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...]

United Kingdom
Sponsor: Moorlands College and Wycliffe Bible Translators

The School of Language and Scripture (SLS) is a collaboration between Moorlands College and Wycliffe Bible Translators, training people to work with marginalised communities, to see lives transformed through a relationship with God and his life-changing Word. At the heart of the School’s activities is the MA in Language, Community and Development, a programme providing and enhancing the essential tools for community-based development, linguistics, literacy, Bible translation and Scripture engagement.

As part of the MA we offer a Postgraduate Certificate with a focus on Scripture Engagement:

Having completed Foundations for Living and Working Cross-culturally, you would take options L33 Introduction to Scripture Engagement followed by L42 Patterns and Approaches in Community Engagement, with an option to carry on later and complete an MA in Language, Community and Development. Please see our website for more info.  [more...]

Authors: David Ford, Joshua Mann, Peter Phillips
Published by: Routledge (2019)

From the book description:

The Bible and Digital Millennials explores the place of the Bible in the lives of 18 to 35 year-olds who have been born into the digital age. As the use of digital media becomes increasingly pervasive, it should follow that it will have a significant effect on people’s engagement with religion and the sacred texts associated with it. Drawing on contemporary in-depth surveys, this study unpacks digital millennials’ stance towards, use of and engagement with the Bible in both offline and online settings.

The book features results from a nationally representative survey of 2,000 young British people specifically commissioned for this project. The data is also compared with the findings of others, including a poll of 850 British Bible-centric Christians and recent Bible engagement surveys from the USA.

This book investigates the relevance of the Bible to the lives of those who have grown up in the digital age. It will, therefore, offer fresh insight to any scholar of biblical studies, religion and digital media, and religious studies.  [more...]

Communicating the Christian Message to People Who Don’t Read
Author: Harry Box
Published by: William Carey Library (2014)

From the book's description:

Don’t Throw the Book at Them addresses one of the most vital issues in contemporary missions. It is a manual for cross-cultural missionaries and national church leaders ministering in societies based on oral rather than written communication. Harry Box, former missionary and researcher in Papua New Guinea and among the Aborigines of Central Australia, explains the distinct characteristics of oral societies, how they differ from literacy-oriented societies, Jesus’ ministry to oral communicators, and why effective presentation of the Christian message demands that Western Christians change their approach to orality. The book goes beyond case studies and analysis, allowing the reader to develop a detailed plan for communication.  [more...]

Dallas International University, Texas, USA
Sponsor: Center for Excellence in World Arts

The MA with a major in World Arts prepares students to work cross-culturally alongside singers, musicians, actors, dancers, storytellers, and visual artists, researching the arts of their community. Using these insights, the student will be able to spark artistic creations with artists to respond to their community’s needs in community development, health education, justice issues, language and arts preservation, literacy, Scripture engagement and translation, worship expressions, and other areas.

This program will be of interest to people with artistic skills and sensibilities, curiosity about culture, a commitment to serious research, and a drive to see others create. Depending on prior background and training, as well as the specialization and application courses chosen, graduates will be prepared for careers such as the following:

  • Arts journalist
  • Community development worker
  • Ethnodramatologist
  • Ethnomusicologist
  • Orality consultant
  • Trauma healing consultant
  • Arts consultant for Bible translation projects, Schools in cross-cultural contexts, Non-governmental organizations, Multi-ethnic churches, Literacy projects, and sending agencies
  [more...]