Helping Scripture Change Lives
Whenever a New Testament is completed in a language there is much celebration. But the work doesn't end there. Beyond getting the Word in print is promoting the newly translated Scriptures and assisting people to learn how to read and use them.
Scripture Use specialists help people see that God's Word is relevant to their everyday life. They must be flexible and able to work in creative ways. Their job involves working with people and building or strengthening partnerships with Christians from a wide variety of church backgrounds. They also closely work with literacy specialists and supervisors.
Getting the translated Scriptures into use and at work in people's lives is challenging, as needs of each people group vary. Some approaches are:
- Facilitating Bible studies
- Training pastors
- Offering Bible classes
- Conducting music workshops
- Recording Scripture (Vernacular Media Services - VMS)
A high percentage of the peoples with whom language teams work live in societies where information is passed on orally rather than in written form, such as music, storytelling, poetry, chants, drama or dance. Most of the older members may never learn to read in their own mother tongue. Therefore, vernacular media provides ways for people to understand the content of translated vernacular materials, in particular the Scriptures. Now with VMS, Wycliffe translators, missionaries from other agencies, and local Christians are learning to consider what media options are suited for the people they are trying to reach. Some of them include:
- Audio and video-cassettes
- Radio and television
- Live drama
The overall purpose of using vernacular media is to assist in getting the translated Scripture accepted and used by the various groups for whom they have been prepared. Vernacular media can encourage new literates who find it difficult to read in the vernacular. It can share information with illiterate people who are important figures in the acceptance of the Scriptures and their use in the religious community.
Motivation: Stimulates interest in reading, singing, using the printed Word, learning to read, and improving reading skills.
Promotion: Creates interest in making known the availability of printed materials and enhancing distribution.
Education: Provides a teaching tool for literacy, health, community development, and spiritual growth.
A Vernacula Media Specialist is responsible for encouraging the use of nonprint media in language programs and assisting in the technical aspects of production. He or she advises language teams and local sponsors on how to select the appropriate media, prepare it for production (especially recording with nonreaders), and package it for maximum effectiveness.
- Records and edits audio programs for cassettes, radio, and video and duplicates distribution copies.
- Trains local staff in aspects of vernacular media work as appropriate.
- Establishes a vernacular media resource library for samples and archiving.
- Cooperates with other consultants in advising teams on vernacular media use.
- May present seminars/or workshops to promote relevant use of vernacular media in language programs.
- May advise administrators on suitable production options for servicing language programs and assist in developing strategies for the implementation of vernacular nonprint media entity goals.
May be asked to identify and train personnel in vernacular media where appropriate.
Are you interested in helping to make life better for people groups through the use of media technology? Perhaps VMS is for you! Find out more on how you can become involved in the task of Bible translation.