God’s Word for God’s People in Madagascar

30 October 2014 |

Yvette Rabemila is a pastor in Madagascar, one of the many who helped translate the Africa Bible Commentary into Malagasy. She says the book will “help us understand the meaning of the Bible for ourselves!”

It’s the 4th largest island in the world. It’s ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world, with 90 % of the population living on less than $2 a day. And while nearly half of its 22 million people identify as Christian–the vast majority lack the biblical resources needed to help them understand how God’s Word speaks into the reality of life in Madagascar—until now.

To bring God’s Word to the people of Madagascar, Langham partnered with a team of 12 translators, 7 editors and several other organizations to translate the Africa Bible Commentary (ABC) into Malagasy, the language spoken by the vast majority of Madagascar’s people.

A celebration for God's Word

A celebration for God’s Word

On Sunday, October 12, in an open-air celebration in Madagascar’s capital city of Antananarivo, the Malagasy Bible Commentary—or the Hevitenin’ny Baiboly, as it is known locally—was officially launched. Local government officials, members from local churches, along with 11 different choirs and believers from all denominations gathered to rejoice in the release of the first contemporary commentary for the people of Madagascar in nearly 100 years, and the first whole Bible resource written by Africans for Africans.

“This book explains simply, and in a Malagasy way of thinking, the Word of God. Some comments in the original Africa Bible Commentary were difficult to understand, others had no meaning in the context of Madagascan life . . . This is not just a commentary using Malagasy words, it uses Malagasy meanings,” shares Solomon Andria, the regional coordinator for Langham Literature who worked closely with the translation team.

Future pastors-in-training for Madagascar? The Malagasy ABC will help today’s pastors biblically shepherd the next generation.

Future pastors-in-training for Madagascar? The Malagasy ABC will help today’s pastors biblically shepherd the next generation.

And for a country where there is so little for pastors to read in their own language, and even less originated in their own context, this book—all 2,000 pages of it—will be a blessing not just to the church leaders, but to all believers wanting to grow in their knowledge of Christ.

In the words of one local pastor: “The Bible is often quoted as the best selling book, but it is not always the best-read book. And that is because it is hard to understand. The words in this commentary will help people understand the meaning of the words of God.”

Will you join us in echoing the prayer that closed the launch celebration of this landmark book?

“May God bless this work and may his power be with us and as we leave, and may he put his peace in each person’s heart.”