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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 20:52 GMT 21:52 UK
Bible gets African interpretation
Cover of the Africa Bible Commentary
The book seeks to make the Bible more relevant to Africans
The first Bible commentary written exclusively by African theologians has been launched in Kenya.

Written by 70 contributors from 25 countries, the Africa Bible Commentary aims to explain the Bible from an African perspective.

It contains local proverbs and folk lore to help interpret the scriptures.

The commentary also addresses contemporary issues such as HIV/Aids, female genital mutilation, refugees, ethnic conflict and witchcraft.

Published by the Evangelical publisher Zondervan, The Africa Bible Commentary gives a section-by-section interpretation of the gospel.

It is a weaving of word of the Bible and the word of Africa
Editor Tokunboh Adeyemo

Its editor, Tokunboh Adeyemo, says the book is not a replacement for the Bible but seeks to make its content clear to Christians in Africa.

He said the 70 African scholars and were asked to be faithful to their own cultures as well as the Bible.

"It is a weaving of word of the Bible and the word of Africa," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

"We used a lot of African proverbs, a lot of African folk lore and a lot of Africa illustrations and African songs," he said.

Altogether the commentary drew examples from some 250 different cultural groups, he said.

The theologians came from 10 major Christian denominations, although, he noted, that the Roman Catholic Church had not been represented.

Mr Adeyemo said the word of God has always been contextualised and gave the example of St Paul's writings in the Bible.

"When Paul was writing to the Jewish people, he used a lot of Jewish culture and their customs and traditions."

"But the people who brought the Bible to Africa did not bring out these biblical references to Africa."

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