Scripture Engagement Essentials
"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...]
It is important for all of the local churches to be increasingly implicated in the translation project for the following reasons: It ensures that the translated Scriptures will be used after the New Testament’s publication, so that there will be a greater impact of the Holy Scriptures in the life of the Church.
The Cameroon Association for Bible Translation and Literacy (CABTAL) has a Church Relations department which seeks to involve local churches in the translation task from the very start of the project. It is their belief that the more the churches are involved in supporting the work, the more the published Scriptures will be used.
The August 2006 edition of CABTAL's "Scriptures Alive" magazine focusses on this part of their ministry, describing the many ways in which they are sharing the vision for Bible translation and Scripture Engagement: banquets, Sunday morning presentations in churches, speaking at general assemblies, attending New Testament dedications, visiting a Bible translation project, seminars at a Bible Schools and seminaries... [more...]
The Canadian Bible Engagement Study, published on 1 May 2014, found that "about one in seven Canadians, or 14%, read the Bible at least once a week. The majority of Canadians, including those who identify themselves as Christians, read the Bible either seldom or never".
Since 1996, weekly Bible reading has declined by nearly half. People's confidence in the Bible as the Word of God has also decreased signficantly along with declining church attendance. Almost two-thirds of Canadians (64%) and six in ten of those who identified themselves as Christians agree that the scriptures of all major religions teach essentially the same things.
The survey showed that Canadians who are engaging most with the Scriptures have three behaviours in common: community (they are involved in a worshipping community), conversation (they discuss and explore the Bible with their friends) and confidence (they are confident it is the way to know God and hear from him).
View the video, download the executive summary and full report from the Canadian Bible Engagement Study website.
The study concludes with the message that "if churches are to strengthen the Bible engagement of their congregants, they themselves need to be convinced of the reliability, relevance, trustworthiness and divine origin of the Bible".
Only God's inspired Word changes people's lives. That's a fact. It's also a fact that fewer people than ever know that the answers to their problems are contained in that dusty book on their shelves.
The Center for Bible Engagement exists to encourage Bible reading and Bible study; to not only equip the reader with biblical answers to life's questions, but to foster a biblical lifestyle as well. [more...]
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". [more...]
Fuller Graduate Schools, School of Intercultural Studies Doctor of Intercultural Studies dissertation (2012)
This dissertation explores the missiological opportunities, challenges and implications of growing multilingualism among people who are fluent in two or more languages. I look at the cognitive value of language and how languages shape people’s world views. World views influence peoples’ perceptions and way of processing and understand information. People’s beliefs are reflected in their character and relationships in the community. Christians want to promote positive community relations in order for people to participate in the mission of God within their community.
I survey relevant literature on the role of language and its value, how language fits the plan of God, and its place in His mission to different peoples. I then survey current trends of language use and growing multilingualism, and the language practices within Kenya. I therefore focus on research factors behind language choice and use.
Methodologically, I use focus groups, participant observation, and personal interviews in four different socio-linguistic contexts in four different Christian denominations. I thematically analyse and code the data to establish my findings. The findings point to the factors that influence language choice.
Factors that determine choice of language go beyond the level of fluency in reading, speaking or understanding. These factors involve attitudes that go very deep in both positive and negative ways. Additionally, people’s language choices are influenced by other social factors. The factors include desire to communicate, social cultural pressure, economic advancement, political correctness, reading materials availability, leadership perception on language, institutional policy, religious values and proficiency in any given language. These factors were consistently displayed in all four research locations enabling me to demonstrate reliability of the data and validity of the findings.
Understanding how these factors influence people will assist Christians who desire to become good witnesses. To be witnesses, people need to be empowered. For purpose of language choice, all languages should be viewed as being appropriate for ministry. Language is a platform for effective participant contextualisation among the people of God. Through their actions and pronouncements people are able to utilize the multilingual environment of Kenya to better engage in mission and spread God’s Word.
-- for more information about this dissertation, please contact the author at john_ommanisil [dot] org [more...]
This is a 7-page summary in French of Wayne Dye's "Eight Conditions of Scripture Engagement". The awareness of the contribution of each of these eight factors can help in developing strategies to promote the use of God's Word.
"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...]
What’s the best way to read the Bible? Many people think it’s something like getting up real early every day and intensely reading the entire Bible every year... But is the pre-dawn snow plow routine really the best way for everyone to engage with God’s Word? Sure, it’s a good method, if you can keep it up. But what if you can’t? What if you aren’t a morning person? Or what if you’re new to the Bible? Or what if reading is difficult for you?
The Essential Bible Blog is written by Whitney Kuniholm, president of Scripture Union/USA. His blog entries are clear, positive and thought-provoking, motivating the reader to meet God in his Word. If the first few weeks of posts are anything to go by, this blog is one to follow for anyone involved in promoting Scripture Engagement. [more...]
Here's an evaluation of the 2011 Biblefresh year in the UK, a nationwide campaign encouraging people to engage with the Bible:
"Biblefresh was a major initiative involving 120 partner organisations, a significant level of resources was invested in it, and its aims were ambitious. Therefore, it was deemed essential that there was a rigorously evaluated. The evaluation was conducted by Theos Think Tank and highly commends the initiative. Biblefresh successfully enabled a wide range of churches, agencies, organisations and colleges to focus on the Bible. Individuals felt that Biblefresh increased their enthusiasm for, and confidence in, the Bible. The report also highlights lessons that can be learnt for the future and reminds us that when it comes to engaging people with the Bible, there is still a lot more work to be done." (EA, 2012)