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TOWARDS A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF THE INDIGENOUS TEXT-CRITICAL METHODS OF ETHIOPIA: A FOCUS ON RECENTLY PRINTED GƎʾƎZ NEW TESTAMENT [Abstract ID: 0805-07]
Gǝʾǝz texts have received their fair share of academic editorial treatment since the establishment of Ethiopian Studies as a local and international discipline. Throughout this rigorous academic production, text critical methodology has been appearing to be a topic that has sparked off considerable “sectorial” debate which is evident in different publications including editorial notes of editions and reviews made on them. In the course of the segmental debates on the editorial methodologies and approaches called to be employed in editing the Gǝʾǝz texts, the examination of the ‘indigenous’ methodological orientations and approaches of scholars who were engaged in copying and editing the original enormous body of the literature seems to have long been ignored externally. Now thankfully however, there is a move towards the study of printed editions of Gǝʾǝz texts produced in Ethiopia-by-Ethiopians as a source for information regarding indigenous methods and attitudes, which undoubtedly have been transferred from manuscript to print, it seems that this has started to become a subject of interest for academic exploration, externally or internationally at least, with the help of Alessandro Bausi. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to present two significant introductory texts with annotated translations that are printed as preface and introduction to the recently printed Gǝʾǝz New Testament (Ḥaddis Kidan 2009 AM = 2017 CE). The printed edition which contains the 27 Gǝʾǝz books of the New Testament, is prepared and printed by the Scholars’ Council of the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwaḥǝdo Church and the Bible Society of Ethiopia respectively. The two introductory texts (a preface by HH Abunä Matǝyas, the Patriarch, and an introduction by [possibly] the Scholars’ Council of the EOTC) detail significant information like the selected witnesses used for the edition and the rationale considered to select them, the methodological approaches employed in the preparation of the edition, etc. As a background to the text and its annotated translation, a concise discussion of the history of biblical editions carried out by the EOTC with an inventory of editions will also be presented. The presentation and annotated translation of these texts is supposed therefore to have a positive contribution in initiating further explorative works on the subject.