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The Ethiopic Bible
The Bible was translated into Classical Ethiopic (Ge’ez) – mainly from the Greek Septuagint – from the 5th century CE onwards (see Knibb 1999). In addition to the Old and New Testament known in other churches, the Ethiopic bible includes a significant number of apocryphal books, some of them preserved only in their Ethiopic version. In fact, the precise scope of the Ethiopic biblical canon is not quite clear; see this list, and consult Cowley’s article for more information.
On this website you can find digital versions of many Ethiopic books of the Old Testament as well as the entire New Testament. All these versions are critical editions of the books, that is, editions prepared by scholars and based on a comparison of several manuscripts for each book.
In the left-hand column there is a digitized version of the Ethiopic Octateuch and Book of Psalms. In the right-hand column there are mostly scanned copies of many other Ethiopic Old Testament books (some of them are digitized too). Click the pertinent Information-Button to learn more.
To switch between the Ethiopic Old and New Testament, click on the Rembrandt images of Moses and Jesus.
Several Old Testament books are missing. For some of them (like Jeremiah or Ezechiel), the reason is simply that no critical edition exists. For the following books, the critical edition is protected by copyright and therefore cannot be placed here: Daniel (ed. Löfgren, 1927), Jonah to Malachi (ed. Löfgren, 1930), Ecclesiates (ed. Mercer, 1931), Josippon (ed. Murad, 1938), Song of Songs (ed. Gleave, 1951), Micah (ed. Fuhs, 1968), Hosea (ed. Fuhs, 1971), Chronicles (ed. Grébaut, 1974), Enoch (ed. Knibb, 1978), Proverbs (ed. Pilkington, 1979, unpublished), Jubilees (ed. VanderKam, 1989), Ascencion of Isaiah (ed. Perrone, 1995).
For some of the latter books, an older critical edition is available here; such editions – supplanted by newer ones that cannot be placed here – are coloured grey.
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Updated: July, 2010