The Challenge Enterprises of Ghana in collaboration with Tyndale House Publishers, Oasis International Limited and the Bible Society of Ghana, have launched The Africa Study Bible, the first ever of its kind.
The Africa Study Bible (ASB), described as the Bible made for Africans by Africans, contains over 2,600 features that illuminate the truth of Scripture with a uniquely African perspective.
The ASB also contains introductions to each book, proverbs and stories and application notes, among others, which connect biblical themes to African contexts and relate scripture with African wisdom.
The immediate past Vice President of the Republic, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, who formally launched the Bible, was confident that the Africa Study Bible had come to “ease the wedge of the agents of proclamation because once we are able to read it, it makes the work of the agents of proclamation easy.”
He also urged the audience to “let the Africa Study Bible not sit on bookshelves. That is not the purpose of the work that the 350 scholars and theologians have done.”
The ASB, which is in the New Living Translation (NLT) format, was put together by over 230 African scholars and theologians from over 50 African countries. It has notes below each page and in the margins, bringing home in the mind of the African reader, the meanings of the passages that the African can relate to.
The Africa Study Bible, described as the Bible made for Africans by Africans, also makes use of proverbs from all over Africa to better explain to the African reader, certain verses, chapters and parables in the Bible; putting the gospel within the African context.
According to the Managing Director of Challenge Enterprises of Ghana, Immanuel Kofi Agamah, who spoke to citifmonline.com, the ASB will change the way of life of every African.
“There are many things we take for granted in life. Christ calls us to excellence in whatever we find ourselves doing. I think that if we can understand Scripture because of our context better, then we expect that God himself, through the power of his Holy Spirit working in us would enable us behave properly. After all, who is a good Christian; a Christian who serves his community, who loves his neighbour, who does what is right.”
“…So we believe that this Bible has come to speak to our hearts in the context that we understand, and consequently, we pray that transformation will come about. And when transformation comes in an individual’s life, what happens? Our neighbourhood changes, the community changes and those who get employed by government are correct people. It’s a chain and we believe the Africa Study Bible will contribute positively to that value chain.”
Speaking to citifmonline.com, the Africa Study Bible Project Director, Dr. Matthew Elliot, revealed the origin of the idea and the genesis of the project.
“Well, being involved in literature and book distribution around Africa, often the number one need we think about is Bibles. Not just about Bibles, but helping people apply the Bible to their lives because the Bible was written at a different time, a different place, and a different culture that is different from mine in American, and yours here in Ghana. And so we need to build a bridge between what the Bible says and our situations.”
So in 2010, I traveled the continent of Africa for about two months asking questions to leaders, seminary presidents and pastors, saying, ‘What would a special Bible for Africa look like?’ and ‘Is it a good idea to create a study Bible for Africans?’ And just about everyone said, ‘This is a very good idea. We need this and how can I help?’ So that’s when we started the project to bring together a Bible for Africa that would speak to Africa’s specific needs.”
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(Via: CitiFM Online Ghana)