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Equipping to preach the Bible: an interview with Finny Philip

John Lathrop interviews Finny Philip about the new South Asia Bible Commentary.


John Lathrop: Please give us a brief history of the development of this commentary.

Finny Philip: The South Asia Bible Commentary (SABC) is a project of Langham Partnership International and partners. Langham is the organization founded by the late evangelical scholar, author and leader John Stott.

John R. W. Stott (1921–2011), “started Langham in 1969 with the vision that every pastor in every church is equipped to preach the Bible.”
Image: Langham Partnership International / Wikimedia Commons.

The project started in 2008 when a few Langham scholars in India came together for fellowship in Kolkata. The project is led by Brian Wintle (New Testament scholar), three Old Testament theological editors (Drs. Paul Swarup, J.B. Jeyraj, Havilah Dharmraj) and two New Testament theological editors, Dr. Jacob Cherian and myself.


Who are the contributors to this volume and what countries are they from?

Finny Philip: The writers are all South Asian—scholars from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka contributed to the volume. The commentaries have been written by over ninety scholars. This resource represents the first effort of its kind written by South Asians.


What denominations do the commentators come from?

Finny Philip: Pentecostals, Baptist, Methodist, Brethren, Church of North India, Church of South India, and the rest are evangelicals and charismatics. Of the 92 scholars who contributed to SABC, 18 are Pentecostals including the two New Testament editors.


What are some of the main theological concerns facing the church in South Asia at this time?

Finny Philip: There a lot of issues that the commentary deals with.

To speak to South Asians powerfully and with relevance, the commentary uses local metaphors and imagery and helps its users apply the Bible to the challenges in their culture. In addition to the commentary, more than 100 topics are explored from a biblical perspective, including:

Bribery & Corruption


Children At Risk

Christian Bhakti (devotion) in South Asia

Death and Life after Death

Human Trafficking

Jesus in South Asia/ South Asian responses to Christ

Karma and Fatalism

Living as the People of God in South Asia

Mission of God in South Asia

The Finality of Christ

The Holy Spirit in South Asian Spirituality

Violence against Women

Witchcraft and Demons

Yoga, Gurus and God men


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Category: Fall 2015, Ministry

About the Author: Finny Philip, MA (University of Kerala), BD, MTh (Serampore), PhD (Durham, UK), is Principal of Filadelfia Bible College in Udaipur, India and Mission Director of the Filadelfia Fellowship Church of India. He is the International Deputy Director, South Asia, for the Lausanne Movement and Editorial Director for Christian Trends magazine. He is the author of Origins of Pauline Pneumatology: The Eschatological Bestowal of the Spirit upon Gentiles in Judaism and in the Early Development of Paul’s Theology (Mohr Siebeck, 2005). He has served as consulting editor for theological journals and monograph series and was Theological Editor for the South Asia Bible Commentary (Zondervan, 2015).

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