The Albigensians or Albigenses (also called Cathari "the pure"), prevalent during the 12th and 13th centuries in western Europe, particularly in southern France and northern Italy, rejected the authority of Church and State (Jude 8; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17). They appealed to the Scriptures as authority for their doctrines, mostly the New Testament, because the Old Law was regarded by them according to their teaching as mainly a demoniacal creation. The abuse of vernacular translations of Sacred Scripture made available to the common people was a prominent feature of heresies during the roughly 400-year period from 1100 to 1500 (see 2 Peter 3:14-18). Like Marcion in the 2nd century, they taught the Manichaean doctrine of two Gods, found also in Zoroastrianism, and that the evil God created matter and the whole physical universe to entrap and enslave divine spirits of light, and was the God of the Old Testament and the God of the Jews. They forbade marriage, sexual relations between spouses, condemned the begetting of children, and praised those who chose to starve themselves to death. See 1 Timothy 4:1-3.
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