Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Historical Theology

First Advisor

Joel Elowsky

Scripture References in this Resource

1 Cor. 11:27−29


This research examines the interpretation of 1Cor. 11:27−29 and the practice of worthy admission to the Eucharist within the historical context and tradition of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC). Christianity in Ethiopia has ancient roots in Judaism and in the apostolic tradition of the early church fathers, whose religious orientation and teaching shaped the church’s history, tradition, doctrine, and religious practices. In particular, we examine the church’s focus on the sanctity of the Eucharist and the acceptable celebration of and participation in the Sacrament by the faithful.

Analyzing the multi-facetted legacies of the EOTC, including Judaism and the early church fathers, both from Antiochene and Alexandrian traditions, interrelated to each other, the research discusses the biblical interpretative tradition of the EOTC, which is codified in the Andemta Commentary (AC) and which continues to influence the central, formative, ecclesiastical practice of teaching and preaching of the EOTC. The church’s ancient historical religious tradition and its liturgy, the long-standing biblical interpretation embedded in the AC, and the subsequent Ethiopic Bible versions interpret the Greek term ἀναξίως in verse 27as an adjective, thus requiring those who intend to partake in the Sacrament to demonstrate worthy Christian virtue and purity before participating in the Eucharist. The conclusion is that this interpretive tradition has not only placed an undue burden on consciences, but has also provided a distorted interpretation of the Corinthian context and the correct interpretation of this verse.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.