Howard University School of Divinity Returns a Sacred Manuscript to Ethiopia

HowardUIn 1993, the Howard University School of Divinity received a donation of a 240-piece collection of religious documents and artifacts relating to Ethiopia from alumnus Andre Tweed. Included among the collection is the Tweed MS 150 manuscript of the Acts of Paul and the Acts of Serabamon that dates from the 14th or 15th century.

The university received a grant to digitize the collection. During this process, the university discovered that the Tweed MS 150 manuscript originally belonged to the Debre Libanos Monastery in Ethiopia. Howard University decided that the manuscript should be returned to its rightful owner.

byronGay L. Byron, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of the New Testament and Early Christianity at Howard University, states that it “has been a long-standing commitment of the School of Divinity to honor the rich heritage and cultural artifacts throughout Africa and particularly Ethiopia. With all due institutional integrity, we wanted to set an example for other schools, museums, and institutions around this country and even throughout the world for what it means to have rare manuscripts actually in their rightful home of origin.”

A delegation from Howard University, recently traveled to Ethiopia to return the manuscript to its place of origin.

Related Articles


  1. What a generous thing to do.I hope you are still pursuing your work in Ethiopia. I remember your classes with such fondness. I am sure your students at Howard are doing the same.Regards Katherine Nicosia.

  2. This is the right thing to do. We must learn to appreciate not only the provenance of artifacts but also of people. Additionally, the idea that Christianity only has a European origin and exegesis should be returned to where it belongs! I applaud you!

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

In Memoriam: Nathan Hare, 1933-2024

Dr. Hare was a prominent figure in the civil rights movement throughout the 1960s and was a strong advocate for equal educational opportunities for Black Americans. In 1968, he founded the country's first Black studies program at San Francisco State University.

Census Bureau Finds White Households Were Ten Times Wealthier Than Black Households in 2021

In 2021, White households represented 65.3 percent of all American homes, but owned 80 percent of all wealth. In comparison, Black households represented 13.6 percent of all households, but held only 4.7 percent of all wealth.

Bonita Brown Named Fourteenth Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University

Earlier in her career, Dr. Brown served as an assistant attorney with Winston-Salem State University. On July 1, she will return to the historically Black university as its fourteenth chancellor.

Study Debunks Popular Theory that Incarceration Leads to Safer Communities for Black Americans

A new study from Boston University has challenged the assumption that incarceration leads to safer communities, finding higher rates of incarceration in Black communities results in higher gun violence in those same communities. This pattern was not found among White or Hispanic neighborhoods.

Featured Jobs