Listening to the translated Scriptures: a review of today’s digital audio players
Author: Richard Margetts

Fourth Edition - Revised for 2019

It is not hard to convince those involved in Scripture access and Scripture engagement of the value of listening to audio Scriptures. We want to assist communities in making strategic choices about how best to make them available and how best to encourage people to engage with them. One of the ways people listen to the Bible today is using a digital audio player. But since there are so many different audio players to choose from, how do we make a good choice?

This in-depth review (66 pages) compares a range of today's digital audio players including the Proclaimer (from Faith Comes By Hearing), the Envoy 2 (from MegaVoice), the Audibible K1 (from Kivah Distributors), the Papyrus and The Torch (from Renew World Outreach), the Kulumi Mini and Lost Sheep from Hope Tech Global.

The review is presented in several sections, illustrated with photos and giving a summary of the key features, prices, pros and cons of each player. Also mentioned are feature phones, smartphones and locally available MP3 players.  [more...]

Sunday 14 June - Friday 14 August, 2020
CanIL West location at Trinity Western University in Langley, near Vancouver, BC Canada
Sponsor: Canada Institute of Linguistics

The Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL) offers a Scripture Engagement training track with courses accepted by SIL and Wycliffe Bible Translators as preparation for cross-cultural service.

As a Scripture engagement worker, you assist Christian communities to strengthen the use of the local language by integrating Scripture into the local arts and culture, daily life and practice. You partner with local churches and community leaders to develop strategies for Scripture engagement, contextualizing its meaning through a variety of means including ethnomusicology, Bible storying, audio products, etc.

This Scripture Engagement Training Track is a 2-semester, 7-course program. It can be taken at the graduate or undergraduate level. It is designed to start in the 9-week, intensive Summer semester, and continue on through the Fall semester. The courses in the Scripture Engagement Training Track are: Language and Society, Phonetics, Scripture Engagement, Language and Culture Acquisition, Ethnography, Language Program Design and Management and Christian Missions.

The Scripture Engagement course itself is a 3-credit hour course taught in the Summer semester only. This course can be taken as a part of the training track or independently.

You may see the Scripture Engagement Training Track program description and courses here: https://www.canil.ca/academics/training-tracks/literacy-and-scripture/

These correspond to the SIL required course set here: https://www.sil.org/training/scripture-engagement

For more information, please email the Scripture Engagement instructor Michelle [dot] Petersenatcanil [dot] ca, and the CanIL Admissions Team at admissionsatcanil [dot] ca.

Apply Now for Summer 2020 at https://www.canil.ca/apply  [more...]

Author: Bettina Gottschlich
Published by: Fuller Theological Seminary, Doctor of Intercultural Studies dissertation (2012)

Abstract:
This dissertation contributes to the missiological conversation on transformational Scripture engagement. Translation into the mother–tongue and good distribution by themselves are insufficient to enable multi–lingual Budu believers of Congo–Kinshasa translate the Bible into action and changed lives. Literature surveyed on Scripture engagement, biblical theology of mission and contextualization revealed that effectiveness seems to be handicapped by the lack of connecting and integrating the people’s story in its wider historical context into God’s story, as presented in the totality of Scripture and understood through relevant themes and motifs. In light of a history of a largely non–contextualized gospel, the model of biblical theology in context including creative solutions to language in a multilingual environment could offer a way forward.

This qualitative research identifies and documents Scripture resources that enable life–transforming Scripture engagement among Budu believers from their point of view. It further identifies measurable indicators that determine what constitutes verifiably effective engagement. The research methodology consisted of qualitative methods to collect and grounded theory to analyze the data from 36 interviews and 36 focus groups, participant observation and document research, representing the whole of the Budu region and its church leadership. The findings revealed the emic view that I classify in two key themes of “People” as Scripture resources and “Ministry” Scripture resources.

The data collected is used to develop a change strategy together with Budu leadership to enable Budu believers encounter God’s Word in life–transforming ways using context–appropriate Scripture resources. My recommendations call for two important changes: (1) altering our comprehension of what constitutes a Scripture resource; (2) using this knowledge to enable Budu believers complete God’s story in a way that it becomes “readable” through the messengers individually and communally and communicated through appropriated means of communication. I specifically address the issue of leaders as promoters of transformation in the largely but not only communal and oral context of African believers. As these leaders find their place within God’s story, and become “living Scripture resources”, credible conveyers of the Word of God, they will be able to lead others towards life–transforming engagement with Scripture.

-- For information about this dissertation, please contact Bettina Gottschlich at bettinagottschlichatgmail [dot] com  [more...]

Author: Kyria B. (2019)

"Almost all of the Christians interviewed reported a preference for reading print Scriptures. This preference was in contrast specifically to 1) individualized listening to audio recordings of Scripture or 2) listening to someone else reading Scripture aloud."

This article is a reflection on research into the motivations for literacy in Senegal. Among the Christians interviewed, the overwhelming majority expressed a preference for reading the Scriptures rather than listening to audio Scriptures or hearing someone else read to them. This was accompanied by a general opinion that reading Scripture is necessary for a Christian to mature and to grow spiritually. They also reported ten main inconveniences or inadequacies regarding audio recordings or listening to someone else reading.

The author was surprised by these findings since many Christians in Senegal are unable to read the Bible. She proposes two possible interpretations, recognizing the importance of literacy and also seeing the need for a more nuanced understanding of the value of oral communication of the Scriptures for spiritual growth.

The article is available to download in both English and French.  [more...]

Evaluating the conditions for Scripture Engagement
Author: David Gray (2019)

This questionnaire takes you through each of Wayne Dye's Eight Conditions of Scripture Engagement, asking questions to help you evaluate a particular context.

It is available to download as Word documents in both English and French.

The process of filling in the questionnaire will help Bible translation teams, local organisations and Scripture Engagement specialists to identify the areas on which to concentrate in order to facilitate the use of the Scriptures.  [more...]