In North America, Bibles are available in countless niche versions, catering to everyone from teens and grandmothers to sports aficionados. Yet Africa’s 400 million Christians have access to less than a handful of study Bibles written with their culture uniquely in mind.
To help fill the void, Dr. Matthew Elliott ’90, M.A. ’92, president of Oasis International, is overseeing the creation of the Africa Study Bible, to be published in 2014. Written by Africans for Africans, the Africa Study Bible will be the first-ever comprehensive study Bible ministering to the specific needs of Protestant Christians in Africa.
The team includes Matthew’s colleagues at Oasis, 15 project scholars/ editors, and as many as 300 African writers. A healthy contingent of Wheaton College graduates are represented, including consulting editor Dr. Gregg A. Okesson ’88, M.A. ’94, M.A. ’98, associate professor of leadership and development at Asbury Theological Seminary; Gideon Para Mallam, M.A. ’99, a contributing writer from Nigeria; and Tanya Thomas ’99, M.A. ’99, Oasis’ chief of operations. The African writing team also features about a dozen Wheaton Graduate School alumni.
The Africa Study Bible seeks to help make Scripture more accessible to Africa’s vast numbers of multilingual communities using the clear language of the New Living Translation. The first version will be in English; subsequent versions are planned in French, Portuguese, and Arabic.
The Africa Study Bible also aspires to a culturally relevant, discipleship friendly focus. Planned and written by African pastors and scholars, the Bible’s study tools will contain insights and applications targeted at the culture of African readers, helping them connect biblical principles to life transformation.
Matthew, who earned a doctorate in New Testament from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, cites his business/economics major at Wheaton and his participation with Wheaton in Israel as formative experiences that helped shape his vision for international Christian publishing. He and his wife Laura Nelson Elliott ’91, M.A. ’92 live in Winfield, Illinois, with their three children.
From left to right:
Dr. John Jusu—Africa International University, Sierra Leone
Abraham Obeng-Amoako—Challenge, Ghana
Dr. Yusufu Turaki—Evangelical Church Winning All, Nigeria
Jeff Wright—Urban Ministries Inc., USA
Mark Taylor—Tyndale House Publishers, USA
Dr. Emmanuel Asante—Methodist Church of Ghana, Ghana
Dr. Andre Chitlango—More than a Mile Deep, Mozambique
Dr. Tite Tiénou (Chair)—Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Burkina Faso
Dr. Daniel Okoh—Organization of African Instituted Churches, Nigeria
Dr. Elesina Chauke—Free Methodist Church, Zambia
Dr. Hermie Van Zyl—University of Free States, South Africa
Dr. Atef M. Gendy—Egypt Evangelical Theological Seminary, Egypt
Dr. Abel Ndjerareou—Bangui Evangelical Graduate School of Theology, Chad
Mr. Jude Hama—Scripture Union, Ghana
Dr. Gladys Mwiti—Oasis Africa, Kenya
Dr. Bruce Barton—Livingstone Corp., USA
Mrs. Modupe Onamusi—Oasis International, Nigeria
Dr. Matthew Elliott—Oasis International, USA
by Dawn Kotapish ’92