Ethiopian Manuscripts : Testament of Patriarchs and a Homily

Ethiopian Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> This manuscript is comprised of four works, the Testament of Abraham, Testament of Isaac, Testament of Jacob (ገድለ ፡ አብርሃም, ገድለ ፡ ይስሐቅ, ገድለ ፡ ያዕቆብ), and a homily attributed to Ephrem on Abraham and Sarah in Egypt (ድርሳነ ፡ ሳራ), which in the Ethiopian tradition is almost always circulate together as a unit. Both Ethiopian Christians and Jews transmit these writings, and this manuscript, preserving a recension of the texts redacted by the latter, forms a rare example of a Beta Israel scribal work. The Testaments and the accompanying homily are each spuriously ascribed, to Athanasius and Ephrem respectively, attributions that arose in Arabic, the version from which the Ge‘ez was translated. Ultimately, these texts go back to a variety of Vorlagen, the Testaments of Isaac and Jacob originating in Coptic, the homily on Abraham and Sarah in Syriac, and the Testament of Abraham, which was probably composed during the late Second Temple Period, in Greek. </p>


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