Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Africa Study Bible Project

There's a great new project underway and I'd love to share it with you. Currently, a Bible specifically created for the needs of African Christians is in progress. It all began in 2003 with African leaders, Oasis International and Tyndale House Publishers. Missionary statesman Dr. Danny McCain led an effort to evaluate the understanding of the Bible by English-speaking church members in Jos, Nigeria and the potential impact of having the Bible in clear, modern language using African vocabulary. Over the following years, the project moved forward through conversations with leaders throughout Africa, Bible experts at Tyndale, and the Oasis International Board. These conversations included ones with African Bible scholar, Dr. Tite TiĆ©nou from Burkina Faso, previously a member of the team that formed the vision for the Africa Bible Commentary. 

When Oasis President, Dr. Matthew Elliott, traveled extensively in Africa in 2010, he asked leaders from the continent how this Bible might bless Africa’s millions of Christians. He received a resoundingly positive response from seminary presidents, denominational leaders and academics across the continent. The consensus: it was essential that we create a study Bible to reflect the knowledge, culture and wisdom of Africa for the world, bringing insight to global Christianity. The project soon had a number of strong development partners:
  • Tyndale House Publishers, the world’s largest independent Christian publisher
  • Oasis International, a leading publisher for English-speaking Africa
  • More than a Mile Deep, a multi-language, multi-country African church and theological training organization
  • The Livingstone Corporation, independent developer of Bibles and Bible products and authors of the Life Application Study Bible, the world’s foremost Study Bible
  • Urban Ministries Inc., a liaison to the African diaspora
The following year, supported by these dedicated partners, the committee for the formation of the Africa Study Bible met in Accra, Ghana. Leaders from every region of Africa and 11 countries formed the final mandate for the project, making all major editorial decisions. Today, with the prayers and support of individual donors, development of the Africa Study Bible is bringing the promise of a readable and affordable Bible ever closer to the reach of African Christians.

Over 400 million Protestant Christians in Africa do not have a Bible written to meet the needs of their own cultures. As the Church continues its exponential growth in Africa, an exclusively Western perspective on the meaning of the Bible endangers the relevance of Scripture in the African context.

The Africa Study Bible, featuring Tyndale's New Living Translation, with the editorial (2,400 plus features, 350 writers and editors from 40 African countries and representing 50 denominations) is nearly complete, but they need help. Oasis International, the publisher of the ASB in partnership with Tyndale, is now working to raise one million dollars to print the first 100,000 study Bibles for Africa through private donations and a Kickstarter campaign.

Many people are working hard on the Africa Study Bible - writers, editors, artists, and project managers. It is a major investment. From start to finish, the average cost of the project budget is $50 a verse and an average of $1,260 a chapter. It's a huge undertaking and a very vital project. Would you consider giving whatever you can to this wonderful cause? Your gift would be greatly appreciated and would help launch this unprecidented project that will help spread biblical discipleship across a continent!

If you'd like to donate online, please click here.

If you would like to mail your gift, please make your check out to Oasis International Ltd and send to 209 E. Liberty, 2nd Floor, Wheaton, IL 60187.

Read some comments Africans have shared regarding their thoughts on the project:

“This Bible will carry the biblical message not only into the houses of people, but into their very hearts ...”
Hermie Van Zyl, PhD Retired Dean of the Faculty at Theology University of Free States, South Africa

“This Bible for Africa by Africans will … create a bridge that links biblical principles to daily living.”
Gladys K. Mwiti, PhD Founder and CEO of Oasis Africa, Kenya

“…will help the readers, preachers, and teachers of the Bible … present the word of God in a clearer form which will bring about the desired transformation in Africa and the experience of abundant life."
Most Rev. Daniel Okoh, PhD International Chairman, Organisation of African Instituted Churches (O.A.I.C.), Nigeria

To learn more about the project, visit their website by clicking here.

You can watch a video about the project here.

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