The Hausa translation of the hugely influential Africa Bible Commentary has finally been published, over seven years after work began on the project.
This Hausa version is called ‘Sharhin Littafi Mai Tsarki Don Afirka’, and is over 200 pages longer than the original English. The commentary has been published by Africa Christian Textbooks (ACTS) in Nigeria. They plan to distribute copies there and into Niger.
Many have been praying that the shipment of copies would arrive safely from China. Presidential elections in February in Nigeria caused security concerns for Christians.
This resource is aimed particularly for Hausa speaking believers in the north of the country, where the security threat is greatest.
In January, 400 advance copies were flown to Jos, which have already been distributed to pre-ordered customers (see ACTS Managing Director Luka Vandi holding a copy). The bulk of the copies (over 4,000) are expected to arrive on 23 April.
The Hausa language is spoken by around 40-50 million people in West and Central Africa. So this translation of the Africa Bible Commentary (ABC) could be a tremendous resource.
Sparked other commentaries
The original ABC was published in 2006 and includes contributions from 70 African Scholars. It sparked several other one-volume commentaries for different regions of the world.
Since 2006, over 200,000 copies have been printed and it has been widely used by preachers, leaders and Bible colleges across Africa and around the world.
One example of the ABC’s impact involves a seminary graduate in Tanzania, who could barely afford food. But Edgar Pillar was beaming when he received his copy of the ABC. He said: “I will never own a personal library, but this one book will help me to teach and preach and to answer questions about the Bible.”
Smile on every pastor’s face
Dr Aiah Foday-Khabenje, General Secretary of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa, said last year:
“The Africa Bible Commentary is one of the most important theological resources for the church in Africa…
“I’ve seen a smile on every pastor’s face that has owned the Africa Bible Commentary and it has become the greatest resource beyond anything they have ever had, apart from the Bible itself.”
The Amharic translation of the ABC, for believers in Ethiopia, is due to be published later this year. It has already been translated into six languages. These include Kiswahili, which is the most widely spoken language in Africa with 90 million speakers.
Please pray that the final shipment of copies will arrive safely in Nigeria next week, and pray that this resource will be a great blessing to Christians in Northern Nigeria, Niger and all Hausa believers in Africa.