Monday 12 September - Friday 2 December, 2016
Redcliffe College, Gloucester, UK
Sponsor: SIL and Wycliffe Bible Translators

This practical course offers specialist training in how to make God’s Word available and accessible to people of all nations and languages and to facilitate transformative engagement with Scripture.

Participants will:

  • Explore how language, culture and worldview impact engagement with Scripture.
  • Learn to use practical tools for engaging individuals and communities with Scripture, such as Bible studies and Chronological Bible Storying.
  • Discover how Scripture can be made accessible through audio, visual, digital and print mediums.
  • Develop skills in strategic planning and community engagement.

Scripture Engagement is open to anyone but also forms part of the initial training for those working with SIL International on a Scripture Engagement or Ethno Arts assignment.

More information is available from Redcliffe's website.  [more...]

Redcliffe College, Gloucester, UK

The MA in Contemporary Missiology with Redcliffe College is designed to give a firm understanding of mission approaches and issues.

All students take two compulsory modules which:

  • explore approaches to the concept of missio Dei (God’s mission in the world) and holistic mission, and give a thorough orientation on skills for postgraduate missiological research and study.
  • focus on a number of crucial issues that demand attention as we participate in God’s mission in the contemporary world.

In addition, it is possible to take the Scripture Engagement stream which includes the following two modules:

Scripture Engagement: Approaches and Issues
The Bible is sometimes described as a ‘tool’ of mission. This module will enable you to explore and evaluate a number of approaches for and issues in Scripture Engagement in different cultural contexts, both in the 'West' and in the majority world.

Scripture Engagement: Professional Project
The module will provide you with the opportunity to undertake an approved project of independent study relating to a specific area of Scripture Engagement professional practice.  [more...]

Results of a study, surveying nearly 5,500 people in Burkina Faso and Cameroon
Authors: Béatrice Konfe-Tiendrebeogo (ANTBA, Burkina Faso), Julious Ngum Kimbung (CABTAL, Cameroon), Martin Engeler (OneBook, Canada), 2014

This study was undertaken by a small team of Africans and Canadians to measure the impacts of translated Scriptures, literacy and Scripture engagement programs on marginalized minority language communities, to discern whether certain hypotheses are true and to better understand which program practices yielded the post positive impacts.

Here are the five hypotheses which were tested:

  1. The most effective projects in transforming people groups are led and implemented by nationals.
  2. The most effective projects in transforming people groups had strong literacy programs to ensure mother-tongue literacy of a substantial part of the population.
  3. Effective literacy programs bring positive community transformation in the areas of social, economic and spiritual realms.
  4. Good access to and use of the mother-tongue Scriptures will foster qualitative and quantitative church growth.
  5. Nationals led the most transformational (effective) and fastest (efficient) programs in transforming communities.

Nine language communities in Burkina Faso and nine in Cameroon were selected, each of which had either a concluded or an ongoing Bible translation and literacy project.

The report, published in 2014, concludes that translation of the Scriptures is not enough, but by working hand-in-hand with functional, transitional and basic literacy, lasting impacts are achieved.  [more...]

How the Church Can Help
Author: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill, Dick Baggé, and Pat Miersma
Published by: American Bible Society (2015)

This book offers a practical approach to engaging the Bible and mental health principles to find God’s healing for wounds of the heart, which provides a strong foundation for restored lives and relationships.

This edition is adapted for ministry in North America, with all-new stories and three new chapters on domestic abuse, suicide, and addictions. Apart from this, it includes the same content and approach as the original Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help.

It is a resource for leaders in churches and NGOs who care for people who have suffered horrific events like conflict, abuse, and disasters. It will also help individuals struggling with suffering. It provides core mental health principles within a biblical framework, an approach that has been field tested since 2001 with leaders from Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and independent churches. It has been adapted into more than 150 languages and cultures around the world.

The book is designed for use in groups and written in simple and non-technical language. Each lesson begins with a story depicting its topic, followed by discussion questions and participatory exercises. The book includes more than 270 Bible references from more than 217 passages.  [more...]

Published by: GemStone Media (2014)

"In the high mountains of Central Asia are shepherds who live a simple but rugged life. The village where they live is extremely remote and isolated from the outside world. Going there feels like you're stepping back into time. This is the first time a film has been done with this people group. All of the actors are from the local village."

This is the first film in GemStone Media's Luke 15 trilogy, which is followed by "The Lost Jewel" and soon "The Lost Sons".

To see footage from the making of The Lost Sheep, watch the video "The Lost Sheep - Behind the Scenes".

The film is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. It can be downloaded and shared freely.  [more...]

Author: Ellen Errington (2016)

The experience of going to church is largely an oral one in any culture. This is perfectly acceptable and appropriate, but there are ways that the experience of participating in church activities can be complementary to developing literacy skills and literate practice for daily life.

In this paper, Ellen Errington applies the concept of scaffolding to the task of teaching people from oral cultures the skills of reading and writing. By supporting the learner through these means, literate practice may seem less foreign and new avenues of communication may be opened up. Scaffolding techniques are really just good teaching practices, but for learners from oral cultures, literacy teachers need to use them more often and more intentionally to build success.

The church, though primarily an oral setting, can also be a setting for supporting literate practice, including Bible ‘literacy,’ for all church members. The inclusion of scaffolding techniques for oral literacy learners in the church setting can bring excitement and deeper understanding to all who participate.  [more...]

Choosing Illustrations for Translated Scripture
Author: Michelle Petersen (2016)

Choosing to illustrate interesting events in the text may help build audience interest in the story of Scripture, and this interest may be more foundational to audiences’ relationship with God than knowledge of details about what objects and places looked like.

Illustrations often serve motivational functions for readers, especially reluctant readers, increasing their enjoyment of a text and the amount of time they give it. Various audiences require different kinds of Scripture visuals to care about the message and understand it well. Just as translators need to carefully check the words of Scripture, it is important that they also check Scripture illustrations with members of the intended audience, and if needed, change their choices based on this interview feedback. This paper encourages translation teams to check visual elements of Scripture with members of the intended audience, and helps prepare consultants to check illustrations based on local visual vocabulary, grammar and rhetoric.

This is an edited version of a paper presented at the Bible Translation Conference in October 2015, Dallas, Texas.  [more...]