Ways of Engaging with Scripture

Communicating effectively to non-readers
Author: Rick Brown
Published by: International Journal of Frontier Missions (21.4 Winter 2004)

In seeking to free ourselves from the biases of a print-oriented culture, we need to consider, not only the kinds of media and discourse genre (e.g. narrative) that are most appropriate for oral cultures, but also the most effective ways to use those genres and media. What do non-readers like to see and hear? What do they enjoy listening to? Their choices will not necessarily be the same as those of print communicators. If the styles of presentation are ones which oral communicators prefer, then they will be more likely to listen, to understand, and to remember what they hear.

In this paper, Rick Brown argues that oral cultures have their own preferences for ways to communicate truth, and that these are often different from what print-oriented people prefer. In order to share the message most effectively, we need to find out what media and methods work best for them. In most cases this will include a multi-media approach with an emphasis on memorizing the Scriptures with the aid of high-quality recordings from skilled actors or voicers.  [more...]

Your Guide to Understanding the Bible
Authors: Gordon Fee, Douglas Stuart
Published by: Zondervan

Covering everything from translational concerns to different genres of biblical writing, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth is used all around the world. In clear, simple language, it helps you accurately understand the different parts of the Bible—their meaning for ancient audiences and their implications for you today—so you can uncover the inexhaustible worth that is in God’s Word.  [more...]

A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture
Author: Michael Williams
Published by: Zondervan (2012)

From the book description:

"Many Christians today experience Bible teaching in isolated, unconnected pieces, receiving little or no guidance into how these pieces form a coherent picture in Christ. How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens presents Christ as the central focus of each biblical book and the primary way the Bible relates to contemporary circumstances. Each book of the Bible has an identifiable theme ultimately fulfilled in the person and work of Christ.

By demonstrating how each theme relates to living the Christian life, this book promises to be an invaluable guide for reading and understanding the Bible."

You can download a sample chapter here.  [more...]

Author: Brian Arensen
Published by: Evangelical Missions Quarterly, July 1995

We need to help our students switch their focus from their teachers to the Bible. We want them to be able to say with full confidence, “This is what the Bible teaches.”

How can we do that? It must begin with a major change of emphasis at our schools. We must teach our students how to think and not merely what to think. We must develop students’ confidence and skills to read, interpret, and apply the Bible for themselves.

In this article, Brian Arensen argues for the importance of teaching inductive Bible study methods in African theological colleges. He reports that after teaching and reinforcing inductive Bible study concepts, they have seen a significant difference in the way the students handle the Scriptures:  [more...]

Leading Bible-Oriented Small Groups that Thrive
Author: Orlando Saer
Published by: Christian Focus, 2010

"Orlando Saer's Iron Sharpens Iron may well become the "Bible" for small group studies--as the author's six finely wrought chapters cover virtually everything essential to initiating and maintaining healthy small group Bible studies. There is nothing arm-chair here... Saer writes from ground-level, providing us with hard-won advice that is unexceptionably biblical, intensely practical and ever-so-wise. (from a review by R. Kent Hughes)"

Orlando Saer provides a practical guide for anyone leading or wanting to lead a small Bible-study group.  [more...]

A Student's Manual for Scripture Use
Author: Edna Headland

Pastors who have studied in a language other than their mother tongue can have difficulty using the local language Scriptures. When they preach, they sometimes borrow words from the language in which they studied, rather than thinking about the word that will communicate best in their local language.

For this reason Bible Institutes, seminaries and churches should encourage those who study the Bible to use the translation in their own language and investigate how important terms were translated.

On completing this 43 lesson course, a speaker with the Scriptures in their own language will be able to:

  • identify how key terms in their language are translated;
  • use the terms when they teach or preach;
  • better understand the doctrine based on or related to the key term;
  • attach greater value to the Scriptures in their language since they know that there are appropriate ways to communicate key terms in their own language and that it may change according to the context;
  • use the Scriptures with more confidence and motivate other people in their ethnic group to do so.

The course is also available in Spanish and Portuguese.  [more...]

Scripture Engagement handout from the FOBAI Annual Meeting 2014
Author: Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement

Scripture engagement is a way of hearing and reading the Bible with an awareness that it is in the Bible that we primarily meet God. It is a marinating on, mulling over, reflecting on, dwelling on, pondering of the Scriptures, "until Christ is formed in you" (Galatians 4:19).

The Forum Of Bible Agencies International (FOBAI) Annual Meeting 2014 was held in Sri Lanka, with the theme "Next Generation Scripture Engagement - The South Asian Experience". We began every morning with a time of Scripture engagement in our table groups, meditating on Psalm 1 in different ways. On the first day, the focus was on using Lectio Divina.

There are four traditional stages of Lectio Divina:

1. Reading (Lectio): To be done slowly and with focussed attention. Lectio Divina is best practiced with passages that you have at least some familiarity with.

2. Meditation (Meditatio): The goal is to pick out a word, idea, or phrase that strikes you in a personal way, and to repeat that idea in your mind, lingering over it and giving it your attention.

3. Prayer (Oratio): Take all the thoughts, feelings, actions, fears, convictions, and questions you have meditated on and offer them to the Lord in prayer.

4. Contemplation (Contemplatio): The 'task' in this stage is simply to be silent in the presence of God.

Download the handout which contains a description of Lectio Divina and directions for using this method of Scripture engagement with Psalm 1.  [more...]

Author: Paul Lawrence
Published by: Lion Hudson Plc (English edition)

A comprehensive Atlas of Bible History: in 192 large format pages there are 96 maps, 143 colour photographs, 7 panoramic illustrations and 16 site plans as well as substantial text that even non-specialists will appreciate. Among the best of its kind it would suit Bible students of all kinds, translators, researchers and readers with an interest in the history of the Near East.

Special features on subjects such as the peoples and languages of the Bible run through the book, which covers geography, landscape, climate, culture and religion.

As well as the English edition, it’s also translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, German, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, and Polish.

For information on accessing the French edition at a discount or other language editions contact cyberspaceplaceatyahoo [dot] co [dot] uk  [more...]