The Bible in Ethiopia: The Book of Acts

By Curt Niccum

An analysis and reconstruction of the Ethiopian version of the Book of Acts, showing it to be very relevant to the study of the Greek text.

ISBN: 9780227174357


The Ethiopic version provides a window into the state of the Greek Bible as it circulated in East Africa at the end of the fourth century. It is, therefore, an extremely important witness to the Bible’s early transmission history, yet its testimony has typically been ignored or misunderstood by textual critics. This study examines the history of the book of Acts in Ethiopia and reconstructs its earliest attainable text, which then is assessed using the latest text-critical methods. It provides a solid base for interpreting the data of this key witness and lays the groundwork for future text-critical work in Ethiopic and other early versions.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 368

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Curt Niccum is Associate Professor of New Testament at Abilene Christian University. He is also co-director of the Textual History of the Ethiopic Old Testament (THEOT) Project.


List of Tables
Acknowledgments ix
List of Abbreviations

1. Acts in Ethiopia – Transmission History
2. The Fidelity of the A-text to Its Greek Vorlage
3. The Greek Text-type Underlying the Ethiopic Acts
4. Critical Text and Apparatus

Appendix A: Additional Ethiopic Misreadings Suggesting a Greek Vorlage
Appendix B: Agreement between the A-text and Select Witnesses in 419 Units of Variation
Appendix C: Variants Found in the Apparatus Criticus of the Greek New Testament with Apparent Ethiopic Support

Author Index
Subject Index


Endorsements and Reviews

There are not many scholars who deeply and effectively engage in Ethiopic studies. Curt Niccum is one of them. His carefully prepared edition of the book of Acts will not only enormously enrich our knowledge of the Ethiopic New Testament, but also demonstrate the Ethiopic Bible is of more than secondary importance for the textual criticism of the Greek New Testament.
K. Martin Heide, Privatdozent, Philipps Universität Marburg, Germany

Curt Niccum, an acknowledged expert in the area of the Ethiopic New Testament, here shares with his readers the fruit of his investigations into the Ethiopic text of the book of Acts. In view of the relatively early (probably late fourth-century) date of the translation, the Ethiopic represents an important witness to the much-debated text of this document. Niccum’s careful work offers a valuable and needed corrective to previous views. Textual critics and historians of Christianity in East Africa will find here much of interest.
Michael W. Holmes, editor of The Apostolic Fathers

This work constitutes an enormous step forward in our knowledge of Ethiopic Acts, and one would wish that each published PhD brought the state of knowledge as much forward as this one.
Dirk Jongkind, in Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Vol 38, No 5