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Author Topic: The Confession of Emperor Gelawdewos of Ethiopia  (Read 1381 times) Average Rating: 0
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Hiwot
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« on: August 03, 2011, 12:48:19 AM »

Christ is Risen!
Selam Everyone Smiley

here is a bit of history for those interested Smiley

The confession of Emperor Gelawdewos
The Jesuits that came at the time of Emperor Gelawdewos with the Portuguese , after failing to make Ethiopia under the Vatican they started circulating accusations against the Church ‘ as being Judiastic and not Christian’ by citing the custom of the people practiced. This accusation started to spread in the Christian world so the Emperor felt it was necessary to affirm the faith of the Orthodox Church in Ethiopia via official letter to all concerned.
This is the translation I have done of the Confession from the book by late Bishop of Shewa  Eternal memory His Holiness Abune  Gorgorius entitled ‘ The History of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church’ 
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit One God .
This is my faith, the faith of my fathers kings descendants of Israel, and all the Christians in my Kingdom.
We believe in One God and His only Son Jesus Christ. He is the Word, the Power, and the Wisdom of the Father. Before the beginning of the world, He was with the Father. In the fullness of time even while still in His heavenly Throne, He came down from Heaven and was Incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly man. When he was 30 years old He was baptized in Jordan. Under Pontius Pilate, He was crucified, suffered, died and was buried, and on the third day He rose again. On the 40th day he ascended with Glory into Heaven and sitteth on the Right Hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His Kingdom shall have no end. And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life who proceedeth from the Father. We believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for resurrection of the dead, and the live of the age to come Amen.
As to us, we walk in the righteous path in the Orthodox Way and will not vaciliate from the teachings of our fathers neither to the left nor to the right!
The twelve apostles
The fount of wisdom Paul
The 72 deciples
The 318 Orthodox assembled in Nicene
The 150 of Constantinople
The 200 of Ephesus
I the son of Naod, the son of Wenag Seged, who is known by my throne name as Asnaf Seged Emperor of Ethiopia, this Faith I confess and thus this Faith I teach/ witness.
The reason why we honor the first Sabbath is not like the Jews, for they do not go to fetch water, they do not burn wood, cook or bake, the do not go from house to house. We however honor the day as the apostles commanded us in the Didache: with the Divine Liturgy and sharing our meals with others. We do not observe or honor this day like Sabbath Sunday. For this Day is the Day that David prophesized about saying   this is the New Day that the Lord God has made and we shall rejoice and be glad in it. For on this Day our Lord was resurrected, on this Day the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles on Mt Zion. On this Day in the womb of the Ever Pure and Holy Virgin Mary He became Man. On this Day for the glory of the Saints and for the condemnation of the Wicked He shall return.
As to Circumcision, we do not circumcise in the way of the Jews. For we know the teachings of the Fount of Wisdom Paul on Galatians 5:6‘for in Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything only faith working through love’ on Galatians 6:15 “for neither circumcision counts for anything, nor un circumcision, but a new creation.” We have all the epistles of Paul here with us, and he teaches us about circumcision and being uncircumcised. However, the circumcision that is with us is like the country traditional custom of scoring the face in Ethiopia and Nubia and like the piercing of ears in India. Thus we do not do this in keeping with the Judaistic law but due to human custom.
As  to eating pork it is not eaten here. However, we do not refrain from eating it in keeping with the Judaistic law. We do not abhor those who eat it and we do not force the one who does not eat it to eat. As our father St Paul wrote to the Romans 14:3-17 the man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him….. I know and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteems anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean……For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” And also in the Gospel of Lord according to St Mathew the Evangelic Mat 15:11-20 it is written ‘ it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person but what comes out of the mouth ; this defiles a person…everything that goes into the moth passes into the stomach and is eliminated but the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and those defile the man…’’ this teaching of our Lord trampled down all the teachings of the Jews that erred by professing the mosaic Law.
My faith and those who teach by my command within my Kingdom, the theologian priests’ Faith is this. From the path of The Gospel, from the teaching of Paul, they will neither go to the right nor to the left. In the Church’s History book we have here, we read that Emperor Constantine in the time of his reign commanded the newly baptized Jews to eat pork on the day of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, a person because of preference can refrain from eating various kinds of animal meat. One might like to eat fish, another chicken; one might refrain from eating lamb. All can be done according to the delight of one’s heart. On these matters one can follow his preference. On animal dietary consumption there is no law or cannon in the book of the New Covenant/New Testament. To the pure all things are pure; he also says the believer can eat anything 1 Corn 10:25.
I labored to write all this so you may know what Faith I Confess.
Written on June 23, 1555 AD Ethiopian Calendar, in the City of Damot Ethiopia.
I thought this letter of confession can still answer some questions asked by those who encounter the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church for the first time and the custom of the Orthodox in Ethiopia that still might be confused as adhering to the judiastic laws, and also it serves as additional information for those interested in the history of the Oriental Churches.
Blessed day everyone.
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2011, 12:56:15 AM »

Yes! I have been looking for this! Thanks Hiwot!
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Severian
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2011, 01:10:09 AM »

If you could please clarify just a few things I'd appreciate it.

1. What is the exact reason the Sabbath is commemorated?

2. Refraining from eating pork is just a cultural habit as is circumcision, correct?
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011, 01:28:23 AM »

The sabbath is discussed a bit here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,26662.0.html
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2011, 01:30:02 AM »

1. What is the exact reason the Sabbath is commemorated?
Cause God never abolished the Sabbath Tongue

"Assemblies are not held in all churches on the same time or manner. The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the First Day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria. There are several cities and villages in Egypt where, contrary to the usage established elsewhere, the people meet together on Sabbath evenings, and, although they have dined previously, partake of the mysteries." -Sozomenus, early 5th Century
« Last Edit: August 03, 2011, 01:32:24 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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Hiwot
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2011, 07:06:23 PM »

Christ is Risen!
 selam everyone
You are very welcome Severian, thank you Salpy and NicholasMyra for adding explanations. Smiley
The first Sabbath, is kept holy because it is part of the ‘ yeweta’ / the ten commandments . these have been kept and perfected by our lord so while we may not celebrate the first Sabbath in the same manner as we used to before our conversion to Christianity that is in adherence to the Judaistic laws; we commemorate it in a Christian manner in the Liturgical Celebration, by sharing of communal meals, visitation of the sick, the incarcerated, etc.
 Yes! The refraining from eating pork and circumcision are also the cultures that remain from Judaistic ancestry the king mentions above. However, the present practice is strictly a customary practice not tied to religious practice at all.
 Blessed day  Smiley
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To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2011, 07:08:59 PM »

^Thank you very much!

God bless,
Severian
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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2011, 09:14:33 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

If you could please clarify just a few things I'd appreciate it.

1. What is the exact reason the Sabbath is commemorated?

2. Refraining from eating pork is just a cultural habit as is circumcision, correct?

The Sabbath is in place because Emperor Zara Yacob confirmed the dual Sabbath tradition of the Ethiopian Church in 1446 in order to reunify several regional schisms in the Church regarding Sabbatarians and anti-Sabbatarians of various groups across at least a 400 year period if not longer.  The influence of Ethiopia's indigenous Jewish populations should never be diminished when interpreting the current and historical cultural fabric of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.  Further, by that time Islam was steadily creeping inland from the coastal regions and was also holding cultural sway and influence on the evolving mindsets of the times.  Either way, the Sabbath observance was a long standing Ethiopian cultural tradition and perhaps predates Christianity's coming to Ethiopia and so rightfully was preserved in respect for the people.  Even at the various times which the Church and the political leaders tried to suppress its observance, the people could not shed themselves of themselves.



In regards to taboos regarding pork and other seemingly "Jewish" customs it should be noted that these indeed cultural habits, in fact they predate Judaism because Semitic culture originated and evolved firstly within Central Ethiopia and spread outwards, so it is also the source of many "pan-Semitic" traits such as monotheism (yes, even the 'pagan' Semites are indigenously monotheism, Abraham did not invent such, it existed long before his time) circumcision, and pork taboos.  This is as Our Lord affirmed in the Scriptures when he said, "Not that circumcision is from Moses, but from the fathers."

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: August 03, 2011, 09:16:07 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
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