Stories from the Field

Central Asian Bible Commentary Project

In January 2023, a proposal for support in the publication and distribution of the Central Asian Bible Commentary came to READ from Central Asian theological institutions and Chief editors Sergii Sannikov and Peter Penner (EAAA, Langham Partners). READ has had a long-standing partnership with book distribution and developing theological education through the Eurasian Accrediting Association.

The project started in 2018 and was completed in April 2022 as a part of a Bible Pulpit Series designed to help and educate churches and theological institutions in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. The commentary "will help make a difference in the Central Asian church, help Christians to understand the Bible better, and live faithfully in their context for Christ while witnessing with words and deeds." There is great expectation that the commentary will have a great impact in the following areas:

  • The commentary will help pastors, leaders, ministers, and theology students to root Bible exposition and preaching more consciously in the Word of God and be better prepared for and involved in ministry in a majority Muslim context.
  • Due to the contextualization and the involvement of many Central Asian authors, the Commentary has become an effective tool for mission and education in the Muslim world of the 10-40 window and beyond.
  • The process of preparing the Commentary resulted in the development of context-conscious and skilled authors and writers in the predominantly oral context of Central Asia. From a modest start with 60 articles authored by Central Asian participants, we hope the Commentary will encourage more theological writing from and within the context.
  • The Commentary is intended for and has involved all Central Asian Protestant and evangelical groups, and this way, a contribution to the unity of the Church. A sense of togetherness and coherence between the different countries and denominations has been strengthened through the project. It is hoped that the Commentary will encourage Christians in this region to develop other joint projects and this way to participate in the mission of God.

The request was for $20,000 to finance the production and distribution of 1000 copies given to
Central Asian pastors and leaders, graduates, and other ministers in the predominantly Muslim context of Central Asia.

This amount was approved within the 2023 budget, and the funds were provided.

UPDATE: READ received a report of presentations that were held in March and April; one in Almaty for Kazakhstan, one in Bishkek for Kyrgyzstan, and one at the Central
Asian Consultation in Antalya.

"Thank you again for the significant help that you have given to the Central Asian Bible Commentary. In sending funds through Almaty to the publisher and to Langham, we were able to pass on to our sisters and brothers 500 commentaries... One more time, thank you very much for all your help with this important project."
Blessings and peace,
April 25 - Adventist rep
May 3 - an Uzbek leader studies the contents
May 3 - excitement about the commentary
April 25 - Peter Penner with Ruslan, coordinator in Kyrgyzstan
April 25 - Sergii Sannikov gave a greeting on video
May 4 - Cover Designer, Almaty, with Yuriy, Kazakhstan Coordinator and Peter Penner
May 4 - Orthodox Priest, Almaty