Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

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The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church became the state church of Ethiopia in the 4th century with the appointment of Abune Sellama as bishop. It traces its beginning to the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch, treasurer to the Candace, Queen of Ethiopia. Acts 8:26-39.

From the 4th century, beginning with Abune Sellama appointed as bishop, the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church was always appointed by the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria in Egypt. The bishops who succeeded Abune Sellama were always Egyptian Copts. The Ethiopian Orthodox church was a part of the Coptic Orthodox church, and recognized the patriarchy of the Pope and Patriarch in Alexandria until 1959,when the Coptic Pope made the church an autocephalous church with its own patriarch.

Ark of the Covenant

The Church claims to have the original ark of the covenant in Aksum at the Church of St. Mary of Zion. Not even the high priest of Aksum can enter its resting chamber. Its sole custodian is a virgin monk who cannot leave the sacred grounds until his death.[1]

Ethiopian Church Calendar

The chronology of the Ethiopian church follows the Era of Incarnation that is it dates from our Lord's birth; there is a difference of 7 or 8 years between the western and Ethiopian systems. Because the Ethiopian church holds that our Lord was born 5500 years after the creation of the world this gives the 7 or 8 years difference between the Gregorian and Ethiopian Chronologies.[2] Bible scholars believe King Herod died in 4 BC which means Christ's birth occurred between 6 BC and 4 BC. This means the Ethiopian Calendar is probably closer to the correct year of Jesus's birth than the Gregorian Calendar in use in most of the world.[3][4]

Bible Canon

The canon of the Ethiopic Bible of the Orthodox Ethiopian Church as a whole differs both in the Old and New Testament from that of any other churches. The books written in the Geez language and on parchment are numerous. The Ethiopic Bible contains 46 books in the Old Testament and 35 books in the New Testament, making a biblical canon of 81 books. Including the books of Jublee and Enoch which are rarely included in other canons.

These are the following:
A. The Holy Books of the Old Testament
1. Genesis
2. Exodus
3. Leviticus
4. Numbers
5. Deuteronomy
6. Joshua
7. Judges
8. Ruth
9. I and II Samuel
10. I and II Kings
11. I Chronicles
12. II Chronicles
13. Jublee
14. Enoch
15. Ezra and Nehemia
16. Ezra (2nd) and Ezra Sutuel
17. Tobit
18. Judith
19. Esther
20. I Maccabees
21. II and III Maccabees
22. Job
23. Psalms
24. Proverbs
25. Tegsats (Reproof)
26. Metsihafe Tibeb (the books of wisdom)
27. Ecclesiastes
28. The Song of Songs
29. Isaiah
30. Jeremiah
31. Ezekiel
32. Daniel
33. Hosea
34. Amos
35. Micah
36. Joel
37. Obadiah
38. Jonah
39. Nahum
40. Habakkuk
41. Zephaniah
42. Haggai
43. Zechariah
44. Malachi
45. Book of Joshua the son of Sirac
46. The Book of Josephas the Son of Bengorion

B. The holy books of the New Testament
1. Matthew
2. Mark
3. Luke
4. John
5. The Acts
6. Romans
7. I Corinthians
8. II Corinthians
9. Galatians
10. Ephesians
11. Philippians
12. Colossians
13. I Thessalonians
14. II Thessalonians
15. I Timothy
16. II Timothy
17. Titus
18. Philemon
19. Hebrews
20. I Peter
21. II Peter
22. I John
23. II John
24. III John
25. James
26. Jude
27. Revelation
28. Sirate Tsion (the book of order)
29. Tizaz (the book of Herald)
30. Gitsew
31. Abtilis
32. The I book of Dominos
33. The II book of Dominos
34. The book of Clement
35. Didascalia

See also


Biblical Canon

Coptic Church

(Indian) Malankara Orthodox Church


  1. britannica, " Where Is the Ark of the Covenant? "
  3. CE editors, “ Was Jesus Born in 4 BC?”
  4. Hope of Israel Ministries, “ Did Herod the "Great" Really Die In 4 B.C.? “ [1]

External links