Do Manichaeans believe Christ underwent a physical crucifixion and subsequent resurrection? Was he literally hanged on a cross? Some scholarly writings say that Manichaeans despise the thought of the Crucifixion – is this true?
Manichaeans speak of the Crucifixion in three different ways.
- The Light being crucified, the Cross of Light
- Isho (Jesus) was crucified (pierced, hanged) during the time of the Tabernacle (Moses’ time)
- The “appearance” of Crucifixion in First Century Judaea
All three of these are related, with the last two pointing back to the Cross of Light.
There is also a fourth crucifixion spoken of – the crucifixion of the evil one.
In the Fundamental Epistle of Mar Mani (6:8-9) it is stated:
In fact, the evil one, who believed she had crucified the Saviour, the Father of the Righteous, was herself crucified, at the time when one thing was done and another shown. Thus the ruler of the darkness was nailed to a cross and the same with her friends, they wore a thorny crown and had a royal robe; she also drank the vinegar and the gall, which they imagined the Lord to have drunk. And all that Messiah seemed to bear was really inflicted on the leaders of the darkness, who were also wounded and bruised with rods and the lance.”
Manichaeans hold that humans experienced the Crucifixion of Christ in First Century Judaea on two different levels. Those who were Isho’s closest disciples and companions, his Apostles, were aware of the “appearance” of a crucifixion. However, for others among the witnesses at that time, the Crucifixion was very real, painful and agonising for Isho Makhayana (the Saviour).
His Divine Presence has stated, “Isho appeared both physically and spiritually in the first century C.E., the majority of times being spiritually. His main physical appearance was early when the Tabernacle was constructed.”
We read from the Manichaean Holy Book of Light:
Tuma did not stop preaching and speaking to them about Isho Mashikha whom the scriptures proclaimed, who had come into the world, who was crucified, and who was raised on the third day from the dead. (Acts of Mar Tuma)
And again we read from the Acts of Mar Tuma:
And He was called the son of Mary the virgin, and was termed the son of Joseph the carpenter. He whose littleness we beheld with the eyes of our body, but his greatness we received by faith, and saw it in his works whose human body we felt also with our hands, and his aspect we saw transfigured with our eyes, but His heavenly semblance on the mount we were not able to see. (ibid)
If you believe in Isho, you shall pass beyond death and come to life. The Divine Messengers have come in many different eras and places in the world, one of them being named Isho.
Isho is the name of one of the Divine Messengers who appeared in the land of Israel. The very name of Isho means salvation. (Teachings of Mir Izgadda)
His Divine Presence has also used the term “semblance” in reference to the Crucifixion that took place in Judaea. His use of the term “semblance” is the same thing as saying “appearance,” or “as it appeared to some.”
Tutankhamen and Christ
Manichaeans believe that Tutankhaten (Tutankhamen) and Isho are one and the same, appearing at different periods of humanity’s history. Christ’s Apostles were aware of the fact that Isho had already taken a physical body in ancient Egypt during the time of the Tabernacle and that his body had been Crucified (pierced and hanged) by the evil priest Pinhas (Panehesy). This was a physical crucifixion and has been part of traditional texts of Essenes – those texts being referred to as Second Pillar, or Tradition. Some of the historical accounts written in what Christians refer to as the New Testament were accounts that took place during ancient Egyptian times during and after the Biblical account of the Exodus.
The Religion of Light has always believed that Isho the Messiah and Saviour, as Tutankhaten, died a horrible and painful death. Ahmed Osman writes, that “it is clear from the state of his remains that Tutankhamen did not die of natural causes but must have been exposed to severe physical torture, when hanged.” (see references below).
Christ – Both Physical and Spiritual
Concerning Isho in First Century Judaea, as His Divine Presence has said, the appearance was seen as “both physically and spiritually” by various individuals. He took a physical body when necessary, but at other times, he was of a spirit nature.
An example of this is the account of Mar Tuma examining the “wound” in the side of Isho after, what appeared to some, as a resurrection. (See John 20:27-29 of the “New Testament”).
Those familiar with John’s account of the resurrection, can also recall that Isho had the appearance of someone else after his resurrection. (See John 20:14,15). Christ was a spirit being able to take on different images and forms as he has for centuries.
For a historical perspective, see Ahmed Osman’s work Christianity – An Ancient Egyptian Religion, Bear and Company, 1998, 2005, pages 109, 111, 131, 138, 175. (See also, among other works by Osman, Jesus in the House of the Pharaohs – The Essene Revelations on the Historical Jesus, 1992/1994).
While Manichaeans do not believe every statement of Osman to be entirely accurate, much of his views have always been shared by Manichaeans and other spiritual communities of the Religion of Light, for example, Atenists and Essenes.
Tutankhamen – Change of Name and Worship of Aten
Some documents of Manichaean origin speak of Tutankhaten changing his name to Tutankhamen. This is not as clear as it could be however. Tutankhaten did not do this of his own choosing. After the Crucifixion, his name was changed by Egyptian scribes, as was the usual practice at the time when attempting to change history and facts. As most historians and Egyptologists know, even some statuary, names, and certain hieroglyphics have been scraped away to hide history.
“In spite of the attempts to cover it up, the memory of Joshua/Jesus lived through a series of Israelite prophets who eventually established the Essene community following the return from the Babylonian Exile. It lived as also in Egypt within the Osiris and Hermes Trismegistus cults that produced the Gnostic Christian movement by the start of the Christian era.” (Osman)
Related to the subject at hand, some Manichaean documents have also stated that Tutankhaten compromised with the false religious leaders who claimed to represent Amun concerning allowing worship of others gods within the organised religion of Atenism – a form of the Religion of Light established in those days by Akhenaten (Moses), still in existence to this day. However, the fact is that Tutankhaten did not make any such compromise. A clearer explanation of this subject is that Tutankhaten stated that Egyptians could honour these “gods” but only with the proper understanding that such images are merely physical representations of various celestial beings and characteristics of the Father of Greatness, the One God Aten.
Manichaeans’ main focus on the Crucifixion is in reference to the fact that the Light has been trapped within matter. To Manichaeans, this is the Crucifixion. Everything else around the various crucifixions of Isho is centered on that very fact.
This is referred to as “Jesus patibilis” in Latin. According to orthodox Manichaean thought, this is the suffering of Light – its crucifixion – each day that it is trapped within the physical world.
In summary, Manichaeans believe in the Crucifixion of Christ, and that such Crucifixion pointed back to the event when the Light was crucified within matter (the physical world). Manichaeans do not despise the Crucifixion, but rather, despise lies and other falsehoods concerning our faith written by uninformed individuals. There are also certain Manichaean sects from ages ago that maintained some doctrines that were not in line with those originally taught by the Holy Prophet Mani.
It is also a fact that Manichaeans despise the fact that the Light has been crucified and is harmed on a daily basis, especially by those who have no respect for living beings.
In every age Wisdom and Pure Teaching have always been brought to mankind by Messengers of God.”
In the divine arrangement, the Living Spirit manifests in various ages as Messengers of Light for the benefit of all humanity.
Numerous times throughout history, my servant Mani Khaila has offered his own physical body as a vessel for my presence to come unto you and teach you the Way of the Truth. (Teachings of Mir Izgadda)
Manichaeans also believe in the resurrection of Christ, but in the sense that he has been “resurrected” numerous times in the way of appearing throughout the centuries in different forms and images for the salvation of all humanity, to teach a way back to the glorious Home where the Light originally existed within the Presence of the Father of Greatness, who emanated His grace through the manifestation of the Living Spirit.
“All of the Divine Messengers are ultimately from the same source – the Living Spirit, who Himself being an emanation of the Compassion of the Lord of Heaven.” (Teachings of Mar Mani Khaila).
Prophet Mani Concerning the Crucifixion
The Messenger did not come there to show his Image to the Rulers in the world so that all the Rulers and Authorities might fashion a form on his Image, but he came for the sake of his Soul and his Son crucified in the All, to give him life and to work for him an escape, to free him from every chain and all the bonds in which he was chained and bound, and to save him from the affliction. (Karazuta d’Mar Mani)
They raised him upon the wood of the Cross, they crucified him on the Cross together with robbers; they took him down from the Cross and laid him in the tomb; but after three days he rose from the dead. (Karazuta d’Mar Mani)
You have made the Cross a Bema for yourself and have given the Law upon it.