Out of Africa, and now back in

David K. Israel

According to this article in The Guardian yesterday, a new book has been published to help Africans understand the Bible.

Called the "Africa Bible Commentary," the 1,600-pager, "provides explanations of verses from all 66 books of the Bible, using local proverbs and idioms to make reading relevant to African eyes while remaining true to the scriptures. More than a decade in the making, the book has been put together by 70 scholars and theologians from 25 countries, and represents a range of Protestant churches."

The book is not without its controversial material, mostly found in essays that address contemporary issues such as HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation, refugees, ethnic conflict, even witchcraft.

I find all this fascinating for many reason, but am especially intrigued by the continent's long history of unawareness, given that so many of the stories in the Bible take place on the continent itself.

After the jump, I've included some interesting factoids about the Bible, besides it being the best-selling book of all time"¦

The Bible, the world's best-selling book, is also the world's most shoplifted book. About 50 Bibles are sold every minute. Job is the oldest book written in the Bible - it was written by an unknown Israelite around 1500 BC.

Malachi, written about 400 BC, is the youngest book in the Old Testament. James, written around 45 AD, is the oldest book in the New Testament. Revelation, written about 95 AD, is the youngest book in the New Testament. The word "Lord" appears 1855 times in the Bible. The word "God" appears in every book except Esther and Song of Solomon. The word "grandmother" appears in the Bible only once: 2 Timothy 1:5. Almonds and pistachios are the only nuts mentioned in the Bible. The last word in the Bible is AMEN.

(Facts courtesy of Did You Know?)