This is the official web site of the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible Project
We are dedicated to making the COMPLETE Ethiopian Orthodox Bible available in the English language. Although unknown to most of the world, the Bible of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church contains books that are not to be found in any other Bible canon (with the exception of the Eritrean Orthodox Church which itself split off from the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and with the exception in the case of some of the books of the EOTC Old Testament accepted by Ethiopian Jews known as Beta Israel who preserve an ancient pre-rabbinic form of Judaism.)
Already some of these books have been translated into English. Enoch and Jubilees are well known among serious bible scholars. The book of Enoch is quoted in Jude and is also alluded to several times in the New Testament accepted by all Christian churches. Enoch is also quoted approvingly by the early Church Fathers who recognized the Book of Enoch as canonical. Among the Dead Sea Scrolls partial copies of Enoch along with Jubilees, Tobit and Sirach which are also in the EOTC canon were found. The Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest surviving scrolls of the Bible! The EOTC has 45 million members making it one of the largest churches in the entire world, thus a great number of people follow its Bible Canon.
Ideally we would prefer to translate the remaining as of yet untranslated books of the Bible from the oldest Ge’ez copies however we are also willing to translate from the somewhat later Amharic texts as well. We are currently looking for individuals who can read Ge’ez and Amharic fluently as well as English. We welcome priests, monks and scholars to contact us and volunteer their time and assistance. Full credit will be given and the individuals name and title and portion of Scripture translated will be included with the translations along with a dedication if they wish. The Translator may also choose to remain anonymous
We will assign books or portions of books to different individuals or accept translations of different books or portions by individuals who working in coordination will facilitate the completion of the entire project as quickly as possible. Given the monumental nature of this undertaking it may take many years, we therefore hope to release portions of the project incrementally.
If you are in a position to volunteer your time and assistance and you meet the above criteria please contact us using the form on this site. Our progress depends entirely upon the level of assistance and support that we receive.
Ethiopian Orthodox Bible Project Committee
We will address some frequently asked questions below in order to save time answering these same questions by e-mail:
Many Ethiopians born in the US, Europe or abroad cannot read Ge’ez or Amharic fluently, additionally English is one of the largest spoken and written languages in the world translating the entire EOTC Bible into English will be a major step in making it accessible to the world! Of course we are willing to see the books translated into other languages however our goal is to complete the translation into English first. Additionally some of the books have already been translated into English; it is therefore a logical choice since it has already been started.
What are your credentials?
We are Bible scholars and Bible students who wish to have a complete copy of ALL the books of the EOTC Bible in English enabling us to read and study them. All that is required to participate in this project is knowledge of the languages of Ge’ez or Amharic and English ideally with great fluency.
We would like to find the most qualified and expert translators possible who are willing to help! If you wish to be paid however as of yet we do not have funds for that, at present we are looking for unpaid volunteers. We will only consider hiring persons in the future if we are absolutely unable to find unpaid volunteers.
How long will this take?
It could take years it all depends on the level of support and assistance we receive. If you can help please volunteer, if you know someone who may be able to help please tell them about this web site or send them a link.
What is the role of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in this project?
We eagerly invite the assistance of the church and its oversight with all respect and sincerity!
We welcome the churches assistance in the project and invite the EOTC to offer reviews/comments/suggestions upon its completion as well. We are not trying to usurp the role of the church but to expedite the process of making the entire EOTC Bible available to the world! We are sincerely grateful to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church for preserving and protecting these books down through the ages! It is only proper that we recognize that accomplishment and show proper respect and deference for it.
This web site while being non-sectarian in nature recognizes and respects the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church for preserving the Bible and seeks its collaboration and oversight with all respect and sincerity. We invite church officials, bishops, monks and priests to contact us.
How can I help?
If you can read Amharic, Ge’ez and English fluently please contact us and volunteer your time and assistance. If you have copies of the books in Ge’ez or Amharic please send them to us or donate them. We are still awaiting some of the books. The Ethiopian Canon includes a Narrow and a Broader Canon and the books of the Broader Canon are not easy to obtain. We have purchased a Bible containing the books of the narrow canon for the Old Testament and we now have it.
We welcome donations if you cannot provide scholarly assistance to us. If you wish to donate to our fund we would be most grateful. We will eventually go to Ethiopia and hire persons to engage or assist in this work if no other alternative is possible!
We will complete this project by any means necessary because it is necessary and worthwhile! The most remarkable thing about this project is that someone has not done it sooner or finished it already! That question remains a mystery. In 2012 we still do not have a complete EOTC Bible in the English language!
How can I donate?
We will set up a PayPal account. You will be able to donate electronically through PayPal. All donations are final under all circumstances and non refundable. If you are unsure about contributing then please do not donate. We do not yet have tax exempt status. To become a US corporation or tax exempt can cost a considerable amount, we simply do not have those resources at present, but we hope perhaps in time we will. You can make a difference! You can also buy books or other items from our online store.
I think you should leave this project to the church!
We would love to do that. We welcome help from priests or monks on here with all respect and sincerity. We feel that to have such participation would only give this project further legitimacy and that it would be appropriate for the church which safeguarded these scriptures to be involved in the translation of them! We would love to do that.
What kind of Translation is this?
We want a literal and accurate translation. Ideally we wish to offer an interlinear or a dual English, Ge’ez and Amharic edition. We are not interested in a translation based on an individual’s interpretation but rather an honest literal translation. If a verse is felt to need clarification badly or footnotes we can certainly add them however the text itself must remain literal and free of any interpretation or paraphrasing.
There is an “Ethiopian Orthodox Bible” and a “Universal Bible” online for sale? Someone already did this!
There are Ethiopian language bibles sometimes on eBay or sometimes online on book store sites. There is even one in English calling itself the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible but it isn’t what it purports to be. It contains books not in the EOTC canon and it leaves out plenty of books which are in it, the same is true of the “Universal Bible”! They are not accurate representations based on their titles and are not in any way affiliated with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and the editors/compilers do not seem to be familiar with the actual canon of the church, books are missing and books are included which are not in the canon as well! Do not be deceived by these misleading titles please. This work has not been done yet unfortunately!
Yes some books like Enoch, Jubilees and most recently Meqabyan have been translated into English but MANY books have not yet including the entire Old and New Testament Broader Canons. It is also important to note that Meqabyan is not “Maccabees” as many web sites erroneously claim. While the name may be similar they are entirely different books as anyone who has read them can attest.
Can you tell us who will own the copyright to these books and will you make any money from them?
At present our staff is made up entirely of unpaid volunteers! We will grant the right to reprint and freely distribute the books provided full credit is given and they are reprinted in full. What could be fairer?
We wish to offer all the books of the EOTC canon not yet translated eventually all for free online provided funds permit. We hope to fund this entire project through voluntary donations. This is about making the entire EOTC Bible available in English!
If you can help with a donation we would really appreciate it, if you want to give out flyers about this web site that’s great! If you can put up a link on your own web site that will be a great help. If you can find people who can help us with the translating that is even better!
This project is dedicated to the memory of His Imperial Majesty the late Haile Selassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings Emperor of Ethiopia, Elect of God and to all the members of the Royal Family of Ethiopia and to all the People of Ethiopia who suffered at the hands of the brutal Derge regime. May the memory of these martyrs never be forgotten.
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