Africa (MNN) — SIM's
African Bible Commentary boldly tackles practices and attitudes hidden by the
African church for generations.
SIM's Steve Strauss says it's a one-volume tool, written
entirely by African Bible scholars uniquely to the African context. "It
includes a commentary on every book of the Bible. A commentary directed toward
African pastors, to help them as they study Scripture, and then there are
approximately 50 to 60 articles on issues that would be especially related to
African church needs." Some of the
topics covered are the worst of social ills: slavery, rape, street children,
widows and orphans, poverty, violence, and tribalism.
Strauss says: "It was intended, primarily, for the
African pastor, and to help him. Of
course, most African pastors can't afford big theological libraries, and so
having a one-volume commentary that will help them in their Scripture study
will be very crucial."
The response? The ABC is getting attention from high
places. According to SIM, Nigeria's President
Olusegun Obasanjo (an avowed evangelical Christian) carries the commentary with
him and uses it to teach Sunday school.
The ABC has been distributed
at SIM's Pastors'
Book Set conferences in various African countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya,
and Zambia. While the ABC is the headline book in
Pastors' Book Set collection, it is only one among 59 volumes, ranging from
Bible study reference materials to books on leadership, finances, and
This library, at full cost,
would be impossible for an African pastor to purchase, but donors partnered to
pave the way so that each pastor pays only $75 USD for the entire collection and a weekend
To read sample pages, go to Zondervan's
website, and scroll down to "Read product excerpt." The book is for sale in
secular and Christian outlets. Contributions will help translate this valuable
resource be made available in French, Amharic, and Portuguese. The French edition is slated for release in
2007. Click here for details.