Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Jacob Dahlen, May 6, 2006.

  1. Jacob Dahlen

    Jacob Dahlen
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ethiopian Orthodox church is the oldest of all Eastern Christianities (although Armenians would argue it). There are at least three separate bodies of Tawahedo church with their own administrations in Addis Ababa, Jerusalem and North America (also in Jamaica and Europe). Sometimes Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahedo Church is called Copic, which is due to the fact that till the early fifties the head of Ethiopian church was selected in Alexandria, Egypt and this tradition was changed under Haile Sellassie. Before the revolution the numbers of Ethiopian clergy were big, since Orthodoxy is usually very vested in monastic order. They say that during the Red Terror (1975-78) over 200 thousands monks were executed in Ethiopia.

    The Orthodox monk is the best expression of the difference between Western and Eastern Christianity. Without too much theology to go through, it could be said that the Orthodoxy (monophisits) believes in one nature of Christ and it is fully divine. That doctrine results in this strong division between two realities -- Man's and God's. An Orthodox believer has to make a more radical choice since there is no middle ground between Hell and Heaven. Selecting God, a monk separates himself from the earthy matters, including social and political aspects of life (which is very different from the history of the Western Christianity which not only played active political role in shaping the fate of Europe, but perhaps was the teacher of all European politics).

    The Orthodoxy was and is criticized for its apolitical stand, but the division between the social and divine is a deep-rooted concept, not a matter of strategy and tactics. The single nature of Christ is to emphasize that there are two world based on different priciples. The Orthodox iconography resisted the adaption of the art discoveries in realism, including the third dimension (perspective). The Orthodox painters thought that God's space and time are organized differently from our reality. The famous reversed perspective in icons (when the faraway figures are positioned on foreplan) manifests their understanding that in angelic reality "the far is close and the close is far"...

    There are many consequences of this principle of divinity, including the concept of Trinity and even the philosophy of history. The separation of the Western Church and the Orthodoxy is not barely historical (thousand years of Bizantine Empire), it's a theological (I would say philosophical) thought. The Orthodoxy doesn't like the "evolution," which is accepted by the Western mind. There is very little "progress" embeded in Orthodox mentality. According to this viewpoint, we do not change little by little, but the contact with God is radical and asks for a full personal transformation. In a strange way there are similarities between the Orthodoxy and the Protestant Thought, when the Church is your "personal" (not social) institution.

    Perhaps, because of the Orthodox attitude, Ethiopian Christianity never had full-scale holy wars and has to tendency to missionary. This Church coexisted with different rulers and regimes, lived next to Muslims and pagans and had no history of reformation or religious wars the Western Christianity went through.
    http://sellassie.ourfamily.com/culture/church.html
     
  2. JFox1

    JFox1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    737
    Likes Received:
    0
    That was a very interesting post. Doesn't the Ethiopian Orthodox Church have 81 books in their OT and NT canon? Are any of these other books available in English?
     
  3. nate

    nate
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    811
    Likes Received:
    0
    Doesn't the EOC also side with the Oriental Orthodox and accept Monophsyte(?sp)?
     
  4. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Ethiopian Orthodox Bible does contain the book of Enoch and several others.

    The SDA folks on the board might be intereseted to know that the Ethiopian Orthodox also keep the Sabbath on Saturday.
     
  5. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
  6. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is what Wikipedia has to say on some of the matters raised.

    - The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (in Amharic: ?????? ?????? ???? ???????? Yäityop'ya ortodoks täwahedo bétäkrestyan) is an Oriental Orthodox church in Ethiopia that was part of the Coptic Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Pope Cyril VI. The only pre-colonial Christian church of Sub-Saharan Africa, it claims a membership of close to 36 million people worldwide, and is thus the largest of all Oriental Orthodox churches.

    Biblical canon
    The Canon of the Tewahedo Church is looser than for most other traditional Christian groups. The Ethiopian "narrow" Old Testament Canon includes the books found in the Septuagint accepted by the Orthodox plus Enoch, Jubilees, 1 Esdras and 2 Esdras, 3 Maccabees, and Psalm 151. However, their three books of the Maccabees are identical in title only, and quite different in content from those of the other Christian churches which include them. The order of the other books is somewhat different from other groups', as well. This Church also has a "broader canon" that includes more books.

    Furthermore, both the Sabbath (Saturday), and the Lord's Day (Sunday) are observed as holy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopian_Orthodox_Church
     

Share This Page

Loading...