After a seven-year, cross-continental effort, Oasis International (@OasisIntLtd), in partnership with several major Christian organizations, is launching the Africa Study Bible (Tyndale House, 2017) (@africastudybibl): the first study Bible developed by Africans with over 2,600 notes written by 350 contributors from 50 countries. Oasis is working with local leaders throughout Africa and the United States to host dedication events. Leaders of some of the largest denominations in Africa as well as Christian government officials are expected to be in attendance.
“The Africa Study Bible (website) is a project that has almost unprecedented ability to positively influence the body of Christ in Africa, perhaps more than other single continental-wide project in the history of Christianity,” says Dr. Danny McCain, University of Jos, Nigeria.
[See the Africa Bible Commentary: A One-Volume Commentary Written by 70 African Scholars Updated Edition (Zondervan, 2010) in the Bible Gateway Store]
Events are scheduled for
- Nairobi, Kenya—March 30
- Accra, Ghana—April 3
- Chicago, USA—April 10-12
- Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa—June 4-11
- Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria—June 29-July 1
The President of Kenya, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, has already recorded his video blessing the project, as churches prepare to display national Christian unity at the launch event preceding national elections.
“Africans are bringing the power of Scripture to their own people in a new and culturally relevant way,” says Dr. Matthew Elliott, president of Oasis. “Under the leadership of an 11-member editorial board of scholars from across Africa, we’ve brought together 350 writers and editors from 50 countries, representing 50 denominations. This is an unprecedented project that will impact the global church.”
To celebrate the launch in the United States, Oasis will host the African Voices Conference, in partnership with Tyndale House Publishers and Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI), at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago. The conference opens Monday, April 10 with an evening of thanksgiving and dedication of the ASB, hosted by UMI at the DuSable Museum of African American History. Over the next two days, April 11-12, distinguished leaders and scholars from Africa will offer 30 lectures on topics ranging from missional theology to the roots of Christianity in Africa. The conference also includes an ASB-focused Moody chapel, a Moody faculty development forum, a luncheon with the African guest speakers, and a dinner with Dr. Paul Nyquist, president of Moody, Dr. Mark Taylor, chairman and CEO of Tyndale, and C. Jeff Wright, CEO of UMI. Special musical guest Aaron Shust will also be participating in the conference events.
“The event at Moody will be a wonderful opportunity for both students and guests to learn more about the tremendous ways that God is building his church in Africa,” says Elliott. “More Christians live in Africa than any other continent and by 2050 nearly 40 percent of the world’s Christians will live in sub-Saharan Africa. Five of the ten countries with the largest number of Christians will be in Africa. The ASB highlights the growing impact of African leadership on the global church.”
With nearly every evangelical study Bible written from the viewpoint of the United States or the United Kingdom, Africans have lacked a resource that connects with their experience, hindering discipleship.
Designed to grow the faith of church members in Africa and teach them to apply a biblical worldview to their culture and society, the ASB uses the New Living Translation and includes over 2,600 features such as application notes, stories and proverbs, touchpoints that link Africa and the Bible, learn notes that explain basic values and theology, and major theme articles that apply the Bible to key issues. The ASB brings unique African perspectives to the global Church and allows Christians around to the world to better understand God’s Word through African Eyes. Tyndale House Publishers will release the ASB in English in the United States in early May and a freestanding app is available April 1 in iOS and Android. French and Portuguese translations are already in development.
Oasis partnered with Tyndale House Publishers and Tyndale House Foundation to create the Africa Study Bible. Other participants and supporters include Wycliffe, Willow Creek and Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students), Scripture Union, Center for Early African Christianity, PJA (Publications pour la Jeunesse Africane), SIM, UMI, Association of Evangelicals in Africa, and Moody Bible Institute.