Orality

Oral Bible Translation
Authors: Margaret Doll, Willis Ott (2018)

"A live celebration streamed over the Web. The audio-text translation group that Yun had decided to join rejoiced to finish their translation in only a few years! Many others had watched the video, recorded a translation, and added improvements and suggestions."

"Here is one dream that is becoming a reality: oral translation."

This article shows how dreams from several years ago are becoming reality in the area of Oral Bible Translation.

In October 2018 the first Oral Bible Translation Conference will take place.  [more...]

Communicating the Christian Message to People Who Don’t Read
Author: Harry Box
Published by: William Carey Library (2014)

From the book's description:

Don’t Throw the Book at Them addresses one of the most vital issues in contemporary missions. It is a manual for cross-cultural missionaries and national church leaders ministering in societies based on oral rather than written communication. Harry Box, former missionary and researcher in Papua New Guinea and among the Aborigines of Central Australia, explains the distinct characteristics of oral societies, how they differ from literacy-oriented societies, Jesus’ ministry to oral communicators, and why effective presentation of the Christian message demands that Western Christians change their approach to orality. The book goes beyond case studies and analysis, allowing the reader to develop a detailed plan for communication.  [more...]

Author: Kyria Baldwin (2019)

"Almost all of the Christians interviewed reported a preference for reading print Scriptures. This preference was in contrast specifically to 1) individualized listening to audio recordings of Scripture or 2) listening to someone else reading Scripture aloud."

This article by Kyria Baldwin is a reflection on research into the motivations for literacy in Senegal. Among the Christians interviewed, the overwhelming majority expressed a preference for reading the Scriptures rather than listening to audio Scriptures or hearing someone else read to them. This was accompanied by a general opinion that reading Scripture is necessary for a Christian to mature and to grow spiritually. They also reported ten main inconveniences or inadequacies regarding audio recordings or listening to someone else reading.

The author was surprised by these findings since many Christians in Senegal are unable to read the Bible. She proposes two possible interpretations, recognizing the importance of literacy and also seeing the need for a more nuanced understanding of the value of oral communication of the Scriptures for spiritual growth.

The article is available to download in both English and French.  [more...]