Document Type : Research Paper
Assistant Professor, Department of Oriental Religions, Faculty of World Religions, University of Religions and Denominations, Iran.
The editing, reconstruction, translation and commentary upon all the extant fragments of two Parthian Ewangelyōnīg bāšāhān (the ‘Hymns of the Gospel’) from the Manichaean Middle Iranian collection found in Turfan, Xinjiang, China, i.e. M88/II/, 91/I(?)/, M92, and M898, under one umbrella, is the most important goal of this article. We have tried to answer the substantive question of why the Ewangelyōnīg hymns had nothing to do at all with Mani’s Living Gospel itself, namely the actual prose text of the Living Gospel; in fact, Ewangelyōnīg hymns present a poetic description of the New Testament, as Mani saw it. We have argued that the Manichaean hymnology and tradition of writing ‘hymns’ and ‘psalms’ is not an Iranian tradition, although there was poetry in the Iranian tradition, like the poetry in Avestan and Pahlavi texts. This contribution is an attempt to shed light on the contents of the Ewangelyōnīg hymns, both thematically and structurally.