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It's not enough to translate the Bible; it's not enough to distribute the Bible. Our desire is to see real Scripture Engagement: people encountering God's Word in life-changing ways. On this site you'll find news, events and resources for those encouraging Scripture use and Bible engagement around the world.
"The need for the translation of the Scriptures into the vernacular to enable people read the Bible in their mother-tongues started in the third century BC in the ancient city of Alexandria in Egypt. Since the first mother-tongue translation – from Hebrew to Greek – many vernacular translations have been done. As of 2009, Bible Agencies in Ghana have translated the full Bible into 13 and the New Testament into 20 languages. The question is, are the mother-tongue translations of the Bible being used?
"The study which was conducted in Kumasi, Ghana, in 67 congregations of the Mainline, Ghana Pentecostal, African Indigenous and Charismatic Churches, and some New Religious Movements, in October-November 2009 reveals that 55.5% of the respondents had the Bible in eight mother-tongues in the Kumasi Metropolis; people from ages 41-60, constituting 77.2% of the respondents read the mother-tongue Bibles most; only 12.8% young people read the mother-tongue Bibles; 34.1% of the respondents read the mother-tongue Bibles daily; 32.1% at least thrice a week; and 33.8% once a week, perhaps only on Sundays when they carry the Bibles to their respective churches. Even though this research was limited to Kumasi, it serves as an eye opener as to whether Christians are using the Bible translated into the various Ghanaian languages. This research is significant in that it is the first of its kind in Ghana, and others can build on it." [more...]
"Much effort and funding is invested every year by many organizations to provide vernacular Scriptures to minority peoples. Are these Scriptures being used? What factors affect their use? We have anecdotes and rumors, but very little real research.
"Over the past few years, a small research team has been developing a questionnaire instrument that can be used widely to gather data on how frequently audiences are exposed to the Scriptures designed for them. The instrument also explores whether the necessary pre-conditions for use of vernacular Scriptures are present: Are people even aware the Scripture products exist? Can they get a copy or listen to it? For print products, are they able to read in the vernacular? Scripture isn’t really available to people if these conditions are not met. The instrument has been tested in Eurasia, Cameroon, and Togo. This paper provides findings from the Togo research."
The State of the Bible 2013 report contains the findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research.
From the report:
"Americans overwhelming (77%) believe morals and values are declining in the U.S. The most-cited cause for the decline is a lack of Bible reading. As in previous years, the survey found that the Bible remains a highly valued, influential force in America. But beliefs about the Bible and its role in society are becoming increasingly polarized—particularly when the data is examined by age group.
"The research also uncovered a significant disconnect in belief versus behavior. While 66% of those surveyed agreed that the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life, 58% say they don’t personally want wisdom and advice from the Bible and about the same amount (57%) read it fewer than five times per year.
- 1 in 6 people reported buying a copy of the Bible in the last year
- 80% of Americans identify the Bible as sacred
- Americans have plenty of copies at their fingertips—with an average of 4.4 Bibles per household
- 56% of adults believe the Bible should have a greater role in U.S. society
- But actual Bible reading and perceptions about the Bible have become increasingly polarized, with 6 million new Bible Antagonists in the last year alone
- More than half (57%) of those ages 18-28 report reading the Bible less than three times a year or never."
The Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL) now offers an online version of its popular Scripture Engagement Strategy and Methods course (AA5355).
This graduate level course is taught by Scripture Engagement pioneer, Dr. Wayne Dye with Tim & Lynley Hatcher serving as assistant teachers. Those taking this course learn to understand the following:
- factors affecting Scripture engagement including – partnership, sociolinguistics, translation, anthropology, missiology, digital/non-digital distribution, orality, ethnic arts, and alternative media, and more;
- analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of an active Bible translation program;
- selecting and planning the most appropriate methods for individual contexts.
The online version is the same content as the January four-week face-to-face course, LD5355 Scripture Engagement Strategy and Methods.
August 16 - December 13, 2013 – twelve weeks (one week break, November 19-23); twelve total hours per week.
Find out more about admissions at: http://www.gial.edu/admissions/gateway-admission
Cost ~$1400 credit / $700 audit
Course materials are all accessible online. For those with limited connectivity, course materials can be mailed or hand delivered in advance of the course. Thus, anyone can participate.
Within this interactive course, participants will need weekly internet access. We can accommodate those with only email access. Participants must be able to send and receive text file email attachments in order to interact meaningfully with instructors and fellow students. [more...]