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Bible explained in Kiswahili launched

By | August 20th 2010
By | August 20th 2010

By Athman Amran

The first ever Bible commentary in Kiswahili has been launched in Kenya.

The commentary, Ufafanuzi wa Biblia Katika Mazingira na Utamaduni wa Kiafrika, which is written in the African traditional context, targets an estimated 126 million speakers, especially in East and Central Africa.

It is a version of the widely acclaimed Africa Bible Commentary published in 2006 and produced entirely by African theologians.

WorldAlive Publishers CEO David Waweru said 70 African scholars and theologians from different denominations took part in writing the 1,800-page book.

"It contains 70 articles on pertinent issues facing Africa’s churches such as HIV and Aids, angels, demons, powers, funeral and burial rites, widows, land, orphans and persecution," Mr Waweru said during the launch in Nairobi yesterday.

Prof Catherine Ndungo, Dr Tewoldemedhin Habtu, Bishop John Simalenga and Prof Aloo Mojola are among the 70 African scholars who wrote the first Kiswahili Bible commentary. It was launched in Nairobi Thursday. [PHOTO: Andrew Kilonzi/STANDARD]

A contributor, Bishop John Simalenga, said African theologians from different countries and cultures wrote the book.

Big contribution

"There are sections that touch on African traditions and environment," said Simalenga of the Anglican Church Diocese of South West Tanzania.

The commentary will help readers understand the Bible chapter by chapter in the African context.

"Those who depend on preachers to understand the Bible can now read for the themselves and understand it," said Prof Catherine Ndungo, head of the Department of Gender and Development at Kenyatta University.

Mr Timothy Kamau of the United Bible Societies said the book is a "big contribution to the Swahili language".

He said the definition of the Church and democracy are explained.

Regional Translation Co-ordinator for Africa for the United Bible Societies Aloo Mojola, said the Swahili commentary was a first in Africa.

"This is historical landmark, especially now that Swahili is becoming a global language," said Prof Mojola.

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