Using the Arts

Author: Michelle Petersen (2020)

"By using Participatory Methods, my students have seen all eight conditions for Scripture engagement strengthened, and Kingdom Goals met, working with various communities around the world. Both literate and oral-preference communicators have become more actively involved in creating with and learning from their local language Scripture."

This paper outlines the application of participatory methods to the “Eight Conditions for Scripture Engagement.”

Using the new “Appreciative Inquiry for Scripture Engagement” facilitation tool, translation teams and local leaders explore existing strengths and future hopes for each condition. Together, they prioritize their goals, and make an action plan to achieve them. The eight conditions provide an analytic framework for participants to evaluate strengths and overcome obstacles to their community’s interaction with Scripture.

Following appreciative inquiry, the new “Use of Our Arts in Ministry” tool allows teams to expand Scripture use to further artistic domains in ways that strengthen each weak condition. Participatory methods facilitation leads a team to engage their community with their translation in life-changing ways. Script outlines in appendices 1 and 2 explain how to use the two participatory methods discussed.  [more...]

Promoting Scripture use in difficult environments
Author: Mary Beavon

“The illustrations captured the imagination of the children.”

Mary Beavon describes a Scripture Use activity their team used in an area of Cameroon where churches are small, travel is difficult, and people have little money. They developed Scripture Big Books (from Shell Books), which served to both teach the Bible and promote literacy. They were used in churches and open air. Though it is not a sustainable activity, it provides useful manuscripts and exposes people to written forms of the Bible.  [more...]

The Most Common Avenue to Increased Scripture Engagement
Author: T. Wayne Dye
Published by: International Journal of Frontier Missions (26.3 Fall 2009)

The choice of medium can make a difference, and better artistic quality enhances any communication. However, the most important quality is how relevant the message seems to be to the lives of its hearers. If a hearer (or reader or viewer) thinks the message can make an important difference in his life, he will make an effort to listen, even if the quality is poor. Conversely, if he thinks it says nothing personally relevant, he will ignore even the best presented message. This principle of personal relevance is critical to communication.

Wayne Dye expands upon his third condition for Scripture Engagement:

Accessible forms: People are able to read the Scriptures or hear them from others or by listening to electronic media.

The article describes different ways of making the Scriptures more accessible: storying, literacy, local performing and visual arts, audio recordings, cell phones and video.  [more...]

Author: John D Wilson
Published by: PapuaWeb

"The occasion in Yali culture which became the natural opportunity for initial and continued transmission of Scripture — basically in the form of Bible stories — was in the evening hours which traditionally were given to nunung and dindil ale story telling. Here was a time when the community was used to gathering, and ready and eager to hear a new story."

This paper highlights some of the assumptions about Scripture that can limit or hinder its communication in an oral culture. The author examines orality (as opposed to non-literacy) with a view to demonstrating the capacity and capability of oral media (stories and songs) for the effective transmission of Scripture.  [more...]

EthnoDoxology Volume 4, No. 4 (2010): 22-31
Author: Michelle Petersen

Scripture Relevance Drama is a tool for facilitating use of translated Scripture and developing minority languages. Indigenous authors and vocal actors dramatize local life situations as contexts for characters telling topical Bible stories. Other plays explore community development and health issues, such as how to avoid malaria, the benefit of immunizations, or the need to cover local wells to protect young children from falling into them.

The Lunaba Drama Team takes their culture’s artistic tradition to a wider audience through their weekly half-hour radio drama program. The Lunaba Drama Team is also continuing to give live performances. The framework presented in this paper may be used for developing Scripture Relevance Dramas and/or Community Development Relevance Dramas in local languages with or without the radio distribution strand.  [more...]

Author: Eunice Pike

...to ensure the Mazatecs understood a bit of doctrine, we needed to put it in a hymn.

The concept of “limited good” means there is only so much good (including knowledge and love) to go around, so someone’s advantage implies someone else’s disadvantage.

The Mazatecs of Mexico hold this belief. One result is that they are reluctant to teach people directly for fear they will lose their own knowledge, so all teaching is indirect. This article looks at how this affects the spread of Christianity, and the important role missionaries, hymns, gospel recordings and mother-tongue Scriptures have in spreading the gospel. It also outlines Scriptures that speak of God’s unlimited goodness and kindness.  [more...]

Illustrated Bible selections and Bible videos
Author: Keith Neely
Published by: Neely Press (2012)

"I realised that no translation was worth anything if my children didn't read it on their own because they wanted to. The burning question for me as a parent was how do I get my children into the word of God so that the word of God would get into them? As a professional illustrator the answer became obvious."

The Illustrated Bible - containing the historical books of the Old and New Testaments - is available in two formats: as illustrated pages and as video. Each Bible story selection contains the full Bible text with accompanying images.

The videos are made from the still images, with the camera moving over the illustrations, zooming in and out, and panning across. The images are realistic rather than using a cartoon style.

There are several free Bible stories and video clips to view online or download, as well as others to purchase. Translation and dubbing is possible into other languages.  [more...]