After eleven years of work by more than 100 scholars and Bible teachers from across Latin America, the one-volume Bible commentary entitled the Contemporary Bible Commentary (CBC) was received with great enthusiasm at the EXPOLIT book Fair, from 9-12 August.
Ian Darke, a missionary with Latin Link, has served as coordinator of the CBC project since its inception, working from his base in Costa Rica. Read his report:
A short provisional print run of the CBC was prepared in time for this year’s EXPOLIT book fair, the principal meeting point for Christian publishers, distributers and booksellers in the Spanish language world. During the event the response from Christian leaders and pastors was extremely positive. Dr Samuel Pagán, chief translation consultant at the International Bible Society, said this is a work that every pastor and student should have and use.
Delighted and fascinated
Andrés Muñóz, the Director of the Buena Semilla press in Colombia —where this edition was printed— commented that both he and his father were delighted and fascinated, and read it literally as it was coming off the press. Andrés used the commentary to prepare a sermon even before the books were packed for delivery!
The much-anticipated CBC is aimed to stimulate the study and the expository preaching of Scripture in a way that is relevant to the lives of people living in Latin America. The commentary also includes over 100 ‘bridge’ articles, written by specialists in each field, pointing the reader to Biblical principles relating to contemporary concerns. Biblical and practical, it is written with a Latin American passion and style, to reach the hearts and minds of every reader.
The commentary is soundly evangelical and non-denominational, including writers from many backgrounds, and almost every country of the continent, including Brazil, whose contributions were originally written in Portuguese and then translated into Spanish.
One extra benefit to the church has been the personal growth of these same authors, many of whom had not previously written for publication, but who have now learned the importance of the printed word. We pray that many will go on to deepen their studies of the Bible and to write effectively to communicate God’s truth, and so amplify their service to the church.
Back in 2007 during a meeting of senior Latin American church leaders, the decision was made to prepare a complete Bible commentary, written by Latin Americans specifically to help evangelicals in all of Latin America. The main motivation was the great need to make available study materials on the whole Bible for a continent in which many pastors and leaders have received little or no training, but for whom books are valued and appreciated.
The prayer of all involved is that the CBC should serve to enable the church to put its roots down deep into the Word of God and so grow in health and power.
Easy to use
The team working on the commentary has been led by the well-known Biblical scholar Dr René Padilla, assisted by Dr Rosalee Velloso (New Testament) and Langham Scholar Dr Milton Acosta (Old Testament). The CBC will be published in Spanish jointly by two publishing houses. From the outset this has been designed as a one-volume commentary, in order to make the work as economical as well as easy to use. Hard-bound, it will have nearly 1,700 pages.
There is still much to do. There are final editorial adjustments to be made to the
text as well as the addition of extra resources. A website is being constructed to include extra resources, study materials, graphics and contacts for every commentary and article.
The organisation, financing and planning of the major print run, followed by its distribution across each country and region of the continent, are major challenges. Ministries and organisations in each republic of the continent are being invited to partner with the CBC to make the work as widely available as possible. As a good friend says, ‘next to the Bible, this commentary is a must-have for every pastor and leader’.
Another one-volume is in its very early stages: the Central Eastern European Bible Commentary! It is one of our Seedbed projects – find out how you can be involved.