Bible Translator Says Oral Learning of the Bible is Important for People in Developing Countries

An expert in Bible translation says oral learning is an important way of learning the Bible for populations in developing countries.

In a National Association of Evangelicals podcast centered on the future of Bible translation, Samuel E. Chiang, president of The Seed Company, discussed the importance of orality when learning scripture in non-western cultures during an episode posted on Aug 15.

Chiang told NAE President Leith Anderson that sometimes when translating the Bible, they work with an “oral format” due to the lack of a written version of the language.

He noted that “orality,” or the quality of being verbally communicated to — usually in an environment without written communication — can be important to learning the Bible even for those who are literate.

“There are approximately 5.7 billion people who are oral learners and some of them actually highly textual, but they prefer to learn in an oral manner,” Chiang said.

“People recognize that there are people in this world who we cannot reach purely by texts. What are we going to do in order to reach them?”

Chiang has campaigned on behalf of orality in Bible evangelism, explaining that “we’ve been so textually-driven for the last 500 years.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski