Tools and Methods

Author: Abdu-Iisa

It has been amazing to see this calendar posted in the main markets of Northern Cameroon... We have found this tool an excellent method to get the Word of God out to the general populace.

A tool that has encouraged scripture engagement in Northern Cameroon has been a calendar that has both Arabic (Ajami) and Roman script dates. For each month there are culturally appropriate drawings and Bible verses written in the Ajami script.  [more...]

Author: Marcia Welser

When creating a Scripture use plan how do you get a grip on the pertinent conditions to be able to set goals and create a plan?

The Welser Scale is an assessment tool used to facilitate goal setting and Scripture use planning. The intuitive scoring process is described and a blank template and an example are included.

The categories are based on Wayne Dye's Eight Conditions for Scripture Engagement.  [more...]

Social and Cultural Factors Necessary for Vernacular Bible Translation to Achieve Maximum Effect
Author: T. Wayne Dye
Published by: International Journal of Frontier Missions (26.2 Summer 2009)

The listing of these Eight Conditions or eight categories of factors used as a tool for evaluation can prevent surprises and help the church, missionaries, and Bible translators alike to focus on those activities that are likely to have maximum impact. It’s the great longing of my heart that the people groups of the world will not only have the Scriptures in their heart language, but that the Scriptures will have greatest spiritual effect.

Wayne Dye presents eight conditions affecting the use or non-use of the translated Scriptures:

  1. Appropriate Language, Dialect and Orthography
  2. Appropriate Translation
  3. Accessible Forms of Scripture
  4. Background Knowledge of the Hearer
  5. Availability
  6. Spiritual Hunger of Community Members
  7. Freedom to Commit to Christian Faith
  8. Partnership Between Translators and Other Stakeholders
  [more...]
Author: Martha D. Tripp

"This is what we have been looking for." As I heard these words coming from the Amuesha teacher/preacher as he taught the newly translated Scripture to his own people, I sensed this moment as a tremendous breakthrough for the Amuesha people to be able to accept the message of the gospel as the fulfilment of their own view of religion.

The author reflects on ten factors that contributed to the positive response of the Amuesha people of Peru to mother-tongue Scriptures. These are summarized as: fulfilment of existing religion; motivation to change; confidence in those presenting the message; relevance of the gospel message demonstrated by those who believe it; simplification of the gospel message in the early days for easier understanding; biblical instruction in the vernacular rather than the national language; encouragement and use of local leaders rather than outsiders, including the expatriate translator; adequate degree of fluency of readers; availability of translated Scripture even in provisional form from the early days; and a degree of church organization to give a permanency of opportunity for Scripture use.  [more...]

Thoughts on the relationship between the financing of translation projects and the use of the scriptures in Burkina Faso
Author: Ed Lauber

We need to enlarge our thinking about the contribution of the church to the translation effort. Casting that contribution principally in terms of cash contributions to the translators’ salaries limits options and may even have a negative impact on the use of the translation. Adopting a more complex partnership approach to finances will result in better partnership and may, therefore, positively affect the use of the Scriptures.

Ed Lauber explores the relationship between funding of translation projects and the use of the Scriptures in Burkina Faso. He believes there is often a link, albeit sometimes weak. Where the link is strong, it is often complex and related to other factors.  [more...]

'Vers la dédicace' planning and discussions in DRC
Author: Bettina Gottschlich

The dedication of the New Testament should be a wonderful celebration, but it should also be much more than that. It is about a change of mind, heart and life, individually as well as corporately.

This article describes ongoing language committee discussions and planning in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The goal is that as an outcome of such meetings, the committee will not only come up with a plan for the New Testament dedication, but beyond that for the use of the translated Scriptures in churches and society - as well as a plan for use of the mother tongue.  [more...]

Author: Margaret Hill

When selling the NT or a Bible it helps to give with it something to encourage people to read portions each day. This might be a reading card for a year published by the Scripture Union (they have a special NT only one), or it could be a series of reading suggested by the local churches. Another popular possibility is a sheet of references dealing with specific problems, rather like the list found in a Gideon’s Bible.

In this article, Margaret Hill describes things you can do before, during and after a dedication event to promote Scripture engagement and use. These include competitions for choirs, Bible reading during the ceremony, providing how-to-read-the-Bible guides, promoting audio materials and running Scripture Use seminars.  [more...]

An integrated strategy for the total team
Author: Rick Brown

In the total team, the various agencies exercise complementary roles, as the Lord uses them to build up His local church.

A common strategy that is emerging to advance the Kingdom of God is culturally appropriate church planting movements. Rick Brown describes how different strategies have been used through missionary history (e.g. literature production, personal evangelism, church planting), but that these fail to reach full effectiveness if carried out in isolation. Now Great Commission organizations are working more towards a shared vision, a unified strategy. Using a farming analogy, he outlines key roles in the process of fostering church planting movements among unevangelized people groups. He goes on to summarize the benefits and obstacles to forming effective partnerships and lists core values held by many Great Commission agencies.  [more...]

A case study from the Paez of Columbia
Author: Marianna Slocum

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...]

A report of a seminar for Ejagham pastors from Cameroon and Nigeria
Author: Chris Jackson

One pastor reported, 'I never understood grace like that before. I think I can learn a great deal using the Ejagham New Testament in my Bible study. And my people need to hear this so that they will understand better as well.'

This brief article describes a two-day multi-denominational seminar for Ejagham pastors from Cameroon and Nigeria. It mentions some aspects of the workshop, including learning to read Ejagham, translating key terms, and the use of the Ejagham song book. It quotes several success stories recounted at the workshop that resulted from people using the Ejagham New Testament.  [more...]