selam to all
hey I never been to these private groups, i think its best I visit sometime, looks like there is a lot of stuff being discussed , I guess you need some code right?
NicholasMyra, as you might know there is a difference between a church’s dogmatic and canonical claim and a cultural and nationalist claim of those within her. This distinction I think is fully understood when we study the judaistic roots and Hellenistic roots of Christian culture and those that evolved as a mixture or integration of both.
1,Yes there are those nationalists that claim geez to be the mother tongue of the first human family, however as the official liturgical and linguistic history of the church this claim has been looked at as nothing more than a misguided nationalistic sentiment of those few Christians who being in a Christian dominated country saw it fit to link their nationalistic sentiments and ideas to their faith. This is not new in history if you would care to check, so those authorities within the church tolerate it, and they look the other way, though it is discouraged from being endorsed by any one credible. So it is presented only as one opinion held among the people, as it is useful for studies purposes to know of these myths. Of course the historians of Ethiopia simply lough at it and say while it does good for the ego of certain groups in Ethiopia to claim that, it is one of those things you claim in jest among friends over a good drink.
2, Now the Ark of the Covenant is the exception to the above. Ethiopia has gone through a lot of wars before Christianity and after, and throughout our recorded history, and we do record our history since we do have our alphabet so we did not wait for scholars of the west to come and chronicle our history for us.
The claim of the Ark has existed long before the west came to know about it, long before the TV got invented and the media sensationalization of the Ark and its significance started, long before tourists started to show up and demand that we ‘ prove’ our claim by showing it to them. The tradition of protecting that which is sacred and one of a kind is as old as our history, you can even find its recent examples around you, in the banks, in forts like fort Knox, or in security companies who specialize in the high-tech protection of what they deem as valuable and in danger of thievery or desecration. The common consensus in Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has been no one native or foreign other than the assigned guard and those few who have sworn to protect the secret can ever get to see it, come close to it. No matter how much the speculation rages, no matter how much taunting goes on. The ark will remain one of those things that Ethiopians really chose to remain deaf to what the other part of the world thinks of it enough to buy into the demand for exposure. I can guarantee you, that in your life time and mine, no one, not even the patriarch has the power to disclose the Ark. He might have assumed that he did, but obviously he does not, the protectors are far far, credible and wield great power of influence over the public than the patriarch on this matter. Along with the guardians, the general Christian public agrees on the need for the secrecy and the high security practiced since the beginning. When places like forts that supposedly only stored the nations treasury in Gold become coffee houses for all or, museums then may be that spirit might translate to the Ethiopians who think of the Ark and the fragment of the Holy Cross as the highest , and holiest treasures of their country. But here is my unsolicited advice to those who worry too much about the ark being in Ethiopia, don’t stop looking for it somewhere else, and if you believe the Ethiopians have it, tantrums or no tantrums, you and I will never get to see it, so don’t waste your time coming to Ethiopia demanding or hoping to see the Ark, and do not waste your time arguing about it, you are free to believe what you will, that will not take or add to what you believe as a Christian.
3 genetic claims lol yeah there is the Jewish ancestry in Ethiopia, but not all Ethiopians share it as we are multitude of nationalities, however its sacred ancestry as it is tied with the travel of queen Shaba and later the bringing of the ark and the introduction of Judaism and later our conversion to Christianity, however its purpose becomes functional only as historical and political right of leadership of the royalty, this type of claim is practically the same in all royal families of the world, a certain house of royal ancestry is required to be part of the royal family and even claim the crown. as to the implied genetic superiority or what not, since at least we are all referring to Adam and Eve and not some other superior beings ,since we are all humans and as such we are all decedents of the first family , until someone tells us after looking at Adam and Eve, and comparing each one of us to them well I doubt the claim ‘ you look exactly like Adam, or Eve’ while quite funny, will hold any water as an argument, I do not even look like neither my father or mother, I have never seen the’ photos’ of Adam and Eve except may be on some of the ancient church frescos loll on what those ancient iconographers must have assumed what they must have looked like ,and I got to say those frescos got huge eyes , that would lead me to believe that they look like the grey man than human.lol oh a few weeks ago , my little sister told me to watch one program from History Channel, and it was about how ancient aliens built the St. George Church of Lalibella lol and after watching that we all toasted for the long life of the Christian Alien brethren that are out there building churches on other planets. We were sure the Ethiopians existing ‘Exotic’ status will be cranked up a notch with that bit of info hitting the public libraries even as mere speculation lol
4 liturgical claims? Are you asking if there was Judaism practiced before the conversion of Ethiopia? The answer is yes it was, the scriptures will attest to that without our existing traditions and historical records adding to it. If you mean we are still practicing Judaism then I would say that is wrong claim, the natural transition of the judaistic practice into a Christian practice has occurred in Ethiopia, I am sure most of the early Christians who were Jews might be quite comfortable with our tradition from cultural point of view. That is not a crime, we are not Judaizing the message of the gospel nor are we demanding those with a judaistic cultures to be Hellenized , that is not what the apostles thought St. Paul ministered to the gentiles and St. peter mainly to the Jews, that should show us that there is a huge difference between altering the message of the gospel and say unless you are circumcised you will not be saved and continuing to retain certain practices as cultural practices and Christianizing the rest , the message of the gospel is preached for all mankind as is , and along the way all cultures of men will become Christianized, that is the way it has been done. So I still do not know what you mean when you said, unbroken liturgy...
5. Ethiopia =Zion lol I think this has been answered quite well by Gebre.
6 the old earth, vs. young earth argument, seriously?! Okay may be you are serious , so according to the literal interpretation of the genesis story, young earth has been generally accepted for a long time, however, it is also the teaching of the church not to read the genesis story literally and many theologians have speculated on it. For our liturgical calendar we have been using and still use the young earth calculation. Seeing as this (the calculation of time) is not a dogma, and while the Orthodox Church looking into the reveled truth that comes from science with respect, still holds the theological responsibility of marrying that without compromising theological truth so in due time we might get to agree about the mystery surrounding the days of creation.
7 this last one as an FYI the arks that you see in processions are tablets on which is written the 10 commandment, the Alpha and Omega, the Name of the Holy Trinity, the Theotokos and at the bottom the God bearers ( whom the Law of our Lord written in their hearts) the Saint or Angel’s name . this is where the fraction of the Body and Blood of our Lord takes place on the holy table of the Altar. This is done in full understanding of the New and Everlasting Covenant.