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  • by Nicolas

Medical Outreach for Scripture Engagement Sustainability (MOSES): A Case Study on the MOSES methodology in South Asia

Submission for the 2021 Bible Translation Conference

 After decades of tireless sowing by pioneers around the globe, national movements to translate the Scriptures into non-dominant language groups have truly sprung to life in the Global South. With hundreds of translations being published in the last twenty years, recent data shows that many of these Bibles do not have much of an audience. In many cases, the problem has become people-less Bibles rather than Bible-less peoples. Our team was convinced that the remedy to the lack of demand for the book is to introduce people to the Author. The Medical Outreach for Scripture Engagement and Spiritual growth (MOSES) approach adapts the Leader Source spiritual formation program design methodology to working with local stakeholders to build bridges to the Bible through God encounters that meet the felt needs of the community.

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Why We Don’t Start with Bible Translation

When a new programme starts it’s often tempting to set it up as a Bible translation programme. Sometimes that’s appropriate. In many cases, for a variety of reasons, it’s not. This is because:

  • It’s a minority language
  • People tend to be bi- or multi-lingual (at least if they live in towns, or have been educated)
  • They’re oral preference
  • They’re illiterate or semi-literate, or literate only in the language of wider communication
  • They aren’t yet Christian believers
  • etc.

If any or all of the above are true, then it’s good to start with language development and Scripture engagement rather than full-blown Bible translation, where you translate whole books of the Bible, and aim for a full Bible or New Testament + Psalms or Panoramic Bible. Sometimes the only reason for doing the latter is the kudos of the team, which is not a good reason. We’re aiming for transformed communities, not team kudos!

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