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Excerpts from African commentary on Bible

Excerpts from African commentary on Bible

Following are excerpts from the new Africa Bible Commentary, which uses African proverbs and idioms to apply the Bible's teachings to contemporary life in Africa.
On HIV and AIDS, by Peter Okaalet, director of African programs for the Christian aid group MAP International:
"The church in Africa, and globally, has failed to provide the resources in terms of personnel, leadership and materials required to deal with this pandemic. There have been sins of commission, in that the church has often been responsible for communicating negative social and cultural attitudes, alienating and stigmatizing those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. There have also been sins of omission, in that the church has failed to talk about sex and sexuality, and has sometimes considered it unholy to discuss these topics on church premises. The church has also underestimated the scope of the problem ...
"In a time of despair, people need to hear that the message of the Bible is about hope, love and the future .... The church can then lead by understanding hope, knowing the facts about HIV/AIDS; discovering hope in the HIV/AIDS epidemic through our biblical foundation; spreading hope by mobilizing the church to perform HIV/AIDS ministries; developing hope by changing feelings and attitudes about HIV/AIDS; sharing hope through pastoral care to families and communities affected by HIV/AIDS; offering hope through HIV/AIDS pastoral counseling; giving hope to parents and youth for AIDS-free living and ministering hope through home-based care to people with AIDS."
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On the role of ancestors, by Yusufu Turaki, former General Secretary of Evangelical Church of West Africa:
"Given the power and influence wielded by the ancestors, some African theologies have proposed that Jesus be presented as an African ancestor. This idea is not without merit, for Jesus is like the ancestors in that people can take their problems to him and he does guarantee a better future for those who follow him. But there is a danger that making him an ancestor may be tantamount to reducing his post-resurrection elevation as Lord of lords and may cause people to lose sight of his status as God.
"The best approach may be modeled on the one taken in the book of Hebrews, which was written against a religious background similar to that found in traditional African religions. Taking this approach, it can be said that Jesus has come to fulfill our African ancestral cult and has taken the place of our ancestors, replacing them with himself. He has become the mediator between God and African society."
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On prayer, by Joe Kapolyo, lead minister, Edmonton Baptist Church in London:
"Prayer was an important part of Jewish religious life. Devout Jews prayed three times a day: at dawn, midday and dusk. While we have no historical evidence of ostentatious praying in the street, it is not unlikely that certain people organized their day so that the time for prayer found them on a street corner. Jesus questions the motives of those who pray to impress others.
"He also condemns prayers that babble on and on. Apparently Greek prayers were often lengthy and included numerous titles for the deity being addressed in order to attract his or her attention. But we do not need to summon God's attention. He knows we what we are praying about even before we ask him."


Updated : 2021-05-14 04:07 GMT+08:00