North Africa forms part of the cradle that gave birth to the Bible, participating in the production of the Bible as we now have it. Mediterranean Africa had a marked effect, both in terms of the actual formation of the Bible and its interpretation. The Scriptures continued to play an important part in African receptions of the Bible through the work of North African theologians such as Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian and Augustine. While the city of Alexandria looked north to the cosmopolitan Mediterranean and Greek cultural world, the rural regions of Egypt, with its emerging Coptic language and culture, looked to the desert hinterland. The story in sub-Saharan or tropical Africa is quite different, with the Bible being a relatively recent arrival. Throughout the waves of imperialism and mission the Bible was present, playing a variety of roles, from iconic object of power to political weapon of struggle.