Ethiopic Bible Selections - Pages 12 and 13
Canon table and Annunciation to Zechariah
Copyright © The British Library Board
The last canon table of Eusebius is followed by an illustration of the Annunciation to Zechariah, the first in a series of full page miniatures depicting major events surrounding the life of Christ. Following the accepted tradition of illuminated books, these miniatures are grouped together and placed before the Gospel texts. The number of miniatures vary according to different traditions. In the Ethiopian tradition artists do not confine themselves to the life of Christ as related in the four Gospels, but also draw inspiration from other works that were excluded from the canon of the New Testament, such as the Testament of Our Lord, and the Miracles of Jesus.
This miniature depicts the Angel Gabriel appearing to Zechariah while he was serving as a priest in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Angel announces that Zechariah will have a son, John the Baptist, who will be the forerunner of Christ.