Contextualized Bible Storying

Mark completed his Master of Theology through the University of South Africa in 2004. About his thesis on Contextualized Bible Storying Mark writes:

Chronological Bible storying is a method of presenting the gospel cross culturally and is especially effective among oral cultures. The weakness of the Chronological Bible storying method is that it generally assumes a universality of the story teller’s theological perspective in selecting and shaping Bible stories for another ethnic group. While expressing appreciation for all the work being done in that area, this paper proposes an alternative method of crafting contextualized Bible stories that resonates with the worldview of a receptor culture.

This method begins by exploring the reaction and response of the receptor people group to a Bible narrative. Bible stories can then be chosen and shaped around the issues and perspectives that will especially impact that ethnic group. In this way, the influence of the theological and cultural presuppositions of the story teller is reduced through the utilization of the receptor culture’s worldview assumptions – those values and beliefs through which the impact of scripture is experienced. The empirical research consisted of observing the responses of Sindhi Muslim men to a reading of John 13:1-10 and then interviewing them to generate cultural expressions which revealed a relationship between their culture and the scripture passage. Analysis of the data disclosed themes that have scriptural referents and can be used as the basis for selecting and crafting Bible stories which resonate with worldview assumptions.

Download a summary of the Contextualized Bible Storying method from a paper presented to the Evangelical Missiological Society, Canadian Chapter in February, 2009.

Download the eight main themes from John 13:1-10 identified by the participants of the research.  This includes implications for crafting Bible stories that resonate with Sindhi culture and worldview.

View or download the complete thesis here

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