Theologians from across the continent gathered in Sandton‚ Johannesburg‚ on Sunday to celebrate the launch of the first Africa Study Bible.
Hundreds of millions of Africans know and love Christ. However, most Bible resources come from a Western perspective—cultures far removed from the reality of life in Africa. In order to help meet this urgent need, the Africa Study Bible was created.
This Bible is unique from all the editions published before as it comprises the New Living Translation of the Bible‚ plus more than 2‚600 features written by 350 contributors from 50 African countries. These features place special emphasis on the interpretation of scripture “through African eyes”.
“The idea was to publish a single-volume Bible resource by Africa for Africa that would be a lot closer to the lived experience of Africans than the literature traditionally coming from‚ a foreign land, say‚ the United States or Britain‚” said Dr Matthew Elliott‚ president of publishing company Oasis international.
“Africans from all over the continent were involved from inception to completion. In fact‚ South Africa was already represented at the first meeting in Ghana seven years ago. The result is a Bible that makes Scripture more relevant and applicable‚ and that reclaims the African roots of Christianity. To this end we have included unique content that highlight the role Africa has played in the Bible‚ and vice versa‚” said Elliott.
The Africa Bible (study bible) contains more than 500 African proverbs and stories that illustrate Biblical principles‚ as well as “touchpoint” notes that celebrate the similarities between Biblical and African culture.
“Since the culture of the ancient Near East is in many respects closer to African culture than it is to Western culture‚ African people have a distinct advantage when it comes to understanding the social dynamics we read about in the Bible. Even so‚ our work in Africa since the mid-1990’s showed us that there was a definite need for discipleship resources written from an African perspective‚” said Elliott.
“We are very grateful for collaborators from all over the continent‚ who guided this project from the outset‚ and who ensured that the Africa Study Bible is an authentic manual for Christian living that deals with the realities of life in Africa‚ such as witchcraft and the need for ethical government.”
The Africa Study Bible is distributed to the South African book trade by Christian Media Publishing‚ and is available to the public through CNA‚ other leading retailers‚ and online.