radiant? Are “all things” not “plain to them that understand, and right for them that find knowledge?” Who can hear and look into these things without convict- ing Mani of stitching together things that should not be stitched, to divert men’s minds from reality?
36,4 But the offenders in their turn . I have even heard one argue in this way: after he had heard this argument from me the oaf turned round and thought he might get somewhere against God’s truth. Offering a completely absurd defense to make it out that the truth with falsehood, and said, “But he had reserved death for the swine; their souls escaped from their bodies and were saved!”
37,1 The stupidity of the people who can’t see, and who blind their minds, and don’t even listen to what they themselves say! (2) If he had any idea that the deliverance of souls from the body is salvation, the Savior should have killed the demoniac so that his soul would be saved by its deliverance from a human body. He must have loved the souls in the swine more than the soul of the man! (3) Why didn’t he let the man plunge into the sea with the pigs and die too, so as to purify and save all of the souls, the man’s and the pigs’?
37,4 But we have seen nothing of the kind. The Savior calls Lazarus from the tomb on the fourth day following his death, raises him and restores him to the world, and not to do him a disservice or cause him harm. The scripture says, Jesus loved Lazarus.” (5) If flesh is evil, why did Jesus make the man he loved return to the flesh? Why didn’t he leave him alone instead, once he had died and been delivered from the body?
37,6 And no one should suppose that Lazarus promptly died again. The holy Gospel makes it clear that Jesus reclined at table and Lazarus reclined with him. Besides, I have found in traditions that Lazarus was thirty years old when he was raised. (7) And he lived another thirty years after raised him and then departed to the Lord. He lay down and fell asleep with a good name, and like us all, the hour of the resurrection when, as he promised, the Only-begotten will restore the body to the soul and the soul to the body and “reward every man according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
38–39,1 For if there were no resurrection of bodies, how could there be “gnashing of teeth?” And don’t anyone make that halfwitted remark again, “Teeth are made for us to chew with; what food will we eat after the resurrection of the dead?” (2) If Jesus ate again after his resurrection, and [took] “a piece of a broiled fish and an honeycomb,” and lived with his disciples for forty days, will there be no food? (3) And as to food, it is plain that “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of heaven.” And it is the Lord’s own promise that “Ye shall be seated at my Father’s table eating and drinking.” (4) And what this eating and drinking is, is known to him alone, for “Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
38–39,5 But now that we have reached this stage of describing the differences between souls, —and on the authority of the truth itself and its perfect Example—that a man’s soul is one thing, and a beast’s is another. And Christ did not come to save the soul of the beast but the soul of the man, since beasts are not judged. (6) For human beings inherit the kingdom of heaven, and human beings are judged. “These shall go away into everlasting judgment and these to life eternal,” says the Only-begotten.
40,1 And what do the people accomplish who go hunting for problems? Whenever they find them and do not grasp the interpretation of the text, they distress themselves by thinking of contradictions instead of looking for things that are of use to them—for Matthew says that there were two demoniacs, but Luke mentions one.
40,2 And indeed, one evangelist says that the thieves who were crucified with Jesus reviled him; but the other disagrees, and only shows that both did not revile him, but gives the defense of the one. (3) For “He rebuked the other and said, Dost not thou fear God seeing that we are in the same condemnation? But this holy man hath done nothing .” And he exclaimed besides, “Jesus, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” And the Savior told him, “Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.”
40,4 These things make it seem that there is disagreement in the scripture. But it is all smooth. (5) Even if there are two demoniacs in Matthew the same ones are to be found in Luke. Since it is the scripture’s way to give the causes of events, Luke mentions not the two, but only the one, for the following reason. (6) There were two men healed of demon possession, but one persevered in the faith while the other came to grief. And so, because of his perseverance in the faith, he followed Jesus “whithersoever he went,” as the Gospel says. This is why Luke omitted the one thief and mentioned the one who is in the kingdom of heaven. And nothing can be contrary to the true interpretation.
41,1 But the Gospel now gives another reason, similar to this instance, [for speaking of more than one person] as though of one. The Lord had cleansed ten lepers and the nine had gone away without giving glory to God. But the one had turned back and remained—the one who was also commended by the Lord, as he said, “Ten lepers were cleansed. Why hath not one of them returned to give glory to God save only this stranger?” (2) And you see that, because of this man’s perceptiveness and his demonstration of gratitude, the Gospel mentions the one in place of the ten. It is a comparable case, since the same evangelist spoke of the thieves.
41,3 For we are accustomed to speak of singulars in the plural, and plurals in the singular. We say, “We have told you,” and, “We have seen you,” and, “We have come to you,” and there are not two people speaking, but the one who is present. And yet by customary usage the one says this in the plural, in the person of many. (4) Thus the Gospel’s narrative included [many persons] by its use of the plural, but the other [Gospel] tells us that one was the blasphemer, but that the confessed and attained salvation.
41,5 And you see that all parts of the truth are plain, and there is no contradiction in the scripture. (6) But I suppose I’ve made my statement of the argument lengthy by going over all this scriptural material. Let me wear myself out by the time the argument takes, but confound truth’s and, with the truth’s healing remedies, bring joy to her sons.
42,1 Next, let’s look at the scum’s other teachings. He claims that the two Testaments contradict each other, and that the god who spoke in the Law is different from the God of the Gospel. The former god he terms “the archon”; but in the latter case, says that his is a good God.
And if he would only tell the truth, and not blaspheme himself by mistake! (2) We ourselves agree with the same proposition, that the good Offspring of a good Father—light of light, God of God, very God of very God—has come to us in order to save us. “He came unto his own” property, not someone else’s, “ his own received him not. (3) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, who were born, not of blood, nor of flesh, but of God.” (4) And yet, surely no one in the world has been born without flesh and blood; all people are flesh and blood. What were they before they were born in the flesh, or what can we do without flesh? (5) But since the world is God’s creation and we are creatures of flesh and born of fathers and mothers, the Lord came to beget us “of Spirit and of fire.”
For we have been born, and that is true, and no one can deny his first birth, or that he is made of flesh. (6) But our second birth is not of flesh or blood, that is, it is not by the commerce of flesh and blood. In the Spirit we have gained a flesh and soul that are no longer carnal, but are blood, flesh and soul in a spiritual union. (7) In other words, “To them gave he power to become the sons of God”—those who had been converted, and had pleased God with flesh, blood and soul.
42,8 Thus He who came to “his own” is no stranger, but is Lord of all. And this is why he says, “Lo, here am I that speak in the prophets.” And he told the Jews, “Had ye believed Moses ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me”; and, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad”; (9) and, “Thus did your fathers unto the prophets”; and, “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and say all manner of evil against you falsely. Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For so persecuted they the prophets before you.” And in another passage he says, “Jerusalem, that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent, how often would I have gathered thy children?”
42,10 Now the words, “how often” show that he had taken care to “gather” Jerusalem through his prophets. For if he says “killing the prophets” in reproof, then he cares for the prophets. But in caring for the prophets he was not caring for strangers, but his own. (11) He says, “And the blood that has been shed shall be required, from the blood of Abel unto that of the righteous Zacharias, which was shed between the temple and the altar.”
, (12) “And he took them all away, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and said, Make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” And to Mary and Joseph he said, “Why is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be in my Father’s house?” And the Gospel is quick to add, “Make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise,” as it says, “And the disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” (43,1) And how much there is to say, in such as these of the> Gospels and Apostles, in refutation and of Mani’s madness, with his desire to divide and separate the Old Testament from the New, even though the Old Testament testifies to the Savior and the Savior acknowledges the Old Testament.
43,2 And not only that, but the Savior testifies that he is the son of David, as he says, “The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand. If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?” (3) And again in another passage, when the children cried Hosannah to the son of David and “He did not rebuke them”— the Pharisees say, “Hearest thou not what these say? Bid them be silent,” he replies, “If these were silent, the stones would have cried out.” (4) For he is David’s son in the flesh but David’s Lord in the Spirit, and both statements are cogent and accurate. There is no falsity the truth.
43,5 But so as not to lengthen this argument I shall content myself with these texts and go on to the others, for the scum’s full refutation. If the body belongs to one god, Mister, and the soul belongs to another, what association can the two have? (6) And I am afraid that this modest person’s small mind is trying to peer into some pretty deep thoughts. So I shall hold myself in check in order not to give heavy reading to persons who can refute the cheat completely with one item of evidence. (7) Common partnership is not to be found in those who differ, but is the work of one friend or the business of two. Now if the body and the soul are together, this is the work of one God. For there is no distinction, since both work duly together and are in agreement.
43,8 But if, after eating the soul as Mani claims, the archons made this body as a prison for it, how can they lock it up in a body again after it is eaten? Whatever is eaten is consumed, and whatever is consumed also passes into non-existence. But something that passes into non-existence is no more and is not enclosed in any place; there neither is, nor can be, a prison for it if it does not exist.
44,1 But Mani often loses track of his own notion, forgets what he has said, and unknowingly again breaks down what he once built up. He sometimes claims that the soul has been eaten he declares that it is shut up in the bodies that presently exist. But sometimes he decides that it has been snatched from on high from the good God’s armour by the archons, so that it has not been eaten yet but is being held prisoner.
44,2 But at times he says in disagreement with this that the soul has been taken prisoner and , but tells the same story in a different way, (3) claiming that it has been set out as bait, of its own free will, by the power on high—like a kid thrown into a pit to catch a beast of prey, which is excited and leaps down get the kid, the beast itself is caught.
44,4 Now suppose that the power on high—that is, the good God, or the “light,” as Mani calls it—did send the “kid,” its own power. In the first place, even if he catches the beast, the kid will be eaten up in the meantime. And rather [than helping itself], the power on high will harm itself by offering part of itself as food for the beast, to catch the beast with the part it sees fit to lose. (5) And it will no longer conquer the beast because of its power and supremacy, and the might of its reason and will; to enable itself to master the beast it employs all sorts of schemes, and plays the knave. (6) And even if the beast is caught, the good God will still have lost the kid that got eaten, from a part of himself—assuming that he can catch the beast at all.
44,7 For if the power on high sent the soul here to catch and bind the principalities and authorities, he has not achieved the goal he planned on. (8) Even though he sent the soul to catch, it has been caught. Although he sent it to trap, it has been trapped. For it came from a pure essence and was subjected, first to the prison of the material body, and then to many enormities of sins. And the fraud’s argument, and the offender’s teaching, fail in every respect.
45,1 Now then, let’s see too about Mother of Life. Mani says that she too was emitted power , and that Mother of Life herself both First Man the five elements which, as he says, are wind, light, water, fire and matter. (2) Putting these on as battle gear, First Man went below and made war on the darkness. But during their battle with him the archons of darkness ate part of his armor, that is, the soul.
45,3 What low comedy on the scum’s part! What to prove an unintelligible joke and an absurd story! Mani is positively attributing powerlessness to God, absolutely ascribing ignorance to God the omniscient! (4) For the God who emitted Mother of Life, as Mani says, is to be blamed either for not knowing what would be produced from Mother of Life, or for not knowing that the events which occurred contrary to his expectation turned out other than . (5) For whoever expects things to happen, but finds that something else has happened later against his wishes, must be charged with ignorance.
45,6 For Mother of Life, whom Mani calls a power, as his emanation, something it is “a shame even to say.” No one of sound mind can suppose that there is anything female in the Godhead. (7) But this female too, says Mani, emitted First Man . And in a word, Mani imagines the First Man , and Mother of Life, in terms of our experience. For by “man” we mean [the first man] on earth, and by the “mother ” who bore us, the woman God created for Adam.
45,8 But, based on his own thinking, the oaf imagines that there are the same sorts of thing in heaven that there are on earth—though as the sacred scripture everywhere teaches, this cannot be. (9) For scripture says, “There are celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.” And
had not yet given any description of the things above the heavens, but only of these visible things, which are body—I mean <the bodies of> the sun or moon, or the creatures on earth and the bodies of the saints—or so, with all humility, I suppose. (10) I have no way of deciding whether, because of the apostle’s profound capacity for knowledge, there was also to be a discussion the realms above the heavens. But in any case it has been said that are very from earthly; how much more the things above the heavens? , Mister, how can they be compared with things on earth?
46,1 And what else can you be doing but First Man —who, you say in turn, made wind, light, fire, water and matter for his armour ? (2) If First Man is from on high, and yet has come here in order to make his armour and emit it to protect and strengthen himself, then the things that are in this world must be more powerful than the one who came down the heavens. (3) For “water” is the water we can see, “light” is visible light, “matter” is ‘what you claim is in decay; “wind” is what sounds in our ears, and “fire” is this fire which we use every day for our needs.
46,4 And if he battles the archons with such things, tell us, what gets the battle started? Who is to be our commanding officer and blow the trumpet? Should we break through the ranks, should we combine to oppose the wings? (5) Who should cast the first spear—going by the raving maniac’s —at the stuff of the archons and authorities? (6) Does the wind fight, Mister? Does matter, which you say is in decay? Does fire, which the Lord has made for our use? Does light, which gives way to darkness at the successive intervals ordained by God? Does water? How? Explain your vaporings!
46,7 In fact we see that, really, [both] good and evil deeds are done with these elements. Sacrifices are offered to idols by fire, and the fire does not object, or prevent the sin. Daemon-worshipers pour libations of sea water, and no one attempting folly with water has ever been stopped. (8) How many pirates have committed murders with sea water? If anything, water is not opposed to the archons of wickedness, as you call them. Instead, water is their ally, though the water is not responsible; every human being is responsible for his own sin. And how much you talk!
46,9 What good did manufacturing armour and wearing a breastplate made of the elements do your First Man, he who came down to fight and was swamped by the darkness? For you claim that the Man was oppressed there below. (10) But the Father heard his prayer you say, and sent another power he had emitted, called Living Spirit. (11) Raise your mask, Menander, you comedian! That is what you are, but you conceal yourself while you recite the deeds of adulterers and drink. For you say nothing original—you mislead your dupes by introducing the Greeks’ works of fiction in place of the truth. (12) Hesiod, with his stories of the theogony, probably had more sense than you, and Orpheus, and Euripides. Even though they told ridiculous stories, it is plain that they are poets and made things up that were not real. But to compound the error, you tell them as though they were.
47,1 You claim that this Living Spirit came below, offered his right hand, and drew your so-called First Man out of the darkness, he being in danger below in the depths—he who had descended to save the soul240 when it had been eaten, and could not save it but fell into danger himself. (2) Though he was sent on a mission of rescue he was endangered, and someone else was needed to be sent to his rescue! (3) How much more endangered must the soul be when the First Man, when he came, was endangered on its account?
But there was a second messenger sent to the rescue, which you say was Living Spirit. (4) Did the Father change his mind, then, and send some- one still more powerful to be the savior of First Man? Or was he at first unaware that First Man lacked the power, and did he think that he would save the soul? did he find this out by experience later when First Man fell into danger, and emit [Living Spirit] and send [him]? (5) What a lot of nonsense, Mani! Your silly statement of your whole teaching is incoherent gibberish.
47,6 He claims in turn that Spirit descended, offered his right hand, and drew the endangered First Man up. Because of this mystery he taught his disciples to offer their right hands when they meet as a sign, as though they have been saved from darkness. (7) For he says that everything, with the sole exception of himself, is in darkness. Well, to make a joke, blind men avoid bad words better than the sighted, and see a great deal by hearing.
48,1 And next, to make other devices and furnishings for us, Mani claims—as though he had been there, though he is imagining things with no existence—that this Living Spirit then made the world. Clothed with three powers himself he too descended, brought the archons up, and crucified them in the firmament, which is their, the sphere. (2) And yet the oaf does not realize how he contradicts himself with his “brought them up,” and how he finds fault with things he commends and makes the things he finds fault with commendable—like a drunkard who goes staggering around and babbling one thing after another.
48,3 For he claims that the archons in the darkness below are made of evil stuff, and that
are the place of corruption. (4) Now if, when Spirit forcibly brought the archons up from this corruption and dark realm to heights—as a punishment, if you please!— if he brought about their departure from evil places and drew them aloft for a punishment, the realms above cannot be good, and made of the stuff of life. They must be made of the stuff of death; and the realms below cannot be a punishment, but must be of a nature somehow good. (5) And because Spirit meant to move the archons as a punishment, as a way of punishing them he took them from pleasant, familiar places to a place of punishment.
48,6 And here is a different argument. If Spirit made the world, why do you say, on the contrary, that the world was not made by God? And if the firmament is the archons’ body, to which cross did Spirit fasten the archons? For you sometimes say that they are fastened in the firmament, but sometimes declare that the firmament itself is their body. (7) And your arguments show a great inconsistency, with no correspondence with the truth. everywhere you have assailed us—assailed yourself, rather, and those who have adopted your opinion.
49,1 Then in turn the same man says that after crucifying the archons in the sphere Spirit made the luminaries, which are remnants of the soul. (2) What confused doctrine, and what false and incoherent statements! Any “remnant” is a part of a whole, but the whole is larger than the remnant. (3) If, then, the luminaries are the remnants Mani should show us larger than the luminaries, so that we can see the soul! (4) But if the whole has been eaten and consumed, and the luminaries are its remnants, since they are beneath the crucified archons they will get eaten too, because the archons have the position on top. (5) But if they can no longer remain in possession of the soul and luminaries because of being crucified, then, Mani, your silly account is wrong!
49,6 Then in turn the same man teaches that after rebuking the Porter, Matter created all growing things for herself. And when they were stolen by the archons the great archon called all the archons and the chief of them, took one power apiece from them, made a man in First Man’s image and imprisoned the soul in him. This is the reason for the combination [of soul and body]. (7) But Living Father is kind and merciful, says Mani, and sent his beloved Son to the soul’s rescue when he saw the soul oppressed in the body. For Mani claims that he was sent for this reason, and because of the Porter. (8) And on his arrival the Son changed himself into the likeness of a man and appeared to men as a man, and men sup- posed that he had been begotten [like a man]. (9) Thus he came and did the creating which was intended for men’s salvation, and made a device with twelve water jars, which is turned by the sphere and draws up the souls of the dying. And the greater luminary takes these with its rays, and purifies them, and transfers them to the moon; and this is how what we call the moon’s orb becomes full.
50,1 And do you see how much there is of this charlatan’s silly nonsense and drunken forgetfulness? For he consigns his own words to oblivion, whatever he seems to say he revises and reverses, demolishing his own doctrines by describing them in a whole series of different ways. His later teachings destroy his earlier ones and he rebuilds the things he originally demolished, (2) as though to show that they are not his own but that, like the delirious, he is driven by an unclean spirit to tell one story after another.
50,3 For he either means that the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ <came before the creation of the stars, or that the stars were made long after the creation of the world. But it is obvious> that the advent came many years after the creation of the luminaries and the thing Mani calls the “device” of the twelve water jars. (4) The stars have been in the sky ever since their creation. Whether they prefer to call them “elements” or “intervals and measurements of the sky,” they have all been put in place since the fourth day of creation, “well,” and not to the harm of God’s subjects. (5) But Christ’s advent in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar. he began his preaching , thirty years after his birth, coincidentally with the 5509th year of creation and the thirtieth of his age—[and] until the crucifixion in his thirty-third year.
50,6 Now [if Christ came and made them], why were these in the sky from the beginning, the luminaries and stars? But if he says that Christ came before this to make them, his nonsense is confused. What he calls elements, and the twelve “water jars” as he futilely terms them, and the “device” by which he wants to deceive his dupes with nice names, were made before man was on earth.
51,1 For it is plain to anyone with sense, from the scripture itself and its sequence, that all the stars and luminaries were made on the fourth day of creation, before the making of Adam the first man. (2) But Mani says, “He came in the form of a man to make the twelve water jars, and appeared to men a man.” Since he does not even know God’s original provision he thinks he has something to say. Like a blind man serving as his own guide he tells the people he has blinded whatever lies are handy. (3) But when the truth arrives and opens the eyes of the wise, it makes a joke of his nonsense. To which men did Christ “appear” when there weren’t any? How could he “appear in the form of a man if he didn’t take a body?” (4) And if he did things during his advent in the flesh, when he “appeared” to be a man but wasn’t one, the things he did were an appearance. In that case he neither appeared nor came!
51,5 For if he was not real when he came, neither did he come at the beginning. If he was supposed to be a man but was not a man, what impelled God’s Word to appear as a man when he was not one? Unless he was being hounded by money-lenders, and wanted to disguise himself so as to get away from his creditors! (6) But if he indeed appeared and yet wasn’t there, what sort of “truth” was this? There can be no lie in truth, as the Only-begotten says of himself, “I am the truth and the life.” But life cannot die and the truth cannot be subject to change, or it would jumble the truth up and no longer be truth. (7) And Mani’s dramatic piece is a failure for every reason. Neither were the stars created after Christ’s advent, nor were there human beings before the creation of the stars. And as I have just shown, the fraud Mani is confounded, both by the latter fact and by the former.
52,1 But on the subject of the moon, he says that its orb is filled with souls. Now how could the moon’s orb get full before anyone on earth had died? How could the one soul, the first person to die after the nine hundred and thirtieth year of Adam’s life, fill the moon’s orb? (2) Or why were the 930 years also called “
times,” if the moon did not wax, wane and run its appointed course, not by being flooded with souls but by God’s command because it had the ordinance of his wisdom? (3) But Mani says that all living things are filled with the same soul—thus equating the souls of a man, a mouse, a worm, and the other bodies the origins of which are nasty.
52,4 But now for the rest of his nonsense. [When he says] how the virgin appears to the archons, sometimes in the shape of a man but sometimes in that of a woman, he is probably describing the passions of his own lusts and reflecting his daemon’s hermaphrodism. (5) Then he says that when the chief archon is robbed by the so-called virgin he emits his clouds, causes pestilence and begins cutting the roots, and thus the result is death. (6) And yet the oaf has not seen that what he disparagingly calls “death” should rather be called “life,” because of deliverance from bodies of the soul. (7) But if the archons have any inkling that the soul’s residence in a body is an imprisonment, the chief archon will never do such a thing as to release the soul, which Mani claims he holds captive, from prison. And how much absurdity is there in this tricky teaching?
53,1 But their other complete absurdities, such as their so-called “elect.” They have been “chosen,” all right—by the devil for condemnation, in fulfillment of the words of scripture, “and his choice meats.” (2) For they are drones who sit around and “work not, but are busybodies,“knowing .” The holy apostle denounces them because of his prophetic knowledge that certain idle, stubbornly evil persons will be making their rounds, not by God’s teaching but because the devil has made them crack-brained. (3) to give a parody of the occupation of these idlers he says, “If any does not work, neither let him eat!”
53,4 Manicheans instruct their catechumens to feed these people generously. They offer their elect all the necessities of life, so that gives sustenance to elect souls may appear supposedly pious. (5) But silly as it is to say, after receiving their food the elect all but put a curse on the givers under the pretense of praying for them, by testifying to their wickedness rather than their goodness. For they say: “I did not sow you. I did not reap you. I did not knead you. I did not put you into the oven. Someone else brought you to me and I eat. I am guiltless.” (6) And if anything, they have stigmatized as evildoers the persons who feed them—which, indeed, is true. No one who denies that God is the maker of all should take nourishment from God’s creatures as an ironical gesture.
53,7 The elect do not cut the cluster themselves but they eat the cluster, which shows them up as out-and-out drunkards rather than persons with a grasp of the truth. (8) For which is the worse? The harvester cut the cluster once, but the eater tormented and cut it many times over, with his teeth and by the crushing of each seed, and there can be no comparison between the one who cut it once and the one who chewed and crushed it. (9) only to give the appearance of, phony behaviour how much evidence of the truth Mani has.
54,1 Then again he speaks impudently of Paradise, which is what he says the world is. The trees in it are , he says—for anything we approve of, he denies, to show that he is truly the serpent’s dupe. Just as the horrid serpent corrupted the ear of the blameless Eve, so also he corrupts the ears of Mani. (2) For Mani says that what we call trees in Paradise are the deceits of lusts, which corrupt men’s reason. But the tree in Paradise whereby they learn to know the good is Jesus himself, the knowledge in the world. And anyone who takes that fruit can tell good from evil.
54,3 And you see how he perverts everything that is right, although the apostle expressly and emphatically teaches, “I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and innocence that is in Christ.” And see how he pronounced him a fraud and villain, and the deceiver of Eve. (4) And once more, in another passage the same apostle says, “A man ought not to have long hair, forasmuch as he is the glory and image of God.” And you see how he called hair the glory of God, though it is grown on the body and not in the soul. (5) And afterwards he says, “Adam was not deceived, but the woman sinned by falling into transgression. Notwithstanding, she shall be saved by childbearing, if they continue in the faith.” And see how the real truth is proclaimed in the sacred scripture, while Mani makes futile boasts—or rather, makes himself ridiculous in the eyes of persons of sound mind.
54,6 Then again he explains here that the world is not God’s but has been made from a part of matter. But because he is not consistent, but goes back and forth plastering over the places he builds up and pulls down, it is plain to everyone that this sort of doctrine is the doctrine of a fool.
55,1 He describes transmigrations of souls from body to body, plainly borrowing this lie from Plato, Zeno the Stoic, or some other victim of delusion. (2) For how can the soul get into one body from another? If bodies came ready-made and received souls in this condition, his pompous fiction would have some plausibility. (3) But since the embryo develops from a tiny drop, how did the soul find such a broad passage into so small a body? For this is how bodies are formed; what Mani says cannot be proved.
55,4 Neither do souls migrate from body to body; no body is formed in any living thing without the intercourse of female with male and male with female. Now, is this the way the soul has come to be, to climax the tramp’s theatre piece with the union of two bodies? And people who even think such things are very strange.
55,5 But not to alter things that deserve respect, I am content just to give a glimpse of the subject, as though from a distance. I shall pass on from such a degrading idea; all suppositions of this sort are outrageous. (6) For if there is a migration of souls from body to body, and someone who was once a man later a dog, why isn’t a dog born from a man or an ox? Why isn’t a bird? If indeed it should be that some monster is born during the immensely long course of history, this happens for a sign. (7) Even nature knows its own boundaries and does not change a man’s nature and make him, contrary to nature, into something else. Nor does it change the nature of any beast; the same kind is born of each kind. (8) And if a different kind of body is never born from a body, how much more does a human soul not migrate into a different body?
55,9 And why is the body changed, does he say? So that, if it did not have the knowledge of the truth while it was in a man, it will be born in a dog or horse and discipline and return to a human body knowing the truth, (10) and be taken up into the moon’s orb now that it has come to knowledge. And it is amazing to see that the soul was ignorant when it was born in a man although men have schools, grammarians, sophists, innumerable trades, and speech, hearing, and reason—but rather, it came to knowledge when it was born in a pig! This shows that, if anything, Mani’s promise of knowledge is for pigs, because of his imposture and impiety.
56,1 As to Adam’s creation, Mani gives a substitute version and inter- weaves it with error. He says that the person who said, “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness,” . And Mani adds to this by saying, “Come, let us make man,” which is not the text, but, “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness.”
56,2 But the holy apostle refutes him by saying, <“The man is the image and glory of God.”> So does the Lord himself, in the Gospel. The Pharisees told him that it is not good for a man to be by himself, and that Moses said he should give his wife a certificate of divorce and dismiss her. (3) And the Lord said to confute the Pharisees, “Moses wrote because of the hardness of your hearts. But from the beginning it was not so, but he which made them male and female”—and he said, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh.” (4) And he immediately adds, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” confessing that God, that is, his Father, had made Adam and Eve, and that lawful wedlock has been instituted by him.
56,5 And the holy apostle, the herald of the truth, says in the same vein, ‘This is a great mystery, but I say it of Christ and the church,” using the comparison God’s creation of Adam and Eve>—(6) that God created and that Adam said, “This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, there- fore shall a man leave,” . And God shaped his side into a wife for him. (7) And
that is different, but [simply], “It is a great mystery.” And if in the man and the woman and this is treated anagogically in an allegory, why does Mani, speaking blasphemy and ignoring the truth, suppose that God’s creatures are abominable and foreign to God’s truth, and by an archon?
56,8 Next, he says, because the soul which had been torn away at the beginning was a source of distress to the power on high it sent someone, one time, and, through these luminaries, stole the remnant of itself—the soul, that is—from the archons. (9) What high hopes we have, and what a great expectation! God the good, living and mighty is powerless to save— never mind his own power which has been dragged away from him—he can’t save the creature he has made and fashioned! He can’t save it except in some other way, or by the banditry of secretly stealing the power that has been torn away from him out of the heavens—or so the tramp says.
57,1 But why am I still tiring myself by spending time on his absurdity in its exact wording? For instance, neither is the wretch ashamed to say blasphemously that the one who spoke in the Law and the Prophets was the archon of darkness. (2) How blessed our hopes are, since Christ came and compelled us to offer gifts to the archon of darkness! For after cleansing the leper him to offer the gift which is prescribed in the Law by the very person who spoke in the Law. “Go and offer thy gift as Moses commanded,” says he to the leper he has cleansed. (3) In the case of leprosy the “gift” was a bird for a sacrifice, and fine flour for a burnt offering. (4) If the archon of darkness were
, the Word who came from on high—the Son of God who, as Mani says, came to turn humankind from the error of the archons—would not encourage the leper he had healed to become their subject. He would encourage him to escape instead, by teaching him not to do this.
57,5 But he had not come to destroy the Law or
Prophets—he had given the Law himself—but to fulfill them, to show us himself that unwavering adherence to the Gospel is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. For the prophets worshiped the same God, and the Law was given by him. Today, however, the worship is not offered to the same God with the same gifts; (6) God gave burdensome commands, as though to slaves, to the men of the Law, since in that way they would be able to obey. But to the men of the Gospel he gave lighter commands as though to free men, of the abundance of his loving kindness. (7) But since the God of the Law and the God of the Gospel are equivalent, and the worship of neither era has been abolished, this same God is one God, ruler of the entire world, worshiped by his servants—but worshiped in each generation as befits his loving kindness.
57,8 And Mani’s imposture is altogether refuted, since the Savior orders that the Law’s commandments be kept. And [then], after ordering the keeping of the Law’s commandments, he breaks the Law’s commandments, not by destroying them but by fulfilling them. For in place of the Law’s commandments he orders that other sacrifices be offered to God, that is, those of piety, goodness, purity and ascetic discipline.
58,1 But again, Mani claims that in the last days the Elder will come and make his image manifest; and then, when he sees his face, the porter will drop the earth and the eternal fire will consume the earth. (2) With- out noticing it the oaf was once again making the earth material, although he had said a while before that it was created by the Spirit of life. For simultaneously with this he supposes that the whole world will be consumed by fire.
58,3 And then, he says, after this, the restoration to unity of the two natures will pass on to the original condition. What a lot of trouble, and after the trouble nothing contributing to improvement! (4) For if everything is to be used up and consumed after it has been created and has come into being, so that the originals of the two natures, the good and the evil, will remain as they were, this will again be a provocation for the evil nature to come back, start a war and seize some more power, so that another world will once more be generated.
58,5 But if this is not yet the case, then evil is going to learn sense and not be provoked at goodness any more; and [so is] the evil god, who will declare no more wars on the good God. (6) But if indeed he will ever be taught sense he will no longer be evil, since after his alteration he has been changed from his original evil nature. But if indeed the evil god’s nature is at all changeable, this is surely because it gets changed from evil to good. And the nature which can be changed to goodness cannot be evil. For evil can be changed to good even today, and while the world is still going on. (7) And if he is to be changed, why is he not changed already? And if the evil god is changed by God’s contrivance so that he can no longer do evil, the evil god cannot be responsible for himself. The responsibility must lie with the good God, since he is capable of suppressing the bad god’s evil but will not to do before its time a work whose time has been fixed.
58,8 However, if evil is altogether unchangeable it can never stop war- ring and being warred on, and there can never be a restoration of the two natures. Evil will remain unchanged, and be provoked into doing evil to the good and declaring war on goodness.
58,9 And yet, if evil is always troubled by some desire for the good, it cannot be evil.263 In its yearning for the good it desires to draw the good to itself, so that, by acquiring power from the nature of the good and its armour, it can feel it is honouring, illuminating, emboldening and strengthening itself. (10) For
notion is surely present in anyone who wants the good, because he expects to be benefited> by good . And evil cannot be altogether evil since it is found to be yearning for the good. For anything evil is hostile to the good, just as the good has no desire for evil.
58,11 But if the power is made of both principles jumbled together, and the good God can steal what belongs to him, and can attack the principalities and authorities and flay them—can sometimes destroy and do away with the matter made by the evil god, sometimes make things from it but sometimes do away with it—then
and evil. And<the> stream of chatter the offender has inflicted on us wickedness, and incapable of proof.
59,1 Come on, buddy, speak up! Take up your account of the nature of evil again and tell us–you who arrived in the Emperor Aurelian’s time, and yet are describing what was before all ages, though no prophet ever fore-told this, and neither the Savior himself nor any of the apostles taught it. Unless you play the fool by writing yourself and palming off some forged books in the names of saints.265 Tell us where you come from, you with your primordial principle of evil!
59,2 If I ask him whether he claims that this principle is changeable or unchangeable, . But I have already been told that he describes it [both] as [altogether] changeless, and as changeable at some times but not changeable at others—[that is], not changeable to evil but changeable to good—so that he earns the world’s contempt with the two statements. (3) For if evil was changeless over immense ages, and had only this very name and no other name but “evil,” who changed the changeless nature of evil many ages later, into something which was not suitable to it?
59,4 For who made it change, if it had not yet seized power and gone to war, and if it had not yet taken armour to strengthen itself and for food, but had gone for many ages without food or the need of food—[who made] this thing that had never needed food begin to eat, seek what it had never sought, need what it had never needed?
59,5 But if it was changed in nature, what proof can there be of the changelessness of evil that you teach? And even if he reverted to his normal condition when he found nothing more to eat, how could a wicked or evil [god] bear to go on without food for all time to come, once he had become used to eating and having food? (6) For if, when he was not used to eating, he could not bear it, but acquired the new habit of eating and got the soul for his food by stealing it, he will be the more ungovernable when he is used to foods. And once he has become greedy and acquainted with food, nothing could induce him to go on without these things, as your unprovable claim would have it.
60,1 But I shall pass this by, and once more extend the discussion to other parts of his nonsense. Once again, he claims that the archons will be in their own territory then, (i.e., at the restoration) and the Father will regain his own. (2) Now who is this person so equitable that he can survey the boundary of each territory from either side? Why will [the bad god] heed [him] when he did not heed the truth and the good God at the outset? If it is by force that the good God is to prevail on the lawbreaker to be content with his own and not encroach on the good God’s portion, why couldn’t he do this in the first place, before the area was stolen at all?
60,3 But why will the two co-exist, each with his respective possessions? If God has any territory, and the other territory is not his, the Almighty cannot be called almighty or God of all. Nor can the evil god be subject to the good God; each one has his own realm.
60,4 But then, of what can the evil god be the master, when there is still no world, and no animals or people under his sway? And if he is evil at all, and matter and corruption, why hasn’t he decayed? If evil has always been corruption, and corrupts other things but not itself, it cannot be in decay—not when it corrupts other things, but is perennial [itself ] and does not disappear. (5) But if it remains stable itself, but corrupts other things and not itself, it cannot leave anything unaffected; the corruption of some things must surely corrupt others. But if it is the thing in existence, and it will no longer leave anything untouched but only it will remain, the things that are corrupted by it must disappear. (6) However, if it is also bad for itself and the cause of its own decay, its existence cannot continue. I should not say only in the future; it would disappear it was in being, and would in itself already be the cause of its own decay and disappearance.
60,7 But all these are the yarns of the fool’s nonsense. Take note of them, you wise sons of God’s holy church and the Lord’s faith, judge the tramp, and laugh at his drivel! But he will go back to the misconceived occasions of it and resemblances to it in the sacred scriptures— which do not bear that interpretation, but are misunderstood by him in that sense. (8) All right, let’s give the exact words of the texts which, as I said, he steals from the sacred scriptures and explains in his own way—though I have often discussed the same ones , and refuted them perfectly well.
61,1 In the first place, because he had found something about the name “Paraclete” in the sacred scriptures and did not know the power of the Holy Spirit, he smuggled himself into them, thinking that this was what they meant. (2) And he claims that what St. Paul said leaves room for him, since the holy apostle said, “We know in part and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.”
61,3 But St. Paul never says this of the Paraclete, though he, with those who like him were apostles, was counted worthy of the Holy Spirit himself. He was talking about the two worlds, this world and the world to come, as he told those who want knowledge of the times, “Let no man affright you by word by letter, as that the day of the Lord is at hand. For except the son of sin be revealed, the man of iniquity,” and so on . . .
61,4 And again, when the disciples had met with the Savior and asked him about the consummation, and he told them, “It is not for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” (5) And again he said, “Depart not from Jerusalem, while ye await the promise of the Spirit, which ye have heard.” This means the Paraclete Spirit, as he said, “If I depart, he shall come and shew you all things.” (6) But , “He shall show you all things,” because of the gift that was to be vouchsafed them; the Holy Spirit dwell in them to give them a clear explanation of all that they could understand in this world.
61,7 And as vessels of the Paraclete Spirit, they prophesied here in this world, as <the scripture says> that Agabus prophesied an impending famine, and that “Prophets came down from Jerusalem,” and that “Philip had four daughters which did prophesy.”
61,8 But when these prophets prophesy, they prophesy in part and know in part but with hope await what is perfect in the ages to come, “when the corruptible is changed to incorruption and the mortal to immortality.” For <“When this mortal shall have put on immortality,> then shall we see face to face.” (9) For now these things are shown to us “darkly,” but there “what eye hath not seen here” is prepared. There perfection is revealed, those things that “ear hath not heard” here. There is the greatest gift to the saints, that which “hath not entered into the heart of man” here.
61,10 And you see that no further knowledge was held in reserve for Mani. How could Mani know it when fell short of his own goal? He undertook to master Marcellus; he came to Archelaus with the intent of defeating him and could not. (11) Since he has no knowledge of recent events, how can he have it of the greater things? When he was caught and punished, for example, why did he not escape from the king of Persia—except to show all sensible people that he was a complete liar?
62,1 Again, he cites a text in vain to prove the existence of the dyad he believes in and distinguish between the two first principles: the Saviour’s words, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit; for by its fruit the tree is known.” (2) And note his shallow mind, which does not understand the contents of sacred scripture in any depth! If there are trees they have a cultivator; trees are plants and have surely been planted by someone. And nothing which is planted is beginningless but has a beginning. And having a beginning, it will have an end as well. (3) The corrupt tree was not always there, then, but had been planted. And this “good tree” is not a reference to all the goodness on high—for
goodness unfeigned there, changeless, of ineffable dignity— the thought is the true holy God.
62,4 But let’s see whether Mani is right about the business of trees, and take it from there. If we are talking about the devil, I have already shown often that he was not created evil; God made nothing evil, and this is plain to the wise. (5) For if we are going over the same ground, it will do no harm to give an account of the truth even now. The devil was not wicked in the beginning; he proved to be wicked. Look here, the point about the tree won’t be proved from that angle!
62,6 We see too that Saul was a persecutor, but was later persecuted for the name he once persecuted. We see that Judas was chosen with the twelve apostles but later proved to be , and is counted as evil. (7) We see that Rahab the harlot was not of Israelite stock, but that she repented later and received God’s mercy. We see that the thief was apprehended in a crime and hanged on the wood, and yet he confessed and has entered Paradise with the Lord. We see that Nicolaus was a good man and had been chosen—but that he proved to be evil afterwards and was reckoned among the heresiarchs.
62,8 And why give all these examples? What is this evil tree from which no good can come? Plainly, it is the acts of human beings. Nothing good can come of fornication, no righteousness of the wickedness of envy, nothing commendable of adultery. (9) The tree of sin itself cannot grow through goodness—that is, an evil tree does not bear good fruit, nor the fruit of a good tree evil. (10) The good tree which does not bear evil fruit as hospitality, . Even if any number of result from hospitality, charity does not for
reason have the force of wickedness. [Nor does] purity for God’s sake, continence for the Lord’s, righteousness for the Law’s.
62,11 These two trees are figurative expressions for righteousness and sin; but in this barbarous Mani’s opinion, [one] means God and [the other] means the devil. (12) And yet, it is plain that no one can dare to say that God will ever create evil—perish the thought!—or that the devil does good. (13) All good things are made by God, and nothing evil has been created or made by him. But if certain things are the work of the devil, see here, , that a wreath is woven by him for the saints, the victors awarded a prize. (14) And Mani’s argument has failed. The evil and good trees refer to good and evil works and not to the Old and the New Testaments, as Mani’s argument maintains.
63,1 Moreover, from a desire to furnish occasions of the two first principles, he ferrets out and employs the texts he thinks apply, though they do have this meaning. He says that the Savior told the Jews, “Ye are sons of the devil; he was a murderer because his father was a liar.” (2) He wants to say blasphemously that the maker of heaven and earth is the father of the devil, although the text cannot possibly refer to this.
63,3 For if the Jews are in any sense sons of the devil, the argument about the devil has failed and Mani is unwittingly contradicting himself. For if their souls are made by the devil it follows that they are distinct [from the others] and cannot originate from Mani’s mythical power on high, or be a part of the light or its armour, or the pillar of light, or the Mother of Light. (4) But if
in any sense the devil’s children, it follows from Mani’s argument that their father Abraham, whose offspring the Jews are, is the devil’s son too.
63,5 Well then, why does the Savior say to them in refutation, “Ye are no children of Abraham, but children of your father, the devil. If ye were children of Abraham, ye would do his works. For ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth. This did not Abraham.” (6) And you can see that this is colloquial language. The Jews are Abraham’s children, and yet separate themselves from the Lord by their works, not their nature or creation—I have previously discussed this.284 How can the portion of Abraham’s descendants at one moment be alien to him and belong to the devil, and at the next be God’s portion? (7) The Savior means this as an accusation. By his activity and his teaching a man is the slave of the one to whom he submits, as Paul says, “Though ye have many instructors, yet have ye not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel.” (8) And do you see that he means teaching? And if Mani accepted Abraham, we would say that Abraham was the son of the God of light, but that his children were someone else’s!
63,9 But this is the reason. The Jews were imitating the murderer, imitating the betrayal of Judas, had hearkened to the slander of the betrayer, become the children of his denial of God. He himself was a liar, for he “had the bag and stole,” and said, “Hail, master,” to the Savior, and heard his reproach, “Friend, wherefore art thou come?” (10) Since he had become a murderer this Judas imitated Cain who lied to the Lord’s face and said “Am I my brother’s keeper? I know not where he is.” And Cain himself had become the <devil’s> son, by imitation and by paying heed to the lying voice that spoke in the serpent and said, “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
63,11 This is what the Savior says in the Gospel, “Ye are sons of the devil.” For he says, “Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” “Devil” because he was “a liar and a murderer from the beginning, for his father was a liar.”
63,12 And this question has been resolved. The Jews were not the devil’s children, far from it! The Samaritan woman says to the Saviour, “Here in this mountain our fathers worshiped; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship”—(13) and later, after much discussion, the Savior told her, “We speak that we do know, for salvation is of the Jews.” And the apostle said in his turn, “It is plain that the Lord sprang from Judah.”294 And there is a great deal to say about this in refutation of Mani’s imposture.
64,1 Again, he seizes on the following text, “The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness overcame it not.” This means that the darkness pursued the light, he says, since the evil archons pursued the God-head and fought against it.
64,2 But if the light is under attack and pursued by the darkness, the darkness must be stronger than the light—since the light runs away from the darkness and cannot bear to make a stand, since darkness is apparently the stronger. (3) But that is not so. The light does not flee from the darkness, for “The light shineth in the darkness and the darkness overcame it not.” But if the darkness did not overcome the light, this is very different from what Mani means. He says not only that the darkness overcame the light, but that it seized armour from it as well. Now how ever could
darkness not overcome the light, when Mani declares that it has seized armour? However, if the light is being pursued, why does it willingly go on shining in the darkness?
64,4 But because men’s minds had been blinded by the muddiness of sin, God sent the Law first, giving them light as when a lamp appears, (5) as Peter says in his Epistle, ‘Taking heed unto the word of prophecy, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day star arise, and the day dawn in your hearts.” For that is the source of the light which shines in the darkness—the Law which was given “by the hand of a mediator,” through God’s faithful servant Moses.
64,6 Because the Law had always been shining like a spark in the law of nature, Enoch, saw it and pleased the Lord; Abel pleased the Lord by its guidance. Noah saw his way by it, and found favour before God; Abraham believed God by it and it was reckoned to him for righteousness. (7) Then the light overpassed the dimensions of a spark, and was added to the luster of “the lamp that shineth in a dark place.” This is the meaning of “The light shineth in the darkness:” God’s commandment, and the intent of goodness, which gives light in the hearts of the faithful, within the mind muddied the wicked things men do—idolatry, the denial of God, murders, adultery and the rest.
64,8 But when the great Light came, “the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, he was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not—this light that came unto his own, and his own received him not—but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” (9) And do you see in what sort of darkness this light shines, and what sort of dark- ness has not overcome it? For the good which is continually sent to the human mind by God, and which gives light in the world, has not been vanquished by sin.
65,1 Once more, Mani similarly seizes on the Saviour’s words, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which sowed good seed his field. And while men slept an enemy came and sowed tares. (2) Then his servants said unto him, Didst thou not sow good seed in the field? He said, Yea. They said, Whence then the tares? He said, An enemy hath done this. His servant said unto him, Wilt thou that we go and root the tares out? (3) But he said unto them, Nay, lest while rooting out the tares ye root out also the wheat. Leave them until the time of harvest, and I shall say to the reapers, Gather up the tares and burn them, but store the wheat in the barn, and make the tares ready to be burned with fire unquenchable.”
65,4 But when his disciples asked him in the house, ‘Tell us the par- able of the tares,” he explained and did not conceal it, so as not to provide the cheat with an opening against the truth. (5) The Lord answered them plainly and said, “He that sowed the good seed is God. The field is the world; the tares are the wicked men; the enemy is the devil; the reapers are the angels; the harvest is the consummation of the age; the wheat is the good men. (6) < The consummation will come > when the Lord sendeth his angels and gathereth the sinners out of his kingdom and delivereth them to be burned.”
65,7 Sons of the truth, see that this man who has become our new version of Jannes and Jambres puts forth his own arguments against himself. He himself denies that the world is God’s; yet the Savior has said here that the world is the field, that the householder and owner of the field —that is, his Father; and that it is he who has sown his good seed. (8) And he did not distinguish souls from bodies or bodies from souls, but said that the enemy had sown the tares, which are the evil men. And he does not call men just bodies <or just souls> but said, “evil men,” [meaning both] together. (9) And in turn, he said likewise that the good men are the good seed the householder sowed in his field. And he didn’t say their souls, but “good ,” with body and soul. (10) God thus sows the good in men by his teaching, and the devil secretly sows the evil deeds in men by his mischief.
65,11 But we are not going to find a root of wickedness in this place or that, but works done by ourselves. And God is in no way responsible for the tares which have been sown. Christ makes this clear at once by saying, “while men slept”; he didn’t say, “while the householder slept.” Whenever we doze off from good works, whenever we neglect righteousness, whenever we do not alert our minds to God’s commandment, sins are sown .
65,12 Do you see that the reapers get the bundles ready for the eternal fire? Tell me, Mani, do they bind up souls there? Or do they burn bodies without souls, or burn the souls too? Your description of the purification of souls cannot stand up, because they will be consigned to punishment and condemnation. But so much for this. For the wise, the utterances of the truth are plain.
66,1 He seizes on yet another text and cites it without realizing its implications, but with a wrong interpretation of its saving teaching. I mean the words of the Savior, ‘The prince of this world cometh, and findeth nothing of his in me”; ”; and again, in the apostle, ‘The god of this world hath blinded the eyes of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ should shine.”
66,2 Let’s see <whether> the ruler of this world, of whom the Lord speaks, will be cast down—for Christ adds, “And if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.” Whom does he mean by “the ruler of this world?” And if he means the devil, why does John say of the Savior in his Gospel, “He came unto his own?”
66,3 For we can see that the two following sayings are contradictory. The apostle says, ‘The whole world lieth in the evil one,” and yet the Savior “was in the world.” How can both of these allow for each other? And if the whole world lies in the evil one, where is there room in the world for the Savior, so that he can be “in the world?” (4) And if the world’s contents are the Son of God’s “own,” what “ruler” exercises control over God’s own? But if the contents of the world are not the Son of God’s “own,” what “ruler of the world” would allow the world’s contents to be the Saviour’s own? And if the world is the Son of God’s, why would he allow a “ruler” to hold his own world prisoner?
66,5 But all the words of the sacred scripture are spoken with wisdom, as the Lord himself says, “John came in the way of righteousness, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold, a man gluttonous and a winebibber, the friend of publicans and sinners. And wisdom is justified of her children.” (6) And how was wisdom justified by her children? How but by those who understand wisdom’s words, as it also says in the prophet, “Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? For the ways of the Lord are right, and whoso hath the word of wisdom shall likewise understand these things; but the impious shall faint in them.”
67,1 <Mani> has indeed fainted in the sacred and heavenly words, and been impious with the impious. For the Savior said shortly before this, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven”;313 and here again, he says, “The ruler of this world shall be cast down.” (2) And if he was speaking of a Satan who had already fallen, why did he need to be cast down again?
But you will surely say, “[He had to be cast] into the abyss.” All right, where was the Lord to be “lifted up?” If he was to be lifted from the abyss, — the comparison of like with like assures equivalence of expression.
67,3 But when was he lifted up on earth? He was speaking of his lifting on the cross, and his ascent to heaven to draw all to himself. (4) And why didn’t he draw them while he was [still] in heaven, but came to earth instead? He had to come and assume the form of men, in order to the holy vessel first of all—[the holy vessel] he had taken from Mary and formed as his own holy body, the divine Word from on high, come from the bosom of his Father. Then, when he had been exalted in his own body, he could draw the persons who were like him to himself.
67,5 But who is the ruler of this world? When scripture says, “The whole world lieth in the evil one,” it does not mean heaven, earth, the sun, the moon, vegetation, the sea, mountains, the air, clouds, the wind, stars, winged things—it does not mean any part of the creation, perish the thought! “The world” human , the arrogance of the human mind, the insolence of human vanity, the boastfulness of human pride. (6) This, arrogance, was the “ruler of this world” who was cast down. For the Savior says, “Ye receive honour one of another, but I seek not mine own glory.”
67,7 How could arrogance not fall, how could the ruler of the world not be crushed, when Herod kept the Judge and Lord of the quick and dead under guard and judged him? When Pilate sat in judgment on him, a servant struck his jaw, Judas betrayed him, Caiaphas sentenced him, the Jews spat on him, and soldiers struck his head though he could have crushed heaven and earth with a nod? (8) This was the arrogance, insolence, and vainglory of the men of the world; this was the ruler of the world, who fell to the earth. For all the notables of rank exercise their authority by shouting, insolence, reputation and arrogance, none of which are to be found in the Savior. For “a smoking flax shall he not quench, and a bruised reed shall he not break.”
68,1 And I have a great deal to say about this. But once more, this same Mani says that “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest they should shine in the light of the Gospel.” (2) If there is any “god of this world,” what was the Saviour doing, entering someone else’s territory? And if he coveted someone else’s possessions, this is no way for a good or a just person to behave. (3) But if he came to save things which were not his but someone else’s, this is the behaviour of a flatterer whose object is to make his neighbour’s slaves more impertinent than they are.
68,4 And if he did come to save the possessions of the god of this world, he was doing the favour for the god of this world himself, by trying to save his vessels. And if the god of this world assents in any way to the rescue of his property by the Savior then, even if he cannot save it himself, he is good, since he is pleased with the rescue of his possessions.
68,5 And then there will be a single mutuality of goodness. For the One who can, saves, while the one who cannot save his own is pleased with those who are saved, and feels that he gains by receiving his own, saved, from the One who can really save them. (6) And if he offers no opposition to the One who wants to save his possessions, he will be thankful too.
68,6 But if he is thankful to him,
will first save the owner of the saved—to display his goodness in the rescued owner, and he will not wish to save the less important persons and over- look the essential one, from whom the saved have their origin.
68,7 Or again, from another viewpoint: If he prefers not to save him (i.e., the god of the world) and yet saves
he , he is not finishing his task, and is unable to do good in the fullest sense of the word. But if he cannot save him because his is of a nature which is unsaveable, but still saves the persons he made—if anything, the ones he made are worse than he, and incapable of salvation.
68,8 But to put it in still another way: If he had no possessions of his own to save and came to someone else’s for show, make a display of his assistance—what a desperate plight, that cannot save anything of its own, and goes to foreign territory to show off the act which it could not show in its own!
68,9 And Mani’s argument about the Savior and the ruler of this world has failed already. In fact the “god of this world” cannot be another god different from the real one, or a real other god, perish the thought! God the Lord of all, the maker of the world, is one God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and never fails.
69,1 As to the god the apostle says the unbelievers have chosen for their god—I say that there is not just one “god of this world,” never think it, there are many. To them unbelievers have submitted and been blinded in mind as the apostle says in another passage, (2) “whose god is their belly and whose glory is in their shame.” And the Lord says in the Gospel, “Ye cannot serve two masters”; and then a good while later, to show who the two masters are, says, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
69,3 Very well, “God” is God, and mammon is “the god of this world.” For most of the human race is caught by mammon and the belly, these two, and goes blind, not at God’s instigation but by their own malice—for out of unbelief everyone desires everything and submits to everything. (4) Thus the apostle says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” And he curses their wicked propensity for god-making for this reason, and to curse the lusts of the belly says, “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats; but God shall destroy both it and them.”
69,5 The god of this world, then, has blinded the minds of the unbelievers. Thus in the Gospel too we find that the scribe first says correctly, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And the Lord said, “Honour thy father and thy mother as it is written.” For the commandments of the Law were not foreign to him, and thus the Lord himself teaches that observance of the Law is inheritance of eternal life.
69,6 Then the scribe says, “All these things have I done from my youth.” And on hearing this the Lord “rejoiced,” to show that the Law’s commandments are not foreign to his Godhead; for by saying that he “rejoiced,” scripture expressed the agreement of the Old Testament with the New Testament.
69,7 But the scribe said, “What lack I yet?” and the Lord told him, “If thou wilt be perfect sell that thou hast and give to the poor, and take up thy cross and follow me, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. But he went away sorrowing, for he was very rich.” Then the Lord said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.” cannot enter because they have been blinded by the god of this world, and have taken mammon for their god and submitted to the “god of this world,” that is, to covetous- ness. (9) As Christ says, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy,” and elsewhere, “which is covetousness.”
And to show the effect and consequence of covetousness he says, “They be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (10) For since covetousness, the god of this world, had blinded them, neither had “The light of the Gospel shone in their hearts,” for they had gone blind from covetousness. (11) Covetousness also blinded Judas, also killed Ananias and Sapphira, has destroyed many. This is “the god of this world.” By their choice of him for their god men have taken to the honouring of him and despised the Lord, as he says, “He will hold to the one and despise the other; ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
69,12 And there you see the literal and plain explanation of the matter. There cannot be any other god, not in heaven, not on earth, not anywhere. “There is one Father, of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things,” and one Holy Spirit, in whom are all things. The Trinity is forever, one Godhead, neither receiving addition nor admitting of subtraction.
70,1 Let us go on again to something else, beloved, and rend the nets of this beast, enemy and criminal by comparing his heresies with the speech of the truth, for the benefit of those whose aim is to learn the truth and turn their minds away from the erring teaching of every sect. (2) For once more he seizes on the Law and the Prophets, though he is the enemy of the truth, and of the Holy Spirit who has spoken in the Law and the Prophets. Naturally he has, as always, given his tongue free rein against the God who made all things and spoke in the Law and the Prophets, “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom all the family in heaven and earth is named.”
70,3 Mani says, “From him (i.e., the God of the Law) comes lust, from him come murders and all the rest. For he ordered [the Jews] to take the Egyptians’ clothing and that sacrifices be offered to him, and the rest of the Law’s provisions—and the murder of the murderer, so that he is still not satisfied with the first murder, but even commands a second supposedly to avenge the first. And he puts lusts into people’s minds by his descriptions women and other things; but he perforce made a few prophecies of Christ, to establish his credibility by these few plausible remarks.”
70,4 And these were the words of the insolent Mani, which he impudently utters against his own Master. Observing them, one must see that there is nothing but delirium in this man. For as someone in delirium who has a sword draws his sword against himself, cuts his own flesh in his fit in the belief that he is fighting against enemies, and does not know it, so Mani is at war with himself because he does not understand the texts he applies against himself. (5) For if lust is from God and he is the cause of lust, why does the God who puts lust in people’s heads write against lust all over the scriptures? It is he who says, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods, nor his ox nor his ass nor his maidservant nor his field nor his wife, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s.” If he forbids lust, he cannot be the provider of lust.
71,1 Why, asks Mani, did he order the spoiling of the Egyptians when the Israelites went out of Egypt? Yes, he did—for he is a just judge, as I have often said of him by now. (2) And to show that he himself has no need of sacrifices, he says in the prophet, “Have ye offered unto me sacrifices forty years, O house of Israel? saith the Lord.” (3) To whom were the offered, then? To him, in proportion with the understanding of the offerers; and God had commanded this, not because he needed the . sacrifices, but to wean them away from polytheism to the recognition of one God. [He commanded it] because they had seen sacrifices offered to the gods of the Egyptians, so that their minds would not be changed because of the polytheism, and they would desert the one and only God. (4) But when God had dissuaded them from polytheism over a long period of time and weaned them away from an opinion of this sort, he began to cut off the things that were not his will, and said, To what purpose bring ye me incense from Saba, and spices from a land afar off?” “Will I eat the flesh of bulls and drink the blood of goats?” “I have not required this at your hands,” “but to do righteousness each man to his neighbour, and truth each man to his brother.”
71,5 And you see that the meaning behind the sacred is revealed as time goes on. For example, God himself tells Samuel, “Anoint Saul as king,” but later he accuses them with the words, “Ye have anointed a king but not by me, and rulers, and I did not command you.” (6) And since their minds were set on this, God consoles the prophet Samuel by saying, “They have not rejected thee, but me, saith the Lord. But anoint for them Saul, the son of Kish.” The Godhead was dealing with them as though with little children, to show patience with the feebleness of the weak and coax the infant out of its weakness. (7) Then, at the very last, he says, “The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart God will not despise,” “Offer unto God the sacrifice of praise,” and whatever other things can be said about this.
72,1 Next this same Mani says that
consented to say something about Christ. . (2) For if he knows the future he is not devoid of foreknowledge—but the one who knows the events of the future is God, and he wrote of them in order that they would take place. And if they were repugnant to him he wrote of them but forbade them, so that we would not consent to them. (3) But since he guarantees that those future events will be realized in Christ, the Spirit who spoke in the Law and the Prophets, and in the Gospel, is the same. For there is one concord as God says through Moses, “The Lord shall raise up unto you a prophet, from your brethren, ” (4) and the Lord in his turn says in the Gospel, “Moses wrote of me.” Moses says, “Every soul that shall not hearken unto that prophet, shall be destroyed,” and the Lord, in turn, says, “If ye believe not Moses’ writings, how shall ye believe my words?” And it is plain on every side that the truth is a shining thing and “has no spot.”
73,1 Again, Mani declares that the testament of the Law is the testament of death, since the apostle has said, “If the testament of death, graven with letters on stones, was given with glory.” (2) And the sacred scripture said not only this, but, “The Law is not made for a righteous man, but for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for perjured persons, and if there be anything that is contrary to sound doctrine.” (3) Now because the Law is not made for a righteous man, is the righteous man therefore a law-breaker? Of course not! But since the righteous man has already obeyed the Law’s commandments, there is no Law against a righteous keeper of the Law; the Law is against the lawless, and condemns law-breakers.
73,4 In this way, then, the testament was a . It said that the murderer should be murdered, the adulterer put to death, the law-breaker stoned. But “It came with glory,” for its glory was great. It prevailed over the glory men derive from injustice to one another, and it was typified by the light of a pillar of fire [and] fearful trumpets with their loud blasts, in the tent of meeting, and came at that time with great glory.
73,5 For the testament of death had to come first, so that we would “die to sin” first and “live to righteousness”—as Christ “hath borne our griefs and carried our infirmities,” “bearing all in his body on the cross,” so that first everything pertaining to death and then everything pertaining to life would be fulfilled in him for our sakes.
73,6 And this is why he died first, to confirm the testament of death. Then he rose from the dead, that from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” For “He triumphed over principalities and powers” on the cross and “condemned sin” in death. He buried iniquity by his burial, and broke “death’s sting” by tasting death. By his descent into hades he despoiled hades, manfully loosed its prisoners, and won the trophy of the cross against the devil.
73,7 And see how this glory is the same from Moses until the Lord! How much more should the testament of life be glorious, when a stone has been rolled away, rocks are rent, graves are opened, angels shine like lightning, women proclaim the good tidings, peace is bestowed, a Spirit is given the apostles by the Lord, a kingdom of heaven is proclaimed, and a Gospel has enlightened the world? “He that descended is the same as he that ascended far above all heavens,” (8) and sits at the Father’s right hand. The testament was not a bringer of death, it was a testament against death. The testament of death came with glory so that the glory that excelled it might be [a testament] against death.
74,1 The next thing this same Mani says is, “The Old and New Testaments cannot be those of one teacher. For the one is growing older day after day, while the other is being renewed day by day. For everything that grows old and ages is nearing disappearance. The former is the testament of one God and one teacher, the latter, of a different God and a different teacher.”
74,2 Now what he says might carry conviction if he were able to show that there are two Old Testaments, on the supposition that there were two testaments given then. And similarly, if he could show two New Testaments, one could take what he has said to heart. (3) But if the Old Testament is one God’s and the New Testament is another’s, and the New Testament is the testament of a good God while the Old is that of a bad one, the good God would not have known that he should give a testament if he had not seen the bad god giving one. And if anything, he would be taking the occasion for his teaching from the bad god. For if he had not seen the bad god giving a testament he would not have imitated him, since he had no experience of affairs. For if he had not seen, he would not have imitated. (4) And, if anything, the Old Testament ought to be the good God’s so that, if someone must be called an imitator, it is the bad god rather than the actual God.
74,5 For the Lord says in the Gospel, “What things soever the Son seeth the Father do, the Son likewise doeth.” And [he says this] to avoid deferring to a counselor, lest the devil boast that the Savior has done something by his advice—as the devil tells him, “Command that the stones be made bread,” but he will not hear of it so as not to be suspected, from his agreement, of taking the advice from the devil.
74,6 And do you see that he says that the two testaments are those of one God? The apostle says, “The first testament was given at Mt. Sinai and gendereth to bondage. For Mt. Sinai is in Arabia. .” For if there are two wives, there is still only one husband. thus, even though there are two Testaments, there is one God, the giver of the two. (7) And this is why he did not call two testaments “New,” or two testaments “Old,” but called one Old and one New. And he says, “A testament is of force after men are dead; therefore the first testament was not dedicated without blood. For Moses took the blood of goats and sprinkled both the book and the people.” Thus the second testament too was given at the death of the Savior. (8) And above all, both Testaments are in agreement. The one says, “There shall not fail a ruler from Judah, nor a governor from out of his loins, until that come for which it is prepared”; but the second says, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” And there is a great deal to be said about this, but for brevity’s sake I shall omit it.
75,1 And again, he compares the Law and the Prophets to trees which are withered and old, supposedly taking this from the text which said, “The Law and the Prophets were until John.” (2) And nothing could be sillier. Who does not understand that once
which the prophets proclaimed was fulfilled, the prophets were finished? If prophets were still coming and announcing a Christ to come from Mary, Christ would not have arrived yet.
75,3 For this matter is something of this kind: It is as though a king who intends to visit a country sends riders, advance men and heralds before him, and the nearer the king’s arrival the more heralds there are of his coming, preceding him and proclaiming his arrival in the cities. (4) But when the king actually reaches the city, what further need is there for heralds, what for riders, or for the others to proclaim the king’s arrival in advance, since the king himself is in the city?
75,5 And thus “The Law and the prophets were until John.” After John had cried aloud in the wilderness and made it known that “This is the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world,” there was no more need for prophets, to come and announce to us Christ’s advent from a Virgin. But there was the need of those who had previously proclaimed his coming in the past, for the confirmation of his coming, since it had been proclaimed before.
75,6 It is as though someone had a pedagogue, as the apostle says, “The Law was our pedagogue until the Lord’s coming.” When the person grows old enough and obtains a teacher, he surely does not get rid of the pedagogue as though he were an enemy. (7) So we too were given guidance in the Law and the Prophets until the coming of our Teacher. But now that we have our teacher we do not despise the pedagogue but, indeed, are grateful to him. He has served as the guide of our childhood, and set us on our way to the more advanced studies.
75,8 Or, it is as though a man planning to make a sea voyage had a big ship, but sailed over the open roadstead beside the shore in a little boat, and the boat took the man to the big ship. The man surely does not sink the boat because he has reached the big ship, but boards his larger, safe ship with thanks to the boat. (9) Or to put it another way, suppose one were exposed in infancy by the mother who bore him, but taken in by a passerby and reared for some time, and recognized his real father later when he grew up, and his father acknowledged him. Does he despise the man who brought him up because he has recognized his father and is getting his own inheritance? Won’t he far sooner thank the man who brought him up, because he did not leave him to die? (10) In the same way, we thank the God who has given us the Law and the Prophets, and we thank him has counted us worthy of his Son’s New Testament.
76,1 Once more, Mani says that we are kinds of archons, that we were made by the archons, and that we are held in reserve for them, for food. But there is a great deal of ignorance in this sort of talk; (2) we can see that this is not the way things are. Nothing in the world, not even if it is one of
more dangerous, fiercer beasts, attacks its own kind, but other kinds. (3) Lions do not eat lions, for example, because they are of the same stamp and the same kind. Even when a severe famine bears hard upon the beasts in the mountains, and they find no for a long while because of snow or some other exigency, they live in their caves and dens, lions with cubs and lionesses, . And a beast will not attack a beast, or a wolf, a wolf, (4) unless the animal goes mad and in its fury does not know what it is doing. (5) Very well, if a wolf will not eat a wolf because they look alike, how can the archons eat us, if we are of the same ? Won’t they treat us gently instead, with the idea of preserving their own kinds? And the tramp’s arguments are refuted from every standpoint.
77,1 Then again, he seizes on the text from the Gospel, “All cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.” And what the Saviour said was not about teaching here, but about eunuchs. (2) However, if “Not all can receive it,” is here applied to his teaching by the Savior, then, if they will not receive it, this is intentionally. These people, then, will be termed praiseworthy or blameworthy by their own choice and their acceptance of the teaching cannot be by nature. Otherwise, what good would it do the Savior to give his teaching? (3) So Mani’s argument has failed in every respect. The Savior did not make this declaration about teaching, but about eunuchhood, and even if he had said it about teaching, Mani’s argument would not hold good.
77,4 Again, Mani says, “I knew my own, ‘For my sheep know me and I know my sheep.’” But he is a liar in everything. He said this of the audience at the debate, because he wanted to catch souls by cozening and as it were setting a trap, so that they would see fit to join him because of the flattery. (5) Then, once they had joined him, he could begin to boast, and say that he knew them before they came to him. (6) But the outcome for him was the same as the Greek myth about the soothsayer Apollo, who told other people’s fortunes but could not tell his own, and instead failed in his prediction—(7) for he was in love with Daphne, and because of her discretion failed to win her. Mani too prophesied that he knew his own, and actually came for Marcellus, to obtain his submission. But his oracle failed. Neither Marcellus, nor anyone else who was present on that occasion, was convinced by him.
78,1 Next he said that no one was saved in ancient times, but [only] from the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar until his own day. (Probus was emperor then, and his predecessor Aurelian, when this Mani was alive.) (2) And in this too he is completely refuted, since the Gospel, and the words of the apostles, speak of those who have already been saved. The Lord likewise says, ‘There shall be required of this generation all the righteous blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which was shed between the temple and the altar.” How could Abel be righteous, how could Zacharias, unless salvation were already possible, and because they had already been saved by the Law and the prophets? says, “Death reigned from Adam to Moses,” to show you that death was checked, though not altogether destroyed, in Moses’ time.
78,4 For Moses acknowledged the “Finisher” of all things, “Jesus,” who, when he gave himself for the human race—the immortal dying, the invulnerable become vulnerable, life enduring suffering in the flesh— would, through death, break the one who had control of death, and the sting of sin, and death. Then at last, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” would come true.
78,5 For there, in Moses’ time, the death which had reigned until Moses was restrained and checked. And Abel was righteous before that, and Enoch, “who was taken away that he might not see death, and was not found.” (6) But there no written Law yet—only the law which comes into being naturally from our minds, and by tradition, successively from fathers to sons. When, however, the Law was given overtly, it became, as it were, a sword to cut the power of sin in two. But when the Savior arrived, the sting of death was broken. And again, , then death will be swallowed up in victory.
78,7 And see how God saved by many means, but the fullness of salvation has come and will come in Christ Jesus, our Lord, as the Gospel says, “Of his fullness have we all received.” (8) And which “fullness?” ‘The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” There, it was “given”; here, it has “come.” If the Law, grace and truth come through Jesus of fullness, the Old and the New Testaments in the Law, in grace, and in truth.
79,1 But Mani has also utilized another text and says that “Christ has bought us free from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us.” (2) Well then, he should tell us what the sale cost, what price was paid (for us)! Paul didn’t say “bought,” but, “redeemed.” However, Mani understands the purchase, but doesn’t know the price.
But the truth admits of both expressions. (3) Christ has indeed redeemed us and bought us “free from the curse of the Law by being made a curse for us.” And the teacher of the church immediately adds the way in which Christ bought us, and says, “Ye were bought with a price,” “the precious blood of Christ, the lamb without blemish and without spot.” Now if we were bought with the blood, you are not one of the purchased, Mani, for you deny the blood.
79,4 Tell me, from whom did he buy us? Did he buy us as someone else’s property? If so, was our former owner out of funds and in need of our purchase price, and did he take it and give us to Christ? And if we have been given to Christ, we no longer belong to our former owner.
79,5 If, therefore, our former owner no longer possesses us, however, then he has been deprived of his abundance and has no authority in his own domain. How, then, can he “work in the children of disobedience,” as the scripture says? (6) But this utter madman who has opened his mouth without being able to “affirm that whereof he speaks,” does not understand how Christ ever bought us, does not understand that we were redeemed, or how Christ became a curse for us. (7) I can see them addressing Christ at the regeneration of his coming and crying out, “In thy name we ate, and in thy name cast out devils. And he shall say to them, Depart from me ye cursed, I never knew you.” (8) How can they confess him, and he curse them? But what was the curse of the Law? The curse of the Law was the cross, on our sins’ account.
For if someone was taken in a transgression, the Law said, “And ye shall hang him on a tree. The sun shall not set upon him, upon his corpse, but ye shall surely take him down and shall surely bury him before the setting of the sun, for cursed is he that hangeth on the tree.” (9) Thus, since the curse had been pronounced because of the crucifixion he himself, when he came, “bare our sins upon the tree” by “giving himself for us.” His blood has bought us, his body taken away the curses that were on us— that is, through the penance of the cross, and through his coming, it has done away with the sins. (10) Thus the Law was not a curse, never think it! Neither the Gospel nor the Lord received the curse; but because of his death, the death decreed for sin is destroyed.
80,1 Next he says that the Law “was the ministration of death.” I have already said a great deal to show that it was not a minister of death. (2) It did not order murder, but commanded, “Thou shalt do no murder.” Its ministry was a ministry of death because it murdered the murderer to prevent murder through the murder of one person, so that many would be afraid because of the one person, keep their wickedness in check and commit no more murders. This was not to minister death, but to ensure the death of the murderer so that many would no longer become murderers.
80,3 But when the Saviour came, since the pedagogue had at last made his charges peaceable for the greater part of the time, the Saviour gave the more advanced lessons. In agreement with the Law of “Thou shalt do no murder; Thou shalt not steal; Thou shalt not bear false witness” (4) the Saviour said, “To him that smiteth thee on the right cheek turn to him the other also,” in order to make the ministry a ministry of life with murder eliminated altogether. For if someone receives a blow on the cheek, he offers no provocation to murder. Instead, by his humility he disarms the murderer’s hand, and soothes the wickedness in him. And thus all the ancient laws, and the New Testament, are in agreement.
81,1 Then he seizes on something else, as a covert way of introducing two pieces of evidence for the dyad he speaks of—the dyad of the natures which I mentioned before, of two principles with no beginnings, and of two roots. In his desire to say something similar about a distinction between things, he ventures to distinguish them as follows, and is not ashamed to say, (2) “The Old Testament said, The silver is mine and the gold is mine”; but the New Testament says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
81,3 But he does not know that the Old Testament also says, “The poor and the rich have met together: but the Lord is the maker of them both.” And the New Testament agrees, and pronounces a blessing on the poor who are literally poor, and in another passage a blessing on the poor in spirit, so that both pronouncements have force. Thus Peter can point with pride to his literal poverty and say, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, I give thee; in the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk,” (4) so that the blessing of the actually poor means nothing contradictory to the blessing of the poor in spirit. The “poor in spirit” are persons in righteous possession of property, while the “poor” are the humble, of whom Christ said, “I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat, thirsty, and ye gave me drink,” and so on.
81,5 Next he explains, ‘These (i.e., the poor in spirit) acted of their abundance”; and you see one and the same Spirit speaking of the poor and the rich in the Old Testament and the same in the New, just as the Savior praises them both. (6) For as he was watching the treasury he saw people putting money into the treasury, and did not refuse the gifts of the rich; but he praised the widow who had put in the two mites for her [actual] poverty, as we have said, in fulfillment of the scripture, “The poor and the rich have met together: but the Lord is the maker of them both.” (81,7) And to show that this is so, and the Spirit of the Old and the New Testaments is the same, see the apostle say of the ancient prophets, “The time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David and the other prophets who wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being tormented, straitened, afflicted, of whom the world was not worthy.” For I have found that Isaiah wore sackcloth, and Elijah too. And do you see how, in the Old and the New Testaments, the poor are called blessed for piety, and the rich are called blessed for righteousness?
82,1 Then once more, the same Mani says, “The Old Testament commands us to keep the Sabbath, and if one did not keep it he was stoned, as one was put for gathering a bundle of sticks. But the New Testament, that is, the Lord in the Gospel, said, “I work, and my Father worketh.’ The disciples plucked ears of grain on the Sabbath, and he healed on the Sabbath. And not only this, but He said besides, ‘Take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.” ’
82,2 Such ignorance! There is nothing worse than lack of knowledge, for ignorance has made many people blind. When has the Sabbath not been broken for a good cause? When was not only the Sabbath, but every day not a forbidden day for evil?
82,3 Moses’ successor Joshua the son of Nun, who counts as a prophet, was God’s chosen, and stopped the sun and moon by prayer when he said, “Let the sun be still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Ajalon,” plainly broke the Sabbath for the performance of a good work. (4) When traveling farther than the prescribed six stades was not allowed on the Sabbath, he circled the walls of Jericho for seven days. But the circumference of Jericho is more than twenty stades; if they circled it for seven days, the Sabbath surely fell on one of the days. (5) But this was God’s command, to show his will to work wonders. For there were no machines or catapults, no battering-rams, no siege engines; the enemy’s walls sagged and fell solely at the sound of a ram’s horn and the prayer of a righteous man. (6) For their punishment was due, since the tally of the Amorites’ sins had been completed.
83,1 The Law was a judge of iniquity and rewarded everyone in accordance with his own works. The Amorites were in sin, had fallen into transgression, and had violated the oath they had sworn. I have already said this elsewhere, but to repeat it here will do no harm. (2) This is an example of Mani’s frightfulness which comes to mind: “Some ‘good’ God of the Law! He spoiled the Egyptians, expelled the Amorites, Girgashites and other nations, and gave their land to the children of Israel. If he said, ‘Thou shalt not covet,’ how could he give them other people’s property?”
83,3 The ignoramus did not know that they had taken their own land back which had been seized from them, and that retribution was exacted for the pact that was made between them with a true determination and oath. (4) For when Noah was saved from the flood—and his wife, with his three sons and their three brides—he alone divided the whole world as the passage, and nothing foolish or false, states, distributing it by casting lots in Rhinocorura to his three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth.
83,5 For Rhinocorura means Neel, and its inhabitants actually call it that; but in Hebrew it means “lots,” since Noah cast the lots for his three sons there. (6) And the allotment from Rhinocorura, Gadiri fell , including Egypt, the Marean Marsh, Ammon, Libya, Marmaris, Pentapolis, Macatas, Macronas, Leptis Magna, Syrtis, and Mauritania, out to the so-called Pillars of Hercules and the interior of Gadiri. (7) These were Ham’s possessions to the south. But he also owned the land from Rhinocorura eastwards, Idumaea, Midianitis, Alabastritis, Homeritis, Axiomitis, Bugaea, and Diba, out to Bactria.
83,8 The same allotment marks off the east for Shem. Roughly, Shem’s allotment was Palestine, Phoenicia and Coele-Syria, Commagene, Cilicia, Cappadocia, Galatia, Paphlagonia, Lazia, Iberia, Caspia, and Carduaea, out to Media in the north. (9) From there this allotment assigns the north to Japheth. And in the west the land between Europe and Spain, and Britain, <Thrace, Europe, Rhodope> and the peoples who border on it, the Venetians, Daunians, Iapygians, Calabrians, Latins, Oscans [and] Megarians, out to the inhabitants of Spain and Gaul, and the lands of the Scots and Franks in the north.
84,1 When the allotments had been so made Noah called his three sons together and bound them with an oath, so that none of them would encroach on his brother’s allotment and be covetous of his brother. (2) But, being covetous, Canaan the son of Ham invaded Palestine and held it, and the land was named Canaan because Canaan settled in it after leaving his own allotment, which he thought was hot. (3) And he settled in Shem’s land, which is now called Judaea, and fathered the following sons: Amorraeus, Girgashaeus, Pherizaeus, Jebusaeus, Hivaeus, Arucaeus, Chittaeus, Asenaeus, Samaraeus, Sidonius and Philistiaeus. (4) And so, to show that the number of their sins against the oath was reaching completion, the Lord says in the Law, “The sins of the Amorites have not yet been completed.” And therefore [Israel] remained in the mountains and loitered in the wilderness, until the Amorites rendered themselves self-condemned by going to war with the wronged sons of Shem.
84,5 For Shem was the father of Arphaxad, Arphaxad of Kenah, Kenah of Selah, Selah of Eber, Eber of Peleg, Peleg of Reu, Reu of Serug, Serug of Nahor, Nahor of Terah, Terah of Abraham, Abraham of Isaac, Isaac of Jacob, Jacob of Judah, Judah of Perez, Perez of Esrom, Esrom of Aram, Aram of Aminadab, Aminadab of Naason. (6) In the time of Naason the head of the tribe of Judah and in the time Joshua the son of Nun, the sons of Shem took their own land with no wrong involved, but a putting to rights. And so the walls of Jericho fell of themselves, for righteousness avenges unrighteousness. (7) They circled the walls on seven days, and the Sabbath was violated so that righteousness would be fulfilled.
85,1 And not only this, but the sacred lampstand in the tent of the tes- timony had seven lamps, and the seven lamps were all lit every day. Not one remained unlit on any day; on every day there was the same light. (2) For the Sabbath was not instituted for the stoppage of work but for good work. While no one in the twelve tribes ever worked [on the Sabbath], the altar alone did not stand idle, as the Lord says in the Gospel, “Your priests profane the Sabbath in the temple, and are blameless.”
(3) But “They profane the Sabbath” means that they break it. But how do they break it but by offering sacrifice to God, so that the altar will not stand idle?
85,4 And not only this. The sun rises and sets, the moon waxes and wanes, winds blow, fruit is produced, mothers give birth, and it all takes place on the Sabbath. (5) And thus when the Lord came he did not practice carpentry or coppersmithing on the Sabbath, or anything else [of the sort], but as God he did the work of God. And he says, “Take up thy bed and walk,” to make his ongoing work known from the man carrying the bed, so that all will recognize Him who has come from heaven to the aid of the sons of men.
85,6 For he did in fact come to abolish the Sabbath, but he could not have abolished it if it had been other than his own. No one destroys some-one else’s work unless he is a renter and a nuisance, the kind of person who asks for punishment. (7) But since the Sabbath belonged to him he said, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath”; and he said, “Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man.” (8) Now if God made the Sabbath for man, and valued man more highly than the Sabbath, then so that everyone would be aware of the rest , and the repose of the things to come; for the things here are types of the heavenly things. (9) Here things are partial, but there is all perfection. So the Sabbath of the Law was in force until Christ’s arrival. But he abolished that Sabbath and gave us the supreme Sabbath, the Lord himself, our Rest and Sabbath Repose.
85,10 Thus the Old Testament is no different from the New, or the New from the Old. However, if an unschooled, ignorant person sees two ladles draw water from one stream, but supposes because of the difference of the ladles that the kinds of water [in them] are different too, the wise will tell him the truth, “Taste the two ladles, and see that there are two ladles, but one stream.” (11) Thus there is one Lord, one God, one Spirit who has spoken in the Law and Prophets, and in the Gospel. This is why there are not two Old Testaments and not two New Testaments. There are not two testators but one, who makes the Old Testament old and the New Testament new—not by reducing the Old Testament to nothing but by bringing the Old Testament to a close and adding the inheritance of abundance through the second Testament
86,1 Mani introduces yet another text by saying, “I know that spirit is saved without body. For the apostle teaches this,” says he, “with the words, ‘It is actually reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not found even among the gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already him that hath done this deed, when ye and the Lord are gathered together with my spirit, to deliver such an one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. (2) But the destruction of the flesh is its entire reduction to nothing. If the flesh is reduced to nothing by the devil’s agency, and the spirit is saved, how can there still be a resurrection of bodies or flesh, and a salvation of spirit?”
86,3 And in his total ignorance he did not know that “The works of the flesh are fornication, adultery, uncleanness” and similar things, and
Paul is not speaking of the flesh itself, but of the works of the flesh. (4) When fornication is committed, the flesh commits it. But if one practices continence, the flesh is no longer flesh. The flesh has been turned to spirit as the apostle says, “He who joined both at the beginning said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” “Thus he which is joined to an harlot is one body, and he which is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”
86,5 Thus if someone commits fornication he has become “flesh”—and not just his flesh itself, but everything about him, his soul and the rest, becomes “flesh.” He became flesh by his union with the harlot, and since he is fleshly the whole of him is called flesh. “But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit”—that is, his body, his soul and everything in the man, is one spirit in the Lord.
86,6 And the same apostle says in his legislation on the subject, “God hath set the members in the body, every one of them as it hath pleased him.” And see how he acknowledges that God is the maker of the body, and the Disposer of our members as he has willed, by his wisdom and goodness.
86,7 Then again, in place of the illustration of our own bodies of Christ, , “As we are the body of Christ and members in particular,” and, “the church of God, which is the body of Christ.” (8) Now if God’s church is a body, it is one spirit when it is joined to the Spirit, that is, to the Lord, then a member who sins ceases to be spirit and becomes entirely flesh, in his soul and body, and everything in him.
86,9 Otherwise, how could part of someone be delivered to Satan, and part not delivered? Paul did not say that the man’s flesh was delivered to Satan, but ordered the delivery of “such an one.” But since he says, “such an one,” (10) he has delivered a man whole, with his soul and entire man-hood. If he has delivered him whole, however, he has declared that he is entirely flesh. But he said that “the spirit” is saved at the day of the Lord, so that the church would not be held responsible for the fault of the man who fell, and the whole church polluted by the transgression of the one. < Thus > what he means is, “Deliver the one who has fallen, that the spirit, that is, the whole church, may be saved.”
87,1 But, says Mani, the scripture says, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”; and here he thinks he has a point. In fact, however, fornication cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven, nor can adultery, uncleanness or idolatry; that is, “flesh and blood” cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven.
87,3 If you suppose, however, that the “flesh and blood” [mentioned here] is the actual flesh, what application can be left for, “And as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, who were born, not of the flesh, but of God?” Who in the world has been born without flesh? (3) But because their minds were changed—not the natures of those who are born of flesh and blood mothers and fathers, [but their minds]—and they were born with the second birth, which is birth from the Lord by Spirit and fire, he gave them the right to become the sons of God.
87,4 Thus, as they were born of flesh and blood here, . And because of their conversion to righteous- ness their birth is no longer counted as a birth of flesh and blood, although
in flesh and blood—as he says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh.” (5) Thus there can be flesh that does not “war after the flesh.” And this is why he says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. He of this flesh which has grown weary [in welldoing], been sanctified, pleased God, but of the “flesh” which is counted as sinful. (6) Otherwise what application can there be of “This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality?”
87,7 But so that no one will fall into error and despair of the body’s resurrection because of its evil works, the same apostle puts this more clearly and says, “Put to death your members upon earth, which are fornication, adultery, uncleanness,” and so on. (8) On the other hand, listen to the angels who appeared to the Galilaeans and said, “This Jesus whom ye have seen taken up from you, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him taken up.”
From all that I have said, the sensible can understanding the meaning in all the words of the truth, and in those of this so-called Mani’s falsehood. And even if I have overlooked some text, all his lies are detectable by means of the two or three testimonies which I have mentioned.
We have gone over a long, hard road and many dangerous places, and with difficulty of this amphisbaena and venomous reptile, the cenchritis, which has coils of many illustrations for the deception of those who see it, and conceals beneath it the sting and poisonous source . (3) For since Mani is a pagan with the pagans and worships the sun and moon, the stars and daemons, the man , and his sect teaches heathen religion. he knows the lore of the magi and is involved with them, and he praises astrologers and practices their mumbo jumbo. He merely mouths the name of Christ, as the cenchritis too conceals its poison, and deceives people with its tangled coils by hiding in deep woods and matching its background.
88,4 But with the power of God, the cudgel of the truth, the blood of Christ, his body truly born of Mary, the resurrection of the dead, and the confession of the one Divine Unity, we have crushed the head of the dragon upon the waters, put this many-headed sect to flight and smashed its head. Let us close with gratitude to God and hurry on to the other sects, calling on God to be the help of our weakness, so that we may keep the promise we have made in God, and give him perfect thanks.