eNews November 2015

26 November 2015 |

eNews November 2015

In this issue:

  • Launched! The South Asia Bible Commentary
  • Join us in prayer
  • LPA CEO Gillean Smiley writes…

Launched! The South Asia Bible Commentary

After eight years of dedicated work by scholars and editors – partnered with the persevering, generous support of Langham donors – the South Asia Bible Commentary is here!

It was launched in New Delhi, India on Sunday 4 October 2015 at the Cathedral Church of the Redemption (CNI). Paul Swarup is the Presbyter-in-Charge. He is a Langham Scholar and an OT editor of the Commentary. ‘God helped us in amazing ways’, he testifies, ‘with every detail of organisation … and I have a very supportive church team!’

The celebrations started with a liturgical Thanksgiving Service. Leaders from many
different denominations took part – including bishops and archbishops – and an Ao Naga choir.
Chris Wright preached from Psalm 33: ‘The word of the Lord is right and good …’
An offertory procession by the Commentary editors symbolically expressed thanks to God and entrusted the project to him for continued blessing. The Service concluded with Holy Communion.
Next, celebrations continued in the garden behind the Cathedral. The space had been transformed with a stage and festive marquee.

There was tight security in anticipation of the arrival of the Vice-President of India, Hamid Ansari, who had agreed to officially release the Commentary.

Vice president of India launches South Asia Bible Commentary

Vice president of India launches South Asia Bible Commentary

Seated on stage were the SABC Board: all six editors – Brian Wintle, Paul Swarup (OT), Finny Philip (NT), Havilah Dharamraj (OT), Jacob Cherian (NT) and J.B. Jeyaraj (OT) – as well as Chris Wright and Pieter Kwant from Langham. In the audience of 750 invited guests were the managing copy-editor – Isobel Stevenson – and senior Langham staff, all looking smart in kurtas.

Girls from a local school perform in the presence of the Vice-President during the launch

Girls from a local school perform in the presence of the Vice-President during the launch

There was a huge model of the Commentary on stage, and a background poster with the slogan: ‘Faithful, Clear, Relevant’.

All stood for the national anthem. Then the Vice-President was welcomed with gifts of flowers, a shawl of friendship and a Bible. He released the ribbon-bound copy of the Commentary, followed by a warmly applauded speech. ‘I am sure’, he said, ‘the Commentary will make the text more accessible to large number of people, particularly in South Asia, and enable them to imbibe the message of love and compassion that the Bible has for all humankind.’

Signed gift copies of the Commentary were now presented to supporters and Christian leaders, while an overhead screen showed photos from the past eight years. Local Christian musicians performed. And a full Indian banquet was served as fellowship continued in small groups. Many people queued to buy copies. Everywhere they were ‘sampling’ the Commentary.

A Christian politician who read the titles of the special articles was excited: ‘These will be useful for my speeches!’

A church worker who sneaked an early preview of the Commentary exclaimed: ‘I can read this … it’s ordinary language!’

Join us in prayer…


  • From 26 – 29 November, a new three-year phase of training will begin in Latin America entitled “good and faithful”.   A select group of 10 preachers who are part of Langham Preaching in the countries of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama have been invited.  Please pray for the success of this new program, that it will be an excellent tool in the formation of this new generation of good and faithful preachers in the continent.
  • Pray for Langham’s International Preaching Director, Paul Windsor.


  • Pray for Fount of Wisdom Publishing in Phnom Penh as they seek to serve the fast growing first generation church in Cambodia.  FoW do a great job of producing good books but need to make progress in selling them effectively, particularly outside of the capital.  A prevailing NGO mentality needs to develop into commercial awareness, increased efficiency, and reduced dependency on subsidy support. Pray also for their ambitious project to publish the New Bible Dictionary.  This represents a major investment in the Cambodian church but it is a mammoth and complex undertaking. Pray for perseverance, wisdom, accuracy and clarity.
  • Pray for those working on the Hindi and Urdu translations of the South Asia Bible Commentary.


  • Please pray for Qaiser Julius and his wife Rahila and children Homilia and Hanan in Melbourne as they prepare to return to Pakistan at the end of the year.
  • Please pray for our new scholar in Australia, Anwar Mehammed Berhe from Ethiopia. Pray that he and his family will quickly settle in to life in Melbourne and that Anwar will have clarity of thought and direction as he commences his PhD studies at Melbourne School of Theology.


  • November 22-28: Turkey, Colombia, Bolivia
  • Nov 29- Dec 5: Bolivia, SE Asia, Zimbabwe
  • December 6-12: Macedonia

Langham Australia CEO Gillean Smiley writes…

Seven years of dedicated, faithful labour, and the South Asian Bible Commentary is with us! Praise God for everyone who has been part of the process, and for all that He will do with and through His people as it is used.

Of course, now we need to have it produced in as many languages as possible, not to mention the Slavik, Latin American and Middle Eastern commentaries currently being developed…

Isn’t it wonderful to be part of a ministry that is growing and multiplying its effect throughout the Majority World? The commentaries (including the Africa Bible Commentary) are also special examples of the three Langham ministries coming together – as local Scholars write, Literature distributes and preachers and teachers trained up through Preaching use these wonderful resources. Thank you for coming with us on this exciting journey!


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