More Information
ISBN: 9781839736711
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 17
Publication Date: 14/06/2022
Pages: 312
Language: English

Translating the Bible Into Action, 2nd Edition

How the Bible Can Be Relevant in All Languages and Cultures


When Jesus was born to Mary, God “translated” himself into our human world. This act of God’s translation continues today wherever the gospel is expressed, in each language and lived out in each culture that makes up our diverse world. Unfortunately, the church often ignores its cultural and linguistic diversity and, instead, imposes a dominant “language” and “culture” for expressing faith. This textbook seeks to challenge that situation.

By identifying common barriers that prevent people from engaging with Scripture, the authors explore the ways churches can maintain unity in Christ and celebrate the diversity of their membership. Addressing a wide-range of relevant issues and using practical applications, this revised and updated edition re-establishes the importance of good, contextual Scripture engagement. A key resource in helping church leaders encourage people to communicate with God in their own language and to discover that Christ wants to make himself at home in their world.

Author Bios

Margaret Hill

MARGARET HILL has an MA in Education and Linguistics from the University of Manchester, UK. She has lived long-term in Nigeria and Congo DRC, working in Bible translation, literacy, and Scripture engagement. She has widespread teaching experience, particularly in Africa and Asia, both in informal workshops and in theological colleges in Kenya, Ghana, and Central African Republic. She also serves as an international translation consultant.

Harriet Hill

HARRIET HILL holds a PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary, California, USA, where she serves as Adjunct Faculty. She has lived in villages in Côte d’Ivoire, learning language and culture, and communicating the Bible through translation and contextualization. This book was developed in workshops she helped lead with church leaders throughout Africa, incorporating their grassroots input. She served with SIL International for thirty four years and with American Bible Society for ten years.


I recommend this book to anyone who desires to see translated Scripture change lives! Translating the Bible into Action weaves together a wealth of experience from translation practitioners who desire to see effective Scripture engagement in language communities around the world by overcoming barriers inherent in worldview, language, culture, theology, and the medium of the message. Through stories, discussion questions, exercises, and resources the reader is respectfully drawn into the learning process, helped to discover how Scripture is relevant for their world, and empowered to go and put this into action through Bible storying, Bible studies, sermons, prayers, “good news encounters,” evangelism, visual arts, digital media, drama, music, and dance! Translating the Bible into Action will remain an important and influential resource to facilitate engagement with God’s word in life-changing ways.

Vice President, Training & Quality Assurance, Biblica
Chair, SIL International Board of Directors

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. What We Believe
  4. Barriers to Engaging with Scripture
  5. Using Appropriate Scripture Products
  6. Language in the Plan of God
  7. Culture in the Plan of God
  8. Mother-Tongue Scripture Use and Church Growth
  9. Using Scripture in Multilingual Churches
  10. Helping Interpreters Perform Well
  11. Multi-Ethnic Churches
  12. Identifying Relevant Issues
  13. Providing Necessary Background Information
  14. Preparing Bible Studies
  15. Preparing Sermons
  16. Meditating on God’s Word
  17. Trauma Healing
  18. HIV/AIDS and the Church
  19. Bible Storying
  20. Preparing for Good News Encounters
  21. Engaging People with Scripture in Evangelism
  22. How Muslims Use the Bible
  23. Engaging Hindus with the Bible
  24. Engaging Children and Youth with Scripture
  25. Family Prayers
  26. Using the Bible in Our Digital World
  27. Engaging People with Scripture through Music and Dance
  28. Engaging People with Scripture through Drama
  29. Engaging People with Scripture through the Visual Arts and Media
  30. Mother-Tongue Reading and Writing for Literates
  31. Basic Literacy and Scripture
  32. Research, Marketing, and Distribution
  33. How to Bring about Change
  34. Preparing for Scripture Engagement Seminars
  35. Appendix 1: Good News for Muslims
  36. Appendix 2: Researching Song Styles
  37. Appendix 3: Example of Sunday School Lesson
  38. Appendix 4: Recording Scripture and Dramas
  39. Appendix 5: Answers

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