Scripture Engagement Essentials
Of this I am convinced: This side of heaven there is nothing more wonderful we could ever hold in our hands or engage with our minds than God’s Word as given to us in the Bible.
The author describes 25 ways of engaging with Scripture:
Survey the Word, Listen to the Word, Read the Word Silently, Read the Word Aloud (Privately), Read the Word Publicly, Discuss the Word, Hand-copy the Word, Study the Word, Cross-reference the Word, Stress the Word, Highlight the Word, Read the Word Responsively, Paraphrase the Word, Dramatize the Word, Sketch the Word, Read the Word Interpretively, Memorize the Word, Recite the Word Interpretively, Personalize the Word, Sing the Word, Hum the Word, Display the Word, Share the Word, Teach (or Preach) the Word, Do the Word! [more...]
"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."
"In Australia, frequent Bible reading is the practice of a small group (between 3% and 5%) of young people. This is predominantly a sub-group of those who are involved in Evangelical and Pentecostal churches and youth groups, and those who come from families which encourage the practice."
This 53-page report by the Christian Research Association in Australia presents an in depth survey of Bible engagement among 13-24 year olds. It includes statistics on regular Bible reading, attitudes of young people to the content of the Bible, barriers to Bible engagement, major influences on young people, as well as proposing the following recommendations:
- Focus on building youth groups and Bible study groups
- Develop materials for occasional readers and the curious
- Work with families in encouraging Bible engagement
- Explore relevant forms of communication and community for encouraging Bible engagement
"Are you stuck along the way of engaging with the Bible? If so, where? Why? If you're involved in ministry, are the people you work with stuck? If so, where? Why?"
Scripture Engagement can be seen as a process: Bible Availability, Bible Awareness, Bible Use, Bible Understanding, Bible Engagement. The process can be arrested at any step along the way.
So what is Scripture engagement? It is a way of hearing and reading the Bible with an awareness that it is in the Scriptures that we primarily meet God. It is a marinating, mulling over, reflecting, dwelling on, pondering of the Scriptures, resulting in a “transformative engagement” with God.
Here you'll find a set of practical exercises and activities you can undertake to interact more meaningfully with the Bible. Introductory articles include 'What is Scripture Engagement?' and 'An Overview of Scripture Engagement Practices'.
Topics include: Lexio Divina, praying Scripture, memorizing Scripture, singing Scripture, journaling Scripture, hand copying Scripture, Scripture engagement through visual art, storying Scripture, speaking Scripture, manuscript Bible study and public reading of Scripture. Each topic has practice tips as well as links to helpful resources. [more...]
“The Bible is alive – it has hands and grabs hold of me, it has feet and runs after me”. Thus spoke Martin Luther, as cited by Knud Jørgensen in a quotation that summarizes the deeper meaning of this book. To the authors of Bible in Mission, the Bible is the book of life, and mission is life in the Word. (from the Foreword)
Bible in Mission is a rich collection of essays from around the world on the theme of 'Bible and mission - mission in the Bible'. They come as a follow-up to the missiological discussions of Edinburgh 2010. A glance at the contents page should be enough to convince all involved in Scripture Engagement that this book, now available as a free PDF download, is a must-read.
The Bible as Text for Mission (Tim Carriker)
The Bible in Mission in the Islamic Context (Kenneth Thomas)
The Bible in Christian Mission among the Hindus (Lalsangkima Pachuau)
Children, Mission and the Bible: A Global Perspective (Wendy Strachan)
Bible Hermeneutics in Mission - A Western Protestant Perspective (Michael Kisskalt)
Orthodox Perspective on Bible and Mission (Simon Crisp)
'Ignorantia Scripturae ignorantia Christi est' (Thomas P. Osborne)
The UBS HIV Good Samaritan Program (David Hammond and Immanuel Kofi Agamah)
The Bible and the Poor (Gerald West)
The Bible and Care of Creation (Allison Howell)
Bible Missions in China (Pamela Wan-Yen Choo)
The Impact and Role of The Bible in Big Flowery Miao Community (Suee Yan Yu)
Bible Engagement among Australian Young People (Philip Hughes)
Bible Translation, the Quechua People and Protestant Church Growth in the Andes (Bill Mitchell)
The Bible in Mission: Women Facing the Word (Elsa Tamez)
Scripture Engagement and Living Life as a Message (Steve Bird)
Reading the Bible with Today's Jephthahs: Scripture and Mission at Tierra Nueva (Bob Ekblad)
Lessons Learned from the REVEAL Spiritual Life Survey (Nancy Scammacca Lewis)
Glazed Eyes and Disbelief (Adrian Blenkinsop and Naomi Swindon)
Information Management and Delivery of the Bible (Paul Soukup)
Scripture engagement is about meeting God. It is a relational process. When you come to Scriptures, are you meditating on them, letting them be on your heart, talking about them, letting them be planted in your life, looking at them intently, and retaining them?
This 30-day Bible Reading Plan has been prepared for those participating in the FOBAI Annual Meeting: "Next Generation Scripture Engagement - the South Asian Experience".
The plan focuses on what the Bible says about God’s Word and is full of relevant Scripture passages and quotes for SE practitioners around the world.
Day 1: What do we mean when we say the Bible is the Word of God?
Days 2-3: How do we come to the Word of God?
Day 4: What is the Word of God like?
Days 5-7: Qualities of God's Word
Day 8: The Persons of the Trinity are distinguished from
one another in Scripture according to their role in the divine speech
Day 9: In the Bible, Scriptures are spoken of as if they were God and God is spoken of as if he were the Scriptures.
Day 10: The God who speaks.
Day 11: God's Word is about Jesus
Day 12: Where God's Word is, there is God's Spirit
Day 13: Hearing God's Word
Day 14: Speaking God's Word
Day 15: Singing God's Word
Day 16: Memorizing God's Word
Day 17: God's Word is clear... [more...]
After participants had been told of the processes of Bible translation during a prayer partners meeting of Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation (GILLBT), one of them asked, "After the people have been given the Scriptures, what happens?"
This study has been an attempt to supply answers to such questions. It attempts to ascertain the impact that the Bible translation strategy (BTS) of GILLBT has had on the Dega people of Ghana, especially their socio-cultural and spiritual lives. The study uses Darrell Whiteman's conceptual framework of Integral Human Development to analyse how the Bible translation strategy has contributed to their human development. The BTS comprises linguistic and anthropological research, Bible translation, literacy and development and Scripture-In-Use. [more...]
BibleFresh is a joint initiative which aims to encourage and inspire churches across the UK to make the most of the year 2011, empowering Christians to a deeper level of engagement with the Bible. The initiative brings together nearly a hundred agencies to raise the level of biblical literacy across the UK, through the following four tracks:
- Bible Reading
- Bible Training
- Bible Translation
- Bible Experiences
"So my challenge to Christian leaders who are genuinely concerned about the decline in Bible reading is this: stop telling us we’re biblical ignoramuses, and start encouraging us to meet God in his Word. Because ultimately, true Bible engagement is real God engagement. And that’s our deepest need."
Whitney Kuniholm (Scripture Union) urges us to move beyond mourning Bible illiteracy - the increasing lack of Bible knowledge in our societies. Rather, he encourages us to call people to Bible engagement - meeting God in his Word and responding in obedience. [more...]