It is no controversial statement to say that most biblical commentaries comes from America, the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and a few other parts of Europe. However, there is a booming population of Christians in Africa who either do not have access to this scholarship physically, or are not able to bridge the cultural gap.
Zondervan has partnered with some publishers in Africa to present the African Bible Commentary Series and the first volume is now out on the Pastoral Epistles.
What makes this series special is that it is produces entirely by Africans, so the anecdotes, and applications are less focused on America and England, and more on African life. Also, there are some traditions in African cultures that bring us closer to the culture of life in the ancient Mediterranean world, though I am sure there are major differences as well.
I think this is a very worthy endeavor. I have friends who are missionaries, teaching at a theological college in Zimbabwe. I am sure they desire to have locally produced scholarship to inspire and instruct their students with relevant analogies and in a manner that is easy for them to understand. I am excited to see the series produced and used in Africa and around the world – I may even borrow some choice stories.
UPDATE: This information comes from Christopher Wright:
It is worth noting that the book is published in Africa by Hippo Press – a consortiu of African evangelical publishers that have combined under the facilitation of Langham Literature – one of the ministries of Langham Partnership International which in the USA is known as John Stott Ministries. This book is part of the fulfilment of the dream of John Stott himself to encourage indigenous scholars ans writers in the majority world countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is exciting to see this vision bearing fruit. Sam Ngewa is also one of the editors of the Africa Bible Commentary – which has sold over 80,000 in English in Afria, and is available also in French, Portuguese, and Swahili, with translations in Hausa, Amharic and Malagasi on the way. This too is entirely written by African evangelical scholars, some of whom got their doctorates through Langham – JSM. Check out the stories at www.johnstott.org