Culture and Contextualisation
The Africa Bible Commentary is the first one-volume Bible commentary produced in Africa by African theologians to meet the needs of African pastors, students, and lay leaders. Interpreting and applying the Bible in the light of African culture and realities, it furnishes powerful and relevant insights into the biblical text that transcend Africa in their significance.
Also available in French, entitled Commentaire Biblique Contemporain.
A storehouse of research information for those involved in mission in Africa - maintained by Richard Chowning, a Church Planting Consultant with Pioneer Bible Translators.
Particularly useful to those involved in Scripture Engagement are sections on African culture and religion.
We soon found that even the most experienced Christian leaders were not always sure how to relate the cultural phenomena to the biblical picture. On the whole, the church had bypassed the task of interpreting the cultural picture from the biblical perspective, leaving Christians to determine for themselves how to relate to the various traditions of their culture.
This 58-page booklet, available for download in both English and French, describes the key elements of an African Traditional Religion (ATR) worldview and interprets them in relation to Scripture:
- The Worldview of African Traditional Religion
- Christianity and the African Worldview
- The Biblical View of Spiritual Realities
- Interpreting ATR in View of Scripture
The authors conclude with implications for Christian communication and counseling in such contexts. [more...]
The Akrofi-Christaller Institute, whose first Rector was the late Rev. Prof. Kwame Bediako, is a scholarly institution established by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana to serve the wider Christian community in Ghana and Africa.
Their courses emphasise the study of African Christianity, the importance of engaging Gospel and Culture, and Scripture engagement in the mother tongue.
ACI is also concerned to develop biblical and Christian literature in Ghanaian languages.
This is the Brazilian Portuguese version of the book Translating the Bible into Action by Harriet Hill and Margaret Hill.
A tried and tested resource that encourages meaningful Bible use in multi-lingual contexts through both written and oral media. Includes activities, assignments, further reading resources and links to useful websites.
This version has two extra chapters in addition to those found in the English version - "Addressing human concerns: Alcohol abuse", and "Sharing your faith with animists".
"Tensions naturally are high in a crisis, but when a person becomes a follower of Christ, some of those practices clash with Scripture, creating new and sometimes intense tensions."
This workshop focused on equipping believers to resist those pressures toward practices that conflict with their allegiance to God, and to overcome the internal tensions created so they might respond in ways that are scripturally grounded while still being culturally meaningful. [more...]
We have found that these three factors—the credibility factor, the comprehension factor, and the prestige factor—are all-important components in promoting the use of a newly introduced vernacular translation in a newly written language.
This case history of the Paez, a minority language group in the Andean highlands of Colombia, South America, shows how the credibility and comprehension of the mother-tongue Scriptures and the prestige of the mother tongue affect the acceptance of the Scriptures. It considers how these factors can be addressed, noting the importance of using translators that are respected by the community, the production of high quality linguistic materials (e.g. dictionary and grammar books) and the value of producing a diglot glossary of key terms. [more...]
This book - 'Bible Translation and the Church: Issues and challenges for Francophone Africa' - was written as part of the Francophone Initiative in collaboration with CITAF (Conseil des Institutions Théologiques d’Afrique Francophone) - a consortium of evangelical theological institutions in Africa.
The aim is to introduce into the programme of every theological college a course on the importance of Bible translation and the role of local languages in the mission of the church.
The chapters are divided into five main sections:
- Pourquoi traduire la Bible dans les langues locales? (Why translate the Bible into local languages?)
- L'histoire de la traduction de la Bible depuis Néhémie jusqu'à nos jours (The history of Bible translation from Nehemiah to today)
- Théologie et traduction de la Bible (Theology and Bible translation)
- Traduction de la Bible: contexte, structures et méthodes (Bible translation: context, structures and methods)
- Bible et héritage colonial francophone (The Bible and the colonial heritage)
The impact is great since the truth they learn from the Tharaka New Testament sets them free. The truth is being revealed even to women who were the main victims of the myth of Kirimo. It is obvious that the New Testament has made a great change among the people. People are able to read for themselves the passages that speak against lies and are able to get the message straight.
The initiation rite for boys among the Tharaka of Kenya includes "swallowing," which involves submitting to a spirit. This article shows how church leaders are standing up against this rite. Scriptures useful in countering harmful ritual practices that contradict Jesus Christ are listed, and the role mother-tongue Scriptures play is emphasized. [more...]
When the Bible remains silent about certain cultural features, the Church... should assist the Christians to think through their traditions by digging deeper.
In the Tharaka society of Kenya, female circumcision has held a prominent place. In recent years Christian Tharaka people have questioned whether the rite should continue. The Bible Translation and Literacy agency has had a part in helping the society look at this rite from a biblical perspective. This article chronicles the history of the rite, including both its positive elements and problems, and some alternatives are presented. [more...]