Category: Storytelling Items (page 1 of 3)

Power Point: Storytelling Lecture

Storytelling 6-09–with pictures & text

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Storytelling

Q: What is Biblical storytelling?

A: It is an oral, rather than written, approach used to communicate God’s message, as recorded in the Scriptures.  It is based on the Scriptures, but includes background information and stylistic changes that make it interesting and appealing to various audiences. Often it includes drama as well.

Q: What is “different” about this approach?

A: Storytelling is as old as mankind, so it has been around since the story of God’s creation were first told.  However, this approach assumes that when preliterate or largely oral societies hear God’s message, as revealed in the Bible, it is best told and retold in a oral format as well.

It also does not assume that every language group needs a Bible translation, especially small languages that are in danger of becoming moribund or extinct.  Depending on various factors, such as literacy and motivation to hear and retell stories in the vernacular, a storytelling approach may be the best starting point.

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An Untrue Story on Storytelling

Storytelling on Lake Tiberius


Background: It is mid-morning on the shore of Lake Galilee. Peter and some of the other disciples have been out fishing. Mark is sitting in one of the spare boats with Jesus, whom he is interviewing.

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Stories and Language Documentation


In recent years language documentation has been a research prize, particularly work on “endangered languages”. In fact an endangered language for linguists seems to be one that will generate a large grant for fieldwork and subsequent publication. The grant bears fruit according to some peer and university backing, as well as some personal credentials.  It is of course based upon an extensive proposal that documents the need of a language group.  It follows that the languages and people that will have the “advantage” of research are limited by the interests of the researcher and his peers

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Small PNG Languages and Storytelling

Small Languages and Storytelling


Thanks for your comments on storytelling. I too have been wondering if and how the storytelling workshops could have some continuing impact in the country. In fact, I have been wondering how the workshops could have any impact at all.

Recently I read a quote that said, “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” The quote is attributed to Lee Iacocca, former chairman of the Chrysler Corporation. While I don’t particularly like the philosophy and habits of Iacocca, what he says is relevant to my foray into storytelling.

I have tried to get my ideas across about storytelling for the small languages of PNG and the Pacific, but feel that I have only been partially successful. This seems evident from your response, as well as from the earlier talk I had with you and Brian.  It may be that my ideas about storytelling for small language groups (I always specify “small”) are too marginal for current Branch strategy.

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