የመጽሐፍ ቅዱሷ ኢትዮጵያ: የተጠቀሰችባቸው ዐውዶች

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መግቢያ

ከዓመታት በፊት የዚህች አጭር ጽሑፍ አዘጋጅ በአዲስ አበባ ከሚገኙት ታላላቅ አድባራት በአንዱ የሠርክ ጉባዔ ላይ የሚሰጠውን ስብከት በመከታተል ላይ ነበር። የዕለቱ ሰባኪ የመረጡት የትምህርት ርዕስ “ኢትዮጵያ በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ” የሚል ነበር። የስብከቱም ይዘት ኢትዮጵያ ድንቅና ጥልቅ ታሪክ ያላት ሀገር መሆኗን፣ ሀገሪቷ ሀገረ እግዚአብሔር ሕዝቧም ሕዝበ እግዚአብሔር መሆናቸውን፣ ሰውም በመልካም ለመጣው እንግዳ ተቀባይ በክፉ ለመጣበት ግን እንደ ‘አንበሳ’ ጀግና መሆኑ ላይ ያተኮረ ነበር። ከታሪክም የታቦተ ጽዮንን በአክሱም መገኘት፣ የግማደ መስቀሉን በግሸን መገኘት፣ የላልይበላ ውቅር አብያተ ክርስቲያናትን ታሪክና ሀገሪቷም የቅድስት ድንግል ማርያም የአሥራት ሀገር መሆኗን የሚተነትን ነበር። ሰባኪው በስተመጨረሻም “ይህች ቅድስት ሀገር ኢትዮጵያ በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ከ50 ጊዜ በላይ ተጠቅሳለች” በማለት ይህም የቅድስናዋ ማረጋገጫ ዋነኛው ማስረጃ መሆኑን አስምረውበት ትምህርታቸውን አጠቃለሉ።

ከዚህ ትምህርት ውስጥ የዚህች ጦማር ትኩረት “ኢትዮጵያ በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ውስጥ ከ50 ጊዜ በላይ ተጠቅሳለች” የሚለው ነው። ይህ አነጋገር በወቅቱ በአድማጩ አእምሮ ውስጥ ሦስት ጥያቄዎችን የፈጠረና ለቀጣይ ጥናትም በር የከፈተ ነበር። የመጀመሪያው ጥያቄ “በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ‘ኢትዮጵያ’ ተብላ የተገለፀችውና ዛሬ የምናውቃት ‘ኢትዮጵያ’ ያላቸው ልዩነትና አንድነት ምንድን ነው?” የሚለው ነበር። ሁለተኛው ደግሞ “የመጽሐፍ ቅዱሷ ኢትዮጵያ የተጠቀሰችው በምን ዐውድ (context) ነው?” የሚለው ጥያቄ ነው። ሦስተኛውና የመጨረሻው ደግሞ “በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ብዙ ጊዜ መጠቀስ የአንድ ሀገር ‘የቅድስና ማረጋገጫ’ እንዴት ሊሆን ይችላል?” የሚለው ጥያቄ ነው። ዛሬም እነዚህ ጥያቄዎች ጥቂት በማይባሉ ምዕመናን ልቡና ውስጥ የሚመላለሱ ስለሆኑና ብዙ ብዥታም ስለሚስተዋል በዚህች ጽሑፍ እነዚህን ነጥቦች በሚመለከት አጠር ያለ ዳሰሳ ቀርቧል።

የመጽሐፍ ቅዱሷ ኢትዮጵያ

የመጽሐፍ ቅዱሷ ኢትዮጵያ (The Biblical Ethiopia) አሁን ከምናውቃት ኢትዮጵያ (The Current Ethiopia) ጋር ያላትን አንድነትና ልዩነት በተመለከተ የተለያዩ አስተሳሰቦች እንዳሉ ይታወቃል። በዚህ ዙሪያ የሚደረጉ ተጠየቃዊ ውይይቶችን ፍሬ አልባ የሚያደርገው ዋነኛ ማሰናከያም የቅዱሳት መጻሕፍትን የታሪክና የመልክዓምድር ገለፃ፣ እንዲሁም መንፈሳዊ ትንቢቶች በዘመናችን ላለ ፖለቲካዊና ማኅበራዊ ፉክክር የመጠቀም ክፉ ልማድ ነው። በመሆኑም ስለመጽሐፍ ቅዱሷ ኢትዮጵያና በየዘመኑ የአስተዳደር ቅርጿ የተቀያየረውን፣ አሁን የምናውቃትን ኢትዮጵያ አረዳድ ለአሁናዊ ፖለቲካዊ ፍጆታ ማዋል የሚፈጥረውን ተፋልሶ በማሳየት እንጀምር።

የመጽሐፍ ቅዱሷ ኢትዮጵያና የአሁኗ ኢትዮጵያ ያላቸውን ንፅፅር በተመለከተ የተለያዩ ትንታኔዎች አሉ። ከእነዚህ አንዱ ስያሜን የሚመለከት ነው። ኢትዮጵያ የሚለውን በግሪክና በልሣነ ግዕዝ የተቀመጠውን ስያሜ “ኩሽ” በሚል “መስተካከል” አለበት ብለው የሚሞግቱ አሉ። ለዚህም የዕብራይስጡ መጽሐፍ ቅዱስ “ኢትዮጵያ” የሚለውን “ኩሽ” በሚል እንደሚጠራው በማንሳት ይሞግታሉ። ሌሎች ደግሞ የአረብኛውን “የጥቁር ሕዝቦች ምድር” የሚል ትርጉም ያለውን ቃል በመጠቀም “ኢትዮጵያ” የሚለውን “ሱዳን” በሚል ተክተው መጽሐፍ ቅዱስን “በሚመቻቸው መንገድ” አሳትመዋል። የእነዚህ “የስም ሽሚያዎች” መሰረታዊ ምክንያት በቅን ልቡና መጻሕፍትን መመርመር ሳይሆን የታሪክ ፉክክር ማድመቂያ ነው።

“ኢትዮጵያ” የሚለውን የቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት ስያሜ በዘመናችን ያሉ አንዳንድ የፖለቲካዊ ሃይማኖት አቀንቃኞች “ኦርቶዶክሳዊ ብሔርተኝነት” ለሚሉት መንፈሳዊም፣ ዓለማዊም ረብ ለሌለው አስተሳሰብ መደገፊያ ያደርጉታል። በዚህም የተነሳ ወደ ልዩ አምልኮ እስኪወሰዱ ድረስ ከቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት ትምህርት ይልቅ እንደ አይሁድ መጻሕፍትን በማጣመም ፖለቲካዊ ትርፍ ለማግኘት ሲደክሙ እናያቸዋለን። በሌላ በኩል በዘመናችን የምናውቃትን ሀገር ኢትዮጵያን በታሪክ አረዳድና በማኅበራዊ አቋም የሚገዳደሩ የፖለቲካ ኃይሎች ደግሞ “ኢትዮጵያ” የሚለውን ስያሜ በ”ኩሽ” ወይም ሌላ መጠሪያ በመቀየር ቅዱሳት መጻሕፍትን ከማኅበራዊ ማገናዘቢያዎች በመለየት ስያሜውን “የሁሉ በማድረግ የማንም እንዳይሆን” አስልተው ሲንቀሳቀሱ እናስተውላለን። በተለይም “ሱዳን” በሚል “የተረጎሙት” ምዕራባውያን ሚስዮናውያን ቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት “ኢትዮጵያ” በማለት የሚገልፁት ቦታና ሕዝቦች አሁን በምናውቃት ኢትዮጵያ ካለውና በእነርሱ አረዳድ ሊፈጥሩት ለሚፈልጉት የታሪክና የትንቢት ምንዘራ (rethoric) “ጋሬጣ” ሆኖ እንዳይጋጭባቸው በመስጋት የፈጠሩት ቅሰጣ (adulteration) ይመስላል። የዚህ ሁሉ ማምታታት ምንጭ ታሪክንም ሆነ የመጽሐፍ ቅዱስን መሰረታዊ ጭብጥ አለመረዳት ወይም ይሁነኝ ብሎ ማጣመም ነው።

የቅዱሳት መጻሕፍትን ንባብ ለታሪክ ሽሚያና ለፖለቲካዊ ንድፈ ሀሳብ (rethoric) ማሳመሪያ እየቆነፃፀሉ የሚጠቀሙት ሰዎች የሚያተኩሩት “ስም” ላይ እንጂ “ግብር” ላይ አለመሆኑ የታወቀ ነው። አሁን የምናውቃትን ኢትዮጵያ የመጽሐፍ ቅዱሷ ኢትዮጵያ “ብቸኛ ወራሽ” እንደሆነች፣ አለን ለሚሉት የፖለቲካ ንድፈ ሀሳብም እንደ መሠረታዊ ግብዓት የሚጠቀሙት ፖለቲካዊ ሃይማኖተኞችም ሆኑ እነርሱን ለመገዳደር ሲባል “ኩሽ” ወይም “ሱዳን” የሚል መጠሪያን መጠቀም የሚመርጡት አካላት የሚዘነጉት መሠረታዊ ጉዳይ ከስም ይልቅ ሌሎች በተግባር የሚታዩ ማኅበራዊ መገለጫዎች (sociological evidence) የመጽሐፍ ቅዱሷን ኢትዮጵያ የተሻለ የሚገልጹ መሆናቸው ነው። “በዘመነ ብሉይ አምልኮተ እግዚአብሔር የነበረባቸው ቦታዎች እነማን ናቸው? ዛሬ ያለን ግብርስ የቃልኪዳን ተካፋይ የሚያደርግ ነው ወይስ ከዓለም የከፋ እንስሳዊነት” ብሎ በአስተዋይነት ከመመርመር ይልቅ ስም ላይ ማተኮር የሚወዱ ብዙዎች ናቸው። ስም ላይ የሚያተኩሩት ሰዎች የቅዱሳት መጻሕፍትን መሰረታዊ ጭብጥ ያልተረዱ ናቸው። ከሆነው ይልቅ “ነው!” ብለው ላመኑበት ወይም እንዲሆን ለሚፈልጉት “ወራሽነት” ሲሉ መንፈሳዊም ዓለማዊም የሞራል ድንበር ሳይገድባቸው ታሪክና የቅዱሳት መጻሕፍትን ንባብ እየቀደዱ በልካቸው ይሰፋሉ። ለዚያም ነው ሰዎችና አኗኗራቸው ላይ ከማተኮር ይልቅ ለመሬት ስም ሰጥተው ከግብሩ የተለየ፣ ከታሪክ የተፋታ ወሬ ይዘው እግዚአብሔርን የእነርሱ ተለዋዋጭ ድንበር አስጠባቂ የሚያስመስሉት።

በቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት የተመዘገቡ ቃል ኪዳኖች የትውልድን ለቃል ኪዳን የተገባ መሆን የሚጠይቁ ናቸው እንጂ በብልጣብልጥነት መጻሕፍትን በመቆነፃፀል የሚፈጸሙ አይደሉም። ይህንንም ለክቡር ዳዊት ቃል ኪዳን የሰጠ አምላካችን እግዚአብሔር በመዝሙረ ዳዊት ያስተማረን ነው። በመዝሙር 88:3 ጀምሮ ጌታ እግዚአብሔር ለክቡር ዳዊት የገባለትን ቃል ኪዳን ከዘረዘረ በኋላ “ልጆቹ ግን ሕጌን ቢተው፣ በፍርዴም ባይሄዱ ፣ ሥርዓቴንም ቢያረክሱ፣ ትእዛዜንም ባይጠብቁ ኀጢአታቸውን በበትር በደላቸውንም በመቅሰፍት እጎበኛታለሁ።” (መዝ 88:30-32) ይላል። ለጠቢቡ ሰሎሞንም ተመሳሳይ ቃል ኪዳን ነበር የተሰጠው (1ኛ ነገ 9:1-10)። በዚህም የተነሳ ከማንም በላይ ቃል ኪዳን የተገባላቸው እስራኤል ዘሥጋ በዘርና በቦታ ተመክተው ራሳቸውን “የአብርሃም ልጆች፣ የኢየሩሳሌም ባለርስቶች” አድርገው በመኮፈሳቸው ራሳቸውን ከድኅነት በአፍአ አስቀሩ እንጂ አልተጠቀሙም። ጌታችን ኢየሱስ ክርስቶስም “የአብርሃም ልጆች ነን” እያሉ ከአብርሃማዊ ግብር ተለይተው በባዶ የሚመኩትን አይሁድ ወቀሳቸው እንጂ አላመሰገናቸውም። (ዮሐንስ ወንጌል ምዕራፍ 8) እኛም የቅዱሳት መጻሕፍትን ንባብና ትርጓሜ በመንፈሳዊ አረዳድ ልንገነዘበው ይገባል እንጂ እንደ አይሁድ የምድራዊ ፍላጎታችን መጠገኛ በማድረግ ትርጉም ልናሳጣው አይገባም።

የቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት ዓላማ ሰዎችን ለዘለዓለማዊ ሕይወት ማብቃት ነው። በቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት የተለያዩ ቦታዎችና ሀገራት በልዩ ልዩ ዐውድ (context) ተጠቅሰዋል። ይህ የቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት አገላለፅ ዓላማው በተጠቀሱት ሀገራት ወይም አካባቢዎች ስለነበሩት፣ ስላሉት ወይም ወደፊት ስለሚመጡት ትውልዶች ምድራዊ ባለፀግነት፣ ድህነት፣ ጀግንነትና ስለመሳሰለው ታሪክ መተረክ አይደለም። እነዚህ መገለጫዎች እንደመመዘኛው የሚለያዩ፣ በየጊዜውም የሚቀያየሩ ናቸው። ለምሳሌ በቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት እስራኤል የመንግሥተ እግዚአብሔር፣ ግብፅ ደግሞ የሲዖል ምሳሌ ሆነው ቀርበዋል። ነገር ግን ትንቢት የተነገረላቸው፣ ሱባኤ የተቆጠረላቸው እስራኤል አዳኛቸውን ኢየሱስ ክርስቶስን ሰቅለው ሲገድሉት የግብፅ (እስክንድርያ) ቤተ ክርስቲያን ደግሞ በአንፃሩ “ወልድ ዋሕድ” ብላ በማመን በተዋሕዶ ሃይማኖት የመጽናት ምሳሌ መሆኗን ሊቃውንት ያስተምራሉ። ስለሆነም የብሉይ ኪዳንን ታሪክና ምሳሌ እያነሱ እስራኤልን ሁሉ ቅዱስ፣ ግብፅን ሁሉ ርኩስ አድርጎ የሚስል አስተሳሰብ ከእውነትም፣ ከታሪክም የተጣላ፣ መንፈሳዊ ትርጉም የሌለው ተራ ፍረጃ መሆኑን እንረዳለን። በቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት ስለኢትዮጵያና ኢትዮጵያውያን የተፃፈውንም የታሪክን ቅብብሎሽ ሳይረዱ፣ ስምና መልክዓምድርን ከግብር (ተግባር) እና የሚታወቅ የማኅበረሰብ መገለጫ በመለየት ለራስ የሚመች ትንታኔ ብቻ በመስጠት የቅዱሳት መጻሕፍትን ንባብና ትርጓሜ ለፖለቲካዊ ዓላማ ማስፈፀሚያ ማዋል ሩቅ መንገድ አያስኬድም፣ አይገባምም።

በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ‘ኢትዮጵያ’ ተብሎ የሚታወቀው ቦታ የዛሬዋ ኢትዮጵያን ብቻ ሳይሆን ቢያንስ ሱዳን (ኑቢያ)፣ ኤርትራ፣ ጂቡቲ፣ ደቡብ አረቢያንና የመንን የሚያካትት ነበር። በአጠቃላይ ጥቁሩ ሕዝብ ኩሽ ወይም ኢትዮጵ ተብሎ ይታወቅ ነበር። ስለዚህም ነው ጥቁር የነበሩት ሙሴ ያገባት ሴትና ካህኑ አቤሜሌክ ኩሽ (ኢትዮጵያዊው/ው) ተብለው የተጠሩት። ሳባ (Sheba) የኩሽ ልጅ ስለሆነ በተለይም በደቡብ ዓረቢያ ይኖሩ የነበሩት ሳባውያን ተብለው ይታወቁ ነበር። የሳባ ንግሥት ተብሎ የተጠቀሰውም ከዚህ ጋር እንደሚገናኝ የታሪክ ምሁራን ይስማሙበታል። በአጠቃላይ በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ኢትዮጵያ (ኩሽ፣ ኢትዮጵ) ተብሎ የሚታወቀው ከዛሬዋ ኢትዮጵያ እጅግ የሰፋ ቦታን የሚያጠቃልል ነበር። የመጽሐፍ ቅዱሷን ኢትዮጵያ ካርታ የሚስሉ ሊቃውንት የሚያስቀምጡት መግለጫም የሚያረጋግጥልን ይህንኑ ነው። በመሆኑም በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ “ኢትዮጵያ” የተጠቀሰችባቸውን ዐውዶች በሚገባ ተረድቶ መንፈሳዊውን በመንፈሳዊ አረዳድ፣ ታሪካዊውንና መልክዓምድራዊውን ገለፃም እንዲሁ በደርዙ መረዳት ይገባል እንጂ “በሳብ ግጥም” አስተሳሰብ፣ መርጦ በመውሰድ፣ መርጦ በመጣል መቆነፃፀል አይገባም።

በዓለማችን ላይ ያሉ ሀገራት ስማቸው፣ ስፋታቸው፣ የሕዝቡም ባሕል በየጊዜው የሚቀያየር ነው። ስማቸውን የቀየሩ ብዙ ሀገራት አሉ። ሰፊ ሀገር የነበሩ ተከፋፍለው ሁለትና ከዚያ በላይ የሆኑ ሀገሮች አሉ። የተለያዩ ሀገሮችም ተዋሕደው አንድ ሀገር ሊሆኑ ይችላሉ። ቦታዎችን ከተለያዩ ሀገሮች በማጣመር የሚፈጠሩ ሀገራት ይኖራሉ። አዳዲስ ሀገራትም ሊገኙ ይችላሉ። ይህ ተለዋዋጭ ነገር ነው። ታሪክ ግን የተፈጸመ ነገር ስለሆነ አይቀየርም። የተከፋፈሉ ሀገራት የቀድሞ ታሪካቸውን ይጋሩታል። የተዋሐዱ ሀገራት ደግሞ የቀድሞ ታሪካቸውን ይጠብቁታል። ስማቸውን የቀየሩ ሀገራትም እንዲሁ በቀድሞ ስማቸው የተመዘገበውን ታሪካቸውን ይጠብቃሉ። በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ የተጠቀሰችው ኢትዮጵያ ታሪክም ከዛሬዎቹ ሀገራት ታሪክ አንጻር በዚህ አግባብ ሊታይ ይገባዋል።

በእኛ ዘመን ታሪክ እንኳ ኤርትራ የኢትዮጵያ አካል ነበረች። በቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት የተጠቀሱት ማኅበራዊና መንፈሳዊ መገለጫዎችም ዛሬ ኤርትራ በሚባለው ሀገር የነበረውንና ያለውን የማኅበረሰብ እምነትና ታሪክም የሚያካትት መሆኑ ግልፅ ነው። የመጽሐፍ ቅዱሷ ኢትዮጵያ ቅዱሳት መጻሕፍቱ በተፃፉበት ጊዜ የነበረውን የማኅበረሰብ መገለጫ የሚያሳይ እንጂ በየዘመናቱ በሚቀያየር የሀገራት ፖለቲካዊ ድንበር (political boundary) ጋር እየተቀያየረ የሚኖር (shifting demarcation) አይደለም። ይሁንና “አስቀድሞ የተወሰነ፣ በአመክንዮ የማይለወጥ” ሀሳብ ያላቸው ፓለቲካዊ ሃይማኖተኞች “ስምን በመያዝ ብቻ” እግዚአብሔርንም ሰውንም ማታለል የሚቻል ይመስላቸዋል። በማስተዋል የሚራመድ፣ መንፈሳዊ ልብ ያለው ሰው ግን እያንዳንዱን የቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት ንባብ እንደ አገባቡ በመረዳት ራሱንና በዙርያው ያሉትን ለማነጽ ይደክማል እንጂ በስም መሸፈንን ብቻ ገንዘብ አያደርግም። ይህን ታሳቢ በማድረግ የመጽሐፍ ቅዱሷ ኢትዮጵያ የተጠቀሰችባቸውን ዐውዶች ለማሳየት እንሞክር።

የመጽሐፍ ቅዱሷ ‘ኢትዮጵያ’ የተጠቀሰችባቸው ዐውዶች

ብዙ መምህራን ኢትዮጵያ በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ከ50 ጊዜ በላይ መጠቀሷን ያስተምራሉ። ነገር ግን በምን ዐውድ እንደተጠቀሰች በጥልቀት የሚያብራሩ ጥቂት ናቸው። በዚህም የተነሳ ጥቂት የማይባሉ ምዕመናን “ኢትዮጵያ በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ይህን ያህል ጊዜ ተጠቅሳለች” የሚለውን እንጂ “በምን ዐውድ ነው የተጠቀሰችው?” የሚለውን ጠለቅ ብለው አይመለከቱትም። ነገር ግን የበለጠ ጠቃሚ ነጥብ ያለው ‘ይህን ያህል ጊዜ ተጠቅሳለች’ የሚለው ላይ ሳይሆን የተጠቀሰችባቸውን ዐውዶች ለይቶ ማወቁ ላይ ነው። ኢትዮጵያ በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ የተጠቀሰችባቸውን ዐውዶችና (context) የጥቅሶቹንም ይዘት (content) እንደሚከተለው እናቀርባለን።

ጦርነት፣ ቁጣ፣ ሁከትና ተያያዥ ጉዳዮች

ኢትዮጵያ በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ከተጠቀሰችባቸው ዐውዶች አብዛኛውን (20 ጊዜ) የሚይዘው ይህ ከጦርነትና ተያያዥ ጉዳዮችን የሚመለከው ነው። በዚህም ኢትዮጵያ ሌሎችን በጦርነት ያጠቃችበት፣ በሌሎች አካላት በጦርነት የተጠቃችበት፣ ኢትዮጵያውያን በጦርነት የወደቁበትና የሸሹበት፣ በአንጻሩም ድል ያደረጉበት፣ ከሌሎች ወዳጆቻቸው ጎን በጦርነት የተሰለፉበት እንዲሁም ሊመጣባቸው ስላለው ጦርነት ትንቢት የተነገረበትን ያጠቃልላል። በተጨማሪም በኢትዮጵያ ሁከት እንደሚሆን፣ ኢትዮጵያውያን በሰይፍ እንደሚወድቁ የተነገሩትን ትንቢቶች ያካትታል። ይህ በብዙ ዘመናት የነበረ ታሪክን የሚያመለክትና በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ‘ኢትዮጵያ’ ተብላ የተገለጸችውን የሚመለከት ነው። የዘመናችን መምህራን እነዚህን በሚመለከት ብዙም ትኩረት ሲሰጡ አይስተዋልም። ኢትዮጵያ በዚህ ዐውድ የተጠቀሰችባቸውን ጥቅሶች ከዚህ በታች ይመልከቱ።

መልክዓ ምድር፣ አቅጣጫና ወሰንን ለማመልከት

ኢትዮጵያ የሚለው ቃል መልክአ ምድራዊ ገጽታን፣ አቅጣጫን፣ ወሰንን፣ ማዕድንን (ለምሳሌ ጳዝዮን)፣ ወንዝን (ለምሳሌ ግዮን) … ወዘተ ለመግለጽ 12 ጊዜ ተጠቅሷል። በዚህም ዐውድ በአብዛኛው የነገሥታት የግዛት ወሰንን ለማመልከት የተጠቀሰ ሲሆን የነገሥታቱ የግዛት ወሰን ጥቁር ሕዝብንም ያካትት እንደነበር የሚያሳይ ነው። በጥንት ዘመን የነበረው የግዛት ወሰን በሕዝብና በሀገር ይገለፅ ነበር። ስለዚህም ይመስላል ይህ አገላለጽ የተለመደ የነበረው። እነዚህም ጥቅሶች በጥንት ዘመን ኢትዮጵያ ተብሎ የሚታወቀውን ሕዝብና ቦታ በሚገባ ያሳያሉ። ኢትዮጵያ በዚህ ዐውድ የተጠቀሰችባቸውን ጥቅሶች ከዚህ በታች ይመልከቱ።

የሕዝብ እምነትና አምልኮ ጋር በተያያዘ

ኢትዮጵያ (እንደ ሕዝብና ሀገር) ከእምነትና ከአምልኮ ጋር በተያያዘ 10 ጊዜ ተጠቅሳለች። እነዚህም ደገኛ ሃይማኖትን፣ የጸና ቃልኪዳንን የሚያሳዩ በዳዊት መዝሙር፣ በትንቢትና በመጽሐፈ መቃብያን የተጠቀሱት ናቸው። ከእነዚህም መካከል ‘ኢትዮጵያ እጆቿን ወደ እግዚአብሔር ትዘረጋለች (ታደርሳለች)’ የሚለውና ‘ለኢትዮጵያ ሰዎች ምግባቸውን ሰጠሃቸው’ የሚሉት ይገኙበታል። በዚህ ዐውድ የሚገኙ ዝርዝር ጥቅሶችን ከዚህ በታች ይመልከቱ።

የባለታሪኮችን ማንነት ለመግለፅ

በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ኢትዮጵያ የሚለው ስም የባለታሪኮችን ማንነት ለመግለፅ የዋለባቸው 9 ቦታዎች አሉ። በዚህ ዐውድ ኢትዮጵያ የሚለው ቃል ሊቀ ነቢያት ሙሴ ያገባትን ኢትዮጵያዊት ሴት፣ ኢትዮጵያዊውን አቤሜሌክ፣ የኢትዮጵያ ንግሥት የነበረችው ህንደኬን፣ ጃንደረባው ባኮስን፣ የኢትዮጵያ ነገሥታትን ለመግለጽ ተጠቅሷል። በዚህ አውድ ኢትዮጵያ የሚለው ቃል የኩሽ (የጥቁር) ማንነትን ለማመልከት የተጠቀሰ ነው። በግልፅ ‘ኢትዮጵያውያን’ ተብለው በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ባይገለጹም የሳባ ንግሥታት እና ከሰብአ ሰገል አንዱ የሚጠቀሱት በዚሁ አግባብ ነው። ኢትዮጵያ የሚለው ቃል በገላጭነት የተጠቀሰባቸውን ጥቅሶች ከዚህ በታች ይመልከቱ።

በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ መጠቀስና ቅድስና

በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ውስጥ እስራኤል 2431 ጊዜ፣ ግብፅ 725 ጊዜ፣ ባቢሎን (ኢራቅ) 265 ጊዜ፣ ፍልስጤም 243 ጊዜ፣ ሊባኖስ 75 ጊዜ፣ ሶርያ 71 ጊዜ፣ ፋርስ (ኢራን) 32 ጊዜ፣ ግሪክ 26 ጊዜ ሲጠቀሱ ጭራሽ ያልተጠቀሱም ብዙ ሀገሮች አሉ። መጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ከተጻፈ በኋላም ብዙ ሀገሮች ስማቸው፣ ወሰናቸው፣ የሕዝብ ስብጥራቸው፣ ታሪካቸው ተቀይሯል። ሰፊ የነበሩት ተከፋፍለው ብዙ ሀገራት ሆነዋል። በአብዛኛው ክርስቲያን ሕዝብ የነበራቸው አሁን እንደዚያ አይደሉም። በአንጻሩ ደግሞ አሕዛብ ይባሉ የነበሩት ክርስቲያን ሆነዋል። የሀገር ቅድስና መጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ላይ በመጠቀስ ብዛት ቢሆን ብዙ የተጠቀሱት ይቀድሙ ነበር። ጭራሹን ስማቸው ያልተጠቀሰው ደግሞ ተስፋ የሌላቸው በሆኑ ነበር። ነገር ግን ሀገርን የሚቀድሰው የሕዝቡ እምነትና አምልኮ፣ የቅዱሳን ተጋድሎና የእግዚአብሔር በረከት ስለሆነ በመጽሐፍ ጥቅስን ከመቁጠር ይልቅ መጽሐፍትን በጥልቀት መረዳትና በእምነት መጽናት ይበጃል።

የእግዚአብሔርን መንግሥት እንስበክ!

ሃይማኖት ሰው እግዚአብሔርን አምኖ እርሱንም ብቻ እያመለከ ከእግዚአብሔር ጋር የሚኖርበትና የእግዚአብሔርን ዘላለማዊ መንግስት (ሰማያዊ ሀገር) የሚወርስበት ነው። ይህም የሰው ልጅ እግዚአብሔርንና ባልንጀራውን የሚያፈቅርበት መሠረት ነው። በሃይማኖት የሚኖር ሰው የእግዚአብሔርን ትዕዛዛት እየጠበቀ ለእግዚአብሔር ይገዛል። በሥጋም ሲኖር ከሰው ሁሉ ጋር በሰላምና በፍቅር መኖር ይጠበቅበታል። በመጨረሻም በእግዚአብሔር መንግሥት ለዘላለም ለመኖር የሚያበቃው ይህ የጸና ሃይማኖት ነው። የመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ዓላማም ይህንን ማስረገጥ ነው። ከዚህ አንጻር መጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ላይ የሰፈሩ ሀሳቦች በመንፈሳዊው ዓይን ሊታዩ ይገባል።

ሀገር የሚባለው በተወሰነ (ሰው በወሰነው) የምድር ክፍል የሚኖር ሕዝብን፣ የሚኖርበትን የየብስ፣ የውኃና የአየር ክልልን፣ የሕዝቡን ታሪክ የአኗኗር ባሕልና የሚተዳደርበትን ባሕላዊና ዘመናዊ አስተዳደር የሚመለከት ነው። በክርስትና የሚኖር ሰው ሀገሩን ቢወድ መልካም ነው። ክርስትና እንኳን የራስ የሆነን ቀርቶ ሌላውንም እንድንወድ የሚያደርግ ነውና። የሀገርንም ዕድገትና ብልፅግና ተስፋ ማድረግ የተገባ ነው። ይህንንም በፖለቲካው መድረክ መስበክ ይቻላል። ነገር ግን ይህ የሀገር ፍቅር ከሃይማኖት አስተምህሮ ጋር ሊቀላቀል አይገባውም። በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ የተጻፈው ቅዱስ ቃልም የምድራዊ ዓላማ ማስፈጸሚያ መሆን የለበትም። በሃይማኖታዊ መድረኮች ከሃይማኖታዊ አስተምህሮ ባልተናነሰ መልኩ ሁሉም የሚመቸውን ፖለቲካዊ ውግንና የሚያንቆለጳጵስ “የሀገር ፍቅር” የሚሰብክ ከሆነ ግን ሃይማኖትን ለፖለቲካ ዓላማ ማዋል ነው። በኢትዮጵያውያን መካከል ያሉ የአስተሳሰብ ልዩነቶች የወለዷቸው ግጭቶችን ለመተንተን፣ የታወቀ ውሸትንም ለመሸፈን ሳይቀር አንዱን ባለቃልኪዳን ሌላውን ከቃልኪዳን የተለየ አድርገው የሚተነትኑ፣ በንግግራቸውም ራሳቸውን “የእግዚአብሔር አማካሪዎች” አስመስለው የሚያቀርቡትን ዲያብሎስን የሚያስንቁ የሀሰት ፈጣሪዎች አስተውለናል። ይሕ ደግሞ መንፈሳዊም መጽሐፋዊም እንዳልሆነ ግልፅ ነው። ይልቁንስ ሰቃልያነ እግዚእ አይሁድ መድኅን ክርስቶስን ከሕግ ውጭ በጭካኔ ለመግደል የተጠቀሙበትን መደላድል የፈጠረና የሚፈጥር የክፋት ሠራዊት እርሾ ነው።

ቤተ ክርስቲያን ኩላዊት የሆነች፣ ስለሰማያዊውና ዘላለማዊው መንግስት የሚማሩባት ዐውደ ምሕረት ናት እንጂ ስለ አላፊዎቹ ምድራዊ ሀገራት ታሪክና አስተዳደር የሚሰበክባት አይደለችም። የቦታ መቀደስ ሰውን የሚቀድስ፣ እንዲሁም ሰው በተሰጠው ቅድስና ቦታን የሚቀድስ ቢሆንም ሕዝብ ፊቱን ወደ ኃጢአት ከመለሰ ይህ ጸጋ ሊወሰድ የሚችል መሆኑን ቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት ያስረዱናል። ከዚህ አንጻር በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ የተጠቀሰችውን ኢትዮጵያ ከተጠቀሰችበት ዐውድ ውጭ መጠቀም አግባብ አይሆንም። በተጨማሪም መልካም የማይመስል ይዘት ያለውን እየተው መልካም መልካሙን ብቻ መጥቀስ ሚዛናዊነት የሚጎድለው አካሄድ ነው። በፍርድ ቀንም ቢሆን ‘ለእያንዳንዱ እንደየሥራው’ ዋጋውን ይከፈለዋል እንጂ ጽድቅ በምድር በኖርበት ሀገር መስፈርትነት በጅምላ አይታደልም።

የሃይማኖት ካባ የደረቡ ፖለቲከኞች ግን በቤተ ክርስቲያን ዐውደ ምሕረት ፖለቲካዊ ውግንናን መስበክ መገለጫቸው ስለሆነ በዘመናችን የፖለቲካ ድንበር “ኬንያዊ” ከሚባል ክርስቲያን ይልቅ ክርስቶስን የማያውቅ “ኢትዮጵያዊ” “የቃል ኪዳን ተካፋይ” እንደሆነ አስመስለው ይናገራሉ። በዚህም የተነሳ ብዙዎች ምድራዊ ሰንደቅ ዓላማን እስካሳዩዋቸው ድረስ በየዘመኑ በሚነሱ “ከሰማይ የወረደ መልእክት” ይዘናል በሚሉ “ንጉሥ(ንግሥት) ነን”፣ “አጥማቂ ነን”፣ “ባሕታዊ ነን” በሚሉ አላዋቂዎች ግብስብስ ስብከት እየተነዱ ሳይረዱት ከቀናች ሃይማኖት ለመውጣት ሲፋጠኑ ማየት የተለመደ ሆኗል። በተረታቸው ታውረው ጌታቸውን ኢየሱሰ ክርስቶስን እንደሰቀሉት አይሁድ የሚጓዙ በየጊዜው እየበዙ ነው። ስለዚህ ልባችንን እና ህሊናችንን ወደ እግዚአብሔር መልሰን በርትዕት እምነትና ክርስቲያናዊ ስነምግባራት ልንጸና ይገባል።

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ጦርነት፣ ቁጣ፣ ሁከትና ተያያዥ ጉዳዮች

  1. 2ኛ ነገስት 19፥9 እርሱም፦ የኢትዮጵያ ንጉሥ ቲርሐቅ ሊወጋህ መጥቶአል የሚል ወሬ በሰማ ጊዜ ደግሞ ወደ ሕዝቅያስ መልእክተኞችን ላከ፥                                                                                                                      
  2. 2ኛ ዜና 12፥3 ከእርሱም ጋር ከግብጽ ለመጣው ሕዝብ ቍጥር አልነበረውም እነርሱም የልብያ ሰዎች፥ ሱካውያን፥ የኢትዮጵያ ሰዎችም ነበሩ።                                                                                                                                    
  3. 2ኛ ዜና 14፥9 ኢትዮጲያዊውም ዝሪ አንድ ሚሊዮን ሰዎችና ሦስት መቶ ሰረገሎች ይዞ ወጣባቸው ወደ መሪሳም መጣ።                                                                                                                                  
  4. 2ኛ ዜና 14፥12 እግዚአብሔርም በአሳና በይሁዳ ፊት ኢትዮጵያውያንን መታ ኢትዮጵያውያንም ሸሹ።                             
  5. 2ኛ ዜና 14፥12 እግዚአብሔርም በአሳና በይሁዳ ፊት ኢትዮጵያውያንን መታ ኢትዮጵያውያንም ሸሹ።                             
  6. 2ኛ ዜና 14፥13 አሳም ከእርሱም ጋር ያለው ሕዝብ እስከ ጌራራ ድረስ አሳደዱአቸው ኢትዮጵያውያንም ፈጽመው እስኪጠፉ ድረስ ወደቁ፥ በእግዚአብሔርና በሠራዊቱ ፊት ተሰባብረዋልና እጅግም ብዙ ምርኮ ወሰዱ።                                                                                                          
  7. 2ኛ ዜና 16፥8  ኢትዮጵያውያንና የልብያ ሰዎች እጅግ ብዙ ሰረገሎችና ፈረሰኞች የነበሩአቸው እጅግ ታላቅ ጭፍራ አልነበሩምን? በእግዚአብሔር ስለ ታመንህ በእጅህ አሳልፎ ሰጣቸው፥                                                                                      
  8. ኢሳ 20፥3  እግዚአብሔርም አለ፦ ባሪያዬ ኢሳይያስ በግብጽና በኢትዮጵያ ላይ ሦስት ዓመት ለምልክትና ለተአምራት ሊሆን ራቁቱንና ባዶ እግሩን እንደ ሄደ፥                 
  9. ኢሳ 20፥4  እንዲሁ የአሦር ንጉሥ የግብጽንና የኢትዮጵያን ምርኮ፥ ጐበዛዝቱንና ሽማግሌዎቹን፥ ራቁታቸውንና ባዶ እግራቸውን አድርጎ ገላቸውንም ገልጦ፥ ለግብጽ ጕስቍልና ይነዳቸዋል።                                            
  10. ኢሳ 20፥5 እነርሱም ከተስፋቸው ከኢትዮጵያ ከትምክሕታቸውም ከግብጽ የተነሣ ይፈራሉ ያፍሩማል                                    
  11. ኢሳ 37፥9 እርሱም፦ የኢትዮጵያ ንጉሥ ቲርሐቅ ሊዋጋህ መጥቶአል የሚል ወሬ ሰማ። በሰማም ጊዜ ወደ ሕዝቅያስ መልእክተኞችን ላከ፥  
  12. ኢሳ 45፥14 እግዚአብሔርም እንዲህ ይላል። የግብጽ ድካምና የኢትዮጵያ ንግድ ቁመተ ረጅሞችም የሳባ ሰዎች ወደ አንተ ያልፋሉ ለአንተም ይሆናሉ እጆቻቸውም ታስረው ይከተሉሃል በፊትህም ያልፋሉ፥ ለአንተም እየሰገዱ። በእውነት እግዚአብሔር በአንተ አለ፥ ከእርሱም ሌላ አምላክ የለም ብለው ይለምኑሃል።                                                                                                                          
  13. ኤር 46፥9  ፈረሶች ሆይ፥ ውጡ ሰረገሎችም ሆይ፥ ንጐዱ ጋሻም የሚያነግቡ የኢትዮጵያና የፋጥ ኃያላን፥ ቀስትንም ይዘው የሚስቡ የሉድ ኃያላን ይውጡ።                                                                                                                  
  14. ሕዝ 30፥4 ሰይፍ በግብጽ ላይ ይመጣል፥ ሁከትም በኢትዮጵያ ይሆናል የተገደሉትም በግብጽ ውስጥ ይወድቃሉ፥ ብዛትዋንም ይወስዳሉ፥ መሠረትዋም ይፈርሳል።                                                                                                                 
  15. ሕዝ 30፥5 ኢትዮጵያና ፉጥ ሉድም የተደባለቀም ሕዝብ ሁሉ ኩብም ቃል ኪዳንም የገባችው ምድር ልጆች ከእነርሱ ጋር በሰይፍ ይወድቃሉ።                                                                                                                                      
  16. ሕዝ 30፥9 በዚያ ቀን መልእክተኞች ተዘልለው የሚኖሩትን ኢትዮጵያውያንን ለማስፈራት ከፊቴ በመርከብ ይወጣሉ እንደ ግብጽም ቀን ሁከት ይሆንባቸዋል እነሆ፥ ይመጣልና።                                                                                          
  17. ሕዝ 38፥5 ፋርስንና ኢትዮጵያን ፉጥንም ከእነርሱ ጋር ጋሻና የራስ ቍርን የለበሱትን ሁሉ፥                                                        
  18. ዳን 11፥43  በወርቅና በብርም መዝገብ ላይ፥ በከበረችም በግብጽ ዕቃ ሁሉ ላይ ይሠለጥናል የልብያና የኢትዮጵያ ሰዎችም ይከተሉታል።                                                                                                                                    
  19. ናሆ 3:9 ኢትዮጵያና ግብጽ የማይቈጠር ኃይልዋ ነበሩ፤ ፉጥና ልብያ ረዳቶችዋ ነበሩ።
  20. ሶፎ 2፥12 እናንተም ኢትዮጵያውያን ደግሞ፥ በሰይፌ ትገደላላችሁ።                                          

መልክዓ ምድር፣ አቅጣጫና ወሰንን ለማመልከት

  1. ዘፍ 2፥3 የሁለተኛውም ወንዝ ስም ግዮን ነው እርሱም የኢትዮጵያን ምድር ሁሉ ይከብባል።                                      
  2. 2ኛ ዜና 21፥16 እግዚአብሔርን የፍልስጥኤማውያንና በኢትዮጵያውያን አጠገብ የሚኖሩትን የዓረባውያንን መንፈስ በኢዮራም ላይ አስነሣ።                                                                                                                                
  3. መጽ. አስቴር 1፥1 በአርጤክስስም ዘመን እንዲህ ሆነ ይህም አርጤክስስ ከህንድ ጀምሮ እስከ ኢትዮጵያ ድረስ በመቶ ሀያ ሰባት አገሮች ላይ ነገሠ።                                                                                                                                
  4. መጽ. አስቴር 3:12 ፤ በመጀመሪያውም ወር ከወሩም በአሥራ ሦስተኛው ቀን የንጉሡ ጸሐፊዎች ተጠሩ፤ ከህንድ ጀምሮ እስከ ኢትዮጵያ ድረስ ወዳሉ መቶ ሀያ ሰባት አገሮች፥ በየአገሩ ወዳሉ ሹማምትና አለቆች ወደ አሕዛብም ሁሉ ገዢዎች እንደ ቋንቋቸው በንጉሡ በአርጤክስስ ቃል ሐማ እንዳዘዘ ተጻፈ፥ በንጉሡም ቀለበት ታተመ።
  5. መጽ. አስቴር  8፥9 በዚያን ጊዜም ኒሳን በተባለው በመጀመሪያው ወር ከወሩም በሀያ ሦስተኛው ቀን የንጉሡ ጸሐፊዎች ተጠሩ መርዶክዮስም ስለ አይሁድ እንዳዘዘው ሁሉ ከህንድ ጀምሮ እስከ ኢትዮጵያ ድረስ በመቶ ሀያ ሰባቱ አገሮች ላሉ ሹማምትና አለቆች አዛውንትም ለእያንዳንዱም አገር እንደ ጽሕፈቱ ለእያንዳንዱም ሕዝብ እንደ ቋንቋው ለአይሁድም እንደ ጽሕፈታቸውና እንደ ቋንቋቸው ተጻፈ።        
  6. ኢዮ 28፥19 የኢትዮጵያ ቶጳዝዮን አይተካከላትም፥ በጥሩም ወርቅ አትገመትም።                                                          
  7. ኢሳ 18፥1 በኢትዮጵያ ወንዞች ማዶ ላለች፥ ክንፍ ያላቸው መርከቦች ላሉባት፥                                                              
  8. ሕዝ 29፥10 ስለዚህ፥ እነሆ፥ በአንተና በወንዞችህ ላይ ነኝ፥ የግብጽንም ምድር ከሚግዶል ጀምሮ እስከ ሴዌኔና እስከ ኢትዮጵያ ዳርቻ ድረስ ውድማና ባድማ አደርጋታለሁ።                                                                                                 
  9. ሶፎ 3፥10 ከኢትዮጵያ ወንዞች ማዶ የሚማልዱኝ፥ የተበተኑት ሴቶች ልጆቼ፥ ቍርባኔን ያመጡልኛል።                                                                                
  10. 2ኛ ዕዝራ 3:2 ንጉሡ ዳርዮስ እስከ ኢትዮጵያ ድረስ ላሉ ሰዎች ደግ በዓል አደረገ።
  11. ዮዲት 1:10 ናቡከደነፆር እስከ ኢትዮጵያ አውራጃ ድረስ በግብፅ ወደሚኖሩ ሰዎችም ሁሉ ላከ።
  12. 1ኛ መቃ 25:9 ከሳባና ከኖባ ከህንደኬና ከኢትዮጵያም ወሰናቸውና አውራጃቸውም ጋር ሁሉ ተሰምታ ትጠፋለች።

የሕዝብ እምነትና አምልኮ ጋር በተያያዘ

  1. መዝ 67፥31 መኳንንት ከግብጽ ይመጣሉ ኢትዮጵያ እጆችዋን ወደ እግዚአብሔር ትዘረጋለች።                                                            
  2. መዝ 71፥9 በፊቱም ኢትዮጵያ ይሰግዳሉ፥ ጠላቶቹም አፈር ይልሳሉ።                                                              
  3. መዝ 73፥14  አንተም የዘንዶውን ራሶች ቀጠቀጥህ ለኢትዮጵያ ሰዎችም ምግባቸውን ሰጠሃቸው።                                               
  4. መዝ 86፥4  የሚያውቁኝን ረዓብንና ባቢሎንን አስባቸዋለሁ፤ እነሆ፥ ፍልስጥኤማውያን ጢሮስም የኢትዮጵያም ሕዝብ፥ እነዚህ በዚያ ተወለዱ።                                       
  5. ኢሳ 11፥11 በዚያም ቀን እንዲህ ይሆናል የቀረውን የሕዝቡን ቅሬታ ከአሦርና ከግብጽ፥ ከጳትሮስና ከኢትዮጵያ፥ ከኤላምና ከሰናዖር ከሐማትም፥ ከባሕርም ደሴቶች ይመልስ ዘንድ ጌታ እንደ ገና እጁን ይገልጣል።                                                                                                                
  6. ኢሳ 43፥3  እኔ የእስራኤል ቅዱስ አምላክህ እግዚአብሔር መድኃኒትህ ነኝ ግብጽን ለአንተ ቤዛ አድርጌ፥ ኢትዮጵያንና ሳባንም ለአንተ ፋንታ ሰጥቻለሁ።                                                                                                                      
  7. ኤር 13፥23 በውኑ ኢትዮጵያዊ መልኩን ወይስ ነብር ዝንጕርጕርነትን ይለውጥ ዘንድ ይችላልን? በዚያን ጊዜ ክፋትን የለመዳችሁ እናንተ ደግሞ በጎ ለማድረግ ትችላላችሁ።                                                                                                      
  8. አሞ 9፥7 የእስራኤል ልጆች ሆይ፥ እናንተ ለእኔ እንደ ኢትዮጵያ ልጆች አይደላችሁምን? ይላል እግዚአብሔር፦ እስራኤልን ከግብጽ ምድር፥ ፍልስጥኤማውያንንም ከከፍቶር፥ ሶርያውያንንም ከቂር አላወጣሁምን?    
  9. ዕን 3፥7 የኢትዮጵያ ድንኳኖች ሲጨነቁ አየሁ የምድያም አገር መጋረጃዎች ተንቀጠቀጡ።                                                         
  10. 1ኛ መቃ 34:9 የኢትዮጵያ ሰዎች…እግዚአብሔር እንደሆንኩ ያውቁኛል።

የባለታሪኮችን ማንነት ለመግለፅ

  1. ዘኁ 12፥1 ሙሴም ኢትዮጵያይቱን አግብቶአልና ባገባት በኢትዮጵያይቱ ምክንያት ማርያምና አሮን በእርሱ ላይ ተናገሩ።                                                                                                                                       
  2. ዘኁ 12፥1 ሙሴም ኢትዮጵያይቱን አግብቶአልና ባገባት በኢትዮጵያይቱ ምክንያት ማርያምና አሮን በእርሱ ላይ ተናገሩ።                                                                                                                                       
  3. ኤር 38፥7 በንጉሡም ቤት የነበረው ጃንደረባ ኢትዮጵያዊው አቤሜሌክ ኤርምያስን በጕድጓዱ ውስጥ እንዳኖሩት ሰማ። ንጉሡም በብንያም በር ተቀምጦ ነበር።                                                                                                                   
  4. ኤር 38፣10 ንጉሡም ኢትዮጵያዊውን አቤሜሌክም። ከአንተ ጋር ሠላሳ ሰዎች ከዚህ ውሰድ፥ ነቢዩም ኤርምያስ ሳይሞት ከጕድጓድ አውጣው ብሎ አዘዘው።                                                                                                           
  5. ኤር 38፥12 ኢትዮጵያዊውም አቤሜሌክ ኤርምያስን፦ ይህን አሮጌ ጨርቅና እላቂውን ልብስ በብብትህ ከገመዱ በታች አድርግ አለው ኤርምያስም እንዲሁ አደረገ።             
  6. ኤር 39፥16  ሂድ ለኢትዮጵያዊውም ለአቤሜሌክ እንዲህ በለው። የእስራኤል አምላክ የሠራዊት ጌታ እግዚአብሔር እንዲህ ይላል፦ እነሆ፥ ለበጎነት ሳይሆን ለክፋት ቃሌን በዚህች ከተማ ላይ አመጣለሁ በዚያም ቀን በፊትህ ይፈጸማል።                                                                                        
  7. ሐዋ 8፥27 ተነሥቶም ሄደ። እነሆም፥ ህንደኬ የተባለች የኢትዮጵያ ንግሥት አዛዥና ጃንደረባ የነበረ በገንዘብዋም ሁሉ የሠለጠነ አንድ የኢትዮጵያ ሰው ሊሰግድ ወደ ኢየሩሳሌም መጥቶ ነበር፤                                                                                    
  8. ሐዋ 8፥27 ተነሥቶም ሄደ። እነሆም፥ ህንደኬ የተባለች የኢትዮጵያ ንግሥት አዛዥና ጃንደረባ የነበረ በገንዘብዋም ሁሉ የሠለጠነ አንድ የኢትዮጵያ ሰው ሊሰግድ ወደ ኢየሩሳሌም መጥቶ ነበር፤                                                                                    
  9. 1ኛ መቃ 34:2 የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥትም በእስክንድርያ መንግሥት ላይ ትጸናለች።

Mana Kiristaanaa

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“Beete Kiristiyaan” jechi jedhu jecha Afaan Gi’izii yoo ta’u, “beete” fi “kiristiyaan” jechoota jedhan irraa kan fudhatameedha. Kunis afaan Giriikiin jecha Aqleesiyaa (Ecclesia) jedhu waliin hiika walfakkaatu qaba. Jechi “Bet” jedhu gosa, hidda, sanyii, dhaloota, yaa’ii ykn waldaa jechuu akka ta’e Alaqaa Kidaaneweldi Kiflee kitaaba hiikaa jechootaa isaanii irratti caqasaniiru. (K.W.K fuula 268) Gosti Yaa’iqoob Mana Yaa’iqoob” ykn “beete Yaa’iqoob” (beete Israa’eel); Gosti Daawwit Mana Daawiit ykn “beete Daawwit” akka jedhamu iccitii hafuuraatiin Kiristoos irraa kan dhalatan Mana Kiristaanaa jedhamu. Mana Kiristoos (Gosa Kiristoos) ykn “Beete Kiristoos” akka jechuuti. Haa ta’u garuu bara keenya kana keessatti namoonni hojii fi maqaan garaagara ta’an fi karaa faallaa irra jiran osoo hin hafin maqaa kana itti waamamaa jiraachuu isaani ni hubanna. Barri keenya kun yeroo fakkeessitootni mana kiristaanaa isa dhugaa-qabeettii taate kana maqaa ishee fudhatanii ittiin waamamaniin weeraramte waan ta’eef ishee dhugaa adda baasanii beekun murteessadha. Barsiistonni hedduun jechi mana kiristaanaa jedhu kun hiika sadi qaba jedhaniit barsiisu. Hiika isaa gadi fageenyan kan laalef garuu wantoota afur ibsa.

Mana Kiristaanaa Jechuun Bultoo Kiristoos, Qaama/Jiruu Kiristaanotaa Jechuudha

“Mana” jechuun “bultoo” jechuu akkuma ta’e, mana kiristaanaa kan jedhus bultoo kiristoos jechuudha. Kiristaanni tokkoon tokkoon isaa bultoo Kiristoosi waan ta’eef mana kiristaanaa jedhama. Kunis bu’uraan jireenya kiristaanummaa kiristaana tokkoot mul’isa. Kanaafuu mana kiristaanaa yeroo jedhamu namoota amanan mul’isa. Kiristaanonni bultoo Kiristoosi waan ta’aniif. Kanaafuu mana kiristaanaa jechuun bultoo Kiristoos kan ta’an kiristaanota/qaama kiristaanotaa/ kan ilaallatudha.

Qulqulluun Phaawuloos “mana qulqullummaa Waaqayyoo akkuma taatan hafuurri Waaqayyoo akka isinirra jiraatu hin beektanii? Namuu mana qulqullummaa Waaqayyoo yoo diige Waaqayyoon immoo isa diiga. Manni qulqullummaa Waaqayyoo qulqulluudha waan ta’eef. Innis isini.” 1 Qor 3:16-17, Gal 1:13 akkasumas isin qonna Waaqayyooti; Isin gamoo  Waaqayyooti; Isa wajjin waliin hojjenna waan ta’eef. 1 Qor 3:9. Mul’ata Yohaannis irrattis, kunoo ala dhaabadhee balbala keessan nan rukuta; namuu sagaleekoo yoo dhagahe balbala isaas yoo naaf bane; gara isaa nan seena isa waliinis irbaata nan nyaadha innis ana waliin ni nyaata. Mul 3:20. Kunneen kan ibsan tokkoon tokkoon kiristaanotaa bultoo Kiristoos (mana kiristaanaa) ta’uu isaati.

Mana Kiristaanaa Jechuun Waldaa Kiristaanotaa, Tokkummaa Kiristaanotaa Jechuudha

Akka ibsa beektota mana kiristaanatti mana kiristaanaa jechuun “walitti dhufeenya Waaqayyoon uumamtoota waliin qabudha” jedhu. Kanarraa ka’uunis umrii mana kiristaanaa iddoo saditti qoodu: tokkoffaa mana kiristaanaa ishee duraa namni uumamuudhan dura addunyaa ergamootaa keessa kan turte tokkummaa ergamootati. Umriin mana kiristaanaa inni lammaffaan tokkummaa namoota gaggaarii Abeel irraa eegalee haga seensa kakuu haaraatti jiraniiti. Kan sadaffaa fi kan dhumaa garuu dhiiga Kiristoosiin kan hundeeffamte tokkummaa kiristaanotaati. Isheenis madda qulqullummaa fi kenna Waaqayyooti. Olitti kan kaafaman lamaan garuu fakkeenyummaa qofa qabu turan.” (Seenaa mana kiristaanaa waltajjii addunyaatti, fuula 12). Olitti akkuma ibsame manni kiristaanaa Kiristoos qabxiilee kanaa gadiitin manneen amantaa ishee fakkaatanii ishee marsairraa adda taati.

Mana ykn “Beete” jechuun gosa, waldaa hiika jedhu qabaata. Fakkeenyafa Mana Israa’eel ykn “beete Israa’eel”, Mana Yaaqoob ykn “beete Yaa’iqoob”, Mana Aaroon ykn “beete Aaroon” yeroo jedhu; gosa Israa’eel, gosa Yaa’iqoob, gosa Aaroon akka jechuuti. Mat 16÷18 18 ÷17, Hoj 18÷22 20÷28, Far 117:3. Bu’ura kanaanis mana kiristaanaa jechuun gosa kiristaanaa jechuudha. Kiristaana kan ta’e hundi (Yaa’ii tokkummaa warra amananii) maqaan ittiin waamamu mana kiristaanati. Kunis walitti qabamiinsaa qofa osoo hin ta’in jaalala, waldaa, walitti hidhamiinsa fi tokkummaa kan ilaallatudha. Manni kiristaanaa tokkummaa warra amananii abbummaa Kiristoosin qaama tokko ta’aniiti.

“Innis mataa qaama mana kiristaanaati …” Qol 1:18-24. “Manneen kiristaanaa hundatti iddoolee waan kana dhagahan hundattis sodaan ni ta’e” jedha. Hoj 5:11. Boqonnaa fi lakkoofsa kanaratti “manneen kiristaanaa” kan jedhaman waldaa warra amananiiti. Iddoo biraatti: “manneen kiristaanaa Yihudaa, Samaariyaa fi Galiilaatti argaman nagaadhan jiraatan, ummatichis jajjabina Afuura Qulqulluutiin ni baay’atan.” Kan jedhu jira. Hoj 9:31 Qiddaasee irrattis “Tselliyuu be inte selaame beete kiristiyaan ahaattii qiddisti gubaa’ee inte hawaariyaat (nagaa mana kiristaanaa, ishii takkittii yaa’ii duuka bu’ootaa kan taateef, kadhadhaa)” kan jedhu kan ilaallatu waldaa kiristaanotaati dha.

Mana Kiristaanaa Jechuun Iddoo Jireenya Kiristaanotaa, Mana Waaqayyoo Jechuudha.

Mana kiristaanaa jechuun iddoo jireenya kiristaanotaa, mana Waaqayyooti. Mana jechuun iddoo jireenya jechuu akkuma ta’e mana kiristaanaa jechuun mana/iddoo jiraanya kiristaanotaa mana Waaqayyoo jechuudha. Fakkeenyaf “beete-Liheem” ykn “mana hibisti” mana biddeenaa jechuu akkuma ta’e jechuudha. “Waaqayyoon waanan fedhu tokkon kadhadhe … Bara jireenya kootii hunda mana Waaqayyoo keessa jiraachuu … Waaqayyo kan gammachiisu akkan arguuf jecha … mana qulqullumaa isaa akkan ilaaluf jecha …” (Far 27:4) Mana kiristaanaa jechuun gamoo mana kiristaanaa kan waaqeffannaan  itti raawwatamu fi meeshaaleen qulqulummaa keessatti argaman, iccitiilee raawwatanii fi tajaajila kennamaa jiru hunda dabalateeti.

Asirratti gamoo mana kiristaanaa yeroo jennu tajaajilootas dabalatee kan ilaallatu ta’uun jala sararamuu qaba. Kunis iddoo kiristaanonni itti walitti qabamanii argaman, iddoo kiristaanonni walitti qabamanii itti kadhatan, foonifi dhiiga isaa itti fudhatan, iddoo itti jilbiiffatan, iddoo Waaqayyoo waliin itti walgahan mana kadhannaa jechuudha. Isa 56÷7, Eer 7÷10-11, Mat 21÷13, Mar 11÷17, Luq 19÷46. Iddoo biraatti “Ani garuu baayyina dhiifama keetiitiin gara mana keetii nan seena, si sodaachudhaan mana qulqullummaa keetiitti nan jilbiinfadha” akkuma jedhu. Far 5:7. Akkasumas “Ammas kadhannaa iddoo kanatti kadhatamuuf ijji koo ni banamu, gurri koos ni dhaggeeffatu. Ammas maqaan koo bara baraan achi akka jiraatuuf mana kana filadheera, eebbiseera, ijji koo fi onneen koo yeroo mara achi ni ta’a” jedheera. 2 Sen 7:15, (Isa 56:7, Eer 6:10-16, Mat 21:13, Mar 11:17, Luq 19:46) Gooftanis “Manni koo mana kadhannaa jedhamti” jechuun barbaachisummaa mana qulqullummaa nutti himeera. Gara mana qulqullummaa Kiristoos “Mana koo” jedheen sana deemnee har’as ni waaqeffanna. Asirratti “mana koo” jechuun isaa abbummaan kan isaa ta’uu mirkaneessa. Duuka bu’oonnis guyyuma guyyaadhan gara mana qulqullummaa deemaa akka turan macaafni ni dubbata (Hoj 3:1), mana kadhannaati waan taatef.

Mana Kiristaanaa Jechuun Dhaabbata Hafuurawaa Caasaa Fi Hojmaata Qabu Jechuudha.

Mana kiristaanaa jechi jedhu “qaama dhaabbatummaa” mana kiristaanaa kan mul’isudha. Kunis kanaa olitti kan caqafaman kana hunda ka hammatu yoo ta’u, caasaa walii galaa fi hojimaata hafuurawaa dhaabbatichaat mul’isa. Fakkeenyaf, “Mana Kiristaana Ortodoksii Tawaahidoo Itoophiyaa” yookan “Mana Kooptikii Ortodoksii Misir” yeroo jedhamu mana kiristaanaa walii galatti jiru akka dhaabbataatti kan ibsudha. Kunis Paatriyaarikii irraa haga tokkoon tokkoon kiristaanotaatti, mana lubummaa haga tokkoon tokkoon mana kiristaanaatti, qulqulluu siinoodoosii haga bulchiinsa yaa’ii afuurawaa lallabaatti kan jiru kan hammatudha. Hiikkaa kanaan mana kiristaanaa dur irraa kaastee turte, ammas kan jirtu, gara fuulduraattis kan jiraattu kan ibsu ta’uu hubanna. (Mat 16:18, Efe 5:23-27).

Namoonni tokko tokko “mana kiristaanaa” jechi jedhu “gamoo fi dhaabbaticha” hin ilaallatu jedhu. Namoonni kunniin mana kiristaanaa jechuun tokkoon tokkoon kiristaanaa fi waldaa kiristaanotaa ta’uu isaa garuu ni fudhatu. Macaafni qulqulluun garuu kan nutti agarsiisu hiikaa arfanuudha. Asirratti wanti hubachuu qabnu tokko ni jira. Tokkoon tokkoon namaa kiristaanummaa akka fudhatuu fi of eegees akka jiraatu taasisuuf (mana kiristaanaa akka ta’u) yoo xiqqaate hojimaatni fi gurmaa’insi hafuurawaa wayii ni barbaachisa. Kiristaanonnis waldaa tokkuummaatti akka wal gahaniif iddoo fi hogganaa akkasumas barsiisota jecha Waaqayyoo barsiisan ni barbaachisa. Barsiisonni kunneenis iddoo itti baratan/leenji’an manni barumsaa ni barbaachisa. Kanaafuu nuti mana kiristaanaa jechi jedhu gomoo fi dhaabbaticha hammata yeroo jennu dhugaa macaafonni ibsan, iccitii luboonni barsiisan bubachuudhanii fi hiikaa lamaan biroo hafan waliin kan adda hin bane waan ta’eefi.

Fakkeenya biraatiin, “maatii” jechuun namoota mana tokkoo, abbaa warraa tokkoon kan bulanii fi mana tokko keessa kan jiraatan jechuudha. Maatii tokko keessa tokkoon tokkoon miseensa maatii, tokkummaa miseensotaa mana keessa jiraatanii fi bulchaa/dursaan maatichaa (maatin dhaabbata waan ta’eef) ni jiru. Mana kiristaanaa jechuunis akkasuma. Mana kiristaanaa ishee jalqabaa kan taate mana haadha Maarqoostti hiikkaan mana kiristaanaa arfanuu ibsameera. Tokkoon tokkoon duuka bu’ootaa, tokkummaan duuka bu’ootaa, manni itti walitti qabamanii fi addunyaa biraa irraa adda baafamanii Kiristaanota jedhamuun isaanii hiikaa arfan hubachiisa.

Mystery of Baptism

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Introduction

The Mystery of Baptism is one of the five pillars of mysteries in the Orthodox Tewahdo church. This mystery is stated in the creed of faith as “We confess one baptism for the remission of sins!” The term baptism is derived from the Greek word baptizein – meaning “dip” or immersion. Baptism means immersion in a blessed water (in the name of the Holy Trinity). Baptism is the gate/door/Point of entry to Christianity. One can not be a Christian without baptism. It’s the first sacrament to be performed for all Christians. Through baptism, we become children of God and member of the apostolic Church of God. All other sacraments are performed only for those who are baptized. That is why the Mystery of Baptism is referred as the gate to Christianity.

Establishment of Baptism

Mystery of Baptism is established by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He established it in three ways: By performance, preaching and giving commission to the Church. He established baptism by being our role model in getting baptised by John the Baptist in Jordan River. (Matthew 3) He cemented the place of Baptism in Christian life by establishing baptism through His preaching as he said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16 “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:3-6. He also commissioned the Church to perform baptism as He ordered his disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matt 28:19

Types of Baptism

There are two types of Baptism: Baptism of repentance and Baptism of rebirth. Baptism of repentance is for remission of sins. The Holy Bible describes this as “John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Mark 1:4-8 Matt 3:11 Acts 19:4. The second type of baptism, Baptism of rebirth, is from Water & Spirit. It is the type of baptism which is the ultimate focus of church teachings about the Mystery of Baptism. This was what Jesus taught to Nicodemus. St Peter the Apostle also described this as “..having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever…” 1 Peter 1:23. It’s important to note that sprinkling with Holy water during Epiphany (celebration of Jesus’ baptism) is not an annual re-baptism event. It’s a form of blessing people with water that got blessed by the prayers on that special day commemoration of Jesus’ baptism.

Sacramental Baptism/Christening

Baptism of rebirth is one (Ephesus 4:4-5). It can’t be repeated. As we are born from our parents only once, we get born from Holy spirit and water (through baptism) only once. But it can be performed in three ways. The first method is baptism with water and the Holy Spirit. We are baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity and born again from Holy spirit and water. John 3:3-6 This is the default form of sacramental baptism. However, there are exceptional cases for people who got baptised in different ways. The second form of is baptism with Holy Spirit: This was how the apostles were baptized. Acts 2:1-4. The third is baptism with blood. Baptism of the martyrs with blood is this type. This one is for those who were not baptized with water but were martyred for his name.

Performance of Baptism

The person to be baptized, if an adult, has to learn and believe the Dogmas of the church. These are mainly the five pillars of mystery as stated in the creed of faith. Proper education and proclamation of faith must occur before an official baptism. The proclamation of faith must also occur during the baptismal ceremony as the priest would require the person to be baptised to recite the prayer called the Creed of Faith. However, for pragmatic reasons, this rule doesn’t work for infants. If the person to be baptised is an infant, the Godparent has to testify on behalf of the infant.

Regarding the Baptist, only Bishops and Priests are entitled to Baptize. Deacons assist Bishops and priests but they are not entitled to perform baptism. Matt 28:19 Baptism is performed through immersion. The whole body of the individual has to be immersed in the blessed water. Romans 6:34 Acts 8:38 Coll 2:2 John 3:3 Matt 3:15. Baptism is a visible service. One can see the Prayer service, Person being immersed in to water, Person wearing white cloth…etc. But it gives an invisible grace: Blessing of the water, Re-birth from water and spirit, Getting grace, purity and holiness etc.

Immersion, Sprinkling, Affusion

To Baptize (Gr. Baptizo) literally means to immerse or to put into water. Therefore, baptism is by triple immersion, “in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). This is based on evidence from Holy scriptures: 1) “Both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away” (Acts 8:38-39). 2) “We were buried with Him through baptism” (Rom 6:4), and “Buried with Him in baptism” (Col 2:12). 3) “According to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5), 4) “Be baptized, and wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16). Baptism is also called “washing” in the following verses (1 Pet 3:18-21; Eph 5:26). To wash a piece of cloth you need to completely immerse it in water. 5) “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water.” To come up from the water, one has to be immersed in the water. Matt 3:16 The most authentic form of baptism is therefore through immersion. However, in situations where there are no facilities for proper immersion, baptism is sometimes performed through sprinkling or affusion.

Baptismal name

A Christian has two names: Personal name (given by parents) and baptismal name (given at baptism). A person who believes in Jesus Christ and got baptized is a Christian and his faith is Christianity. The baptismal name indicates that a person is a baptized Christian. This is Biblical Tradition: God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, Jacob’s name to Israel, Simon’s name to Peter, and Saul’s name to Paul. Similarly, our church gives baptismal names to all its children at the time of their baptism. Here the priest/bishop is the one to give the name as we believe that this name need to be based on the will of Holy Spirit. Suggesting a baptismal name before the baptism (by parents or other people) is not the tradition of our church. The most common practice is that the priest performing the baptism will pick a baptismal name associated with the saint on whose commemoration day the baptism occurs.

Using the ecclesiastical language of Geez baptismal names are ascribed in the masculine or feminine forms. For example, if a baby girl and baby boy (man or woman) are baptised on Easter Sunday, the priest may name the baby boy Wolde Tensae and the baby girl Wolete Tensae. “Wolde” means “son of” whereas “Wolete” means “daughter of”. Tensae means resurrection. Similarly if the baptism occurs at a church named after St Michael or at holiday dedicated to St Michael, the priest may name the baby boy (man) “Gebre Michael (Servant of Michael)” or “Wolde Michael (Son of Michael)”, or Habte Michael (Gift of Michael), or Seyife Michael (Sword of Michael) or Sahle Michael (Mercy of Michael). In case of a baby girl (woman) baptised in similar circumstances, the priest may name her “Amete Michael (Servant of Michael)” or “Wolete Michale (Daughter of Michael)” or “Ehite Michael (Sister of Michael)”.

According to the tradition of our apostolic Orthodox Church, the saint or angel in whose name a Christian is named after is considered as the nominated protector (with prayers and covenant) for the soul of the baptised. A christian can only have one baptismal name. This is symbolic and it doesn’t mean that one is only protected by the prayers and covenants of the saint he/she is named after. In the same way that a church (building) is named after only one saint, one can only have one baptismal name. This has deeply engaging spiritual symbolisation. The name church (in Geez Bete-Christian) has three meanings: an individual christian, a congregation of Christians and a church building. Recently emerging commercialisation of church names and number of tabots for annual rituals at a given local church have caused naming a church after two or more saints. This, however, is an adulterated and spiritually meaningless practice. Some people tend to coverup such a fiasco in the name of “love for other saints”. The fact that a certain church is named after one saint doesn’t mean that the church doesn’t honour other saints. Similarly, the fact that one is named after a certain saint doesn’t mean that that Christian soul is protected only by the prayers of the saint he/she is named after.

Godfather/mother

Godfather/mother (baptismal father or mother) takes responsibility for the faith of infants baptised (to teach faith). Godfather/mother should be a person who 1) is not a relative of the infant, 2) can (is able to) teach the child, and 3) is himself/herself an orthodox Christian. Only men can be Godfather for boys and only women can be Godmother for girls. Godfather/mother is expected to treat his Godchild the same way as his/her biological children and teach him/her the basics of the faith as the child grows. Being a Godfather/mother is not just a means to establish family relationship but a responsibility to help children grow in Christian faith. One common mistake in relation to Godfather and Godmother is dedicating the child to the tabot of the church one is being baptised. Many people do so out of love to the saint or the church. But that is a wrong practice unsubstantiated by the teachings of the church. It should be noted that everyone baptised in any church has God as his father and the church as his mother. Failing to dedicate a baptismal father or mother would negate the justification for infant baptism and is therefore strongly condemned by church scholars.

Baptismal thread

Baptismal thread is a sign of our baptism, a sign that identifies us as Christians. It signifies that Jesus was tied and pulled with a rope. John 18:12-24 Baptismal thread is an identity or stamp for those who are baptized. Baptismal thread is usually three threads made in to one – an indication that we are baptized in the name of Trinity. We also use a single black thread. Baptismal thread is useful to bear witness for our Christianity, to defeat the devil, and to take blessings from the church. Jacob Elberedi, who started the use of Baptismal thread, used it to differentiate Christians from other heretics.

Indispensability of Baptism

Baptism is a necessity for Salvation. It’s not just a mere ceremony. The bible clearly states that “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Mark 16:16. It’s also a must to enter the kingdom of God. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ stated this clearly us “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5. We also believe in baptism for the remission of Sins. St Peter told the people to repent and be baptized: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” Acts 2:38. Through baptism we resemble Christ in his death and resurrection Romans 6:3-4 Coll 2:12. Through baptism we ensure we become body of Christ. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:27

Analogies of Baptism

There are several analogies of baptism in the old testament. Abraham’s crossing Jordan river (the water) to meet Melchizedek (the priest) is considered as an analogy of baptism. Gen 14:17. Job was baptized in Jordan river and got healed. This was also an example for the forthcoming baptism in the new testament. Neeman was baptised in Jordan and healed from Leprosy. 2 Kings 15:14. This was another example too. Arc of Noah (Gen 7:13 1 Peter 3:20). Circumcision (Gen 17:9 Coll 2:11) and crossing of Eritrean sea by Israelites (Exodus 14:21 1 Corrin 10:1) were also among analogies of baptism in the old testament. The analogy is that, as those who declined to hop into the Arc of Noah didn’t survive, those who fail to be baptised won’t join the Kingdom of God.

Age for Baptism

The first Apostles baptised all those who believed in Jesus regardless of age. Later baptizing at 40 days (boys) and 80 days (for girls) was introduced. This is based on the rites that Israelites going to the temple 40 and 80 days after birth for boys and girls, respectively. Lev 12:1-10. Adam and Eve entered to heaven 40 and 80 days after they were created. Jubilee 4:9 Those older than the recommended age of Baptism can be baptized after they learn and believe in the dogmas of the church. However, if an infant is sick or miss the 40 or 80 days mark due to different reasons, they should be baptized before or after the 40/80 days. However, these are exceptional cases.

In old testament circumcision, now replaced with baptism, was for both adults and infants. Gen 17: 1-5. The Israelites who crossed the sea where of all age groups, including infants. 1 Corr 10:1-2. In the ark of Noah, an example for baptism, there were both adults and children. Gen 7:1-17. All these justify the baptism of children. Moreover, if babies can get the Holy spirit when they are in the womb, what is it that prevents them from being baptized after they got born? Luke 1:15 Jeremiah 1:4-5. The Holy Apostles baptised the whole family including infants. Acts 10:44 11:13 16:15 16:43. Jesus Christ’s words on baptism are applicable to all people including children. John 3:5. St Peter the apostle also stated that baptism is without any restriction by age. Acts 2:38. Our Lord also said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them.” Matt 19:14 In His Teachings and command our Lord Jesus Christ does not specify the age of those who are to be baptized. He meant infants should also be baptized.

Does infant baptism violate their rights?

The simple answer is No. Children are baptized on the basis of the faith and the consent of their parents. This could be compared with immunisation of children. Children get immunised (vaccinated) through the consent of their parents. Besides, baptism doesn’t put the infant in any form of physical risk. Based on the Bible, God did not ask Adam when he put breath into him. This was baptism for Adam. But this doesn’t mean that God coerced Adam. In the same way, the church doesn’t directly ask the infants’ consent but it doesn’t mean that they are coerced. However, older children/adolescents should give informed consent before baptism. When children become adults they are free to decide on their faith. Children have the right to religious/spiritual services too.

Infant Baptism: For rebirth or remission of original sin?

It is for rebirth. But there are differing views on this depending on differing conceptualization of original sin. Some say it’s for both remission of the original sin and re-birth. Others say it’s to ‘heal’ the consequences of original sin and ensure their salvation through re-birth. The upshot is that original sin is avoided by Jesus and infant baptism is for re-birth from water and Holy Spirit only. Overall, infants should be baptized for re-birth from water and Holy spirit to ensure their salvation. For those who died after at 40/80 days, the parents will be accountable. Unbaptized infants who died before 40/80 days, they are free as they are not responsible for any sin. Ezk 18:20

We believe in one Baptism for the remission of sins

Baptism is one, there is no re-baptism. As we are born only once from our parents, we are born only once from water and Holy spirit. Circumcision, which was an example of baptism, was also conducted once. Coll 2:11 Jesus died, got buried and resurrected once. This is an example of baptism. Romans 6:3. If someone already baptized in our church but denounced it and go to other religion, he/she won’t be re-baptized if he/she decides to return back. Instead, a baptism of repentance will be conducted. Unless coming from other oriental churches, anyone coming from other denominations shall be re-baptized as his/her previous baptism is not considered valid.

Yes we believe in and confess baptism for the remission of sins.

Glory be to the Father, Glory be to the Son, Glory be to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Mystery of Incarnation

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The mystery of Incarnation is the center of Christology. It teaches us about how God became Man and Man became God. It reveals the reality of redemption of man from the original/ancestral sin. This mystery defines our religious and spiritual identity. It’s on the basis of this mystery that our apostolic orthodox church got the prefix in its name “Tewahedo” and we are called Christians. Tewahedo is a Geez word which represents the inseparable unity between Divinity and humanity in the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The mystery of incarnation is a fundamental biblical teaching about revelation of God to human beings. Through incarnation mysteries of kingdom of Heaven were revealed to human beings. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:18)

TWO BIRTHS OF GOD THE SON

We believe that God the Son (Jesus Christ) has two births. In eternity (before all ages), eternal Son of God, God the Son, has been begotten from the Father. He is one nature with the Father and a perfect Person (Ps 2:7 110:3 Prov 8:25). In time, through incarnation, He was born from St Virgin Mary with Virginal conception and without a human fatherhood (Galatians 4:4 Isa 7:14 Gen 3:15 18:13 12:8 Ps 107:20).

WHY GOD BECAME HUMAN?

Though it is not possible to fully explain God’s plan for humanity, prominent church scholars guided by the Holy Spirit and Holy scriptures noted some of the main reasons that made God became human. God became Human for many reasons. The first and foremost reason is to redeem humanity from the consequences of sin (Isa 64:6 Isa 53:5 Heb 9:26 John 10:15-18). The second reason is to become an ultimate role model for human beings (Gen 3:12 4:8 13:13 Ps 61:4 Matt 11:29 2Peter 2:21). By being Human, God taught us everything we need to do to become his children. The third reason is to reveal His love for Human beings (Hos 14:4 John 3:16 1John 4:19 Romans 5:8 Ephe 2:4). He loved man to the extent of being crucified on the cross. The fourth reason is to reveal himself to us (Romans 1:19-20 Matt 11:27 John 14:8-9 John 1:18). It is through Jesus Christ that we know the mystery of Trinity and important aspects of Kingdom of God. The fifth reason is to restrain Satan (Heb 9:2,14,15) and this was mainly done while Jesus Christ was on the Cross.

PRE-INCARNATION: TWO NATURES, TWO PERSONS

Before incarnation, there were two natures and two persons. Divinity and Humanity. The Divine nature, God the Son, is one nature with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is also one of the three persons of God. He is present everywhere, is eternal, knows everything, and can do everything. On the other aspect was Humanity, the Human nature. Humanity is a combination of Flesh/body (Soil, Air, Fire, Water) and rational Soul (Think, Speak, Immortal). The human nature has limited knowledge and power. We believe that God the Son perfectly united with body and soul from St Virgin Mary. A prominent church scholar, St Cyril (Kyrillos) explained this biblical fact saying “starting from incarnation, there is only one person Jesus Christ. Whatever belongs to Divinity, is an attribute of His humanity and whatever belongs to humanity is an attribute of His Divinity.”

INCARNATION

Based on Orthodox Tewahdo teaching, incarnation is from two Persons to one Person; and from two natures to one united nature. From two Persons to one Person means Divine Person and Human united in to one hypostasis, Jesus Christ – He is both perfectly Divine and perfectly Human. Similarly, from two natures to one nature means Divine nature and Human nature perfectly united in to one united nature. We believe that this incarnation is without alteration/change, without reversion, without mingling/mixing, without dwelling, without superimposing, without separation, and without detachment.

THE INCARNATED

The incarnated Lord Jesus Christ is true God. As He is true God, He rebuked the sea (Matt 8:23), created eyes (John 9:6) and entered through closed doors (John 20:26). These are possible only for a supernatural power. Moreover, many verses about Jesus’ birth confirm that He is True God (Luke 2:11 Matt 2:11 Isai 9:6). The incarnated Lord Jesus Christ is also a true Human being. He was sleeping (Matt 8:23). He spat on the ground (John 9:6). He ate after resurrection (Luke 24:42). All these confirm that He is also a True Human being. In short, He is both God and Human.

DIVINITY OF JESUS CHRIST

The Holy Bible provides ample evidence about the Divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul in his epistle to Romans wrote that ” …according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever”.(Romans 9:5). Similarly, St John the Evangelist clearly stated the Divinity of Jesus Christ as “He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20). After resurrection of Jesus Christ, Thomas answered and said unto Him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). All the disciples taught about the Divinity of Jesus Christ. In more definitive terms Jesus Christ Himself said “I Am Alpha And Omega, The Beginning And The Ending,”(Rev 1:8) and “‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ (Matt 22:31).

Holy fathers in the early church also taught the same. For instance St Athanasius said the following about incarnation and Divinity of Jesus Christ: “He is God from the essence of the Father, begotten before time; and he is human from the essence of his mother, born in time; completely God, completely human, with a rational soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as regards divinity, less than the Father as regards humanity. Although he is God and human, yet Christ is not two, but one. He is one, however, not by his divinity being turned into flesh, but by God’s taking humanity to himself. He is one, certainly not by the blending of his essence, but by the unity of his person. For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh, so too the one Christ is both God and human.”

ANALOGIES OF INCARNATION

To help us better understand the mystery of incarnation, our church used some analogies. These analogies have some drawbacks and don’t explain the entire mystery. Nonetheless, they help us understand some aspects of the mystery. The first analogy is the Burning Bush (Exodus 3:2). The bush represents humanity whereas Divinity is represented by the flame. The bush was on fire, but was not consumed by the flames. The fire was not extinguished by the nature of the bush. In the same way, Jesus Christ’s Divinity does not destroy His humanity and His humanity does not make His Divinity less powerful. Instead, the two were united with their perfect attributes as explained to Mosses in the miraculous Burning Bush.

The second commonly used analogy is The Live Coal (Isaiah 6:6). “Then flew one of the Seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar.” Fire and coal united without alternation. The fire in the Live Coal represents Divinity whereas the Coal represents humanity. As the Live Coal purged Isaiah’s unclean lips, the body of Jesus Christ which is handed down to Christians during Holy Eucharist (Holy Qurban) purges our transgressions.

A third analogy, similar to the Live Coal, is Heated Iron. St Cyril (Kyrillos) is known for using this analogy. The Heated Iron is both heated and iron at a time. In the same way, Jesus Christ is both Divine and human.When iron gets hot, the iron and fire will be united. The fire will take the shape of the iron. We call it heated iron, not iron or fire only. In a comparable way, we call Jesus Christ Son of God, Son of Mary. Starting from incarnation, Son of God and Son of Mary are inseparably united in the person of Jesus Christ.

The fourth analogy is the unity of Body and Soul. When body and soul are joined together to make a human being, they do not lose their distinctiveness nor is their integrity compromised. In a similar manner, we speak of the inseparable distinctiveness of humanity and Divinity in the person of Jesus Christ. Despite being united, neither Divinity nor humanity loses its integrity. However, body and soul will get separated at death and this is the limitation of the analogy in explaining the mystery of Incarnation. There is no separation of Divinity from humanity.

NAMES OF INCARNATE GOD THE SON

The incarnated God the Son has three names that are often used in the Bible. The first one is Emmanuel፡ “Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel” (which being interpreted is, “God with us”) (Matt 1:23 Isaiah 7:14). The second name is Jesus: Jesus (Joshua in the Old Testament) means “Savior.” “And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). The third name is Christ: Means “the anointed one“ or “Messaih.”But both the anointer and anointee is Himself (John 4:25-30). In the Orthodox Tewahdo Church we usually address Him as “Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” There are also other less prominent names attributed to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Incarnation heresies

There are many heresies around incarnation of God. These emerged from flawed understanding and interpretation of the holy scriptures. Some heresies denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ. These “Human only” heresies deny the deity of Christ and claim Christ is Man Only. A commonly cited example of these heresies is Ebonism. On the contrary, there were “Divine only” Gnostics. These heretics denied Christ is Man. They claimed that Jesus seemed to be human, and that his human form was an illusion. Docetism can be cited as one of these heresies.

Elipandus described incarnation using the concept of Adoptionism. He said Jesus is “Adopted as God.” By that he meant Jesus was a man and put on divinity at his baptism as he was sinless. But this is a heresy as the Son is God before all ages and was born from St Mary without change. That was why the wise men presented Him gifts signalling His Divine nature upon His human birth from Holy Virgin Mary. (Mathew 2:11) Appolinarius taught that Jesus Christ had a human body, but a divine soul. This heresy is called Apollinarism. We believe Jesus Christ had a human body and a human soul. In the recent past Thomasius taught the heresy usually described as Kenocitism or “Limited Divinity.” He quoted the verse “He laid aside some of His divinity in order to be more like human beings (Philippians 2:6–7) to support his claim.

One of the major heresies on incarnation in the history of our church was the heresy that described Jesus Christ as having “Two natures, Two Persons.” This was first introduced by Nestorius and often described as Nestorianism. Nestorius taught that Jesus Christ was really two separate nature and persons, and only the human Jesus was in Mary’s womb (thus she shouldn’t be called Mother of God). He also said Divinity dwell on Him later. This heresy is called Diphysitism. Opposite to this was the heresy of Eutychetes (also called (Eutychianism). Eutychetes taught Jesus Christ is One (single) nature, mixture of Man and God. He said a third unique nature, a blend or mixture of the human and the Divine, was possessed by Jesus. This heresy is called Monophysitism.

Another major heresy that emerged around the middle of the fifth century was Dyophysitism. Dyophysitism teaches that Jesus Christ is two natures but one person. It says two natures, divine and human, exist in the person of Jesus Christ. It has some aspects of Nestorianism. This taught was proposed by Leo and endorsed at the council of Chalcedonian. It became the cause of great Schism in the history of the Church. The Oriental Orthodox churches don’t recognize the Chalcedonian declarations. It is a modified version of Dyophysitism that was introduced to some parts of present-day Ethiopia by the Portugese missionaries in the 16th Century was “Grace” and “Anointment.” At that time Alfonso Mendez taught Jesus was anointed in the womb by the Holy spirit and got the grace of God (or the nature of God).

Miaphysitism: “One United Nature”

We believe that incarnation is from two natures to one; from two persons to one. Our church teaches the notion that Christ is both Divine and human, but in one united nature. Our belief is that the Eternal Son of God became Man taking soul and body from St Mary. Our mystery of incarnation is miaphysitism. On the basis of the truth taught by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and revealed by the Holy Spirit to the disciples, we believe that in the person of Jesus Christ, divine nature and human nature are perfectly united, the two being united without separation, without mixture, without confusion and without alteration. This is the doctrine of Oriental Churches – the mystery of Incarnation!

May God give us the wisdom to understand the mystery of Incarnation and worship the Lord in the same way our apostolic forefathers did. Amen.

Oortoodooksi Tawaahidoo

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Oortoodooksi

Jechi “Oortoodooksi” jecha Giriikii yoo ta’u jechoota lamaan “Oortoo” fi “Dooksi” irraa kan walitti dhufee dha. Hiikaan isaaniis: “Oortoo” jechuun sirrii, qajeeloo ykn sorooroo jechuu yoo ta’u, “Dooksi” jechuun immoo amantii/amantaa jechuudha. Walumaa galatti “oortoodooksi” jechuun amantaa qajeeloo ykn amantii/amantaa sirrii jechuudha.

Jechi “Oortoodooksi” jedhu kun yeroo jalqabaatiif kan hojii irra oole bara 325 B.A. yaa’ii Niiqiyaa irratti dha. Kan moggaasanis abbootii 318 yaa’ii sana irratti hirmaatan kan amantaan isaanii qajeeloo ta’e yemmuu ta’u isaanis namicha Aariyoos jedhamu kan “Ilmi uumamaa dha” jechuun yaada dogongoraa kaase ciiga’uu fi amanti isaanii cimsuuf walgahanii dha. Abbootiin kun jecha kana kan fayyadaman amantaan keenya kan duuka bu’oota irraa dhaalle isa qajeeloo ykn sirrii dha jechuuf dha. Yeroo adda addaatti gantootni akka Aariyoos barumsa isaanii sirrii kan hintaane akka ta’e agarsiisuuf maqaa amantaa isaanii Oortoodooksii jedhaniin.

Jecha ammayyaatiin immoo karaan oortoodooksi (orthodox) jechuun karaa baramaa ta’een rakkoo wayii hiikuu yoo ta’u, miti-oortoodooksi (unorthodox) jechuun immoo karaa kanaan dura hin beekamneen fi karaa adda ta’een rakkoof fala dhahuu jechuudha. Kanaan alatti namoonni tokko tokko kan jijjiiramaaf hin onnanne jechuuf itti fayyadamu. Isaan kuni garuu yeroo booda kan dhufan fi hiikaa sirrii hintaane akkasumas kan faalame dha jenne fudhachuu dandeenya.

Tawaahidoo

“Tawaahidoo”n jecha Gi’izii yoo ta’u hiikaan isaa “tokko ta’e” jechuu dha. Hiikaan isaas Gooftaan yeroo nama ta’u amalli Waaqummaa fi namummaa tokko ta’e jechuu dha. Kanaaf, tawaahidoo jechuun “Ilma tokko ta’e” jechuudha. Kiristoos kan nama ta’e: otoo hin deebi’in, otoo hin jijjiiramin, otoo wal hin makamin, otoo hin ida’amin, otoo adda hin bahin, otoo irra hin bulin dha. Kiristoos qaama lama irraa qaama tokko, amala lama irraa amala tokko kan ta’e tawaahidoon dha. Kanaaf jechi tawaahidoo jedhu iccitii Kiristoos ittiin nama ta’e kan ibsu jecha guddaa dha. Kiristoos nama kan ta’e tawaahidoon dha.

Oortoodooksi Tawaahidoo

Oortoodoksi Tawaahidoo jechuun Iyyasuus Kiristoos tawaahidoodhaan qaama lama irraa qaama tokko, amala lama irraa amala tokko (Jecha foon ta’e) jettee kan amantu amantii/amantaa qajeeloo jechuu dha. Kunis kan raajotaan jedhame, Kiristoos wangeela irratti kan barsiise, duuka bu’ootni kan lallaban, beektonni kan iccitii isaa ibsan irratti kan hundaa’e dha. Amantaan kuni Kiristaanota yeroo duuka bu’ootaa turan irraa eegalee wlharkaa fuudhiinsaan dhalootaa gara dhalootaatti darbuun kan as ga’e waan ta’eef amantaa sirrii dha. Kan hin faalamin fi kan hin jijjiirramin waan taateef amantaa sirriiti.

Mat 16:16-18 irratti “Iyyasuus biyya Filiiphoos Qisaariyaa yeroo gahu duuka bu’oota Isaan: namoonni Ilma Namaa eenyu jedhuun? Jedhee gaafate. Isaanis: tokko tokko Yohaannis isa Cuuphaa, kaanis Eeliyaas, kaan Ermiyaas ykn raajota keessaa isa tokko jechu jedhaniin. Innis: isinhoo anaan eenyu jettu? Jedheen. Pheexiroos Simoonichi deebisee: Ati  Kiristoos Ilma Waaqayyo Isa Jiraataati jedhe. Gooftaanis deebisee akkas jedheen: Yaa Simoon ilma Yoonaa Abbaa kiyya isa samii irraa malee foon fi dhiigni kana siif hin ibsine waan ta’eef ati kan ayyaanomtee dha. Anis siinin jedha ati Pheexiroosi dha dhagaa qarsaa kana irrattis Mana Kiristaanaakoo nan ijaara gooftummaan du’aas isa hin danda’u” jedha.

Tawaahidoon (Jecha foon ta’e) jechuun amantii Pheexiroos kana kan agarsiisuu dha. Akka Gooftaan mirkaneesse, amantiin Pheexiroos kuni qarsaa dha. Amantaan keenya amantii kanarratti waan hundoofteef Oortoodooksi Tawaahidoo jedhamte. Qarsaan kun kan jijjiiramu miti, kan haaromfamus miti; akkuma manni illee yeroo haaromfamu bu’urri hin haaromfame sana. Amantaan hundee dha, bu’uradha. Bu’ura haaromsuuf deemuun manicha diiganii ijaaruu ta’a. Kitaabni “Kan bu’ureeffameen alatti eenyuyyuu bu’ura biraa baasuu hin danda’u, innis Iyyasuus Kiristoosi, 1Qor 3:11”, akkuma jedhu. Amantaan bu’ura kanarratti hundoofte nama haaromsiti malee ofiin haaromfamuun ishii hin barbaachisu.

Amantaalee Barumsa Kana Fudhatan

Barumsaa tawaahidoo (Miaphysite) kan fudhatan Manneen Kiristaanaa Bahaa (Oriental Churches) jedhamu. Isaan kunis Mana Kiristaana Oortoodooksi Tawaahidoo Itophiyaa (Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church), Mana Kiristaana Oortoodooksi Tawaahidoo Eertiraa (Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church), Mana Kiristaanaa Kooptiikii Misir (Coptic Orthodox Church), Mana Kiristaanaa Oortoodooksii Arman (Armenian Orthodox Church), Mana Kiristaanaa Oortoodooksii Sooriyaa (Syrian Orthodox Church) fi Mana Kiristaanaa Oortoodooksii Hindii (Indian Orthodox Church)  ti. Isaan Manneen Kiristaanaa Bahaa kuni Yaa’ii Keelqedoon kan hin fudhatin yommuu ta’an bu’ura amantaa (Dogma) tokko kan qabani dha.

Namoonni tokko tokko “Oortoodooksi” jechi jedhu kitaaba qulqulluu keessa meerre jira? jedhu. Garuu kitaaba raajii irratti “Karaa qaxxaamuraa irra dhaabadhaa, ilaalaa, karaa dursitee turte gaafadhaa, karaa gameettiin eessan akka taate baraa, ishees hordofaa lubbuu keessaniif boqonnaa argattuu; isaan garuu hin deemnu jedhan, Erm 6:16” jedha. Kakuu haaraa kessattis: “Iyyasuus Kiristoos kaleessas har’as haga bara baraatti Isuma dha, Ibr 13:8” jedha. Kuni kan agarsiisu karaa qajeeltoon takka qofa akka jirtuudha. Isheenis Oortoodooksi Tawaahidoo dha. Kanas kan jennu odeeffanno mirkaneessaa ta’eeni. Astemiroon itti fufiinsaan odeeffannoo hordoftootaaf ni dhiyeessiti.

Galatni Waaqayyoof Haa Ta’u!

Amantii/Amantaa Takka

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Amantiin maali? Amantaa hoo?

Amantii jechuun “waan abdatan dhuguma ni ta’a jedhanii fudhachuudha; waan ijaan hin argines akka jirutti kan mirkaneessu dha. Addunyaan jecha Waaqayyootiin akka uumaman wanti mul’atan wanta ijaan hin mul’atne irraa akka ta’e baranna”, (Ibr 11:1-3). Fakkeenyaaf, mootummaa samii (jireenya bara baraa) abdii godhanna; amantiin abdii kana nuuf mirkaneessa. Mootummaa Waaqayyoo kan samii nuti hin agarre, garuu amantiin waan nuti hin argin kana nuuf ibsa. Saayinsiin kana gochuu hin danda’u. Amantiin dhugaa sirrii (Absolute truth) irratti hundaa’a malee akka saayinsii dhugaa madaalawaa (relative truth) irratti miti.

Amantaa jechuun immoo amantii fi waaqeffannaa bakka tokkotti kan qabate ta’ee seera amantii fi waaqeffannaa jechuu dha. Waaqayyootti amannee seerri (system) ittiin waaqeffannu amantaa jedhama. Barumsi seera amantii fi waaqeffannaa kuni barumsa amantaa jedhama. Waaqayyo maal jennee akka amannuu fi akkamiin akka waaqeffannu kan nutti ibsu barumsa amantaati jechuu dha. Kanaafuu, amantiin keenya amantaadhaan ibsama.

Amantaa/amantii takka jechuun maal jechuu dha? Efe 4:5

Ka’umsi barumsa kanaa jecha qul. Phaawuloos “Gooftaa tokko, amantaa tokko, cuuphaa takka” jechuun barsiise dha, (Efe 4:4-5). Kun kan barreefameef tokkummaan jireenya afuurawaa akka eegamuu fi gidduu Kiristaanotaatti garaa garummaan akka hin uumamne waltti hidhuuf dha. Haala ibsa barreefama kanaatiin “amantaa takka” jechuun hiikaalee armaan gadii kana akka qabaatu beektonni ni mirkaneessu:

1. Amantaa takka jechuun Waaqayyo tokkotti amanuu dha.

Waaqni Addaam Waaqa Abrahaami. Waaqni Abrahaam Waaqa Yisihaaq, kan Yaaqoob, kan Daawiit, kan Pheexiroos fi Waaqa hunduma keenyati. Waaqa qul. Pheexiroos amane fi inni waaqeffate nutis yoo amanne fi yoo waaqeffanne qul. Pheexiroos waliin amantaadhaan tokko. Ilmaan keenya yoo akkasitti amanan fi waaqeffatan, amantaa takkittiin tuni eegamtee jiraatti jechuu dha. Kanaaf, amantaa takkittii jechuun Waaqayyo tokkotti (lakkoofsaanis ta’ee amalaan tokko jechuun) amanuu fi seera waaqeffannaa tokko hordofuu dha. Kakuu moofaas ta’ee haaraa kessatti kan waaqeffatamu Waaqayyo tokko. Kanaaf, “amantaa takka” kan jedheef Waaqayyo tokko isa kakuu moofaa keessa ture kan lallabu fi amantaan Kiristaanaa isa duraa irraa kan itti fufe fi kan duraan ture kan itti ifa bahe malee amantaa haraa dhufe akka hin ta’in mirkaneessuf dha.

2. Amantaa takka jechuun cuphaa takkaan dhalachuu dha.

Balballi amantaa Waaqayyo tokkotti amananii cuuphamuu dha. Cuuphaanis bishaan fi Afuura Qulqulluu irraa dhalachuu fi maatii Kiristoositti makamuu dha. Tokkoon tokkoon keenya kan cuuphamnu yeroo tokko qofa. Cuuphaan hin lammeefamu. Ilmaan Waaqayyoo erga jedhamne, akkasumas, erga hammatamnee booda maqaa lammataa fi ilmummaan lammataa waan hin jirreef cuuphaan takkitti dha jennee amanna. Cuuphaan hundi keenya cuuphamne kaayyoon isaa tokko; innis ilmummaa argachuu dha. Cuuphamuu keenyaan Iyyasuus Kiristoos waliin tokkummaa uumanna; du’aa fi du’aa ka’uu Isaatti hirmaanna; ilmummaa afuurawaa arganna. Siimboon ilmummaa sunif tokkuma. Kanaaf, namni cuuphaa takkaan tana cuuphamee ilmummaa argatee maatii Kiristoositti makame amantaadhaan tokko jechuuf “amantaa takka” jedhe.

3. Amantaa takka jechuun abdii tokkoof fi abdii tokkoon waamamuu dha.

Namni Waaqayyo tokkotti amanee cuuphame abdiin inni eegatu tokko. Innis Mootummaa samii (jireenya bara baraa) ti. Isa tokkoof abdii tokko isa biraaf abdiin biraa hin jiru; abdii takka malee. Abdii takkaaf kan waamame amantaa garaa garaa irra jiraachuu hin danda’u. Qul. Phaawuloos fi qul. Pheexiroosiin lallabni waa’ee abdii isa tokkoo kuni ibsameefii kan turan kiristaanonni amantaa tokko qaban turan. Pheexiroos warra dhagna qabataniif, Pheexiroos immoo uummatoota biraa yaa barsiisanuyyuu malee amantaan isaanii garuu tokko dha. Sababa kanaf “amantaa takka” jedhe.

4. Amantaa takka jechuun qama tokko ta’uu jechuu dha.

Amantaa takka jechuun qaama tokko afuura tokko ta’uu jechuu dha. Duuka bu’ichi qul. Phaawuloos yeroo ibsu “Qaamni tokko akka ta’e, dhaqna adda addaa akka qabaatu, haata’u malee dhaqni garaa garaa walitti qaama tokko akka ta’an, Kiristoosis akkasuma. Yihuudiis ta’u Giriik, garbas ta’uu walaba, hundi keenya afuura tokkoon qaama tokko akka taanu cuuphamnee jirra … qaamni dhaqna baay’ee kan qabu malee dhaqna takka akka hin taane … isinis qaama Kiristoos taatanii dhaqnaa garaa garaati”, (1 Qor 12:27). Gooftaanis “Ani muka wayiiniti isin immoo dameewwan isaati”, (Yoh 15:5) akkuma jedhe muka tokkicha irratti kan hundoofne dha; kennaa garaa garaa qabaannus qaama Kiristoos isa tokkichaa waan taaneef amantaa tokko malee amantaalee adda addaa kan qabaannu miti.

5. Amantaa takka jechuun Afuura Qulqulluu tokkoon qajeelfamuu dha.

Ega Kiristoos ol bahee booda manni kiristaanaa kan qajeelfamte Afuura Qulqulluu duuka bu’oota irra bule sanaani, (HoE 2:1). Har’as mana kiristaanaa kan qajeelchu karaa qul. Siinoodoosiitiin Afuura Qulqulluu dha. “Hundi keenya Afuura Qulqulluu tokkicha dhugneerra”, (1Qor 12:27) akkuma jedhu. Afuura Qulqulluu tokkoon kan qajeelfamu amantii fi amantaa tokko malee kan adda addaa ta’uu hindanda’u. Kanaaf amantaa takkittii jechuun kan Afuura Qulqulluu tokkoon hooganamu jechuu dha.

6. Amantaa takka jechuun al-takka kan kennamte jechuu dha.

Amantaan al-tokko kan kennamte fi takkittii dha. Kanas “Michoota koo! Waa’ee fayyina walii wajjin qabnuuf durumaan isiiniif barreessudhaaf dhama’ee otoon jiruu, qulqullootaaf al-takka amantaa kenname sanaaf akka loltaniif gorsa isiniif barreessuun dirqii natti ta’e”, (Yih 1:3) jedha. Amantaan tuni Iyyasuus Kiristoos dhagaa bu’uraa kan ta’eef fi Isa irratti kan hundoofte dha, (Mat 16:16). Amantaan yeroo garaa garaa deddeebitee kan kennamtu miti. Kanuma yeroo duka bu’ootaa turte sanatu har’as jiraachu qaba. Bu’ura kanaan amantaan kan eegamtu (conservative) malee kan fooyyoftu (progressive) miti. Kanaaf amantaan takkitti dha.

7. Amantaa takka jechuun Kiristoos isa tokkicha fakkaachuu jechuu dha.

Wanti Kiristoos irraa baranne isuma Kiristoos fakkaachuu waan ta’eef amantaan takkittii ta’uu qabdi. Waa’ee kanaa irratti qul. Phaawuloos “Iyyasuus Kiristoo waliin akka tokko taanu kan cuuphamne hundi keenya du’a Isaa waliinis akka tokko taanu akka cuuphamne hin beektanii? … du’a Isaa kan fakkaatu du’aan akkuma waliin jirru du’aa ka’uu Isaa kan fakkaatu ka’umsaanis akkasuma Isa waliin taana” (Rom 6:4-5) jedha. Gooftaanis “barsiisaan keessan, hayyuun keessan, abbaan kessan tokko”, (Mat 23:8) jedhee barsiisera. Nuti Kiristoos akka fakkaannu qul. Phaawuloos yeroo ibsu “Ani akkuman Kiristoos fakkaadhu isin immoo ana fakkaadhaa”, (1Qor 11:1) jedha. Gooftaan keenyas “Ana irraa baradhaa”, (Mat 11:29); “Ani qulqulluu akkuman ta’e isinis qulqulloota ta’aa”, (1 Phe 1:16), jedha. Egaa amantaan Kiristoos isa tokkicha fakkaachuu yoo ta’e amantaa tokko jechuu dha.

Amantii moo Amantaa takka?

Kitaaba Qulqulluu tokko tokko keessatti “amantaa”n fi “amantii”n waan waljala jijjiiramee barreefameef namootni tokko tokko amantii tokko kan qabaatan amantaan adda addaa jiraachuu danda’a jedhu. Haaluma olitti caqafameen qul. Phaawuloos waliin amantiin qofa otoo hin taane seera waaqeffannaatiin illee tokko ta’uun, jechuunis, akka inni amanetti amanuu fi akka inni waaqeffatetti waaqeffachuutu sirrii nama taasisa. Amantiin tokko kan ibsamu amantaa tokkooni. Amantii adda adaa yoo ta’ee malee amantiin tokko amantaalee bay’ee kessatti mul’achuu hin danda’u. Amantiin takka amantaa tokkoon ibsamti. Kunis Waaqayyo tokko waaqeffachuu, cuuphaa takkaan cuuphamuu fi abdii tokkoof waamamuu dha. Kanaaf amantiinis ta’ee amantaan tokko qofa.

Kuni amantii dhugaa fi amantaa isa sirrii kan nuuf galee fi kan beeknu kan ilaallatuu dha. Amantaa isa sirrii ta’e kanaan ala garuu amantiiwwan garaa garaa akka turan fi fuuldurattis akka jiraatan yeroo duuka-bu’ootaa sana iyyuu kan barameedha, (1 Yoh 4:1-3)

Galatni Waaqayoof haa ta’u!

The Mystery of Trinity

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Introduction

The Mystery of Trinity is the first among the five pillars of mysteries at our oriental apostolic Orthodox Church. It is fundamental to the dogma of our church and hence one can hardly comprehend the rest of the mysteries without faith in the Mystery of Trinity. All the mysteries presuppose faith in Mystery of Trinity as well as proclaiming that faith through rituals.

The word ‘Trinity’ means a group of three things or people. It refers to the existence of one God in three Persons. Holy Trinity a special and unique form of Trinity and it means three in One, One in three. While the mystery of Trinity is extensively stated in various scriptures, the term “Trinity” was first coined by Theophilus of Antioch (169 AD) to explain an eternally existing reality. It should be emphasised that St Theophilus of Antioch did not re-write the scriptures. He just gave a fitting term to a notion that had already been in scriptures.

The Mystery of Trinity is the most fundamental of all Christian dogmas. It is the basis for our salvation. It is impossible to comprehend the fundamental teachings of the Holy Bible in the absence of a clear understanding about the Mystery of Trinity. This mystery is part and parcel of each and every spiritual life and service. We all are baptized in the name of Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19). We always start our prayer or other spiritual services ‘in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit.’ Similary, at the conclusion of all spiritual services, we wind it up by the clause “Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” We proclaim our faith with the name of the Trinity, which is our powerful weapon against the devil.

Trinity: One in three, three in one

We believe in one God. God is one in essence/nature, divinity, power, action, and will (Deut 6:4, Isai 44:6, 43:1, John 10:30). We also believe in three Persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is three in Person (Hypostasis), Name, and Deed (Matt 28:19, 1 Cor 12:4-6, Romans 14:17). “Nature” is what God is. But what God is in His nature and essence is incomprehensible with human mind and that no human person has ever discovered or ever will discover. What we know about God is what the scriptures have told us. St John the evangelist stated that “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:18) “Person” is who God is. St Gregory stated it as “When I say God, I mean Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Deed/Relation: The Father eternally begets the Son, and eternally gives forth the Holy Spirit. He is the unbegotten and never proceeds. The Son is begotten of the Father. He never begets, never gives forth the Holy Spirit, and never proceeds from the Father. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. He never begets, is unbegotten, and never gives forth. The three persons are co-equal, co-eternal and co-substantial.

Person: The Father has a perfect person, the Son has a perfect person, the Holy Spirit has a perfect person. They are three real, concrete and absolutely distinct Persons. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three entirely distinct modes of existence. The three are not parts of the same person, nor three ways of manifestation to the world. They are undivided, inseparable, and Perfectly united.

Name: The Father is described as the Heart and God above or beyond us. The Son is also called the Son of God, His ‘Word’, or ‘Logos’, and God with us. The Holy Spirit is called the ‘life’, or ‘breath’ of God, and God within us. But the three are one. As the Apostle Paul stated it clearly “There is no other God but one” (1 Corinthians 8:4).

Holy Trinity in the Old Testament

Creation of Man: “And God said, Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” Genesis 1:26 The plural number here indicates that God is not one Person. 

Exile from Eden: “And the Lord God said, Behold, Adam is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” Genesis 3:22  The plural indicates that God is not one Person.

Confusion of tongues: Prior to the confusion of tongues at the building of the tower of Babylon, the Lord said, “Let us go down, and there confound their language.” Genesis 11:6-7. Again the description “let us” shows that God is not one person.

God’s appearance to Abraham: “And the Lord appeared unto him at the oak of Mamre . . . And he (Abraham) lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him. Genesis 18:1-3. This is a more definitive appearance of God in three persons. 

Isaiah’s Commission: And one cried to another and said: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:3. They said “Holy Holy Holy” as God is three persons.

King David’s Psalm: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” Psalm 33:6  In this verse, Lord is the Father, Word is the Son and Breath is the Holy Spirit. It clearly shows God is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

Holy Trinity in the New Testament

Annunciation: “Father sends the Holy Spirit upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, and she conceives of the eternal Son of God (Luke 1:35). The archangel Gabriel clearly mentioned the three persons: Father, Son of God and Holy Spirit. 

Baptism: The Father’s voice from heaven bears witness to the Son, saying, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; and at the same moment the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, descends from the Father and rests upon the Son (Matt. 3:16-17). Here the three persons of God were revealed to the world and John the Baptist other around him witnessed them. 

Transfiguration: The Father testifies from heaven, This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear Him (Matt. 17:5), while as before the Spirit descends upon the Son, this time in the form of a cloud of light (Luke 9:34). This is also another major event where God revealed Himself to the three Apostles, Moses and Elijah. 

Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matt. 28:19 The verse indicates God is three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The singular description ‘name’ shows God is one Person.

St Paul’s Benediction: In his Benediction to Corinthians, the Apostle Paul mentioned the three persons of God as “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” 2 Cor. 13:14

The Certainty of God’s Witness: John the Evangelist stated another more definitive description of Trinity as “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7 

The coming testimony: On his message about the Holy Spirit our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said “But when the Comforter comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me” John 15:26-27. Here He revealed not only the three persons of God but also the fact that the Holy Spirit Proceeds from the Father (and not  from the Son). 

Analogies of Trinity

Sun: It is written, “The Lord God is a sun…” (Ps 84:11). The sun has been used as an analogy for the Holy Trinity. The sun has ray and light. You cannot separate the light from the ray and you cannot separate either from the sun.

Man: Man who is created “in the image of God” (Gen 1:26) is one of the best analogies for the Truth of the Holy Trinity. Man is of one humanity possessing a mind and a spirit. Personality, mind, and spirit comprise just one human being.

Fire: It is written, “Our God is a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29). Fire can be used as an analogy for the Holy Trinity for fire generates flame, light and heat. Nevertheless, the flame, its light and its heat are one entity. From the moment the flame begins, from that moment light and heat also begin.

The Spring of Water: “The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook” (Prov 18:4). The well (fountain), spring and stream (river) have been used as an analogy for the Holy Trinity. Just as the spring and the stream produced from a well are not separate. There are in fact three visible objects and three names. They all have the same water.

Trinitarian heresies

Modalism: This heresy states that there is but one God who simply reveals Himself through three different modes, or roles. Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not distinct personalities, but different modes of God’s self-revelation. There is only one God, but that this one God reveals himself in different ways and different forms – sometimes as Father, sometimes as Son, sometimes as Holy Spirit. The Trinity is like water because water comes in three forms – ice, water, steam. This is Modalism because these are three states or modes of the substance water.  But it’s written that “For I am the Lord, I do not change” Malachi 6:3.

Tri-theism: This heresy says that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three independent divine beings; three separate gods who are linked together in some special way. People often make this mistake because they misunderstand the use of the word “persons” in defining the Trinity. But Trinity does not mean that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate personalities. they are one God, but three Persons.

Partialism: This heresy states that Father, Son and Holy Spirit together make up God. This would suggest that each of the persons of the Trinity is only part God. The three only becoming fully God when they are together. But Trinity means there is exactly one God; There are three really distinct Persons -Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of the Persons is God.

Arianism: Arius taught that “There was a time when the Son of God was not.” He insisted that Son of God was not truly God. He added that the Son was merely the highest of created beings, and in that sense we could call him a god. This belief is virtually identical to the present day heresy of the Jehovah’s Witness. It has been denounced at Council of Nicea (325 AD). The Word was God. John 1:1

Mecedonianism: This is a heresy that denied the full personality and divinity of the Holy Spirit. According to this heresy, the Holy Spirit was created by the Son and was thus subordinate to the Father and the Son. But God is one in essence but three in Person—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are distinct and equal. This heresy has been denounced at Council of Constantinople (381 AD). The Holy Spirit is God. John 3:5 Acts 5:5

Dual procession: This heresy is related to the Filioque clause: The Holy Spirit as proceeding from both the Father and the Son, (and not from the Father only). This was gradually inserted into the Nicene Creed so that it stated that the Holy Spirit proceeds not from the God the Father alone, but from both God the Father and God the Son. This idea detracts from the separate character of each person of the Trinity and confuses their relationships. The early church believes the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father only.

Conclusion

Trinity is Three in one and One in Three. The Trinity is not three persons who together make one God. Trinity is not three Gods joined together. Trinity is not three properties of God. Our forefathers have stated this as “The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. They are called one God but not three Gods.” (Apostolic Athanasius Faith of the Fathers Ch. 24 Part 4 Verse 4). In addition, the Holy fathers stated the mystery of Trinity as “Even though we say the Trinity are three in name, in deed and in person; the three are one in essence, in divinity, in existence and in will; we do not mean three Gods but one God. While the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit exist in their own perfect person, they are one in existence” (Abulidis, Faith of the Fathers, Ch. 40 Verse 4:6). 

Introduction to the Five Pillars of Mysteries

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The five pillars of mysteries are the core elements of faith in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church. They define the doctrine of the church. These are the basis of all the preaching, sacraments and services of the church. This article will briefly introduce you to these five pillars of mysteries. We shall also have separate articles for each mystery.

Definition of terms

Let’s start by defining some key terms that would help us better understand the five the mysteries. These terms are God, Faith, Religion, Dogma, Canon, and Church.

God is Pantocrater – The creator and ruler of the whole universe (Gen 1:1). He is the Lover of all mankind. God is the Heavenly Father and source of all moral authority. He is the Supreme being. He is the Almighty. He is the truth. He is omnipresent (present everywhere), omniscient (know all), omnipotent (can do everything), eternal and merciful. We believe on this God.

Faith is our firm conviction to God. It means believing on God. Accordingly, faithfulness meaning believing God in heart, confessing our faith in mouth and manifesting it in action (Romans 10:9). Apostle Paul describes faith as “the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrew 11:1).”

Religion is a relatively different concept. It refers to an organized faith. It outlines the nature of our relationship with God. It describes how we worship God as an individual and as a congregation. It also shows the true way to eternal life based on the words of God as written in the holy scriptures. Implied within the term religion are the institutional arrangements and the services of various types at all levels.

Dogma refers to the anchors of faith. These are the five pillars of mysteries. Dogma articulates the basic principles at the heart of our faith. Dogmas are professed as essential by all the faithful. What is stated as Dogma is a set principles laid down as incontrovertibly true by the Holy Synod. Any deviation from the Dogmas of our religion is considered as a heresy.

Canon refers to the Ecclesiastical (church) laws/rules (1 Corr 14:40) that ‘govern’ the church. These are formulated by Holy Synod of the church. All churches are expected to obey canons. These legislations may be amended by Holy Synod when necessary. these include legislations related to liturgical services, priesthood, administration of the church etc.

Church/Ecclesia is interpreted in four ways. First, it refers to the congregation (1 corr 11:28) – the Unity of all Christians, including those in heaven, and the unity of Christians with Christ. Second, it refers to the the ‘system’ of worship (John 2:16) – the church building (place of worship) and the spiritual services within it. Third, the term refers to the spiritual life of individual Christians (1 Corr 3:16). Finally, the term can be used to describe the entire church as a religious institution (e.g. Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church, Coptic Orthodox Church etc.).

The Pillars of Mysteries

A pillar is a vertical structure that emerges from a basement and supports the superstructure of a building. Similarly, the Pillar of Mysteries are the most important contents of faith and the basic principles belief. They are called ‘pillars’ as they are the anchors of faith.

Why do we call them ‘Mysteries?

We call these pillars of faith ‘mysteries’ for the following two main reasons. Firstly, they are religious beliefs based on divine revelation (1 Cor. 2፡7-8). It is difficult or impossible for a human mind to understand or explain them entirely (1 Cor. 2፡9). They cannot be fully and exhaustively conceptualized or understood. For example, the mystery of baptism may sound like taking a bath for a non-believer. The status of being son or daughter of God with grace is physically incomprehensible. That’s why Jesus Christ taught Nicodemus saying “the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

Secondly, we call them mysteries because they are for those who believe in God. As a human person reveal the details of a treasure to his/her heirs, God reveals the mysteries of faith for those who seek him with a pure heart. Hence, our apostolic church does not let a non-believer take part from the sacraments, which are manifestations of our faith in the five pillars of mysteries. One must first learn and profess the five pillars of mysteries before being a full-fledged member of God’s Kingdom on each: the Apostolic Orthodox Church. Our Lord Jesus Christ said “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6)

What are the Five Pillars of Mysteries?

The five pillars of mysteries of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church are Mystery of Holy Trinity, Mystery of Incarnation, Mystery of Baptism, Mystery of Holy Eucharist, and Mystery of Resurrection of (from) the dead.

What’s the basis for Pillars of Mysteries?

The five pillars of mysteries are sourced from the Holy Bible- the teachings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and his disciples. The centre of the pillars of mysteries is the Creed of Faith which summarises the declarations from the three Ecumenical councils recognized by the oriental church. The are the councils of Nicea, Ephesus, Constantinople.

The Orthodox Creed of Faith

We believe in one God, God the Father the Pantocrator who created heaven and earth, and all things seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not created, of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy spirit and the Virgin Mary and became Man.

And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried. And on the third day He rose from the dead, according to the scriptures, ascended to the heavens; He sits at the right hand of his Father, and He is coming again in His glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.

Yes, we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Life-Giver, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And in one holy, catholic and apostolic church. We confess one baptism for the remission of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the coming age. Amen.

Why should we learn about the Pillars of Mysteries?

Learning the pillars of mysteries would help us better understand our faith and religion. Better understanding of the pillars of mysteries would also enable us to protect ourselves and other Christian colleagues from different types of heretic thoughts. Knowledge of Pillars of mysteries would also pave the way for attaining  righteousness and getting eternal life.

You may be a wealthy, educated, or powerful person in your earthly life. You may have boundless authority on earth. Have you ever thought how long you will live on earth? How much do you know about your profession or any other aspect of earthly life? We believe you know a lot and you are constantly learning to know more every single day. But what do you know about your destiny after death?

As a Christian, we know we await eternal life after death. The five pillars of mysteries are the starting point of our spiritual knowledge, revealed through scriptures, about our faith which makes us eligible candidates for eternal life. If we rely on God to fulfil our dreams on earth, how much should we rely on him to help us understand the mysteries of our apostolic orthodox Christian faith? “If in this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Cor. 15፡19) Hence, we learn about the pillars of the mysteries so that we understand the basics of our Christian faith and look beyond this world to the Kingdom of God.

May God give us the wisdom to understand the mysteries! Amen.