Codex Manuscript with Gospel of John and Selected Letters of Saint Paul
Qes Aragawi Teklahaymanot (Ethiopian, born mid 20th century)
MediumInk and pigment on parchment, bound in wood and leather
DimensionsWork : 7 5/8 x 6 1/4 x 2 1/2 in. (19.37 x 15.88 x 6.35 cm)
Credit LineGift of Neal and Elizabeth Sobania
LabelA codex is a book constructed of multiple sheets of paper or parchment that are sewn together along one edge and protected by a set of wood or leather covers. Most religious texts in Ethiopia have historically been handwritten codices, and despite the introduction of printed books during the 20th century, codex manuscripts are still being made and used in Ethiopia today. This codex contains the Gospel of John along with some of the letters from Saint Paul that are found in the New Testament. The text is written in Ge’ez, the ancient language of Ethiopia that ceased to be spoken more than a thousand years ago but that remains in use for religious art and sacred documents. Because codex manuscripts are bulky and time-consuming to produce, most contain only a few texts selected from the Ethiopian Bible that are of particular interest to the books’ owners.