It is boilerplate to state that one-volume commentaries on the Bible are never deep enough. Which, of course, is followed with this: Unless you are a Bible reader who just needs brief comments on the whole text. Which is exactly what is now available.
Edited by Tokunboh Adeyemo, written by more than 70 African academics (both African- and French-speaking), and punctuated with more than 70 specialized articles, the Africa Bible Commentary is the real deal.
A few salient points:
First, this is an evangelical commentary on the whole Bible — on every passage in the Bible. I didn’t tabulate numbers, but most of these authors received some of their education (theologically) in the USA and England.
Second, there are signal essays on scripture, on translations in Africa, on environment, on debt, on democracy, homosexuality, persecution, principles of interpretation, etc..
Third, there are some highly specialized essays: cultural issues, dreams, female genital mutilation, HIV and AIDS, initiation rites, refugees, street children, tribalism, widow inheritance … I could go on. I found these essays to be incisively sensitive to and reflecting of the African context.
Fourth, I dipped into the commentary here and there — it is conservative evangelical and I must admit that much of it sounds like an IVP or Zondervan book here in the USA or UK. Thus, what most struck me is the impact of evangelical missions and educational institutions on the African context and the significant continuity among evangelicals around the world. This commentary will provide a new generation in Africa with a tool so they can work out orthodox theology in the African context. I expect some will think this commentary will be more liberation theology in orientation, but they will be disappointed.
I’ll be looking at this commentary regularly over the next year.