Prime Journal of Social Science, Vol. 1, Issue 7, 121-129 (2012)
Author: Jonathan E. T. Kuwornu-Adjaottor

Abstract:

"The need for the translation of the Scriptures into the vernacular to enable people read the Bible in their mother-tongues started in the third century BC in the ancient city of Alexandria in Egypt. Since the first mother-tongue translation – from Hebrew to Greek – many vernacular translations have been done. As of 2009, Bible Agencies in Ghana have translated the full Bible into 13 and the New Testament into 20 languages. The question is, are the mother-tongue translations of the Bible being used?

"The study which was conducted in Kumasi, Ghana, in 67 congregations of the Mainline, Ghana Pentecostal, African Indigenous and Charismatic Churches, and some New Religious Movements, in October-November 2009 reveals that 55.5% of the respondents had the Bible in eight mother-tongues in the Kumasi Metropolis; people from ages 41-60, constituting 77.2% of the respondents read the mother-tongue Bibles most; only 12.8% young people read the mother-tongue Bibles; 34.1% of the respondents read the mother-tongue Bibles daily; 32.1% at least thrice a week; and 33.8% once a week, perhaps only on Sundays when they carry the Bibles to their respective churches. Even though this research was limited to Kumasi, it serves as an eye opener as to whether Christians are using the Bible translated into the various Ghanaian languages. This research is significant in that it is the first of its kind in Ghana, and others can build on it."  [more...]

The Bible Translator - Vol 63, No 2 (April 2012)
Author: Harriet Hill
Published by: United Bible Societies (2012)

"Much effort and funding is invested every year by many organizations to provide vernacular Scriptures to minority peoples. Are these Scriptures being used? What factors affect their use? We have anecdotes and rumors, but very little real research.

"Over the past few years, a small research team has been developing a questionnaire instrument that can be used widely to gather data on how frequently audiences are exposed to the Scriptures designed for them. The instrument also explores whether the necessary pre-conditions for use of vernacular Scriptures are present: Are people even aware the Scripture products exist? Can they get a copy or listen to it? For print products, are they able to read in the vernacular? Scripture isn’t really available to people if these conditions are not met. The instrument has been tested in Eurasia, Cameroon, and Togo. This paper provides findings from the Togo research."

Download this article from The Bible Translator website.  [more...]

Author: Barna Research
Published by: American Bible Society (2013)

The State of the Bible 2013 report contains the findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research.

From the report:

"Americans overwhelming (77%) believe morals and values are declining in the U.S. The most-cited cause for the decline is a lack of Bible reading. As in previous years, the survey found that the Bible remains a highly valued, influential force in America. But beliefs about the Bible and its role in society are becoming increasingly polarized—particularly when the data is examined by age group.

"The research also uncovered a significant disconnect in belief versus behavior. While 66% of those surveyed agreed that the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life, 58% say they don’t personally want wisdom and advice from the Bible and about the same amount (57%) read it fewer than five times per year.

Key Findings:

  • 1 in 6 people reported buying a copy of the Bible in the last year
  • 80% of Americans identify the Bible as sacred
  • Americans have plenty of copies at their fingertips—with an average of 4.4 Bibles per household
  • 56% of adults believe the Bible should have a greater role in U.S. society
  • But actual Bible reading and perceptions about the Bible have become increasingly polarized, with 6 million new Bible Antagonists in the last year alone
  • More than half (57%) of those ages 18-28 report reading the Bible less than three times a year or never."

Data, analysis and infographics are available for download from the American Bible Society website. There are also links to the 2011 and 2012 reports.  [more...]

Friday 16 August - Friday 13 December, 2013
Online course
Sponsor: Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics

The Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL) now offers an online version of its popular Scripture Engagement Strategy and Methods course (AA5355).

This graduate level course is taught by Scripture Engagement pioneer, Dr. Wayne Dye with Tim & Lynley Hatcher serving as assistant teachers. Those taking this course learn to understand the following:

  • factors affecting Scripture engagement including – partnership, sociolinguistics, translation, anthropology, missiology, digital/non-digital distribution, orality, ethnic arts, and alternative media, and more;
  • analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of an active Bible translation program;
  • selecting and planning the most appropriate methods for individual contexts.

The online version is the same content as the January four-week face-to-face course, LD5355 Scripture Engagement Strategy and Methods.

August 16 - December 13, 2013 – twelve weeks (one week break, November 19-23); twelve total hours per week.

Find out more about admissions at: http://www.gial.edu/admissions/gateway-admission
Cost ~$1400 credit / $700 audit

Course materials are all accessible online. For those with limited connectivity, course materials can be mailed or hand delivered in advance of the course. Thus, anyone can participate.

Within this interactive course, participants will need weekly internet access. We can accommodate those with only email access. Participants must be able to send and receive text file email attachments in order to interact meaningfully with instructors and fellow students.  [more...]

A Manual to Help Communities Reach their Kingdom Goals
Author: Brian Schrag
Published by: William Carey Library (2013)

Brian Schrag’s Creating Local Arts Together manual has both a stirring and exhilarating effect as the reader envisions the possibility of a community’s arts used for the purposes of God’s kingdom and, at the same time, is thorough and informative with respect to the research process involved in getting to know the arts and worldview of a community.

The manual contains seven sections which correspond to the seven steps of Creating Local Arts Together. They are:

  1. Meet a community and its arts
  2. Specify kingdom goals
  3. Select effects, content, genre, and events
  4. Analyze an event containing the chosen genre
  5. Spark creativity
  6. Improve new works
  7. Integrate and celebrate for continuity

Gunnhild Bremer has written a review of the book (downloadable below) which includes reasons why it is useful for Scripture Engagement practitioners.  [more...]

 admin  |    Mon 18 Feb 2013, 16:59

"Translating the Bible into Action" by Harriet Hill and Margaret Hill is now available as an e-book for the Kindle from amazon.co.uk.

In this book, the authors show how Bible translations and Bible formats, for example, or family and church customs, levels of literacy or the way majority and minority languages interact in multi-lingual cultures, all affect the way we understand what we read, and in particular, what we read in the Bible.

Next, this book suggests actions to help readers overcome the obstacles they face in reading the Bible with meaningful understanding. The book is structured so that individual chapters can be studied separately in workshops. Questions, discussion topics and group activities for learners are included, as well as stories that illustrate the main ideas.  [more...]

A Student's Manual for Scripture Use
Author: Edna Headland

Pastors who have studied in a language other than their mother tongue can have difficulty using the local language Scriptures. When they preach, they sometimes borrow words from the language in which they studied, rather than thinking about the word that will communicate best in their local language.

For this reason Bible Institutes, seminaries and churches should encourage those who study the Bible to use the translation in their own language and investigate how important terms were translated.

On completing this 43 lesson course, a speaker with the Scriptures in their own language will be able to:

  • identify how key terms in their language are translated;
  • use the terms when they teach or preach;
  • better understand the doctrine based on or related to the key term;
  • attach greater value to the Scriptures in their language since they know that there are appropriate ways to communicate key terms in their own language and that it may change according to the context;
  • use the Scriptures with more confidence and motivate other people in their ethnic group to do so.

The course is also available in Spanish and Portuguese.  [more...]

A brief introduction to mobile ministry and its place in world missions
Author: Keith Williams
Published by: Mobile Ministry Forum

An exciting growth area for Scripture Engagement practitioners is working out how mobile phones can be used around the world to encourage the use of the Scriptures.

This 5-minute video presents an introduction to the possibilities of mobile ministry:  [more...]

Author: Daniel Hames
Published by: UCCF Theology Network

"In the same way that skipping breakfast is more of a missed opportunity than a morally dubious choice; not going to the scriptures for nourishment is not a matter of calling down the anger of God, but of omitting to take advantage of his good gifts to his children."

Daniel Hames writes this article to encourage Christian students to read the Scriptures. We are presented with three reasons why we might give up on reading the Bible: (1) You don't have time; (2) You think the Bible is about you; (3) You think your Bible reading is for God’s benefit.

The author doesn't want us to see Bible reading as a burden, but to recognise that the Bible "has been given to us to help us know and love Christ", that our Father "is generous and loving, and loves to communicate with us" and that "the Spirit has inspired the scriptures so that they bring life, joy, and fullness to the Christian walk."  [more...]