Gnostic Studies on the Web


From: (Jim Howard)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.gnostic
Subject: Mo-ni Jiao
Date: 21 Mar 1994 04:26:21 GMT
Organization: Clark Internet Services, Inc., Ellicott City, MD USA

Mo-ni Jiao is a little know Chinese religion which came in from the West. Literally, the name means the teachings of Mo-ni. The original writings of this religion were written in Syriac in the third century AD, except for one, which was written in Middle Persian. The original Syriac-Aramaic writings dealt with Jewish concepts, portraying Jesus, or Jesus the Messiah, as the person who awakens Adam and Eve to the source of the light within them, and tries to keep them from following the will of the evil Jewish god of greed and having children. But even in the first Persian writings, the religion of Mo-ni was already being adapted to the Zoroastrian religion, and the evil god of creation in the book of Genesis becomes identified with the Zoroastrian god of greed, Az, and further with Ahriman, the devil himself.

The god of light, revealed by Jesus to Adam and Eve, becomes identified with the Zoroastrian god of light, Ohrmazd. But as the religion of Mo-ni spread further east and entered into China, the religion reached its culmination and final, complete form. There, the beings of the religion, translated into Chinese, became identified with deities of Chinese Buddhism, such as Guan Yin. Whereas today there only exist fragments of the original Syriac and Persian writings, in Chinese there exist three complete writings of the religion of Mo-ni, called the Religion of Light, in China. The earlier Syriac and Persian sources are not forgotten, and there are transcribed in Chinese characters, also a few hymns from the original Syriac and Persian. There also exists in southern China, in the Fujian province, a temple with a statue which has an inscription on it to Mo-ni, the Buddha of Light.

Current Research [click here for more info on current developments and scholarship.]
Historical Overview [click here for a historical overview of the origins of these traditions in China.]