Scripture Engagement

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We love the Bible as a bride loves her husband’s letters, not for the paper they are, but for the person who speaks through them. The Bible gives us God’s own revelation of his identity, character, purposes and actions. It is the primary witness to the Lord Jesus Christ. In reading it, we encounter him through his Spirit with great joy. Our love for the Bible is an expression of our love for God. The Cape Town Commitment I-6

The Bible is indispensable for world evangelization. The Bible gives us God’s own revelation of his identity, character, purposes, and actions. It is the primary witness to the Lord Jesus Christ. In reading it, we encounter him through his Spirit. The overarching narrative of the Bible provides a coherent worldview, telling us who we are, what we are here for, and where we are going. The story of God’s mission defines our identity, drives our mission, and assures us the ending is in God’s hands. The story must shape the memory and hope of God’s people and govern the content of their evangelistic witness, as it is passed on from generation to generation.

Viable churches among the unreached cannot be sustained without access to the Bible in a form that can be understood. Evangelization in cultures dominated by relativism requires that we find fresh ways to articulate biblical authority. None of this is possible if God’s people are not profoundly shaped by the Bible’s message.

Despite centuries of missions activity, Bible poverty is rampant. Too many people are blocked from having a relationship with their Creator because the Scriptures do not exist in a form they can understand. There are almost 7,000 known languages in use today and yet the complete Bible has only been translated into 500 of them. However, another 2,300 languages have access to New Testament or Scripture portions in their mother tongue. Nearly 2,200 languages across 131 countries have active translation and linguistic development underway. The worldwide Bible translation movement is committed to begin translation projects in the 1,900 languages that remain by 2025. Only as the entire church commits to loving our neighbours by giving them access to God’s Word in their mother tongue will Bible poverty be eradicated. 

After Lausanne’s second global congress, Manila 1989, a network formed to strengthen to work of global Scripture engagement. The Forum of Bible Agencies International (FOBAI), founded in 1990, is comprised of over 30 agencies working in more than 120 countries and is committed to ‘work together to maximize worldwide access and impact of God’s Word’. Increased partnership, mutual learning, and strategic initiatives are bringing about greater effectiveness and coordination in Scripture translation/distribution, Bible advocacy efforts, and Scripture impact at regional and national levels.

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