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By Helmut Thielicke

Creation through Martin E. Marty

A veteran theologian and minister deals his clever suggestions to newbies within the box at the problems of training theology in a church frequently skeptical of theological pursuit. Thielicke stresses the significance of retaining one's non secular future health during technical theological inquiry.

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Gospel fragments cited in Latin by the African doctors of the Manichaean Church during their exegetical jousts with Augustine, as well as fragments of Jesus' parabolic narratives found at Turfan, show that a harmonized form of the Gospels was also used by disciples at the two extremities of Manichaeism's geo­ graphical expanse. Analysis of these fragments reveals that this harmony did not derive from Tatian's Diatessaron and, moreover, that it existed in several versions. Owing to his Elchasaitic background, Mani had also become familiar with the writings that were read in the baptist community, not only the book of revelations that had been confided to Elchasai, but also, as he grew older, the various books of revelations and visions ascribed to the authority of the first messengers of God that were then very much in vogue in Judeo-Christian circles (the Apocalypses of Adam, Seth, Enoch, and Noah).

A lo­ cal popular tradition, recorded by Ibn al-Nadim, later made Gaukhai the prophet's birthplace, no doubt in memory of his farewell visit made there. Mani arrived finally at Beth-Lapat in the company of his dragoman Nuhzadag (bar-Nuh), Abzakhuya (Abzaxya) the Persian, and Kustai. The police led the group at once to the royal residence. Warned of Mani's ar­ rival, Karder in his turn informed the king's aide-de-camp, who warned Bahram, now dining on his return from a hunting party: "Mani is here; he waits at the door:' Bahram had him instruct Mani to wait a moment.

But this did not in fact come to pass, for Ardashir's son and son-in-law had remained Zoroastrian, which is to say that they maintained the state religion under the control of the priests of fire. Mani, like all religious leaders, recognized that the success of a mission and the future of a church depend on political will. With the accession of Hormizd (Ohrmizd) I to the throne of his father, Shapur, he hastened to make his way to the capital. It is unlikely that Mani waited for events to develop.

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