Culture and Contextualisation

Author: David Beine

"Any new holy writ will be filtered through the cultural presuppositions placed upon it by their [listeners’] existing beliefs."

Beine examines how people’s view of holy writ influences their understanding and use of translated sacred writings. He looks particularly at the main beliefs about holy writ among the major world religions of Asia—Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism—comparing them with the Christian view. Further, he relates a case study of the Newar people of Nepal.   [more...]

Author: Jacob Finifrock

The living model of the transformation of a donkey, along with the use and application of Scripture left a profound impact on all of us who were involved.

This report describes how a team went to help promote the use of the newly translated Tharaka New Testament in Kenya. They found their most effective approach was training pastors and community leaders in how to train their donkeys! Finifrock describes the observations that led to this idea, the training used, and the Scriptures applied.  [more...]

Author: Sue A. Harris

The availability of Scripture in the traditional language is not enough to ensure shifting the patterns of language use already established in the church.

In the Galat community the traditional language is used for informal, in-group communication in the domains of family, friends, and neighbourhood. Harris discusses how this affects the use of mother-tongue literature and suggests that it is most effective to create new functions for literature use in domains that are appropriate in the community. Rather than expecting the church (a formal context) to use the mother tongue, she suggests home Bible studies or preschools as better environments to use mother-tongue literature.  [more...]

Author: Glenn Stallsmith

The changes necessary for worldview transformation can only be undertaken in culturally appropriate ways if the Christian community itself is in charge of the change process.

This article reports on a Worldview Scripture Use Workshop held in the Philippines which aimed to work out real-life problems found in the cultures of the participants. The workshop followed an approach of discovering rather than telling, in which participants evaluated their own culture in light of biblical truth.

The report briefly describes the teaching methods used and their strengths, the factors discovered during the workshop, and the results of the workshop. This included a change of attitudes; the production of new media, namely songs; and synergy.  [more...]