Reverend Steve's Christian Website

What Is the Ethiopian Bible?

updated: September 3, 2010

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Many Christians are under the impression there is a singular

bible that is available to all and is undisputed as the true word

of God. Both of these are false assumptions. Not only has the

Bible yet to be translated into some 2,393 languages, but also

the actual content of the bible varies as well. One of the best

examples of this is the Ethiopian bible. 


81 are the Old Testament and New Testament books which have been accepted as canonical books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, as listed hereunder.

Oldest Christian Nation

1.    Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world, and many scientist believe it to be where humans first appeared on Earth. Ethiopia is also the oldest Christian nation dating back to the time of the Apostle Phillip. In Acts 8:27-39 we are told of a royal official from Ethiopia who wanted to learn about Christ. The teachings of Christ were taken back to Ethiopia and spread quickly. Some time in the 300s the Ethiopian Emperor Ezana was baptised. As a result, Ethiopia has a strong Christian heritage.

Ethiopia Stands Alone

2.    Modern day Ethiopia is a nation of more than 83 million people who are almost evenly divided between Christian and Muslim. The 1.1 million square kilometers of Ethiopia are completely land locked, which is somewhat representative of its past. Ethiopia was a strong Christian nation, which was cut off from Europe by the armies of Islam. Forgotten by the West, Ethiopia was left to develop on its own in a hostile environment. As a portion of this development, the Ethiopian church developed the Ethiopian bible.

The Old Testament

3.    The King James bible contains 39 books in the old testament. The Ethiopian bible contains a total of 51 books. The only book of the old testament found in the King James bible, which is not in the Ethiopian bible is the book of Lamentations. There are however 13 books in the Ethiopian bible which are not to be found in the King James bible. It is not surprising the Ethiopian bible contains almost the entire old testament from the King James bible, since Ethiopia had a very strong Jewish presence. The books of the old testament which appear in the Ethiopian bible but not the King James are:

2 Ezra
Ezra Sutuel
1 Maccabees
2 Maccabees
3 Maccabees
Book of Joshua the son of Sirac
The book of Josephas the son of Bengorion

New Testament

4.    The Ethiopian new testament contains the same 27 books of the new testament from Matthew through the book of Revelation. Unlike the King James bible, however, the Ethiopian bible continues past Revelations with an additional eight books. These books include;
Sirate Tsion (the book of order)
Tizaz (the book of Herald)
The 1st book of Dominos
The 2nd book of Dominos
The book of Clement

Canon of the Ethiopian Church

5.    While many of the books found in the old testament of the Ethiopian bible are absent in the King James version, there are some interesting facts surrounding these books. One such example are the books of Enoch and Jubilee which are ancient Jewish texts. While they do not appear in the old testament of the King James bible, they are quoted in the King James new testament. Ethiopian scripture is based on some of the most ancient transcripts and records in existence, which gives the Ethiopian bible a broader content than any other version of the bible, and some feel a truer and more complete telling of the word of God.