Similarly the Armenian writer Gregory Magistros (c. 1040) accuses the Thonraki of teaching that "Moses saw not God, but the devil," and infers thence that they held Satan to be creator of heaven and earth, as well as of mankind.
The Thonraki, according to Gregory Magistros, held that "Jesus in the evening meal, spoke not of an offering of the mass, but of every table."
According to Gregory Magistros the Thonraki would say: "We are no worshippers of matter, but of God; we reckon the cross and the church and the priestly robes and the sacrifice of mass all for nothing, and only lay stress on the inner sense."
And other Armenian writers report the same of the Armenian Paulicians or Thonraki, and add that they smashed up crosses when they could.
Magistros reports the Thonraki as saying, "We love Paul and excrecrate Peter."
The same hatred of monkery characterized the Thonraki and inspires the Key of Truth.
The Thonraki equally denied the name of church to buildings of wood or stone, and called themselves the Catholic Church.
So the Thonraki taught that the baptismal water of the Church was "mere bath-water," i.e.
The modern Thonraki baptize in rivers, and in the 11th century when Gregory asked them why they did not allow themselves to be baptized, they answered: "Ye do not understand the mystery of baptism; we are in no hurry to be baptized, for baptism is death."
The same trait is reported of the Thonraki and of the real Manicheans.
The Synecdemi and Notarii dressed like other people; the Thonraki also scorned priestly vestments.
In many of their homilies Christ's baptism is also regarded as his regeneration by water and spirit, and this view almost transcends the modest adoptionism of the Thonraki as revealed in the Key of Truth.
So Gregory of Narck upbraids the Thonraki for their "anthropolatrous apostasy, their selfconf erred contemptible priesthood which is a likening of themselves to Satan" (= Christ in Thonraki parlance).
In 1837 we read of how an elect one of the Thonraki sect in Russian Armenia addressed his followers thus: "Lo, I am the cross: on my two hands light tapers, and give me adoration.
Among the later Cathars of Europe we find the repudiation of marriage defended on the ground that the only true marriage is of Christ with his bride the Virgin church, and perhaps this is why Paulicians and Thonraki would not make of marriage a religious rite or sacrament.
For this reason the Thonraki adhere to adult baptism, which in ancient wise they confer at thirty years of age or later, and have retained in its primitive significance the rite of giving a Christian name to a child on the eighth day from birth.
It is hardly likely that the Thonraki of the 10th century would have rejected water-baptism and yet have retained unction with holy oil; this Gregory Magistros attests they did, but he is an unreliable witness.
It is then on the whole probable that the Paulicians who appear in Armenian records as early as 550, and were afterwards= called Thonraki, by the Greeks by the Armenian name Paulikiani, were the remains of a primitive adoptionist Christianity, widely dispersed in the east and already condemned under the name of Pauliani by the council of Nice in 325.
- iii.; Karapet Ter-Mkhrttschian, Die Paulikianer (Leipzig, 1893); Arsak Ter Mikelian, Die armenische Kirche (Leipzig, 1892); Basil Sarkisean, A Study of the Manicheo-Paulician Heresy of the Thonraki (Venice, San Lazaro, 1893, in Armenian); F.