Manichaean Psalter

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The Manichaean Psalter is a Manichaean text written in Coptic.[1] It is believed to have been compiled in the late 3rd century[2] or the mid-4th century.[3][1] The Psalter is believed to contain remnants of some of the earliest extant Manichaean literature.[4]


The Psalter was discovered at Medinet Madi in Egypt.[5] Like other works discovered at this site, it was written in a Coptic dialect typical of the Lycopolis region.[6] After its discovery, it was edited and published by Charles Allberry in 1938–9 from manuscripts in the Chester Beatty collection and in the Prussian Academy of Sciences.[citation needed]


It contains references to Old Testament apocrypha[5] and references the Acts of Thomas, the Acts of John, and other Acts of the Apostles approvingly.[7] It refers to some events believed to be derived from the Acts of Andrew.[8] One of the psalms draws a line of tradition from Adam through Seth and Enoch to Mani.[5] One author has described one of the hymns as containing a "deep love of Jesus".[3]


  1. ^ a b Barnstone & Meyer 2009, p. 530.
  2. ^ Klauck 2008, p. 16.
  3. ^ a b MacNeil 1988, p. 97.
  4. ^ Stroumsa 2015, p. 92.
  5. ^ a b c Richter, Horton & Ohlhafer 2015, p. 75.
  6. ^ Corrigan & Rasimus 2013, p. 276.
  7. ^ Klauck 2008, p. 16,114.
  8. ^ Elliott 1993, p. 231.


  • Barnstone, W.; Meyer, M. (2009). The Gnostic Bible: Revised and Expanded Edition. Shambhala. ISBN 978-0-8348-2414-0.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Corrigan, K.; Rasimus, T. (2013). Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World: Essays in Honour of John D. Turner. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-25476-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Elliott, J.K. (1993). The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-152032-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Klauck, H.J. (2008). The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction. Baylor University Press. ISBN 978-1-60258-159-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • MacNeil, B. (1988). One City, One Bishop?: Ecclesiological Reflections on the Eastern Catholic Churches (The Placid Lectures 1987). Placid lecture series. Dharmaram Publications ; published for Centre for Indian and Inter-religious Studies, Rome.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Richter, S.G.; Horton, C.; Ohlhafer, K. (2015). Mani in Dublin: Selected Papers from the Seventh International Conference of the International Association of Manichaean Studies in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, 8–12 September 2009. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-28912-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Stroumsa, G.G. (2015). The Making of the Abrahamic Religions in Late Antiquity. Oxford Studies in the Abrahamic Religions. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-105912-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)