Do Manichaeans believe that Mani was the final prophet in a long line of prophets?
Manichaeans do not believe that Mani was the final prophet. Manichaeism does not have the concept of a final prophet, and it is a misinterpretation that originated from later Islamic scholars who studied Manichaeism. The unfortunate misinterpretation has been carried over by some western scholars who have not fully studied ancient Manichaean texts.
Manichaeism, as founded by the Prophet Mani, does not claim that he was the last in a line of prophets. Instead, Manichaeans believe that Mani was the “Apostle of Light” and the revealer of divine knowledge. Manichaeans believe that the Message of Light was divinely revealed to Mani and that some of Mani’s teachings were drawn from various religious traditions, including Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Buddhism, to present the Gospel in a manner that could be understood by the culture in which it was being delivered. This is why one can find Buddhist Manichaeans (Monijiao), Christian Manichaeans, Hindu Manichaeans and Islamic Manichaeans throughout history. Mani’s message was brought by many apostles and teachers to different lands and dressed in the culture and language of the people of each of those lands.