The birth of the project
The project to create La Bible d’étude perspectives africaines was initiated in 2011. Leaders from across the continent gathered in Accra, Ghana and felt called by God to create a culturally relevant Bible that would allow the Scriptures to be applied to daily life in Africa. Representing the French-speaking countries, Dr. Abel Ndjerareou from Chad and Dr. Tite Tiénou from Burkina Faso, were part of the founding committee. The group’s decisive conclusion was that such a Bible would serve the global community by revealing the truth and beauty of God’s Word from an African perspective.
Pan African authorship
When you consider all the churches and organizations of those who wrote the notes for the Bible, you realize that hundreds of groups are involved. One need only look at the list at the beginning of the Bible to be convinced that this Bible is a true exercise in unity covering a broad spectrum of Christianity in Africa. As for the publishing houses, Oasis International has accompanied the project since its inception and published the English version, The Africa Study Bible. Publications pour la jeunesse africaine (PJA) co-published the French version with Oasis in collaboration with the United Bible Societies (L’Alliance biblique universelle), which provided the text of the Bible – the very heart of The Book!
The needs of Francophone Africa
The publishing of La Bible d’étude perspectives africaines is the continuation of significant publishing initiatives that have already seen the light of day such as Le commentaire biblique contemporain and La Bible d’étude africaine, published by CPE. We are pleased to see more and more important works written by both the eminent and emerging authors of French-speaking Africa. The fact that these authors speak through their writings to Christians on the continent and beyond is not just an “added value”, it is an inescapable necessity. Everyone understands the world in which he lives, including his vision of God and His Word, through the cultural “glasses” he wears. To best understand the important message we are communicating, we need to give readers the appropriate lenses to look through. Wearing the wrong reading glasses does not enhance comprehension! We must continue to progress in the work to see more Christian literature written and illustrated by those who intimately know the African context. Publications in French and in the languages of the continent need to be especially encouraged.
La Bible d’étude perspectives africaines is a major advance in the work of Christian publishing in French-speaking communities.
The Challenges of Bible publishing
We believe that God through His Spirit inspired the authors of the Bible to write and thus transmit His thought to men. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” If there is a message, a work that we must take care of and make known, it is that of the Bible.
The challenges in publishing are then directly related to the crucial importance of the message. Every aspect of Bible publishing must be approached with an aim for excellence, whether that be in the writing of notes, the translation, the layout or the production of the physical book — all that is undertaken must strive to reflect the perfection of God’s Word. All that is done must honour the One who through this open letter to humanity has revealed His love for men and women.
Regarding the Bible translation (biblical text) used for this project, we partnered with the United Bible Societies (UBS). Together with more than 350 authors from the continent, the editorial team of la Bible d’étude perspectives africaines, wrote the notes and articles that help the reader understand the biblical text. But the text of the Bible itself, that is, the Hebrew and Greek texts that have been translated into the French language, is the fruit of many years of work previously done by Bible translation specialists from UBS. La Bible d’étude perspectives africaine does not contain a new translation of the Bible, but rather an already existing and reputable translation of the Bible. We are grateful to UBS for their expertise in the field and their vital contribution to this project.
Information provided by Gregory Burgess, Abel N’djerareou and Augustin Ahoga