Kiswahili ABC Goes to Press

BY ccrossley | 22 February 2010 |

kiswahili Africa Bible CommentaryNAIROBI, Kenya (February 22, 2010) – Today, WordAlive Publishers (a partner of Langham Partnership International) announces that the Kiswahili edition of the Africa Bible Bible Commentary (ABC), Ufafanuzi wa Biblia Katika Mazingira na Utamaduni wa Kiafrika (UBK), has been sent off to print in China. Printed copies of the 1,824-page one-volume commentary will be available is bookstores late June 2010 and it will retail at US $25.99.

This is a major milestone, coming almost 30 months since the commencement of the translation in September 2007, thanks to the excellent teams comprising of translators, editors, theologians, Kiswahili language experts, reviewers, proofreaders, in both Kenya and Tanzania, under the leadership of Dr. Aloo Mojola (Kiswahili ABC Translation Consultant) and Jeremy Ng’ang’a (Publishing Manager, WordAlive Publishers).

Kiswahili (also Swahili language) is spoken by an estimated 90 million people in several African countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda and Burundi, Somalia, and the Comoro Islands. Kiswahili is a national or official language of four nations, and is the only language of African origin among the official working languages of the African Union. “The Swahili language is not spoken only in East and Central Africa. Due to immigration and increased travel of people to different parts of the world, Swahili speaking people are to be found in many other parts of the world. Considering that close to 100 universities in different parts of the world consistently teach Swahili every year, it is not wild to predict that the number of Swahili speakers will continue to be on the rise,” according to Stanford University, where Kiswahili has been taught for over 20 years.

With such a high number of Kiswahili speakers, and a church that has been growing at an exceptionally high rate (quantitatively), the lack of published Kiswahili resources has hindered a commensurate growth qualitatively. The Kiswahili ABC comes to equip pastors, Bible students, and ordinary Christians to study God’s Word in their language, using a tool fitted to African context.

There is great anticipation of the arrival of the commentary late June as encapsulated by the words of one of the reviewers late 2009: “I was fortunate to have been allocated some of the books I teach at the seminary to review. I confess that during the readings, I felt a strong urge to call all my former students back and make a big apology, and then re-teach the books afresh using these new insights, so relevant and contextual. Why did it take so long to have such an invaluable resource in our language?”

We are indebted to the ABC Editorial Board for their vision and encouragement; to Langham International for their moral and financial support that made the development of UBK possible; to all the teams that worked tirelessly and sacrificially, often deep into the night for 30 months to ensure we achieve the highest quality possible; and to all our friends around the world who have been in prayer, understanding what impact this landmark resource will have on the church of Jesus Christ in East and Central Africa, once published.

“Our prayer is that just as God used His word to ignite the fire of Reformation in Europe in the sixteenth century, he will use the ABC to do the same in Africa today.” —Dr. Tokunboh Adeyemo, General Editor, ABC