Ten years ago the painstaking task to produce the first Bible commentary for Arabic-speaking churches in the Middle East and north Africa began.
The Arabic Contemporary Commentary (ACC) team included nearly 50 theologians, writers and researchers — all from different backgrounds and churches in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Syria and Kuwait — with support from Langham Literature, a ministry of Langham Partnership.
Yet at certain points over the past decade, supporters were asked to pray the project would not be thwarted by the unrest and instability that spread across the Middle East following the Arab Spring of 2010/2011.
The wave of protests — including armed rebellions, anti-government protests and uprisings in countries such as Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Bahrain — were right at the heart of where the ACC writers and editors lived and worked.
But their prayers were answered and the ACC was finally launched at the headquarters of the Coptic Evangelical Organisation for Social Services (CEOSS) in Cairo, last October.
Since then, thousands of copies have been printed and distributed and in a speech at the launch event, editor-in-chief Langham scholar Rev Dr Andrea Zaki said: “For the first time, Arabic people can read an Arabic interpretation of the Bible. I’m so excited to see many Arabs understand the message of the Bible today.”
Langham’s Bible commentaries
Langham Literature’s work on one-volume Bible commentaries began with the Africa Bible Commentary (ABC), which was published in 2006.
More than 200,000 copies have been distributed and it’s been translated into five languages.
Since the ABC, the South Asia Bible Commentary, Slavic Bible Commentary and Latin American Bible Commentary have been published, to great acclaim.
Give thanks the Lord was faithful in answering the prayers of his people.
Pray the ACC will get into the hands of many church leaders and believers in the Arab-speaking world.
Pray plans to produce a commentary for Central and Eastern Europe will come to fruition.
By Kerry Allan