Hundreds of millions of Africans know and love Christ, yet few biblical resources are available from their perspective.
The Africa Study Bible was created to address the reality of life in Africa.
For too long, the heart and soul of Africa that influenced early Christ-followers, from the Ethiopian eunuch to Augustine the theologian, seemed lost in the past. Because we believe God’s Word is the primary way that we come to know him, our first major project was (and remains) the Africa Study Bible.
In 2011, leaders from across Africa met and felt called by God to create the Africa Study Bible, to use cultural understandings to apply Scripture to everyday life in Africa. Finally, Africans have a biblical resource that speaks in a unique way to their hearts, revealing the truth and beauty of “God’s Word through African Eyes.”
Using the easy to read and understand New Living Translation of the Bible, the Africa Study Bible brought together over 350 writers and editors representing 50 countries and five major language groups across Africa. This historic collaboration of scholars and leaders created the most ethnically diverse, single-volume, study Bible to date. Over 2,600 notes and features connect Scripture to cultures throughout Africa, creating a Bible that speaks to believers across the continent—from Botswana to Egypt, from Kenya to Guinea.
Learn More About the features of the Africa Study Bible
As many as 200 million Christians in Africa are without a Bible. Unlike most study Bibles, which are written by westerners, the Africa Study Bible was created by Africans as a gift to their continent and to the global Church. It is, therefore, uniquely suited to reach Africans who have a hunger and thirst for the Word of God and want to learn how to live out God’s Truth in their own cultures.
Pastors, teachers, and laymen alike will learn how to teach more effectively by using examples from African cultures and experiences. At the same time, it offers unique insights to the global Church.
The Africa Study Bible:
- Applies the Word of God to daily life.
- Reclaims the African roots of Christianity.
- Explains Scripture in African contexts, making it easy to understand.
- Provides a one-volume library of Biblical content, theology, history, and culture.
Even as distribution of the English edition of the Africa Study Bible continues to spread, the French edition is nearing completion. Almost as many African countries have French as an official language as have English. In the very near future, the estimated 100,000,000 Christians who read in that language will have the ASB in their language. And a study group is already considering parameters for the Portuguese edition.
Download the ASB App
The Africa Study Bible app unleashes the most ethnically diverse, single-volume, biblical resource developed to date on your phone or tablet. Written by more than 350 contributors from 50 countries, it includes the New Living Translation and more than 2,600 features that illuminate the truth of Scripture from African perspectives.
Learn how you can bless a pastor in Africa with an Africa Study Bible.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Africa Study Bible
Is this a new Bible translation? Did the contributors rewrite the Bible text?
Like other study Bibles, the Africa Study Bible uses a widely respected translation that already exists. For our English edition, that is the New Living Translation. Our contributors did not change the Bible text at all. They wrote the notes surrounding the Bible text and at the bottom of each page, as well as the book introductions and articles.
What language is the Africa Study Bible in?
The first edition of the Africa Study Bible is in English, the most widely spoken language in Africa. We translated note submissions into English from French, Portuguese, Arabic, and Swahili. Our second edition will be in French, with more languages to follow!
How is this different from the Africa Bible Commentary?
Both resources look at the Bible from African perspectives, and some of the same people contributed to both projects. However, they each address a different need and so they complement each other well. The Africa Bible Commentary is more academic, and the Africa Study Bible is focused on application. The Africa Bible Commentary is a one-volume scholarly resource written by 70 African scholars. The Africa Study Bible includes the Bible text itself, and was written by 350 pastors, teachers, and scholars. The Africa Study Bible notes focus on how to apply the Bible to our lives. It also addresses important theological topics and church issues from a layman’s perspective. The Africa Study Bible is designed to be very readable.
What is a study Bible?
The Africa Study Bible is a Bible with devotional notes at the bottom of the page and many other helpful features. It is not a workbook or curriculum for small groups, but it can be used in small groups. The Africa Study Bible can also be used for individual quiet time or as a resource for preaching and teaching.
Who wrote the Africa Study Bible?
Our over 350 contributors were recommended by denominations, Christian ministries, or theological institutions. These were pastors, scholars, and leaders of Christian ministries. They represented 50 countries. Over a quarter of contributors were francophone, and nearly 20% were women. The vast majority of contributors were African by nationality and living on the continent. The committee also accepted submissions from a few people with “African hearts” – people living in the diaspora or people who had ministered in Africa for a significant portion of their lives.
Is this connected to a specific denomination or mission?
The Africa Study Bible is a collaboration across many different Christian denominations, organisations, and ministries. Oasis International is an independent Christian publisher for Africa. We want this resource to help as many people as possible, so our notes affirm the common ground that the vast majority of Christians agree on and acknowledge different opinions when there are debates within the church.
Where can I get a copy?
The Africa Study Bible is available both physically and digitally throughout Africa and the USA. We have bookstores in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, and it is available on Amazon. It is available digitally on your mobile device via Google Play store and Apple Store. Find it by searching "Africa Study Bible."
Why do Africans need their own study Bible?
Many of the analogies and stories in western study Bibles have little to no relevance to cultures in Africa. Our Supervising Editor Dr. John Jusu shares its importance through the following story:
“Prayer is not a vending machine,” proclaimed a village preacher. Dr. John Jusu, a young man at the time, was listening to him with curiosity. John had no idea what a vending machine was, and he was certain that neither did any of the gathered people.
“And God’s will is not like a stoplight,” the preacher continued. John looked around again. This was a village that could only be reached only by footpaths. John began to wonder if this preacher even knew the meaning of the comparisons that he was making.
“You see,” John explains, “This village preacher had read a book that told him prayer was not a vending machine. This village preacher was preaching God’s Word, but he was preaching out of texts that were written in the West. That is why the Africa Study Bible is so necessary. This Bible will be the first study Bible that features African pastors and scholars writing for the African experience. The Africa Study Bible will allow people like this village preacher to teach the Bible more easily because they will have access to illustrations that resonate with daily life.”
Why are some of the Proverbs in the Africa Study Bible negative?
We made a deliberate effort to use both positive and negative proverbs so people could learn to evaluate perspectives from a Christian worldview. This is not meant to put down any culture, tribe or nation. See the explanation on page A26. “These sayings are the work of the original author and no attempt has been made to check for accuracy."
Did all the reviewers/editors read every note?
Dr. John Jusu, Supervising Editor, read every note. However, all other proofreaders and editors only worked on particular parts of the project by book and section not by nationality or area. It would not have been possible to divide editors by region as they needed to work on full sections and subjects. See further explanation on page A26 of the Africa Study Bible.