Visual Arts

Author: Michelle Petersen
Published by: Global Forum on Arts and Christian Faith, vol. 5:A58-A86 (2017)

"When local arts call to people at a deep level, they see the relevance of God’s word to their spiritual hunger and are free to commit to Christ while remaining members of their culture."

"The word that gives life rightly lives in all parts of our lives as it is sung, danced, dramatized, drawn, and told in stories and poems, as well as being studied and read."

Article abstract:

Because languages and arts are means of communication, principles from the field of language development that communities apply to strengthen language vitality also strengthen the vitality of local artistic genres. Arts development expands a community’s existing uses of orality and arts to new topics and functions to better meet community goals together.

Status development activities increase the number of domains of use and the level of respect given local artistic genres. Corpus development activities describe genre forms and create new works in them. Acquisition development activities add to the number of people who perform or experience new works, and increase people’s interest in them.

When communities work together to meet their Kingdom goals, arts development activities add to the number of people who encounter God’s word in life-transforming ways.  [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...]

Comic Bible Society
Author: Art Ayris, President, Comic Bible Society (2018)

The most popular global reading format is comics. In almost every area of the world, sequential art is an effective inroad into Scripture engagement and bridge to Scripture explanation and reading. Super Bible.TV hosts the most complete graphic adaptation of the Bible ever done in numerous languages. With over 2,000 pages and 10,000 panels this graphic translation of Scripture covers all 66 books of the Bible and is a key Scripture bridge for Bible-less peoples, non-believers and the functionally illiterate.

The decline in Bible reading among millennials and teens has been documented by a recent Barna Report funded by the American Bible Society, demonstrating that 32% of Millennials never read the Bible but the percentage is even more drastic among teens at 48%. Meanwhile, in the greater public sphere comics readership has grown 42% the last five years. The Comic Bible Society sees the continuing growth in comics readership but the plummeting Bible engagement as a dynamic intersection to enter with Holy Writ.

In this article, Comic Bible Society President Art Ayris shares the top ten Scripture engagement keys his non-profit organization uses to engage various languages in Scripture: cultural acceptance, reader engagement, efficiency of format, educational, literacy, effectiveness, evangelism, transcultural, social media and Scripture engagement.  [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...]

DVD with 209 illustrations
Author: Graham Kennedy, Bible illustrator
Published by: Foundation Matters (2013), available from NTM

Created by Bible illustrator Graham Kennedy of Foundation Matters, these new Bible pictures have been chosen to illustrate and complement the stories that are included in New Tribes Mission's Firm Foundations Bible study curriculum. The 209 illustrations cover Bible stories from the Creation in Genesis through the Acts of the Apostles.

A catalogue with a small preview of each the images is available for download from the NTM website.  [more...]