Landmark Arabic Commentary launched in Cairo

A huge milestone was reached last month when the Arabic Contemporary Commentary (ACC) was launched in Cairo.

This one-volume commentary on the whole Bible is a Langham Literature project, which began over ten years ago.

It is the first of its kind: a commentary on the whole Bible, written by 48 Arab theologians, for Arabic-speaking churches in the Middle East and North Africa.

The front row at the launch event for the Arabic Contemporary Commentary, including Pieter Kwant, Chris Wright and Riad Kassis.

The front row at the launch event for the ACC, including Pieter Kwant, Chris Wright and Riad Kassis.

Challenges faced

The commentary also contains 106 articles on contemporary issues facing the ordinary Arab citizen including scientific, economic, political and religious topics.

In recent years, there were a number of challenges to writing and editing. These included political unrest, revolutions and instability in many of the Arab countries. A revised project plan resulted in the launch being delayed until October this year.

The team included theologians and researchers from all parts of the Arab world, with different churches and backgrounds. Three Langham Scholars were part of the core editorial team, including Dr Riad Kassis, Director of the Langham Scholars programme.

Unique diversity

The writers come from six Arab countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Syria and Kuwait, making the project unique in its diversity.

A copy of the Arabic Contemporary Commentary on display

A copy of the ACC on display.

The launch took place on 15 October at the headquarters of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) in Cairo.

Many took part in the event, including the project’s Chief editor, Langham Scholar Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki. He is also President of the Protestant Churches of Egypt and CEOSS.

So excited

Speaking afterwards, Dr Zaki said that 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!”

Speeches were given by Rev. Dr Chris Wright, International Ministries Director of Langham Partnership; Pieter Kwant, Director of Langham Literature; Helmy El-Namnam, ex- Minister of Culture; and Ramez Attalah, Director of the Bible Society of Egypt.

The ACC’s Chief Editor Langham Scholar Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki giving a speech at the launch event.

The commentary is published by Dar El Thaqafa (DET), with Langham assisting with the printing. DET is one of the oldest Christian publishing houses in Egypt. It was founded in the 1950s with the aim of spreading enlightened cultural and religious awareness.

Please pray

A small number of commentaries were available for the launch event. The bulk of the 10,000 commentaries should arrive into Egypt this month.

Please pray that the ACC will get into the hands of many Church leaders and believers in the Arab-speaking world!

You can also donate towards the vital work of Langham Literature.

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