Celebrating the new Contemporary Bible Commentary
This spring, we are delighted to celebrate the launch of a landmark publication: the Comentario Bíblico Contemporáneo (Contemporary Bible Commentary).
This long-awaited volume is the first of its kind. A commentary on every book of the Bible, written in Spanish, from Latin America and for Latin America. Culturally relevant, highly readable and deliberately accessible in price, this book is set to change the landscape of theological study across the continent for years to come.
It is fitting that General Editor, René Padilla, should describe it as ‘a dream come true’. Created to address the need for greater depth of training among evangelical churches and leaders in Latin America, this project has taken 12 years and the hard work of over 100 women and men. Experts in the Bible, in theology, or the social sciences, representing nearly every Latin American country, and from a wide range of ministries and cultural backgrounds. What an achievement!
Here’s the story so far…
A dream come true
Dr C. René Padilla:
“An initial meeting considering this project took place in the Kairós Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in March 2007. All present agreed on the need for a one-volume Bible commentary, one that was written by Latin American authors in a simple, direct, and accessible style.
“It should be an exegetical and contextual commentary for all interested in understanding the relevance of the biblical message for the contemporary world; [including] articles about current topics, written from a biblical perspective, for the purpose of helping readers connect biblical principles with the ethical issues of today’s Latin America.
“This commentary would encourage pastors and teachers to expound the biblical message with depth and faithfulness, their sights set on the renewal of the hearts and minds of Latin America’s people in general and the people of God in particular.
“At the publication of the CBC, we give joyful thanks to God for allowing this project which began as a dream to become reality.”
Latin Link’s Ian Darke has worked for more than 30 years in Latin America, first in Peru and now in Costa Rica. He’s been the coordinator for the CBC project since its inception in 2007. We asked what some of the main challenges had been in the creation of this wonderful publication:
“At that first meeting in 2007 there was a lovely sense of the Lord’s presence, as the various groups agreed to join forces, drawing on resources from across the continent. I had the honour of being invited to join the core team, as project coordinator.
“We initially talked of completing the commentary by 2010, but soon realised this was hopelessly optimistic! Any image we had of contributors working calmly in book-lined studies was soon dashed by the realisation that many also had a heavy teaching load, pastoral work and other responsibilities. There were family crises and health problems to overcome too.
“Experts in the Old Testament were hard to find, while some scholars found it a challenge to communicate deep content in simple language. However, we saw this as an opportunity to help them become better communicators, producing even more resources in the future.
“It has been exciting to be in touch with Bible teachers and scholars from every part of the continent. Almost all evangelical groups are represented, as are almost all Latin American countries. Given such diversity, our editors had to be careful that commentaries explain different perspectives on issues that can cause division.
“Linguistically, we also had to make sure that the Spanish was sufficiently international to avoid regional confusions, and to translate contributions written in Portuguese into good, flowing Spanish, which is harder than it may seem!
“Another challenge was the sheer nu