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Manichaean Psalm-Book, Part II (Quasi-Christian)


Mani was born in southern Babylon sometime around the year 215 or 216 CE and received his first revelation at the age of 12. Around the age of 20 he seems to have completed his system of thought and began missionary work around the year 240. Although he found some support early on from Persian rulers, he and his followers were eventually persecuted and he appears to have died in prison in 276. His beliefs had, however, spread as far as Egypt and attracted a great many scholars, including Augustine.


Manicheism, the belief system named after him, is an extreme form of dualistic gnosticism. It is gnostic because it promises salvation through the attainment of special knowledge of spiritual truths. It is dualistic because it argues that the foundation of the universe is the opposition of two principles, good and evil, each equal in relative power.

The Catholic Encylopedia further defines it as:

"Manichism is a religion founded by the Persian Mani in the latter half of the third century. It purported to be the true synthesis of all the religious systems then known, and actually consisted of Zoroastrian Dualism, Babylonian folklore, Buddhist ethics, and some small and superficial, additions of Christian elements. As the theory of two eternal principles, good and evil, is predominant in this fusion of ideas and gives color to the whole, Manichism is classified as a form of religious Dualism. It spread with extraordinary rapidity in both East and West and maintained a sporadic and intermittent existence in the West (Africa, Spain, France, North Italy, the Balkans) for a thousand years, but it flourished mainly in the land of its birth, (Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Turkestan) and even further East in Northern India, Western China, and Tibet, where, c. A.D. 1000, the bulk of the population professed its tenets and where it died out at an uncertain date."

Today it is not uncommon for extreme dualism in fundamentalist Christianity to be labeled as a form of modern Manicheism. However, it should be noted that pockets of this religion remain even today.

The following Manicheism Psalms were discovered, along with many others that have not been translated, at Medinet Madi in the Fayoum. They are from a Manichaean Psalm-Book, Part II, discovered by Carl Schmidt and are thought to date from about 340 AD.

Index

Psalm 219

Psalm 220

Psalm 221

Psalm 222

Psalm 223

Psalm 224

Psalm 225

Purify Me

CCXIX. We pray thee, our God, the merciful, forgive us our sins.

God, we pray thee, the Father, the first of the Gods, the hidden one, whose Light is revealed, we call unto thee, hear us.

The Land of Light, the house of the Father, the throne of the Lord of all . . . . ,the fount of all glories, spread thy mercy] upon us.


The twelve great powers, the immeasurable Aeons . . . . in whom there is no waning or diminution, the garland of renown of the Father of the Lights.


The whole dawning of the Light, wherein the Gods rejoice, the airof our blessed city that is wholly manifest . . . .


The blossoms of beauty unfading, the progeny . . . .of the Most High, that are held in honor, the children of the . . . . the householders of the Land of Light.


The Mother that gave birth to them all, the Parent of all lives, the first armor of God . . . . came and destroyed the hostile power.


The Warrior, the strong one of manifold activities, who subdued the rebels by his power, our Father, the First Man of glory, whose victory and garland are blessed.


The Beloved of the Lights that wears the crown . . . . . . . . for the salvation . . . . . . . . . . the whole earth . . . victory . . . . . . . . they were firmly established.


The Good one, the Great Builder, the first of the . . . . . . . . to the new Aeon, to form it . . . . . . . . and all his kin, the subduer of all the sons of the abyss, the Savior of our guide from the beginning, the Living Spirit, our first Right Hand.


The Splenditenens in the height of the heavens, who is between them that wander and them that are fixed. The tenth who . . . . . . . . who suspends the universe, guarding the universe.
The King of Honor, the strong God, who is in the seventh heaven, judging the demons, the creatures of the abyss.- We sing to him, we glorify him.

The Adamas of Light unsubdued, who treads upon the earths trembling. foundation . . . .
. . . . that is laid in the midst of the worlds.


The King of Glory, the holy counsel, who turns in the abyss the three wheels, that of the winds, that of the water, and that of the living fire, the armor of our Father. the First Man.
The Omophoros, the great burden-carrier, who treads upon the . . . . with the soles of his feet, supporting the earths with his hands, carrying the burden of creations.

The moon that tastes not sleep, the sun that raises up what has been refined, the seal and likeness of the image of the Father, the sign joy, the exalted victory.


Yeshua, the Physician of the wounded, the Redeemer of the living souls, the path which the wanderers seek, the door of the treasure of lives.


The beloved Daughter of her Father, the blessed maiden of Light, who puts to shame by her

ineffable beauty the powers that are full . . . . . . . . the hero, the gift of our Fatherthe Third Envoy, who has been established since the

1-11 are illegible.

Glory and Victory to theSpirit of Truth, our [God, our Lord] Mani, and all his [holy perfect

Elect, and the soul of the blessed Mary.

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CCXX.

Glory to thee, Word of God, the . . . . forth.


The Original One, who is excellent and worthy to . . . . we glorify him; the sSon and the Holy Spirit also, we worship them in Truth; the! first of the . . . . the Paraelete, Mani.


The. mysteries that were before the foundation, thou didst reveal them to [thy faithful, that there was Light . . . . . . . . the obscure abyss wherein there was creeping the Darkness with its five . . . .


The Original One of Sin, the enemy of God, do thou make him less And . . . . him forth, whom the Spirit of . . . .that is honored . . . . fire and lust, and do thou give . . . . . . . . unto the end.


When thou camest unto the race of . . . . the commandments which the Old Man proclaimed with the . . . . of the earth, thou didst take away the . . . .destroyed

. . . . . . . . . . . . in the Light of . . . .. . . . . . . . the cold . . . . . . . . thou didat scorn it . . . . . . . . who leads the peoples astray in the water . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .even the . . . . . . . . good . . . .. . . . . . . .he struck . . . . . . . .within . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . within . . . . . . . . the mother of. . . .. . . . entire.


. . . . . . . . the guide before the . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . he being ignorant of that which is happening. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . magic; the foolish man desired to make war and was uprooted from his land.


This is the name that the Savior first gave thee, the Holy One, whom the . . . . . . . .world cannot . . . . . . . . and endure, because thou didst put to shame the evil genius of the. . . .of this Aeon.


. . . . . . . . which God gave as a present, when we saw it we rejoiced, which one in a thousand beholds . . . . . . . . . . . . thou didst rejoice in thy holy spirit in its unsullied beauty.
They arose], they that belong to Matter, the children of Error desiring to uproot thy unshakable tree and plant it in their land; they strove at the matter, they did not succeed,
those] creatures of shame.


Thou didst. . . over the little sheepfold, over which thy Father . . . . . . . .Thou didst appoint the degree of the Perfect and didst separate them from those that are in the world; thou didst appoint a task for each of them in the yoke of Yeshua.


The evil persecutions of the enemy of God, the Sects it is that conducted them. Thou didst shed thy . . . .blood for their sake, . . . . . . . . . . . . thou didst succor them . . . . unto life.
. . . . it behooves us to worship him, all of us, the . . . .

Illegible page

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CCXXI

Bestow on us, o Word of God, the forgiveness of sins and

25-30 Illegible.

. . . . . . . . blessed. Who . . . . . . . . . . . .


1-4 illegible save:


'they sent him'. . . .. . . . in truth . . . . . . . . . . . . filled in sin . . . . lust . . . . . . . . . . . . of the holy ones . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .profit . . . .thy doctrines . . . .know now in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .in thy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and . . . . and the . . . . and the limbs also . . . . . . . .foul too which the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .with us . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . we . . . . . . . . . . . . sin
. . . . . . . .


The whole world . . . . . . . . . . . . thou knowest the . . . . that thou . . . . . . . . of the knowledge of the Truth . . . . mighty . . . . . . . . the walls of thy kingdom . . . . . . . . . . . . with us . . . .


We have been glorified, our holy Father, we have . . . . upon my ignorance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the bitter assembly . . . . . . . . up to the Sphere. . . . upon it . . . .
I shall . . . . only the indestructible Spirit . . . .


Of the . . . .


A little guile and a great guile is . . . . . . . . . . . . upon them that they waged on us . . . . new and different struggles; but we trust in thy mercies, for thou turnest and showest pity quickly. Let us prostrate ourselves, beseeching thee, imploring thy pity, o merciful one.
Thine is every victory, o holy one, giver of good tidings, Mani; the victory of the beginning and that of the middle which thy Father has bestowed upon thee, the victory of the end also, for which every man is looking; for truly thou art he that proclaims the Beginning, the Middle and the End; Victory to the soul of the blessed Mary.

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CCXXII.

By the same O soul, know this great sign, that this is the sign of the remission of thy sins.
This visible Bema, the Word set it before thee, that He might sow in thee through what is visible the remembrance of the hidden judgment which thou hast forgotten since the day when thou didst drink the water of madness, o Soul.


Lo, there has come to thee the grace of the day of joy; do thou for thy part reveal without fear all thy sins today and be mindful of thy end and prepare thyself in thy works; for the Bema of Wisdom moves thee concerning it.


Paul, the glorious one, bears witness, saying unto thee: 'The Bema of Christ, in it there is no respect of persons: whether we will Or not we shall all . . . . it.' This too is what the Bema Silently proclaims.


The wanton . . . . . . of wickedness, do thou rule over them: the . . . .of . . . . , that of . . . .and that of foul lust; and do thou . . . . wrath and envy and sadness; the bitter . . . . of wickedness also, do thou loose them today.


May] the Judge see thee keeping these commandments and may he] honor thee and give thee Life.


Complete forgiveness will he bestow on thee.


Come therefore and walk on these holy steps.


May the Bema become for thee a Landing-place of thy Days, a place of cleansing of thy life, a chest filled with teaching, a ladder to the height, a measuring-balance of thy deeds; and as thou seeest the likeness of these things in the Bema. bless it.


Say unto it: 'Thou art blessed, great Instrument of the Word, upright Bema of the great Judge, the seat of the Fathers of Light that are far removed from Error, foundation of the sweet victory, full of wisdom.'

Hail, Bema of Victory, great sign of our city; joyous shining garland of the souls that are victorious, but judgment and condemnation of sinners; hail, Bema of the Mind of the Holy Scriptures.


Lo, all trees . . . .have become new again. Lo, the roses have spread their beauty abroad, for the bond has been severed that does harm to their leaves.


Do thou also sever the chains and the bond of our sins.


The whole Air is luminous, the Sphere . . . . today, the earth too puts forth blossom also, the waves of the sea are still; for the gloomy winter has passed that is full of trouble.
Let us too escape from the iniquity of evil.


Forgive the sins of them that know thy mystery, to whom there has been revealed the knowledge of the secret of the Most High through the holy wisdom, wherein there is no Error, of the holy Church of the Paraclete, our Father.


The joy-filled treasure of the glorious Spirit, give it as a present to us and extend it unto us all and wash us in joy and . . . . . . . . . . . . his drops also that will wash the . . . . . . . .
Glory to thee, our Father Mani, the glorious one, [the great God, the Savior. [Thou artf the] entire remission of sins, the preaching of life, the Envoy of them that are on high.
Glory to thy Bema, thy seat that . . . . .

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CCXXIII

Let us worship the Spirit of the Paraclete. Let us bless our Lord Yeshua who has sent to us the Spirit of Truth.


He came and separated us from the Error of the world, he brought us a mirror, we looked, we saw the Universe in it.


When the Holy Spirit came he revealed to us the way of Truth and taught us that there are two Natures, that of Light and that of Darkness, separate one from the other from the beginning.


The Kingdom of Light, on the one hand, consisted in five Greatnesses, and they are the Father and his twelve Aeons and the Aeons of the Aeons, the Living Air, the Land of Light, the great Spirit breathing in them, nourishing them with his Light.


But the Kingdom of Darkness consists of five store-houses, which are Smoke and Fire and Wind and Water and Darkness; their Counsel creeping in them, moving them and inciting them to make war with one another.


Now as they were making war with one another they dared to make an attempt upon the Land of Light thinking that they would be able to conquer it. But they know not that which they have thought to do they will bring down upon their own heads.


But there was a multitude of angels in the Land of the Light, having the power to go forth to subdue the enemy of the Father, whom it pleased that by his Word that he would send, he should subdue the rebels who desired to exalt themselves above that which was more exalted than they.


Like into a shepherd that shall see a lion coming to destroy his sheep-fold: for he uses guile and takes a lamb and sets it as a snare that he may catch him by it; for by a single lamb he saves his sheep-fold. After-these things he heals the lamb that has been wounded by the lion:

This too is the way of the Father, who sent his strong son; and he produced from himself his Maiden equipped with five powers, that she might fight against the five abysses of the Dark. When the Watcher stood in the boundaries of light, he showed to them his Maiden who is his soul; they bestirred themselves in their abyss, desiring to exalt themselves over her, they opened their mouth desiring to swallow her.

He held her power fast, he spread her over them, like nets over fishes, he made her rain down upon them like purified clouds of water, she thrust herself within them like piercing lightning.


She crept in their inward parts, she bound them all, they not knowing it.


When the First Man had finished his war the Father sent his second son.


He came and helped his brother out of the abyss; he established this whole world out of the mixture that took place of the Light and the Darkness.


He spread out all the powers of the abyss to ten heavens and eight earths, he shut them up into this world once, he made it a prison too for all the powers of Darkness, it is also a place of purification for the Soul that was swallowed in them.


The sun and moon he founded, he set them on high, to purify the Soul. Daily they take up the refined part to the height, but the dregs however they erase . . . . mixed, they convey [it above and below.


This whole world stands firm for a season, there being a great building which is being built outside this world.


So Soon as that builder shall finish, the whole world will be dissolved and set on fire that the fire may smelt it away-


All life, the relic of Light wheresoever it be, he will gather to himself and of it depict an image And the counsel of death too, all the Darkness, he will gather together and make a likeness of its very self, it and the] Ruler.


In a moment the Living Spirit will come . . . . . . . . . . . . he will succor the Light.


But the counsel of death and the Darkness he will shut up in the dwelling that was established for it, that it might he bound in it for ever.


There is no other means to bind the Enemy save this means; for he will not be received to the Light because he is a stranger to it; nor again can he be left in his land of Darkness, that he may not wage a war greater than the first.


A new Aeon will be built in the place of the world that shall dissolve, that in it the powers of the Light may reign, because they have performed and fulfilled the will of the Father entire, they have subdued the hated one, they have . . . . . . . .over him for ever.


This is the Knowledge of Mani, let us worship him and bless him. Blessed is he every man that shall trust [in him, for he it is shall live with all the Righteous.


Glory and victory to our Lord Mani, the Spirit of Truth, that cometh from the Father, who has revealed to us the Beginning, he Middle and the End. Victory to the soul of the blessed Mary, Theona, Pshaijmnoute.

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CCXXIV

let us bless and sing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .disciples of our lord. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .to thee with one accord, we . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .let us glorify the Lord of our life, the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .he judging our thoughts, he who . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .his Bema which has brought the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . our deeds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . creatures of our spirit. Let us give them to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . our fastings and almsgivings, as a gift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .which please him, humility and love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . reconciled with him in his holy day.


. . . . . . . . Yeshua, king on high, sitting on the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . seeing our thoughts, our words, our deeds which we have done by night, by day; let us implore him we all are the congregation) that he may forgive us all our sins.


There is a great day; great is its sign, great also . . . . . . . . all the saints that are counted to the Light glorify him and give him] praises without measure.


We too that are counted to their race of Light, let us give our flowers to our . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Powers; the sons, the emanations of the Father and his Lights on high, all the angels and the Omophori, the strong. Pillars; the Elements of the Light glorify thee, for thou hast acted, thou hast finished, thou hast given rest to them all by thy coming.


The beloved Son, Yeshua Christ, sets. a garland on thy head in great joy; because his building that was destroyed thou didst build it, his way which was hidden thou didst illumine it, his scriptures which were confused thou didst set them in order again, his hidden wisdom thou didst interpret it.

Lo, his holy Bema thou hast firmly established for him, that . . . . . . . .

1 and 2 illegible

it in thy hardihood, thou didst put them to shame in . . . . that thou mightest not allow them to bring defilement upon God . . . .


Thou art a great one truly and certainly, thou didst perfect . . . . . . . .of thy Father, thou didst preach to all of us thy wisdom, thou didst teach us the things that used to be, that are and that shall be, thou didst save us from the Darkness . . . . . . . the mixture of the Dark and the Light which is within.


All the . . . . . . . .which the ancients proclaimed in their scriptures we were thinking of them . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .fables before thou didst come forth and didst fill our souls, the wisdom of our heart.


The Light . . . . . . . . great orator that puts our enemies to shame Lo, thy righteousness, our father, which thou didst proclaim in thy coming has not grown less, has not diminished has not waned at all, because of the care of thy teachers [and the] strong . . . . that guard it, they building upon it . . . . . . . . it in all thy laws.


Lo, thy holy Churches have spread out to the four corners of the world. Lo, thy vine-trees have filled every place. Lo, thy sons have become famous in all lands.
Lo, thy Bema has been firmly established in every place [like a] river now that flows in the whole earth.


The great conqueror our, Lord, out Light, who Ms given victory to his loved ones. . . . . . . we bend the knee to thee, we implore thee, we rolling our souls before thy Bema, that thou wouldst turn to us and shew mercy upon us and guide us all until we fulfil thy will.


The First Man], our helmsman . . . . . . . ., our first guide, thou art our shepherd that feeds us,

1 and 2 illegible

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .all our deeds.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .our Father, to proclaim . . . . . . . . .even as . . . . . . . .our mind and our thought . . . . . . . .speak of thy greatness, that the flesh . . . . . . . . . . . . put upon us; thou hast been glorified, our Lord, according to . . . . thy Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.


We also, thy sons, glorify thee . . . . . . . . . . . .


We glorify thy kingdom wherein thou didst come to us, we Glorify thy Father who sent thee unto us, we glorify the Judgement which is revealed to us because of thee, Glory to every One that keeps the festival.


Glory to our] Father, the Spirit of Truth, the Paraclete; [victory And honor] to our Lord, our Light, Mani, the . . . . . . . .that gives life to his sons and his holy] Elect. Victory tot he soul of the Blessed Mary, Theona, Pshai, Jmnoute.

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CCXXV By the Lord Syrus

. . . . . . . . . . . .thy daughter, the Church, O Paraclete, merciful God.


I will . . . . . . . . . . . .widow; for they are slanderers All of them . . . . . . . . . . . .Who among them will wipe away my . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .from me upon the earth?


They are slanderers . . . . . . . .all and murderers.


Alas, alas for the violence that is done: they run after me like wolves that run after a lamb.
How many shadows, how many falls . . . . . . . . fear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . desert me . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . after me . . . . . . . . . . . .to do violence; but do not desert me, my blessed king that knoweth my heart].


I was escaping from the . . . . . . . . . . . ., my hair loosed like a Mad woman, I asking everyone that comes upon me.


Who will give me word of my shepherd and teach me how be was slain in the godless city by the lawless Sects, the beasts that were maddened by the poison of their flames of fire?


I have heard concerning you.


O Magicians the priests of the fire that you seized my God in your foul hands, impious men, mad and godless, the brothers of the Jews, the murderers of Christ.


A fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . ] your heart, until, you had murdered the righteous ambassador.


Lo, these are the deeds that are full of outrage, Of bitter-hearted men.


This is the road they have made that will lead them to Hell.


I have not seen a beast branded like these, nor again have I seen fire consuming chaff . . . . yet there was found no merciful man standing up to snatch from them this sinless and righteous one.


They all cried out with one voice to the godless judge, telling him words in which there was no truth: "lo, a man has appeared in these days, fighting with us and bringing our affairs to naught.


We implore thee with one accord, o king, do away with him, for he is a teacher who leads men astray.


When he heard these words, thc foolish man, the king of these pitiless ones, he was astonished, the evil-fated, the evil-doer: he sent, he called my shepherd, he said to him wrathfully in a mighty voice: "Who bade thee do these things, or who art thou? Thou doest deeds that harm all men."

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(Purify Me)

Purify me, my God: give me also power that I may bless, give me also power that I may bless and utter the hymn of Amen].


Purify me.


I will utter the hymn of Amen: let [us answer together, Amen.


Purify me.


Amen, the Father; Amen, Amen, the Son; let us answer together, Amen.


Purify me.


Amen thrice, the holy Spirit that makes revelation.


Purify me.


Thou art holy [o Father; thou] art holy, thou art holy, o Son.


Purify me.


Thou art thrice holy, o holy Spirit, that revealest.


Amen, thou endurest, the God of Truth that is in the Aeons.


Amen, thou endurest, the light that shines forth in the ships.


Amen, thou endurest, the Power of God that supports the Universe.


Amen thou endurest, the Wisdom of God that makes Revelation.


Purify me.


Amen, thou endurest daily, daily, the glory of God.


Purify me.


Amen, thou endurest daily, daily, the joy of God.


Purify me.


Amen, thou endurest, the commandment that is in my body Amen, thou endurest, the Knowledge of God that is in my Soul.


Purify me.


Amen, thou endurest, the Love of God that is in my Spirit.


Purify me.


Amen, thou endurest daily, daily, in my Intelligence.


Amen, thou endurest daily, daily, in my Reason.


Amen,, thou endurest daily, daily, in my Thought.


Amen,, thou endurest daily, daily, in my Counsel.


Amen,, thou endurest daily, daily, in my Intention.


Lo, the hymn of Amen: let us answer together, Amen.


Purify me.


Glory and honor to Yeshua, the king of the [holy ones].


Purify me.

Salvation

And rest be there to the soul of the blessed Mary, Theona, Pshai, Jmnoute.

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