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Document Details :
Title: The Epic of the Pearl
Author(s): RUSSEL, J.R.
Journal: Revue des Études Arméniennes
Volume: 28 Date: 2001-2002
The Hymn of the Pearl or Hymn of the Soul is a poem in Syriac, of which a Greek translation exists as well. The hymn in its Syriac original is attested in a tenth-century MS. of the apocryphal Acts of Thomas. ATh was itself probably composed early in the third century in east Syria, in Syriac. The Manichaeans accepted it subsequently as a canonical work, although it is not a precise exposition of their theology. But it is no more dogmatically comprehensive as a Christian work, at least from our point of view after some fifteen centuries in which defining features of a normative Christianity have crystallized. There is in it no reference to Christ's incarnation, crucifixion, or resurrection; and there is nothing about prevenient Divine grace. All that seems necessary to salvation is knowledge and abstention from sex (enkrateia).