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First Arabic Contemporary Commentary Hits Bookshelves

Many Middle Eastern Christians celebrated the issuance of the first Arabic Contemporary Commentary. The celebration was held on Oct. 15 in Cairo, Egypt.

Forty-eight men and women, theologians and researchers from the Middle East, participated in producing the commentary, which puts contemporary questions in dialogue with ancient scriptural wisdom.

The commentary is the first of its kind because it represents the best and most recent Middle Eastern scholarship.

It is a collective effort that combined Arabic-speaking scholars from different countries (Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, as well as Arabs who are living outside the Middle East).

This commentary aims to equip pastors, preachers, scholars and leaders in the Middle East to relate to both Old and New Testament texts from a Middle Eastern Arabic perspective.

The commentators had to be experts in the original languages, in biblical scholarship and in contemporary cultural concerns.

They were required to write in classical Arabic, which is accessible to a general audience in the Arab-speaking world.

Each commentator was assigned a specific text and asked to produce comments that were four times the size of the original text.

Two small committees were assigned to supervise the productions. One committee was responsible for the Old Testament, and the other was in charge of the New Testament.

Dar El Thaqafa, a Christian publishing house in the Middle East, under supervision of the general editor, Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki, handled all the intricacies of editorial and production processes.

The final work also included also many recent essays dealing with scientific, economic, political and religious issues in the contemporary Middle East.

The editorial committee members, all of whom hold doctorates, who worked closely to bring this project to the Arab world are:

  • Andrea Zaki Stephanous, president of the Protestant Churches of Egypt
  • Yohanna Katanacho, academic dean at Nazareth Evangelical College
  • Riad Kassis, director, Langham Scholars Ministry, Langham Partnership
  • Atef M. Gendy, president of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo
  • Johnny B. Awwad, associate professor of New Testament, Near East School of Theology
  • Emad Ramzi Philobbos, professor emeritus of geology, Assuit University
  • Nicolas Abou Murad, professor of biblical studies

Editor’s note: A version of this news article first appeared on Come and See. It is used with permission.