How Christianity Came to Africa: Hebrew Preparation

Notes for my upcoming class

Desert Fathers Dispatch

As in the Levant, Christianity in Africa has roots in the Israelite/Jewish religion. The story of Noah’s descendants populating the earth has the descendants of Ham settling Egypt and points west and southward along the Nile River (Genesis 10:6~20). An ancient name for the Nile is Gihon, one of the four rivers mentioned in the creation story of Eden and that it circles all the land of Ethiopia (Genesis 2:10~14). Noah worshiped the one God, Yahweh or Jehovah, and it is likely that the first generations of his descendants did as well. Some Egyptians practiced monotheism serving the sun god, Aten, during the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten in the 14th century before Christ.

Contact between Africans and Israelites was not uncommon. Joseph married Asenath, the daughter of an Egyptian priest, who bore him two sons Manasseh, and Ephraim (Genesis 41:45~52). These two were the forerunners of two of the most…

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