Central to the complex of associations with Israel and Judaism is a foundational work of Ethiopian literature, the Kebra Nagast, the ‘Book of the Glory of Kings’. It is this work, difficult to date and composite in character, which sets out the origins of the Ethiopian monarchy in the union of King Solomon of Israel and the Queen of Sheba, that legendary ruler of a Yemeni kingdom whom the Tanakh had recorded as visiting Jerusalem in great splendour. What is now considered to be a late addition to the accounts in the Kebra Nagast is the story that their son Menelik, the first Ethiopian king, brought the Ark, or tabot, back to Ethiopia, where it is kept to this day in a chapel in Aksum.
– from Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Christianity – The First Three Thousand Years
Dear Mr. MacCulloch,
I can’t really recommend your book, as you are not the most reliable guide to the Bible or early Christian sources, but you do cover an impressive amount of material and for someone like me who is ignorant of a lot of early church history, especially church history in the East (meaning the Middle-East and Central Asia) and church history outside of Europe in general, your book is not a bad introduction.
Meanwhile, have folks stopped by that church in Aksum to check out these claims…just in case an object with face melting powers (and who knows what else) is sitting in some out-the-way private church in Africa?