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Report Claims The Ethiopian Bible is the Oldest and Most Complete on Earth

Recent radiocarbon dating analysis dated Garima 2 as originating from 390-570, and Garima 1 from 530-660. This makes the Garima gospels the oldest and most complete illuminated Christian manuscripts in the world

Evangelist portrait of Mark from Garima 2

The gospels are named in honour of Abba Garima—he arrived in Ethiopia in 494CE from Rome (thought to be Syria), Christianized the rural populations of the ancient kingdom of Axum, healed the sick and performed miracles, and wrote and illustrated the complete Gospels in a single day (“God stopped the sun from setting until the Saint completed his work”).

Image from the Garima gospels

Research vs Traditional account

While tradition holds that the text-base for the gospels is Syriac, recent research indicates that it is Greek. Recent research also contraindicated several aspects of the traditional account, including that the iconography and palaeography look to Egyptian, not Syrian sources; and that the gospel translation witnessed in the Garima gospels had been completed over a century before the traditional dates for the Nine Saints. Scholars are also moving away from the supposed Syrian origin of the Nine Saints.

Two pages with illuminated Eusebian Canons from Garima 1, likely the later of the two Garima Gospels

Written by How Africa

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