The Ethiopian Commentary on the Book of Genesis: Critical Edition and Translation
Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2011 pp. xx + 722. €138.00
Aethiopistische Forschungen, 73
Description: The oldest religious nations that have Holy Scriptures (Torah, Bible, Koran, etc.) developed methods of commentary that help to discover the truths and values of the scriptures. In a similar manner, Ethiopia has established its own tradition of interpreting and commenting on the Biblical and Patristic texts. This tradition, known as "andemta", is a unique and most valuable legacy of the ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahédo Church and the entire country of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Commentary on the Book of Genesis by Mersha Alehegne provides a critical edition of the "andemta". The survey supplies the history of the corpus as a raison d'être, discusses the history of research in the commentary tradition, and describes the manuscripts (Mss) consulted in preparation for this edition. The critical edition of the "andemta" text of Genesis is analyzed with an extensive apparatus criticus to produce a text that can be assumed to be as close to the original "andemta" as possible. Additionally, an English translation of the text is given with commentaries on underlying concepts and terminologies. An appendix with the archaic lexicography found in the examination of the Mss, an inventory of "andemta" Mss in Libraries and Museums as well as a general bibliography complete Alehegne's study.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Genesis, Literature, Methods, Linguistics, Ethiopic
Review by James C. VanderKam
Citation: James C. VanderKam, review of Mersha Alehegne, The Ethiopian Commentary on the Book of Genesis: Critical Edition and Translation, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2013).
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