The Gospel of Mani
) is a gospel
written by Mani
, and thus part of the New Testament apocrypha
, as well as one of the seven sacred books of the Manichaeans
. Mani aimed at a synthesis of the great religions of the time: Christianity
, and Buddhism
, and produced a distinct gospel. The text is more of a commentary on the gospels rather than an alternative witness.
The majority of the text has been lost, but it is known that the gospel was in 22 parts, each labelled by a different letter of the Aramaic alphabet. All that survives is the first part of Alaf, written on black papyrus:
- The most Beloved Son, the Savior Jesus, the head of all these gifts, Who is a refuge for the holy and a blessing for the wise, is exalted. May he be praised! The Maiden of Light, the chief of all wisdom, is exalted. May she be praised! The Holy Religion, by the power of the Father, by the blessing of the Mother and by the wisdom of the Son, is exalted. May it be praised! Well-being and blessing to the sons of goodness and to the speakers and hearers of the true Word! Praise and honor to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and to the holy recollection!
- I, Mani, the Apostle of Jesus the Friend, by the will of the Father, the true God, of Him, by whom I have become ... Everything that is and everything that was and will be is by His Power. The blessed ones will receive this message, the wise ones understand it, the strong ones will take on the wisdom of the wise ...