At Southwestern Adventist University, where learning is treasured, and knowledge is king, one of our own professors, Dr. Joaquim Azevedo, has recently made an extraordinary mark in the world of theology as one of the authors of the new "Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary." This massive work isn't just a testament to his theological prowess; it's an invitation to explore the depths of the Bible like never before. Here are some questions with answers from Dr. Azevedo:
- Why was this project started, and who will it benefit?
- "This project was started because the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (SDABC) was published in the middle of the 21st century (around 1953-1957). Therefore, the need for a new commentary was evident for three reasons, and I will paraphrase the Editor's Preface of this Commentary: First, the world has changed philosophically and spiritually; thus, people today must deal with situations unknown to those living half a century ago. Second, new information has contributed to our understanding of the Scriptures. Third, the church has changed into an international community of faith."
- "Pastors, theology students, church elders, and any person who wants to learn more about the Sacred Scriptures will benefit from this production."
- How does this Commentary give different/more specific insight into the Bible?
- "Although the authors of this Commentary based their studies on the Hebrew and Greek texts, they conveyed the message in a way the readers today can understand. Theological and spiritual lessons are integrated in the comments of each text. Also, applications for our time and age are considered. The methodology followed is that of a closing reading of the biblical text. That means we have given attention to its grammar, literary structure, theology, and applications for daily life."
- What did it take to complete this project?
- "For me, it took a little bit over a decade. We had to study verse by verse; sometimes, each word in the Hebrew text had to be analyzed in detail. The purpose was to establish the best translation and its relationship to the historical, literary, and theological context. The history, worldviews, philosophy, and culture surrounding the text's original author had to be carefully understood. The painful editorial work made by an expert team required time. Several revisions of the final draft, the references, and bibliographical resources were essential for this endeavor. I enjoyed every day invested in studying God's Word during this project."
- Where can people find a copy of their own?
- "It is available in any local Adventist Book Center or online."
- What's next? What other related projects are coming in the future?
- "I have a few. But another project that has been done recently, and worth mentioning, is the Archaeology and Cultural Background Study Bible. This project had over 80 writers from different parts of the world. It took about five years to be published (2022) and can be found in any Adventist Book Center around the US. I had the privilege to collaborate with a few short archaeological articles for this project as well."
Southwestern Adventist University proudly celebrates this monumental achievement and eagerly anticipates the profound impact this work will have on theology and our understanding of the Bible. We're excited and proud to have such a remarkable faculty member among us.