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Team led by ACU professor receives $300K grant from National Endowment of the Humanities

The grant was awarded for a project to produce print and digital editions of Old Testament books in Ge'ez.
Credit: Abilene Christian University

ABILENE, Texas — An Abilene Christian University international team, directed by Dr. Curt Niccum, associate director of the Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts was awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities.

According to an ACU press release, the grant is for a project to produce print and digital editions of Old Testament books in Ge'ez, the ancient language of Ethiopia.

Niccum and Dr. Steve Delamarter, a retired professor at Portland Seminary, led the team and partnered with other ACU faculty - Dr. Brent Reeves, associate professor of management science and computer science, and Dr. James Prather, associate professor of computer science – as well as students in the College of Biblical Studies and the College of Business Administration.

The NEH project, "The Emerging Text: The Textual History of the Ethiopic Old Testament,” will be worked on over the next three years. 

Textual histories of eight Ge'ez Old Testament books will be published by a team of international scholars. 

A team led by Prather and Reeves will develop online tools for accessing, analyzing and manipulating data produced by the project.

The release also said for each of the eight books, at least 30 manuscripts will be examined to identify eras where Ethiopian Christians modified their biblical text.

The project is significant for several reasons, including its attention to a little known non-Western translation of the Bible and the production of a text-based on a large number of manuscripts that have been in previous editions.

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