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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The church fathers were appalled in particular by the Gnostics' condemnation of creation. But the fact that much of their teaching was in many respects not so far from Christian dogma must have disturbed the advocates of the “real” Christian church. In some of these Gnostic systems, Christ was the main savior figure; in others, it was the forefathers of the Old Testament who guaranteed salvation; in Manichaeism, it was the new Messenger of Light, the apostle Mani, who, coming after Christ, would finally give the right revelation to the people and excel Christ in doing so. This article deals with religious groups such as these as they existed in Egypt in the Roman and late antique periods. Papyrology has played a decisive role in our understanding of the religious movements of the first centuries ce in Egypt and elsewhere in the Mediterranean.

Keywords: Gnostic systems, Christ, papyrology, creation, Mani, church fathers, Old Testament

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