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National Salute to Debteras: The Theologians,  Philosophers, Historians, Professors and Patriots of Ethiopia!

By Belayneh Abate

It  is regretful to see  some anti-Ethiopian and anti-Amara elites trying to treat their inferiority complex by undermining Debteras, who served as professors, philosophers, patriots and as nation builders of Ethiopia.

As the Bible and other Holly Scriptures teach,  Ethiopia is one of the very few nations that started to follow monotheism belief while others were practicing polytheism and paganism. [1,2]

In the western world,  monotheism belief replaced paganism and the polytheism beliefs through bloodsheds long after Ethiopia showed  how to practice monotheism religions.  During Europe’s transition from polytheism and paganism to monotheism, the notable Socrates, Saint Paul and Saint Peter were crucified. [2-5] Unlike in Europe, the religious transitions from  the Old Testament to Christianity  in Ethiopia was peaceful because of the wise leadership style and ethical teachings of the Ethiopian Debteras.

The term Debtera has roots to the concept of Debir. Debir literally means a mountain, and Debtera has similar meaning when it is applied to things. When Debtera is applied to things, it describes higher up objects such as umbrellas or the  tips of  tents used to cover  holly objects used in special church activities.

When Debtera is applied to people, it indicates a writer whose life is highly attached to writing on brana or debters. If you coin the two concepts, the word Debtera signifies that Debteras are  the best of all writers. Because Debteras used to give high value for knowledge and writing, the Debtera intellectuals used to say a Debtera with no writings is a raven with no wings.[6]  I wish this deep metaphor could apply to the pseudo intellectuals that held PhDs and MDs just to bake their breads and perform political prostitutions.

The Ethiopian Debteras as Theologians:  The lives of the Ethiopian society and the archeological facts in the Ethiopian caves  show that Ethiopia followed  the Old Testament and humanly way of life thousands of years before Christianity while most of the world’s societies were worshiping trees and behaving like beasts.[2]

During the era of Muse, the theologian Debteras established the Debtera Aorits as a place of worship. Debtra Aorits were the tents where the old testament was practiced.  Later, they transformed the Debtera Aorits to Bete Mekurabs, which means Mertule or the Halls of Worship. The Bete-Mekurabs served as place of worship for the Old Testament until they were  transformed to Bete-Christians at the dawn of  Christianity.

Through their dedicated services, the theologian Debteras have written piles of scriptures that have inundated the European and American libraries. .

The Ethiopian Debeteras as Philosophers: In the minds of the former Ethiopian Debteras, it was unethical and immoral to write one’s name at the end or beginning of his intellectual works. As a result, it is difficult to attribute  each piece of philosophical work to an individual Debtera philosopher. However, no doubt that the works of the Ethiopian Debteras  have enriched the metaphysical, epistemological, political, ethical and esthetical branches of philosophy.

The immense contribution of Debteras to philosophy has been undermined because Ethiopian Debteras did not seek recognition, and the West did not want that recognition. Although the Ethiopian religious practices and philosophical thoughts precede that of the Greeks, majority of  the philosophical concepts are now traced from the philosophical works of ancient Greeks. I challenge the Ethiopian philosophy students to explore the works of Debtera philosophers further, but I have no doubt the Ethiopian Debteras were engaged in thorough philosophical debates way before the Greeks.

For example, the ancient Ethiopian Debteras have been debating about the creation of life  thousands of years ago. They had asserted that  life was composed  of the flesh and the soul. Furthermore, they taught that the flesh was composed of soil, water, air, and fire. Similarly, they claimed the soul was composed of a thinking mind, a speaking intellect and everlasting spirit. [7,8] Unfortunately, Thales was credited for the water, Anaximander for the fire, Anxaximenes for the air, and Empedocles for coining the four together. [9-12]

The teachings of the Ethiopian Debteras about life are now proven to be true by modern science. Modern science has confirmed that the human flesh is composed of 70% water and 30%  soil ingredients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. [13]

The former Ethiopian Debteras were not like the cadre popes and bishops the Tigre People Libration Front installed to break the hips and spines of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Amaras. The real Ethiopian Debteras were highly dedicated to creativity including, creating scripts, symbols,  brana, papers, inks, pens, lights and so on. The Debtera intellectuals crafted the Ethiopian Alphabet that coins the vowels into consonants. Unlike many other alphabets, these unique coining of vowels into consonants saves the writers’ time, paper and inks.

Furthermore, the Ethiopian Debteras have defined truth, justice, love and beauty through their poems, gold and wax qines, dramas, essays and drawings as it can be seen in the world museums and libraries beyond the Ethiopian Monasteries and Churches.

The Ethiopian Debteras as Historians: The Ethiopian Debteras were not history fabricators as the victims of low self-esteem personality disorders shamefully claim. Most of the  Debtera writers were working around the divine power, fulfilling the ethical and the moral duties that divine power required. The Ethiopian Debteras used to know what was going on in the world while they were praying and writing in the monasteries and caves let alone what was happening in their country and backyards.

The Ethiopian Debteras’ writing process started from making brana from sheep skins and producing different types of inks from variety  of plants. It is arrogant and obliviously immoral to think the Ethiopian Debteras went through all these difficult processes just to document phony histories.

The event records of the hard-working Ethiopian Debteras have enriched the body of the Ethiopian and the world histories. The Ethiopian Debteras have compiled Kibre-Negest and the chronological accounts of events in Sink-Sar. Writing big books such as  Sink-Sar, Tsome-Digua, Digua and Dawit takes more dedication, intellect and effort than writing the world encyclopedia at an era where there was no typing, copying, deleting, cutting and pasting.

It requires an Ethiopian Debtera (not PhDs such as Ezekiel Gabissa, who has been  carrying the name he hated for more than 6 decades) to have surmountable dedication to complete enduring theological and historical work.

The Ethiopian Debteras as Professors: It would not be an exaggeration if one claims the best teachers, writers, journalists, scientists or other scholars of Ethiopia are the direct or indirect products of Debteras. In addition to the religious hut schools in the monasteries and neighborhoods, the Ethiopian Debteras established the western style schools known as Askualas. As their work in the Abinet Schools, mister of education, universities and colleges show,  Debteras have been the pillars of the Ethiopian educational system for centuries. In fact, the education system of the country has been going  downhill since Debteras were pushed out of their administrative and teaching roles.

The Ethiopian Debteras as Patriots: Unlike the current popes and bishops, who loyally serve the killers of their followers, the former Ethiopian Debteras never sit as spectators when their country was invaded or their churches were burned.

The Ethiopians victory against the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, Italy and other invaders could have been impossible without active participation of the patriot Debteras.

The resilient defense against Italy during the second invasion could have been impossible without the bold leadership style of  martyrs such as Abune Petros and Abune Michael. [14] Similarly, the most effective victory of  Belay Zeleke’s army could have been impossible without the indispensible roles  of the patriotic religious leaders such as  Melak- Birhan Admassu Jemebere. [15]

In the absence of the  decisive active roles of the patriotic Debteras, the Ethiopian history could have been the same as the rest of African history.

I and Ezekiel Gabissa were saved from the chains of  slavery by the patriotic Debteras. Unfortunately, however, Ezekiel sits and mourns in his chat tent every day because his broad minded Ethiopian parents gave him a beautiful name coined by Debteras who  saved him from the hazards of slaveries.

Unlike I and  Ezekiel, the Ethiopian Debteras never worked for money. The Ethiopians Debteras received no stipend when they earned their postgraduate degrees from prestigious theological schools such as Washera, Qusquam of Gondar, Wadila Dillenta, Gonjii, Debre-Libanos, Dimma and so on. Their stipend as students was love of truth, knowledge, religion, moral and ethics. Debteras had no salaries when they worked as philosophers, historians, professors and patriots. They worked with no payments because their love affair was tied with searching for the truth, spreading knowledge, serving their God and protecting their people.

The Ethiopians Debteras never went to school to have a better live; they never wrote for money or recognition. They just dedicated their lives to serve God and their people. Despite their kudus deeds, they are blackmailed by people who are suffering from inferiority complexes. The blackmailers think they can equalize themselves by pulling down Debteras from the mountains down to their  rift valleys. How can one treat inferiority complex by undermining the works of Debtera philosophers?

If there is fairness in this world,  we shall open our minds and explore the works of Debteras instead of tarnishing their reputation and invaluable contribution to the knowledge bank of the universe. Unlike the pseudo intellectuals  that boast wearing the hats of PhDs and MDs, Debteras with the white head Shashes are  classical  sages, who will continue to exhale the wealth of  knowledge and wisdoms. Debteras are theologians, philosophers, historians, professors and patriots that established a well-organized and shining nation while most of the countries were  living in the quagmire of disarray and darkness.

National Salute to the Ethiopian Debteras! Thank you.

End Notes: All last accessed in August, 2019

  1. ዘፍጥረት 2:13
  2. ዳዊት ብርሃኑ፡- ነገረ ሃይማኖትና ሥልጣነ መንግስት 19192 ዓ.ም.
  3. Peter & Paul: Apostles, Saints, and Martyrs for the Christian Faith


  1. Saint Peter the Apostole https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Peter-the-Apostle
  2. Saint Paul the Apostole https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Paul-the-Apostle
  3. ደስታ ተክለወልድ፡-የግዕዝና የአማርኛ መዝገበ ቃላት ገጽ  335 እና 337
  4. መላእከ ብርሃን አድማሱ ጀምበሬ፤ መድሎተ አሚን
  5. መላእከ ብርሃን አድማሱ ጀምበሬ፤ ኵኲሀ-ሃይማኖት
  6. Reginald Allen, Thales to Aristotle, 1966 page 1-7
  7. Antonio Rosmini, Opinions about human soul volume two 1989 edition, chaper 2
  8. Stanford Encyclopidia of philosophy, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/empedocles/
  9. Will Durant, The story of philosophy, 1926
  10. Guyton: Text book of Medical Physiology
  11. Fisha Mekuria, Abune Petros A Martyr of the Millenium, http://www.ethiopians.com/abune_petros.htm
  12. ቀሲስ አስተርአየ:-አጽማቸው የፈለሰው የመላከ ብርሃን አድማሱ ጀምበሬ የአምስቱ ዘመን ተጋድሎ https://welkait.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/%E1%88%98%E1%88%8B%E1%8A%A8-%E1%89%A5%E1%88%AD%E1%88%83%E1%8A%95-%E1%8A%A0%E1%8B%B5%E1%88%9B%E1%88%B1-%E1%8C%80%E1%88%9D%E1%89%A0%E1%88%AC-p3.pdf


More Reads about the contribution of Ethiopian Debteras

  1. ለመሆኑ ሰው ምንድን ነው? www.quatero.net/meta/sewmindinnew.pdf
  2. ደግነትና ክፋት ምንድን ናቸው? http://www.quatero.net/meta/GoodandEvil.pdf

August, 2019

The writer can be reached at abatebelai@yahoo.com

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