Bible Review 17:4, August 2001

Adam Meets the Evil Archon

The Biblical Roots of a Persian Religion

By John C. Reeves

The first world religion wasn’t Judaism, Christianity or Islam. It was Manichaeism. Today, even the name of this long-dead religion is unfamiliar. But its foundation story will not be—or at least not entirely. For here, Adam, Eve and the other beloved characters of Genesis are woven into an alien account of a primal battle between the Father of Greatness and the Sons of Darkness. Here, the biblical forefather Seth, the son of Adam and Eve, appears as the spiritual ancestor of Mani, the third-century C.E. Babylonian prophet who founded Manichaeism.

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