Why the Difference Between Oral and Audio Scripture Delivery

Photo courtesy of Spoken Worldwide.

Two-thirds of the global population either can’t read, don’t read, or won’t read. For believers who learn orally, it’s a challenge to spend time in God’s Word when it means picking up a print Bible. And for oral learners outside the Church who’ve never touched a print Bible, they probably never will.

Spoken Worldwide records storied passages of translated Scripture for oral learners, and they just launched five new projects this past year.

Ed Weaver with Spoke Worldwide says there is a big difference between oral Scripture delivery and mere audio. “An audio delivery would be a Bible open in front of a reader with a microphone in front of them and they are reading what has been written down in text…. [With] spoken word, we use idioms, slang, we communicate in a more natural delivery than a more formal type of communication we just put down on a page.

“What we’re ultimately trying to do in oral Bible translation is create a natural delivery — the way people use their language in a local culture as a way to deliver Scripture, something that is faithful to the original text but in a very natural delivery that people would be able to understand completely and respond to.”

When an oral learner — even if they have the ability to read — listens to a spoken or oral Bible passage, they understand the passage and its spiritual meaning at a much deeper, personal level.

Spoken Worldwide’s oral translation process is detailed and rigorous, involving multilingual speakers, written Scripture review (for those that are part of the process and can read), oral translation and internalization, practiced storying, and local focus group sessions. Theologically qualified people meticulously review every step of the oral translation and presentation process.

Ultimately, these “storied” passages of translated Scripture are recorded for use in oral learning communities.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh


  • Pray for oral learners to have better access to and engagement with Scripture.
  • Ask God to lead people with the right gifts to these oral Bible translation projects with Spoken Worldwide.

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