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Highly Anticipated Resource: Interview with Matthew Elliot about the Africa Study Bible

PneumaReview.com: Please tell us some of the unique features of the African Study Bible that make it different from other study Bibles?

Matthew Elliot: Nearly every one of the 2500 features have a unique African element built in. They will address concepts such as witchcraft/sorcery, widows and orphans, African roots of Christianity, inter-tribal relations, Christians working in politics and business, polygamy–just to name a few. Since every feature is written by one of our African writers, this study Bible is by definition completely unique.

Major categories of features include African proverbs and stories, touch points, learn notes, full length articles, and maps and charts that express the truth of God’s Word. One specific example comes to mind. Nations in Africa were divided up by Europeans, not necessarily around traditional ethnic and tribal lines. Africans reading the book of Joshua will resonate with the reality of living as 12 tribes within one nation. Out of this connection comes unique application that our writers are able to address and share not just to fellow Africans but also with the world. Connecting the truth of Scripture to life in Africa is what the project is all about. It is God’s Word Through African Eyes.

 

PneumaReview.com: Who are some of the people who have contributed the study notes for this Bible?

Matthew Elliot: We have over 300 contributors for the Africa Study Bible. To name a few you may know: Priscilla Adoyo, Maake Masango, Muriell McCulley, Christine W.K. Mutua, Emmanuel Ogunyemi, Gideon Para-Mallam, Isaiah Majok Dau, Odaadisa Jacob Ramothudi, Rose Mukansengimana Nyirimana, and the list goes on.

Dr. Craig Keener is also one of our reviewers and will be well known to Pentecostal readers. Craig is a friend and great supporter of the project. His wife, Dr. Médine Moussounga Keener, has written on the topic of refugees for the Africa Study Bible.

 

PneumaReview.com: In what countries of Africa will the Bible be distributed?

Matthew Elliot: Initially we will be launching the ASB in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, with other countries in English-speaking Africa to follow in 2017.  With writers from about 50 countries, we are trusting God to provide the funding to distribute in every country where we have an author to start.

 

PneumaReview.com: How will it be distributed in these lands?

Matthew Elliot: Oasis is a publisher. We have been publishing and distributing in Africa for over 20 years, and our staff and board have publishing, retail, and distribution experience that is difficult to match.

Our distribution method was developed through their expertise. It relies on a partnership approach, with Africans taking the lead in both promotion and distribution. Our indigenous distribution partners serve their respective countries through fair and reasonable pricing. As demand for the Africa Study Bible takes root, our distributors will generate revenue, which completes the cycle of project sustainability. This creates a long-term economic platform that can be used to fuel discipleship.

These partnerships and our intentionally designed distribution model will be the major method of distribution for the Africa Study Bible.

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Category: Biblical Studies, Spring 2016

About the Author: Matthew A. Elliott serves as president of Oasis International and project director for the Africa Study Bible. Oasis International serves areas of the English-speaking world where people lack access to affordable Christian literature and the Bibles needed to mature in their faith. Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in New Testament at Wheaton College, as well as a Masters of Theology and a Doctorate of Philosophy in New Testament Studies from University of Aberdeen (Scotland). He was ordained at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois under Dr. Kent Hughes. He is the author of Faithful Feelings: Rethinking Emotion in the New Testament (InterVarsity UK/Kregel) and Feel: the Power of Listening to Your Heart (Tyndale House). Matthew, his wife, Laura, and three children reside in the Chicago area.

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