Readers throng book table

Asia Bible Commentary series launched in South Korea

19 September 2016

When a typhoon destroyed a large city in the Philippines, a five-year-old girl asked her parents why God had allowed the storm to happen.

“Thankfully, her question and her pain have a place in the presence of God”, said Federico G Villanueva (Rico), author of a new commentary on Lamentations.

His book is part of the new Asia Bible Commentary series, a joint project between Langham Literature and the Asia Theological Association (ATA), for which Rico is also the General Editor.

Authors sign copies of books

Athena Gorospe and Federico Villanueva sign copies of their commentaries at the launch of the Asia Bible Commentary Series, with Luke Lewis (Langham Literature). [Copyright ATA, used with permission]

‘Intimacy with God’

He explained the importance and relevance of the book of Lamentations during his keynote address at the launch of the series in South Korea in late July.

Rico said that “Lament is a manifestation of one’s intimacy with God” and noted that lament “in the biblical sense of the word is done in the context of our relationship with God”.

He explained: “There are lots of lamenting and crying these days… Many people simply complain … and cry… But there is no God to whom they come”.

Langham Scholars

Readers throng book table

Excited readers throng round the book table introducing Langham Literature titles at the 2016 ATA General Assembly in Korea. [Copyright ATA, used with permission]

A number of Langham Scholars are also involved in the project, which is hoped to have a lasting and crucial impact on the Christian church across Asia.

Three other commentaries, on the books of Judges, Psalms 1-72 and 1,2,3 John, have now been published, and all the books are by Asian authors.

They are designed specifically “to enable readers to understand the Scriptures in their own context and to interpret and apply them to the plurality of Asian cultures in which they live and work”, according to the ATA.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Rico said that the new series is crucial because the Church is growing quickly in many parts of Asia.

Gilbert Soo Hoo, author of the commentary on 1,2 and 3 John, said that writing the book was a difficult experience, but everyone was working towards the same goal. He said he is “confident that this commentary will serve its intended purpose in large measure due to the editors’ high standards and dedication”.

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