An Ethiopian Reading of the Bible: Biblical Interpretation of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church

By Keon-Sang An

A ground-breaking study of the interpretation of scripture in a distinctive Ethiopian framework, revealing the wealth of the tradition in a non-Western Church.

ISBN: 9780227175910


In An Ethiopian Reading of the Bible, Keon-Sang An explores the distinctive biblical interpretation of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (EOTC). He illuminates the interpretation of the Bible in a particular historical and cultural context and presents a compelling example of the contextual nature of biblical interpretation. Since the earliest years of the Christian church the EOTC has significantly informed the unique spirituality of Ethiopia. Drawing on his own experience of teaching theology in Ethiopia, Keon-Sang An provides a comprehensive consideration of the EOTC’s past and present, and examines the interplay between tradition and context in biblical interpretation. An Ethiopian Reading of the Bible contributes much to current biblical scholarship and equips readers with the tools for a future of mutual learning.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 258

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Keon-Sang An is Assistant Professor of Bible and Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary. He previously served as a missionary in Eritrea and Ethiopia, working with SIM (Serving In Mission) and GMS (Global Mission Society).


List of Tables
Foreword by William A. Dyrness
Preface by Joel B. Green
List of Abbreviations


1. Contextual Theology
2. Contextual Reading of the Bible
3. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church: Tradition and Contextualization
4. Interpretive Tradition of the EOTC: The Andemta Commentary
5. Biblical Interpretation in the Preaching of the EOTC




Endorsements and Reviews

This is a path-breaking study that adds historical depth and insight into contextuality and the process of contextualisation. Much of the work to date on this theme has been done by Western scholars or is based on Western scholarship. Keon-Sang An, who taught theology in Ethiopia, explores the rich tradition of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church with regard to its approach to Scripture. This work deepens our understanding of contextualisation as a necessary process in every local church.
Wilbert R. Shenk, Senior Professor, Fuller Graduate School of Intercultural Studies

Keon-Sang An’s work is not only a window into East African biblical contextual theology; it is also an introduction to biblical and theological method for the 21st century. He carefully argues that the long shadow of western theological method must be replaced by local interpretations that pay attention to both context and tradition. Even more remarkable is that this introduction to a method and its application comes from a Korean, listening to Ethiopians, and writing in America.
Scott W. Sunquist, Dean, School of Intercultural Studies, Professor of World Christianity, Fuller Theological Seminary

During the preparations of the Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative for its major consultation in Addis Abäba in October 2016, this book was recommended by the organizers to be studied beforehand by all participants. Furthermore, this book is useful to all those interested in Ethiopian contextual theology and in biblical interpretation in both the past and the present. The book contributes to worldwide biblical scholarship with its new openness by giving and receiving new approaches for biblical research.
Maija Priess, in Aethiopica, Vol 20, 2017

… brings substantial experience and insight to the table.
Gregory S. Paulson, in Theological Book Review, Vol 28, No 1