Ethiopian Bible

Written in Ge’ez (ancient Ethiopian) on goat skin, the illustrated Garima Gospels have been carbon-dated to between 330 and 650 AD. They have been attributed to Abba Garima, a Constantinopolitan monk arriving in 494 AD. It includes many of the Apocrypha. It was translated into the more popular Amharic, and by the next century Christianity had become Ethiopia’s official national religion.

January 1, 494

A group of Syrian monks dubbed The “Nine Saints” translate major portions of the Bible into Ge’ez, an ancient South Semitic language.

In the 10th century BC, the Queen of Sheba, offering tribute and seeking wisdom, travels to Jerusalem to meet King Solomon. She got more than she bargained for [or perhaps not]. The Kebra Negast, Ethiopia’s national holy book, relates that Solomon did indeed impregnate the Queen and that their son, Menelik, became Ethiopia’s first emperor.

Solomon receiving the Queen of Sheba [Wikimedia Commons]

Orthodox Ethiopians claim that the Bible’s Ark of the Covenant is housed in a cathedral in Aksum. The Roman Catholic Church recognizes Frumentius as the missionary responsible for first introducing the Christian religion to Ethiopia.


Further Reading

Featured Image (when shown)

Eliza Codex 23 Ethiopian Biblical Manuscript [Wikimedia Commons]


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And of them was the whole earth overspread