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The Return of Oral Hermeneutics

Have Western exegetes turned an Eastern book into a Western one? Does God require all people to be able to analyze grammar to interpret Scripture? Does God assume all people can interpret Scripture through oral means?

Praying for Oral and Oral Bibleless People Groups

We can all do our part in the work of the completion of the Great Commission: Let’s PRAY for the completion of Scriptures in the heart language of every people group. We have prepared this free prayer guide eBook to help you as you pray.

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Making Disciples of Oral Learners (Spanish)

Because oral learners tend to believe other people more than abstract truths, the spiritual life and example of the messenger are vital. This book address the greatest obstacle to communicating the gospel to the four billion people who are oral learners.

Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 10 – The Rationale for Orally Communicating the Scriptures

God has given our privileged generation many gifts that no other generation has known in the combination that we have including, but not limited to: A widening expertise for exegeting the Scriptures, A widening permission for translators that they may commu...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 9 – Communicating Christ Among Oral Cultures

This chapter seeks to address the question: “How should our understanding of the orality/oralities question affect our approaches to communication generally and more specifically in Christian ministry and cross-cultural missions?” This question needs some ...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 8 – From Kushe to Jos

I invite you to take a walk with me down my road from Kushe to Jos, Nigeria. It is a road that includes many kinds of people and different levels of orality. Every step closer to Jos finds people learning the orientation of textuality and skilled further i...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 7 – Oral Methodology, Adult Learning, and Women’s Health Education

Once upon a time a young health teacher went to Africa to use her public health degree in a rural mission project. She loved the idea of teaching health to physically and spiritually needy women in villages. She was surprised to discover that her educationa...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 6 – Oralities and Implications to Education

In this chapter, I offer introductory definitions of 'orality' and 'education' and overviews of ACTEA (the accrediting agency for theological education in Africa) and Africa's orality context. I then identify implications of oralities learning approaches fo...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 5 – Playing By Ear

Okay class, open your Bibles to the book of Matthew. Would a volunteer please sing the workers in the vineyard parable, and include the whole class somehow? Great Emily, it’s Matthew 20:1-19. “So once upon a time, there was a story set to rhyme, about worke...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 4 – Encountering Text as Multimodal Experience

The world outside school today is replete with words married to images, sounds, the body, and experiences…This new world is a multimodal world. Language is one mode; images, actions, sounds, and physical manipulation are other modes. Today, students need to...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 3 – Orality and Literacy Revisited

Thirty-three years ago Walter Ong published his life’s work in Orality and Literacy. The book was republished in 2002 and again on its 30th anniversary in 2012, showing enduring interest in Ong’s scholarship and ideas. The first volume appeared at a time wh...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 2 – Story-based Trauma Healing

In this chapter, I give a rationale and history of the development of Trauma Healing. In a second section, I explain the development of the Story-based Trauma Healing for oral communicators. Finally, I discuss outcomes: results, lessons learned, and possibl...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 1 – Synthesizing the Orality Debate

Orality as a field of study is relatively young. We have a thesis, but we should expect antithesis and strive for a more accurate and nuanced synthesis. For the field of orality to advance, the status quo must be challenged, however painful the process may ...

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Oralities & Literacies – Editor’s Introduction

Oralities and Literacies is long overdue in the sequence of publications focused on the Oral Majority. This volume reflects an emerging approach to publication that begins with a static version (e-publication and hard copy) with embryonic content. The respo...

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Oralities & Literacies – Prologue

We listened intently to a description of how children’s soccer teams were trained. It was June 2009 and Rev. Dr. Sameh Maurice, Senior Pastor of Kasr El-Dobara Evangelical Church in Cairo, Egypt, was speaking animatedly. At the end of our coffee shop conver...

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Oralities and Literacies: Implications for Communication and Education

Oralities and Literacies is long overdue in the sequence of publications focused on the Oral Majority. This volume reflects an emerging approach to publication that begins with a static version (e-publication and hard copy) with embryonic content. The respo...

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Orality Breakouts – Epilogue

Walking down Baghramyan Street in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, I was reflecting on how the Scriptures first arrived in Armenia. How strange it might have been to hear them read in Greek or Syriac, but it was translated into Armenian orally. The oral for...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 19 – Orality, Storytelling, and Values Preservation in Bhutan

As the jetliner flew past eight of the ten highest mountains in the world, I knew I was in for an adventure. To my left I could see Mt. Everest towering high above the other mountains. It seemed close enough to touch. The plane turned north, into the mighty...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 18 – Evaluations and Oral Cultures

A Christian ministry’s quarterly newsletter arrived in the hands of its donors in July 2008. It profiled, complete with pictures, a training initiative launched earlier that year in rural India. One month later, a third-party team arrived to evaluate the pr...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 17 – The Crescendo of Local Arts in Orality

Since it was already March in this Siberian town, the beginnings of spring could be felt in the air. The sun again shone brightly after several months of somnolent hibernation, and the frigid temperature outside the one-room log church had risen to a tolera...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 16 – Stories for the One Child Generation

Stories are priceless. They can bring joy and a sense of appreciation and arouse creativity. They stimulate our imagination and develop new thought patterns. They can be especially useful in helping a child to develop good behavior and a healthy personality...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 15 – On Mission with God

Christ’s desire and intention is to reach the lost by changing each person’s heart and habits according to His salvation plan and message. Every ethnic people group in the world is included in His purpose and is distinctive in its language and culture. In o...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 14 – Lessons Learned

Christ’s desire and intention is to reach the lost by changing each person’s heart and habits according to His salvation plan and message. Every ethnic people group in the world is included in His purpose and is distinctive in its language and culture. In o...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 13 – The Forgotten Majority

It is a sweltering day on the African Atlantic coast. A searing afternoon sun burns the white sand and a hot wind sifts through the silver waves. There is no shelter as several Peular-speaking women are baptized in the tepid salt water. Afterwards, there is...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 12 – The Potter and Mass Media

Bright futures! That’s all one could imagine while watching fifty children converge on a muddy floor to listen eagerly to Bible stories. We had traveled by ferry across the Mekong River to Kok Dack Island in Cambodia. There, the children displayed nothing b...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 11 – Practices in Orality

Christ’s desire and intention is to reach the lost by changing each person’s heart and habits according to His salvation plan and message. Every ethnic people group in the world is included in His purpose and is distinctive in its language and culture. In o...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 10 – From Storytelling to Church – the Heart of the Matter

Whenever people ask me why I am so passionate about orality, I tell them that I am not passionate about orality—I am passionate about reaching people with the Gospel and unleashing others to do the same. I tell them the story of a woman I’ll call Pemba. I m...

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Orality Breakouts – Section 3 – An Unfinished Story

Is there a collective consciousness about orality within your organization already? Are there colleagues you know who are using orality strategies and are seeing fruitful results? Will you consider learning from them or supporting them?

Orality Breakouts – Chapter 9 – A Church Was Born

In early 2006, the Oral Communication Strategy team at e3 Partners Ministry began to consider where we could start our first project using Chronological Bible Storytelling as our primary strategy. After approaching our directors in several countries, God ma...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 8 – Media that Transforms Nations

Small roadside fires lit our way as we walked dusty cobblestone lanes in the foothills of India’s Himalayas late one cold winter night. As we passed villagers squatting around steamy pots of rice and lentils, and women selling meals to local passersby, we s...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 7 – Stepping Stones to Reaching Orissa’s Oral Culture

In one day, seven families listened to the story of the resurrection. Through the story, they understood who Jesus was and openly committed their lives to Him. The following week, they started a new house church in their own village. Today, they continue to...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 6 – Living Out a Visual Story

Sometimes we think of communication mostly in terms of words. Oral communication then brings to mind the spoken word, or perhaps preaching or teaching. This is the idea we envision when we think of taking the Gospel to the nations. However, we have also hea...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 5 – Oral People and the Spoken Word

“How do you say this in Kahani?”It was about midday. I sat on our shaded concrete porch and watched determined villagers, wearing worn flip flops, trek along dusty paths that crisscrossed the surrounding foothills of the majestic Himalayan Mountains. At...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 4 – Breakthroughs

“How do you say this in Kahani?”It was about midday. I sat on our shaded concrete porch and watched determined villagers, wearing worn flip flops, trek along dusty paths that crisscrossed the surrounding foothills of the majestic Himalayan Mountains. At...

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Making Disciples of Oral Learners (Simplified Chinese)

Because oral learners tend to believe other people more than abstract truths, the spiritual life and example of the messenger are vital. This book address the greatest obstacle to communicating the gospel to the four billion people who are oral learners.

Making Disciples of Oral Learners (Traditional Chinese)

Because oral learners tend to believe other people more than abstract truths, the spiritual life and example of the messenger are vital. This book address the greatest obstacle to communicating the gospel to the four billion people who are oral learners.

Making Disciples of Oral Learners (Indonesian)

Because oral learners tend to believe other people more than abstract truths, the spiritual life and example of the messenger are vital. This book address the greatest obstacle to communicating the gospel to the four billion people who are oral learners.

Making Disciples of Oral Learners (Arabic)

Because oral learners tend to believe other people more than abstract truths, the spiritual life and example of the messenger are vital. This book address the greatest obstacle to communicating the gospel to the four billion people who are oral learners.

Making Disciples of Oral Learners (Russian)

Because oral learners tend to believe other people more than abstract truths, the spiritual life and example of the messenger are vital. This book address the greatest obstacle to communicating the gospel to the four billion people who are oral learners.

Making Disciples of Oral Learners (French)

Because oral learners tend to believe other people more than abstract truths, the spiritual life and example of the messenger are vital. This book address the greatest obstacle to communicating the gospel to the four billion people who are oral learners.

Orality Breakouts – Section 2 – The Word Became Fresh

Ideas take time to spread and embed. They yearn for a nest to grow and a climate to flourish. To prevail, they must address today’s questions and make a difference—and they need a culture that will stay with them until crucial tipping points are reached and...

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Making Disciples of Oral Learners (English)

Because oral learners tend to believe other people more than abstract truths, the spiritual life and example of the messenger are vital. This book address the greatest obstacle to communicating the gospel to the four billion people who are oral learners.

Orality Breakouts – Chapter 3 – What God Hath Wrought: The Electronic Breakthrough that Revived Orality

The invention of the electric telegraph in 1835 and the transmission of Samuel Morse’s code in 1838 compares as a breakthrough with the invention of Gutenberg’s movable type printing press in 1436. A telegraph wire was installed from the U.S. Supreme Court ...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 2 – Three CEOs Leading Change

One of the biggest challenges for the leader of any organization is to face problems head on and deal with them. One of those problems is demanding increasing attention: the majority of the world’s unreached peoples are oral learners. And our conventional l...

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Orality Breakouts – Chapter 1 – The Passion for Orality

We listened intently to a description of how children’s soccer teams were trained. It was June 2009 and Rev. Dr. Sameh Maurice, Senior Pastor of Kasr El-Dobara Evangelical Church in Cairo, Egypt, was speaking animatedly. At the end of our coffee shop conver...

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Orality Breakouts – Section 1 – The Back Story

Bagel, roti, cornbread, pita, bun, chella, baguette, injera, paska, mantou, white bread, tortilla, croissant! Bread, by any name, is a prepared food enjoyed across the world. In some parts, it actually serves as the knife, fork, and spoon, and not the meal ...

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Orality Breakouts – Foreword by Avery T. Willis Jr.

The room was abuzz at the 2000 Amsterdam conference on evangelism, sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Six hundred of the ten thousand participants were hard at work discussing how to finish the Great Commission in the next ten to fiftee...

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