Using the Arts

A Manual For The African Church
Author: Roberta King
Published by: Evangel Publishing House, Nairobi, 1999

Ever wondered how you can make songs in a more African style? Have you wanted to make songs that are closer to your heart and speak deep to your Christian faith? "A Time to Sing" gives you biblical guidelines for making and singing new songs based on scripture in your church.

Available from Fuller Seminary Bookstore.  [more...]

A guide for narrators and actors
Author: Mark Datson

"Make a big effort to understand the full meaning of the text... Try to put yourself in the shoes of your character. Think of their character, their temperament, their behaviour. What do they like? What don’t they like?"

This is a list of advice for narrators and actors working on audio products for promoting Scripture Engagement. These could be dramatised Bible portions or Scripture relevance dramas.

The advice comes from a drama team with many years of experience in producing radio programmes in West Africa.  [more...]

Helps for Developing Indigenous Hymns
Authors: Brian Schrag, Paul Neely (eds.)
Published by: EthnoDoxology/ACT Publications

This “tool chest” of materials brings together a compilation of documents and research tools, each describing an idea, activity or concept to enable the missionary or Christian worker to encourage some aspect of indigenous hymnody.

Book & CD-ROM, available from Ethnodoxology at $29.00.  [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...]

A Media Tool for Translation and Beyond
Authors: Margaret Doll, Julie Limmer

"Not everybody can wait! Written translation often takes years. What if we could have Bible stories in video form in weeks? What if you had a tool to engage people in the Bible translation process while broadening access to the Scriptures?

"A new media strategy, introduced in a cluster project in Papua New Guinea with initial success, provides hands-on involvement engaging learners cognitively, emotionally, and physically, and generating ownership of the final product. The process, which involves recording Bible stories, can be used at any stage of a translation project. Digital images help convey the story culturally, historically, and geographically leading to learner-driven dialogue. The discussion among the national team can reveal implicit information and key terms, and can facilitate the effectiveness of explicit information. Scripts recorded in the vernacular, along with music and a choice of images for each story, are easily assembled into video. The video-stories can be shared in a number of formats, including cell phones."

This paper was presented at the Bible Translation Conference 2011.  [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...]

Author: Joyce Prettol

The cassette dramas were very effective and listened to repeatedly.

The Ese Ejjas are a nomadic river people group of Bolivia. Joyce Prettol describes how no one was able to read Scripture with expression, as reading is a personal skill and not for entertaining others. So they decided to record dramatized Scripture. The cast spent time talking together about the story and then developed their dialogue. Prettol explains and gives examples of how they dramatized parables, miracles, and New Testament incidents. She also covers technical factors.  [more...]