The New African Bible

The Catholic Bibles Blog:

I received in the mail, from the Pauline Sisters in Africa, these two new editions of the New African Bible.  The New African Bible was published back in 2011 and includes the New American Bible Revised Edition translation with completely new intros and commentary.  I wanted to give you all a sneak peak of the standard hardbound edition, which is in a single-column setting, and the compact edition.  More to come in the coming weeks when I hopefully have a bit more time to write up a proper review.  However, if you have any questions, feel free to comment here.  Also, below is some additional information on the New African Bible from the Paulines site.  To order, you can contact them at


This second edition of “The African Bible”, from now on, will be called “The New African Bible” and rightly so. The features are the same. However, this new edition contains the revised version of the Old Testament from the New American Bible. The New Testament was already revised in the first edition. The revision was done over 35 years in order to bring the biblical text closer to the original texts. Introductions, comments and notes have been revised and many added. The Glossary comes to you with many more entries, making it a precious tool for students and those who want to deepen relevant specific topics. New illustrations were also added. The African Bible now has 2240 pages and it costs only US$ 15.00. A golden-edge edition is also available and it costs only US$ 25.00.

In summary, The African Bible presents the following characteristics: 

•Introductions to each book giving updated information about the book and the theological and pastoral relevance for Africa today.
•Explanatory notes are provided in the various domains of exegesis, theol¬ogy and spirituality as well as in catechesis and pastoral ministry.
•The comments, running alongside the biblical text, work as a key to un¬derstand a chapter or a section of the book and to see the relevance of the passage in Africa today.
•The illustrations aim at making the historical background easier to understand and offer an artistic insight into some texts.
•The Bible is enriched by cross-references, the 3-year cycle of liturgical readings, the chronology,’ and the glossary/thematic index.

I have the previous African Bible and use it frequently (it was given me by the late Bishop Trevor Rhodes on the occasion of my Ordination). One thing lacking is a Concordance though, it has a Glossary/Thematic Index only. I wonder if the ‘new’ version has one?



5 thoughts on “The New African Bible

  1. “We find in this African Bible, elements of the African culture and Traditional Religions in the introductions, comments and notes. What we say for one book can be applied for all the 73 books of the Bible. We will take a few examples to make people understand what is “African” in this Bible

    The first area of Inculturation is the Introductions. We take for example Exodus. In the introduction we find general up-dated information: Background of Exodus, Message of Exodus, Main Divisions of Exodus and Relevance of Exodus in Africa. This theme, “Relevance of Exodus in Africa” is the first expression of the work of inculturation done in The African Bible. A few sentences taken from this sub-title can help us to understand better what is meant. “In modem times Africans have suffered great violations of their dignity. They have been victims of slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism and oppres¬sion. Exodus is, therefore, a book for Africans and those people who are under political and other forms of oppression, and even for those who are already free but are searching for self-dignity. Independence and freedom were demanded from foreign powers. Africa is challenged to prove that freedom from foreign rule brings freedom for Africans themselves. The performance of African leaders after independence has regrettably proved that enslavement by foreigners has often been replaced by internal enslavement. Exodus reminds us also that the Israelites had to take refuge in the desert when they were victims of persecution in Egypt. The problem of refugees in Africa is most acute.

    God directly took care of his people in the Sinai Desert; he now relies on us to welcome and help the innumerable African refugees seeking asylum in neighbouring countries. In sum, Exodus tells us that the root of all types of slavery or oppression consists in a distorted understanding of God and a wrong relationship with him. God is the source of hue liberation in all aspects: social, cultural, religious, political, economic, etc. A true covenant relationship with God in genuine faith, hope and love, finally proclaimed in the gospel of Christ, is the source of authentic freedom.” This reflection on the relevance of the book to Africa helps Christians to read the book with a particular attitude and attention to what the Lord wants to tell us today. We do not find these types of reflections in other bibles.”

    1. Yes, I have read such pieces before about this Bible in the past, but it is produced from a Roman Catholic American translation? And how about the South African Anglicans and the English? And here I speak historically. Just a point of difference. 🙂

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