All too often we are under the mistaken (and arrogant) impression that everyone understands the English language as we speak it in the Western world with all its subtle and implied meanings. But this is not the case and when the Bible is presented to those who aren't familiar with these subtleties much of the message can be lost, quite literally in the translation. Well, that is about to change for those who call Christ LORD and Africa home but have trouble grasping Western English. The Word of God must be revealed so that it can be known and understood by those who hear and read it.
And you can help make it happen by contributing to the KickStarter campaign that is seeking to bring this six year effort of love into the hands and homes of those who call Africa home.
“The Africa Study Bible is unique because it contains study notes written by Africans for Africans. For the first time, the African church will have a Bible with application notes that address the real-life issues that Africans deal with every day. Combine those features with an easy-to-understand Bible translation that speaks directly to the heart... and you have the potential to transform the lives of multitudes of leaders, lay people, and seekers. I’m delighted that the Africa Study Bible will soon be available to my African brothers and sisters.”
—Mark D. Taylor, Chairman/CEO of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Major Christian Organizations Partner to Launch Africa Study Bible
Kickstarter Campaign Planned to Help Raise $ 1 Million for 100,000 Study Bibles
“The Africa Study Bible 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.”
--Dr. Danny McCain, University of Jos, Nigeria
But that is about to change as major Christian organizations, led by Oasis International, are joining together to launch the Africa Study Bible (ASB), a six-year, cross-continental effort that has produced the first study Bible developed by Africans
“With the ASB, we’re bringing the power of Scripture to Africa in a new and culturally relevant way,” says Dr. Matthew Elliott, president of Oasis, publisher of the ASB.
“Under the leadership of an 11-member editorial board of scholars from across Africa, we’ve brought together 350 writers and editors from over 40 African countries, representing 50 denominations. This is an unprecedented project that will impact the global church.”
With the editorial nearly complete, Oasis, with the support of its partners, is inviting fellow Christians to join with them in helping get the ASB into the hands of Africans. With a goal of raising one million dollars to print the first 100,000 copies, Oasis is seeking private donors as well as launching a Kickstarter campaign, which began on April 18 and runs through June 16. Contributors to the Kickstarter campaign have the opportunity to receive incentives ranging from artwork prints to limited Italian leather editions of the ASB as well as all-expense paid trips to the launch of the ASB in the United States and in Africa.
“Our goal is to have the first run of the ASB available in Africa by the end of 2016,” says Elliott. “We already know of more than 100 million people in denominations and movements in Africa whose leaders want to use the ASB for discipleship so there is a lot of anticipation throughout the continent.”
Designed to grow the faith of African church members, teach them to evangelize their communities, and apply a biblical worldview to their society, the ASB uses the New Living Translation and includes 2,400 plus features such as application notes, stories and proverbs, touchpoints that link Africa and the Bible, learn notes that explain basic theology, and major theme articles that apply the Bible to key issues. Oasis plans to initially release the ASB in English with French and Portuguese translations in development. Oasis is also developing a full-featured app of the study Bible.
To support the effort, Oasis is partnering with Tyndale House Publishers to create the study Bible. Other participants include Campus Crusade for Christ, International, Willow Creek and Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students), Scripture Union, Africa Leadership, TransWorld Radio, Moody Broadcasting, Center for Early African Christianity, PJA (Publications pour la Jeunesse Africane), MMD Global, The Livingstone Corporation, InSight Books, Urban Ministries Inc., and the Association of Evangelicals in Africa, with additional participants being added on a regular basis.
“We have seen the hand of God in amazing ways throughout the development of this project,” says Elliott. “In the words of our supervising editor, Dr. John Jusu, the content of the ASB is bubbling up from the cultures of Africa. The biblical truth is percolating through our own cultures and stories to create a rich and textured tapestry that Africans can claim as their own.” --Dr. Danny McCain, University of Jos, Nigeria
Meet Dr. Matthew Elliott serves as president of Oasis International and project director for the Africa Study Bible.
Oasis International serves areas of the English-speaking world where people lack access to affordable Christian literature and the Bibles needed to mature in their faith. In these countries, the measure of annual incomes is often in hundreds, not thousands, of dollars. The great needs of Africa, in particular, drive Oasis to concentrate on this continent, where the Church is experiencing significant growth yet printed resources are scarce.
Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in New Testament at Wheaton College, as well as a Masters of Theology and a Doctorate of Philosophy in New Testament Studies from University of Aberdeen (Scotland). He was ordained at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois under Dr. Kent Hughes. He is the author of Faithful Feelings: Rethinking Emotion in the New Testament(InterVarsity UK/Kregel) and Feel (Tyndale House).
Matthew, his wife, Laura, and three children reside in the Chicago area.
For more information on Oasis and the Africa Study Bible,