top of page

Christ In Manichaeism

Updated: Apr 20

I will be attempting to briefly explain the roles of Jesus Christ within our teachings and truth as revealed by Mani. Jesus has various roles which can lead to some confusion which I’ll, hopefully, clear up after having read through the Kephalaia and other scriptures which increased my understanding of his importance. I’ll try and summarize it as best as I can. Firstly there is Jesus The Splendor. Jesus The Splendor is the son of God, I’ve seen confusion regarding this and was confused myself. Essentially what this means is that Jesus is more intimately connected with light than the other emanations, he emanated from the Father directly rather than being created, Christ is pure light as opposed to the other emanations. The emanations themselves are called Gods in Manichaeism and indeed they are, but not on the same level as Christ. Christ is directly from The Father Of Greatness and separate from him and as such is pure light whereas, the other emanations are different. Christ is extremely intimately connected with the Father Of Greatness and as such, is again, “pure light.” As for the roles that Jesus The Splendour does there are several that I’ll try and cover briefly. Jesus The Splendour descends through the heavens to enlighten Adam (and us by extension) acting as our Savior who awakened us to recall our divine origins. Jesus The Splendour is also responsible for having sent the various messengers of light throughout the ages. He emanated The Light Mind which assists in awakening us to our divinity via the church or “rock.” Something that had confused me personally was “Jesus The Youth” which seems to simply represent our souls and the light trapped in the material universe. Jesus The Splendour also assists our souls at death, offering protection and guidance. Jesus The Splendour is also our protector. Protecting and helping to guide our souls while we are here trapped in the flesh, he helps invigorate our souls and of course, he is referred to as a healer and physician for us and our souls, I take this to be tied in with his guidance and care he offers us all the time.   Next is regarding Jesus The Apostle whom was the Christ here on Earth. Jesus The Apostle is Jesus The Splendour, the same who came and revealed gnosis to Adam. Jesus The Splendour did indeed take the form of flesh, or at least the appearance of flesh, but for all intents and purposes was a man and his “flesh” could be harmed and affected as such. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be anything explicitly explaining just how Jesus came into the world, the main possibilities seem to be that either Jesus simply manifested here in his faux flesh, was born of a woman, and then truly came to be Jesus The Splendour at his baptism. Ultimately the suggestion that he was not born of flesh and simply took an ethereal form with faux flesh is the prevailing theme throughout Manichean texts. No matter which way it truly happened, as I’ve seen conflicting things in different texts, he came down to Earth and took the form and appearance of flesh, which way may be left up to your own interpretation, ultimately though it doesn’t matter, what matters is he was here. The events listed in one of Mani’s sermons in the Kephalaia lists the following which is just a list of events going over each is too much for the intended purpose of this.Descent > Manifestation > chose disciples > ministry > Satan influences Judas > Betrayal > Arrest > Trial > Crucifixion > Entombed > Resurrected > He then “breathed into them his Holy

Spirit. He sent them through the whole world that they would preach the greatness.” (his apostles) and he himself then ascended.

Finally, there is Jesus The Judge, the eschatological Jesus who will return during the end times to separate the righteous from the sinners and take the righteous to the Heavens. That about sums up Jesus The Judge, if you want more in-depth descriptions and writings for Jesus The Judge it’s very elaborated on in the Eschatological sections in the Shabuhragan. Now I’ll very briefly explain why Mani is called “The Apostle Of Christ.” Mani is the paraclete as promised by Christ. In essence, Mani was sent his heavenly twin, the Paraclete, which taught Mani the mysteries and truth that Mani revealed in his writings, and Mani himself is the manifestation of the Paraclete on Earth, hence him being dubbed “The Apostle Of Jesus Christ.” Mani was not here to replace our Lord’s teachings but rather to complete them. Hopefully, that explains the theology of Christ in Manichaeism in a simple way to understand!

75 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Thank you for this clear summary of Manichaean Christology! Jesus be praised in Splendour, Apostleship and Judgement!


Paulo Cruz
Paulo Cruz
Apr 19

Let Jesus be praised! The Son of God of Light, Prophet of the Salvation and Teacher!

bottom of page