books, in the great Gospel and the other writings; so that it will not be changed after me. Also, the way that I have written it in the books: [This] also is how I have commanded it to be depicted. Indeed, all the [apostles], my brethren who came prior to me: [They did not write] their wisdom in books the way that I, I have written it. [Nor] did they depict their wisdom in the Picture (-Book) the way [that I, I have] depicted it. My church surpasses [in this other matter also], for its primacy to the first churches.
[The third: My] church will remain henceforth and be unveiled through the world; because [. . . the first] churches, after they were revealed according to . . . they were stretched, they remained in the world for [a short time] only. Afterwards, they [. . . the apostles went] out from the world; but their churches . . . remained behind them, after them, in their likeness. However, my church, mine: It has attained (its) disclosure and can [not] be hidden from this time on; it has attained its fastness and cannot be shaken, continuing on till the end of the world.
The fourth: The writings and the wisdom and the revelations and the parables and the psalms of all the first churches have been collected in every place. They have come down to my church. They have added to the wisdom that I have revealed, the way water might add to water and become many waters. Again, this also is the way that the ancient books have added to my writings, and have become great wisdom; its like was not uttered in all the ancient generations. They did not write nor did they unveil thebooksthe way that I, I have written it.
The fifth: The persecutions and the temptations and the afflictions that the first apostles proclaimed; they themselves prophesy that they are provided to happen to this church. Look: They have happened to it just as is written! [However, it], it has been strong. It has persisted against [all] the temptations; it was not overcome, nor was it thrown back. Happen you know that the crucifixions and the afflictions, which are different to each; the slaughters that are not like one another; these did not occur in all the churches. They have happened in my church for its primacy to all the other churches.1
The remaining five reasons are poorly preserved, but central to Mani's self-identity as the leader of a universal religion was his self-declared title of Apostle of Jesus Christ' and in Western Manichaean sources he was sometimes identified as the personification of the Paraclete. Although Mani rapidly became a Buddha as the religion spread eastwards across Central Asia, his most important title in Manichaean sources found in Turfan remains the 'Envoy of Light'
1 Mani, Kephalaia 154 (ed. Polotsky et al., 370-1); trans. Gardner, in I. M. F. Gardner and S. N. C. Lieu, eds., Manichaean texts from the Roman empire, 265-6. The following editorial signs are used in this chapter: round brackets ( ) indicate explanatory material added by the author; square brackets [ ] indicate lacunae in the text.
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