"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Ethiopian Ezekiel

As the largest Eastern Church on the African continent, as well as the one with arguably the most colourful liturgy and a fascinating if still somewhat nascent iconographical tradition, the Ethiopian Tewahado Church has long fascinated me, and I have often wished I lived close to an actual community so I could attend their liturgy and get to know their people in greater depth.

A recent critical edition helps us see once more the deep roots of Ethiopian Christianity, and its close ties to the Arabic and Syriac traditions: Michael A. Knibb, The Ethiopic Text of the Book of Ezekiel: A Critical Edition (Oxford UP, 2015), 248pp.

About this book we are told:
Ezekiel is one of the few books of the Ethiopic Old Testament of which no critical edition has hitherto existed, and the aim of this work is to fill that gap. It provides a critical edition of the oldest accessible text of the Geez version and is based on a collation of fifteen manuscripts. The Ethiopic version is a daughter version of the Septuagint, and the work sheds light on the character of the original translation and on its subsequent history. The latter included the revision of the translation in the early mediaeval period, which was in part influenced by a Syriac-based Arabic version, and a further revision of the translation based on the Masoretic text.

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