Date: March 19, 2008
An international editorial team of Adventist Bible scholars has begun work on a new study Bible to be published by Andrews University Press, according to Niels-Erik Andreasen, president of Andrews University. Andreasen made the announcement on March 4 in connection with meetings of the Andrews University Board of Trustees.
Andreasen said the editorial team is preparing a work designed for lay Bible students around the world. “The Andrews Study Bible will provide the tools necessary for any Bible reader—no matter the level of theological training—to navigate the Scriptures in a meaningful way,” he said.
Those tools will include an extensive study note and reference system, general articles on important theological and interpretive principles, maps, charts and indexes, all prepared for the general reader. Andreasen said that the heart of the Andrews Study Bible will be one of the standard English translations of the Bible commonly used by conservative evangelicals. The ultimate purpose will be to produce a work that is academically credible, theologically sound and practically useful for the individual reader, and for wide distribution in Adventist evangelism.
Andreasen, who is chair of the Andrews University Press Board, said that discussion about the project began nearly a year ago. “This is a very important initiative from the Andrews University Press and it is already receiving wide support. Mark Finley, vice president for evangelism for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Angel Rodriguez, director of the Biblical Research Institute and Gerry Karst, general vice president for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, who also chairs the Andrews board, are serving as consultants on the project,” he said.
“I’m very excited at the prospect of what this study Bible will do,” said Finley. “Besides the tremendous value it will have for untold thousands of readers around the world in the years ahead, its production now will help scholars of the church to think as evangelists and its use will help the evangelists of the church to think as scholars.”
Development of the publication, the first of its kind in Adventist publishing, has been delegated by the Andrews University Press Board to an oversight group called the Andrews Study Bible Project Committee, chaired by Andreasen. Members include Karst, Finley, Rodriguez and Denis Fortin, dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University; Juan Prestol, undertreasurer of the General Conference; two members of the Press staff; and Jon Dybdahl, named in January as general editor of the Andrews Study Bible.
Dybdahl is the recently retired president of Walla Walla University in College Place, Wash., and long-time professor of world mission at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews. Since accepting the general editorship, Dybdahl has quickly recruited a team of more than a dozen scholars to begin the editorial production.
“I am particularly excited about the impact this project can have on the church and the world,” Dybdahl said. “If it can bring church members and those who are seeking God into direct contact with the Bible in a meaningful way, the possibilities of what can happen are limitless.”
Andreasen said the project has been able to move ahead quickly because a request for start-up and development costs from the General Conference was granted.
Members of the Project Committee met with Dybdahl and the editorial team to formally commence work on Sunday, March 2, at Sutherland House on the Andrews University campus. The team continued its work on March 3, accepted assignments, signed contracts and returned home to start writing.