Religion:Seven treatises of Manichaeism

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Seven Sutras of ManichaeanCopticTransliteration and Greek Bibliographic Comparison Table

Seven Sutras of Manichaeism are seven scriptures personally written by the founder of Manichaeism Muni and are the fundamental classics practiced by Manichaeism.

Classic name

English Name "Keflea" 148; "Sermon 25" Hymn 46–47; 139-40 Keflea 5 Sermons 94 Transliteration of "A Brief Introduction to Maniguang Buddhism Methods" Paraphrase of "A Brief Introduction to Maniguang Buddhism"
Gospel of Mani Euaggelion Euaggelion Euaggelion Euaggelion 大应轮部(希腊文:evangelion) 彻尽万法根源智经
Treasure of Life Thēsauros Thēsauros Thēsauros Thēsauros 寻提贺部(粟特文:smṭyh') 净命宝藏经
The Epistles Epistolaue Epistolaue Epistolaue Epistolaue 泥万部(中古波斯文:dēwān) 律藏经/药藏经
The Book of Mysteries mMustērion mMustērion pTa tōn mustērion mMustērion 阿罗瓒部(中古波斯文:razan) 秘密法藏经
Pragmateia Pragmateia Pragmateia Pragmateia Pragmateia -{zh-hant:鉢; zh-hans:钵}-迦摩帝夜部(希臘文:pragmateia) 证明过去教经
The Book of Giants nGigas nCalashire graphē ntlaice nnParthos Graphe [ ntlaice nnParthos 俱缓部(中古波斯文:kawan) 大力士经
Psalms and Prayers mPsalmos + nShlel nShlel + 2Psalmos mPsalmos + nShlel nShlel 阿拂胤部(中古波斯文:āfrīn) 赞愿经


Scripture content

Mani realized that the religions before him had various drawbacks, and therefore determined to create a universal and unified religion. In Mani's view, the religions of the past can only be unified when their founders are alive. However, these founders did not write their own books, and when they died, their disciples had their own opinions, leading to division and chaos in their religion. "I have chosen a religion ten times greater than any previous religion. First, the previous religion was limited to one country and one language, but my religion is different. It will be popular in every country and adopt all languages. , Spread all over the world. Second, the past religions existed only when they had pure leaders, and once the leaders died, their religion immediately fell into chaos, and its precepts and writings were also ignored. But my religion But because there are living scriptures, there are missionaries, bishops, monks and lay believers, because they have wisdom and writings, they will last forever."[2]

  1. The Gospel of Mani may have been designed as a gospel of the gnostic type, perhaps intended to comment on or replace the Christian gospel.[3]
  2. The Treasure of Life expounds Manichean views on man and the universe; [4]
  3. The Epistles contains letters from Mani and his disciples. Explain the doctrine; [5] Discuss the correctness of Manichaeism from a perspective; [6]
  4. Psalms and Prayers contains hymns written by Mani and his disciples. [7]
  5. The Pragmateia describes the history of mankind; [8]
  6. The Book of Giants tells the story of the watcher and the giant at the beginning of the creation of the world; [9]
  7. The Book of Mysteries is grouped with the Pragmateia and the Book of Giants.[10]It focuses on the nature of the soul using Christian apocryphal imagery[11]

In the Manichaean Compendium these seven scriptures are compared to ships: Power, make seven of them for sailing."[12]

For various reasons, Manichaeism no longer exists today, and none of the seven scriptures has been found in its entirety. Existing fragments of scriptures in Coptic, Middle Persian, Parthian, Sogdian, Uighur and other languages have been discovered, but their specific ownership needs to be further studied.


The Shabuhragan(Persian: شاپورگانShāpuragān), which means "[the] book of Shapur", was a sacred book of the Manichaean religion, written by the founder Mani (c. 210–276 CE) himself, originally in Middle Persian, and dedicated to Shapur I (c. 215–272 CE), the contemporary king of the Sassanid Persian Empire. The book was designed to present to Shapur an outline of Mani's new religion, which united elements from Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Buddhism. Original Middle Persian fragments were discovered at Turpan, and quotations were brought in Arabic by Biruni: It is the only work of Mani's not written in Syriac[13]

Book of Pictures

Main page: Religion:Arzhang

"Da Er Zong Tu" is transliterated as "door lotus wing diagram" in "Yilue", which is derived from the Parthian word bungāhīg, which means "basic principle". This is an atlas illustrating the dualism of light and dark in Manichaeism. It was drawn by Mani and used to explain the doctrine to illiterate illiterate people. At this point, Mani believes that his religion is more superior than the previous ones: "Indeed, all the apostles, my brothers who came before me, did not write a book. Their wisdom is just like mine. They did not paint their wisdom in the pictures like me."[14]The importance of the Da Erzong Picture is second only to the Seven Dajing. In the Parthian language, this collection is also called "Ādrhang".[15] [16]


In the Christian literature, there is another saying of the "Four Sutras of Manichae", which is not mentioned in the accounts of Manichaeism or other religions. There are many errors and it is not enough to believe.

Hegemonius The Acts of Akilai (62.3)) [17] Epiphanius of Salamis "Panarion" (66.2. 9) [18] Theodore Bar Konai "Skalia" [19]
Mysteria (Secret Sutra) Musteria Raze
Capitula (Kephalaia) Kephalaia Rishe
Euangelium (Gospel) Euangelion Ewangeliyun
Thesaurus (Treasure) Thesauros Simatha

See also


  1. 马小鹤:《光明使者:摩尼与摩尼教》(兰州:兰州大学出版社,2014)p.171-172
  2. See Mary Boyce, A Reader in Manichaean Middle Persian and Parthian, Leiden, 1975, P.29; See JPAsmussen, Manichaean Literatue, New York, 1975, P.12 for English translation. Therefore, Mani decided to write his own religious works personally so that his religion will exist forever. "The Gospel" praises the Trinity of the Supreme God; <ref>Mary Boyce, "The Manichaean Literature in Middle Iranian", p. 69.
  3. Schneemelcher, Wilhelm; Wilson, Robert McLachlan (2005-07-28) (in en). New Testament Apocrypha. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-664-22721-0. 
  4. G. Haloun &. WB Henning, "The Compendium of the Doctrines and styles of the Teaching of Mani, the Buddha of Light", p, 206.
  5. G. Haloun &. WB Henning, "The Compendium of the Doctrines and styles of the Teaching of Mani, the Buddha of Light", p, 205–207.
  6. Mary Boyce, "The Manichaean Literature in Middle Iranian", p. 69.
  7. Mary Boyce, "The Manichaean Literature in Middle Iranian", p. 70.
  8. G. Haloun &. WB Henning, "The Compendium of the Doctrines and styles of the Teaching of Mani, the Buddha of Light", p, 207.
  9. The Book of Giants From Qumran: Texts, Translation, and Commentary by Loren T. Stuckbruck. 1997.
  11. Burns, Dylan M. (2020-11-30) (in en). Mani’s Book of Mysteries: A Treatise De anima. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-44546-8. 
  12. "British Tibetan" (5), S.3969/3, page 224b
  13. Henning, W.B., The Book of Giants, BSOAS, Vol. XI, Part 1, 1943, pp. 52–74: "...Mani, who was brought up and spent most of his life in a province of the Persian empire, and whose mother belonged to a famous Parthian family, did not make any use of the Iranian mythological tradition. There can no longer be any doubt that the Iranian names of Sām, Narīmān, etc., that appear in the Persian and Sogdian versions of the Book of the Giants, did not figure in the original edition, written by Mani in the Syriac language."
  14. In Iain Gardner and Samuel NC Lieu, Manichaean texts from the Roman Empire/ edited by Iain Gardner and Samuel NC Lieu. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004, p.266
  15. Haloun, A. & WB Henning, "The Compendium of the Doctrines and Styles ot the Teaching of Mani, the Buddha of Light",Asia Major,NS3, 1952, pp.194–195,204–210
  16. H.-J. Klimkeit, Manichaean Art and Calligraphy, Iconography of regeligions XX, Leiden, 1982, pp.1,15–17
  17. MarkJ.Vermes, Acta Archelai, Manichaean Studies (MAS 4), 2001.ISBN 978- 2-503-51156-6
  18. Williams, Frank; translator. "Introduction". The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Book I (Sects 1–46). 1987. (EJ Brill, Leiden) ISBN 90-04-07926-2.
  19. Baum and Winkler, Church of the East, 63