List Of Books In The Ethiopian Bible

List Of Books In The Ethiopian Bible: Exploring Ancient Scriptures

The Ethiopian Bible, also known as the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Canon, is a collection of religious texts that hold great significance within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. This unique compilation of books comprises the Old and New Testaments, as well as several additional texts not found in other biblical canons. In this article, we will delve into the list of books in the Ethiopian Bible, along with five fascinating facts about this ancient scripture.

List of Books in the Ethiopian Bible:

1. The Old Testament: The Ethiopian Bible includes all the books found in the traditional Old Testament canon, such as Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, and Isaiah. However, it also contains additional books like the Book of Enoch, Jubilees, and the Ascension of Isaiah, which are classified as apocryphal texts in other biblical traditions.

2. The New Testament: The New Testament section of the Ethiopian Bible encompasses the same books as found in other Christian canons, including the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles of Paul. However, it also includes unique books such as the First and Second Clement, the Book of the Covenant, and the Sinodos.

3. Books of Ethiopian origin: The Ethiopian Bible features several books that are exclusive to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. These include the Book of the Covenant, the Ethiopian Book of Enoch, and the Kebra Nagast, which narrates the story of the Queen of Sheba and her relationship with King Solomon.

4. Importance of the Book of Enoch: The Book of Enoch is highly revered in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, despite its exclusion from most biblical canons. It offers insights into the fallen angels, the Nephilim, and prophecies of the Messiah. This text has greatly influenced Ethiopian religious and cultural traditions.

5. Preservation of ancient Jewish texts: The Ethiopian Bible has played a crucial role in preserving ancient Jewish texts that were lost or not widely known in other parts of the world. For example, the Ethiopian Bible contains the complete Ge’ez version of the Book of Jubilees, which was only partially preserved in other biblical canons.

Unique Facts about the Ethiopian Bible:

1. Ancient language: The Ethiopian Bible was originally written in Ge’ez, an ancient Semitic language that has been used in Ethiopian liturgy and literature for centuries. Ge’ez is still used as the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church today.

2. Manuscript tradition: The Ethiopian Bible has a rich manuscript tradition, with numerous handwritten copies dating back to ancient times. These manuscripts are often beautifully decorated, showcasing the artistic and calligraphic skills of Ethiopian scribes.

3. Bookbinding tradition: Ethiopian Bibles are traditionally bound using wooden boards and leather covers, adorned with intricate designs and metal clasps. This unique bookbinding tradition adds to the aesthetic appeal of these ancient texts.

4. Unique chapter numbering: The Ethiopian Bible follows a different chapter numbering system compared to other biblical canons. The chapter numbers in the Ethiopian Bible are typically higher than in other translations, resulting in some variations when referencing specific passages.

5. Ritual significance: The Ethiopian Bible is not only a religious text but also holds great ritual significance within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It is often believed to possess healing powers, and its presence during religious ceremonies is considered essential for spiritual blessings.


1. Is the Ethiopian Bible recognized by other Christian denominations?
Yes, the Ethiopian Bible is recognized by other Christian denominations as an ancient biblical canon, though they may differ in the inclusion of certain books.

2. How many books are in the Ethiopian Bible?
The Ethiopian Bible comprises 81 books in total, including some apocryphal and Ethiopian-specific texts.

3. Can I find an English translation of the Ethiopian Bible?
Yes, there are English translations available that include the books found in the Ethiopian Bible, providing access to a wider audience.

4. Are the additional books in the Ethiopian Bible considered equal to the canonical books?
While the additional books are highly regarded within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, they are not considered equal to the canonical books in terms of authority.

5. Do other Orthodox Christian churches use the Ethiopian Bible?
No, the Ethiopian Bible is specific to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and is not used by other Orthodox Christian churches.

6. How did the Ethiopian Bible come into existence?
The Ethiopian Bible’s compilation evolved over centuries, influenced by various factors including Jewish and early Christian traditions.

7. Are there any differences in content between the Ethiopian Bible and other biblical canons?
Yes, there are differences in content, with the Ethiopian Bible including unique books like the Book of Enoch and the Kebra Nagast.

8. Are there any rituals associated with reading the Ethiopian Bible?
Yes, reading the Ethiopian Bible is often accompanied by ritual practices, such as burning incense and reciting prayers.

9. What is the significance of the Book of Enoch in Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity?
The Book of Enoch is considered sacred and holds prophetic and theological importance within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

10. Can the Ethiopian Bible be accessed online?
Yes, many digitized versions of the Ethiopian Bible can be found online, allowing wider access to its texts and translations.

11. Can I visit a museum to see ancient Ethiopian Bible manuscripts?
Yes, several museums around the world, including the Ethiopian National Museum, house ancient Ethiopian Bible manuscripts.

12. Are there any ongoing efforts to preserve and digitize Ethiopian Bible manuscripts?
Yes, various organizations and institutions are actively involved in preserving and digitizing Ethiopian Bible manuscripts to ensure their long-term preservation.

13. How does the Ethiopian Bible influence Ethiopian culture and identity?
The Ethiopian Bible plays a fundamental role in shaping Ethiopian culture, religious practices, and identity, reflecting the deep intertwining of faith and heritage in Ethiopian society.

In conclusion, the Ethiopian Bible stands as a unique and sacred collection of texts within the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. With its list of books, including additional texts not found in other biblical canons, this ancient scripture provides a fascinating glimpse into Ethiopian religious traditions, language, and cultural heritage.