Tools and Methods

August 29th – September 3rd 2010
Author: Edna Headland

"Praise God for this event where so many people from what Brazil calls the three waves of missions worked together. As one person reported, he heard expatriates, Portuguese MT Brazilians and indigenous people calling the event 'their forum'."

This is a report from the first Brazil Forum for the Use of the Scriptures in Indigenous Languages, which brought together 200 people, representing 59 ethnic groups and 32 organizations.

There were plenary sessions in the morning with group discussions following. In the afternoon there were workshops on topics such as Scripture Memorization, Use of Indigenous Scriptures in the family and eight other diverse topics. The evenings were for enjoying different ethnic music, hearing testimonies, and in general, having good fellowship.  [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...]

How the Bible can be Relevant in all Languages and Cultures
Authors: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill
Published by: Piquant (2008)

"Clear, simple and readable - very practical, fully supported with further reading ... exactly the kind of thing that is needed."
Chris Wright, Langham Partnership

A tried and tested resource that encourages meaningful Bible use in multi-lingual contexts through both written and oral media.

Individual chapters can be used as a standalone interactive workshop in church or mission contexts. Chapters (with further reading) are also appropriate as a text for graduate studies. Includes activities, assignments, further reading resources and links for useful websites.

Also available as an e-book for Kindle.  [more...]

Author: Harriet Hill

"In 2001, a small group of concerned people met in Nairobi to discuss how to help people traumatized by war. By 2009, this discussion had yielded much fruit, both in Africa and around the world. As violence increases in the world, so does the need for ministry to traumatized people through Scripture, mental health principles, and the healing power of the Holy Spirit."

Harriet Hill tells the story of how the 'Healing the Wounds of Trauma' workshops began and developed. She shares personal insights and lessons she has learned in her own life, hearing people testify both that "God is good" and yet "This is not easy."

A key component of the trauma healing workshops is the use of the mother tongue Scriptures: using the heart language to address heart issues.  [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...]
Some implications of mobile phone technology for Scripture distribution
Author: Richard Margetts

"When it comes to audio and video products, the mobile phone can be an effective method of getting the Scriptures to people... who then pass them on to other people... who then pass them on to other people..."

This article discusses some of the implications of mobile phone technology for encouraging the sharing of audio/video Scripture products. Questions raised include:

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. What are the best Scripture products for the phone?
  3. How will people get their first copy of the media files which they can then share with their friends?
  4. Are there any copyright issues involved?
  5. How could mobile phone technology become an obstacle to people engaging seriously with God’s Word?
  6. What are the most positive aspects of using mobile phones for Scripture distribution?
  [more...]
Author: David L Payne

One of the major obstacles for the acceptance of an idiomatic translation of the Scriptures into a vernacular language where there is some form of established church is that often there is a strong veneration of a translation of the Scriptures in the national language.

In the translation project for the Asheninka language of Peru, the team was faced with resistance to the idiomatic translation in the vernacular because of a strong attachment to an old Spanish translation. To assuage this resistance, they attempted to teach translation principles to the Asheninka lay pastors and to discuss with them the benefits of idiomatic translation, but both activities met with little success. However, a change of attitude came through a series of seminars that educated them about the source of the venerated Spanish version and the kinds of adjustments that were made in translating it from Greek to Spanish.  [more...]

Author: Margaret Hill

"It has been proved over and over again that people do not learn by sitting and listening to long lectures! The more the participants are involved in the learning process, the more they will remember. As much as possible, help the participants to put into practice what they are learning during the workshop. Use of drama, role play, music, small group discussions are all helpful ways of getting the message across."

Drawing on years of experience in running workshops around the world, Margaret Hill cites some of the problems encountered, for example: lack of mentoring and follow-up, wrong choice of participants, lack of political/social support for the participants, people sometimes like coming on workshops in order to get certificates without any expectation of using the new knowledge, lack of local funding.

After describing several possible solutions to these problems, Margaret concludes that "workshops and courses can indeed be very useful, but they can also be a waste of time and money. Planning is needed to make the best possible use of the time when people come together".  [more...]

Author: Warren Glover

Arguments against a diglot version focus on matters of cost, production time, and difficulty, and bulkiness versus ease of handling. Arguments for the diglot are mostly in the area of factors which will promote the use of the publication.

The author discusses the benefits and problems of publishing local language translations alongside national language in a diglot format. Taking the example of the language he worked with, Glover explains the reason they decided to publish the New Testament as a diglot edition: to increase the acceptability and usefulness of the translation. He also mentions several disadvantages, such as increased costs and publication time, which in this specific situation were thought to be outweighed by the benefits.  [more...]