Understanding the meaning of church Language and words used.

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This post has 26 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 22
Keith Howard | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Oct 15 2016 11:46 PM

i am a silver surfer I am dyslexic and having problems understanding some of the words being used, I am at the moment getting over PTSD. I have been asked to do a bible study group as a type therapy and I was wondering is there any tips that you know of were I can use to make these big and strange biblical and church words more basic and that are used easier understandable. Not only for me but for the people at the bible study I have to translate and interpreter for in British Sign Language. Please.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 15 2016 11:57 PM

Keith Howard:

I was wondering is there any tips that you know of were I can use to make these big and strange biblical and church words more basic and that are used easier understandable.

I would start by using a Bible translation that is oriented toward high school students and/or English as a second language in parallel with the translation expected in your church. TNIV or Good News or Community Bible come to mind.

I would look for a Bible dictionary and a liturgical/theological dictionary geared for the average parishioner to use in parallel with a college level resource. And every day, I would read the definition for a word that I am not familiar/comfortable with.

For titles, I'd need to know more about your tradition and small group.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 22
Keith Howard | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 5:49 AM

Thank you for your quick reply we are a Church of England group of about 4 to 6. Age Ranging from about 23ish to about 50 to 60. Our minister left and I was reluctantly volunteered. Hoping to build it up where people can come and feel free and safe to ask any questions no matter how embarrassing are feel or stupid, knowing that it will be taken seriously and it seems to be working. But sometimes my dyslexia gets in the way, it can help but I need the help of my wife.

I want to be able to speak in a language they understand and mean, as Jesus did in his time, instead of all these big church words that only certain people understand.

Hope that helps

Keith 

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Erwin Stull, Sr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 7:04 AM

Keith Howard:

I want to be able to speak in a language they understand and mean, as Jesus did in his time, instead of all these big church words that only certain people understand.

Keith 

MJ's advise is what I would strongly consider. In addition, consider the group attendees. If they are members of the church or seasoned followers, I would use church language as much as possible. If they are babies or those you have witnessed to, I would stay away from church language as much as possible, as you will lose them due to the language barrier. The message is that GOD is real, good, a loving savior, a provider, a counselor, etc.

Posts 22
Keith Howard | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 8:04 AM

Thank you for your reply, most of the group are should I say very interested, but young in experince and because of the as they say the posh churchy language get bored very quickly. That is why I agree with you by staying away from churchy language because I don't want to loose them. they are great they ask all type of questions, from why God says one thing then another, example God say don't kill and yet he kills lots of people when he flooded the world. Why is there different bibles if they mean the same. Why was there water outside at the wedding? 

Posts 14
Sarah Blake LaRose | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 10:53 AM

Hi, Keith.

It is important to help people to understand the context of the Bible, even if you don't use big words. For instance, even if you don't know the original Greek and Hebrew, you know that the Bible was originally written in Greek and Hebrew. This is something you can explain to the people, and you can explain that when one language is translated to another words don't translate directly between the two languages. If you look at the Amplified Bible, you can see examples of places where one Greek or Hebrew word can have several English meanings. The reason why we have so many English versions is that over the years groups of translators have tried to make decisions about the best word use so that different groups of English readers can understand the meaning of the text. There are a lot of ways to do this, and each group of translators has a way of doing it that is meaningful to a different group of English readers.

Your people's questions are all meaningful and good for spiritual growth. Most important, encourage them to not let their questions take them away from God. Read the Bible as something that often makes you ask questions and leads you to answers over the long term. Much of the way that Americans have learned to do Bible study is like eating fast food. We often expect to find the answers in the same passage that we are studying today, and that isn't often the way God works. Encourage your people to keep a journal or write down their questions and things they are learning so they can relate their lessons week to week and day to day. This will help.

My final comment is don't be afraid to teach them some terminology once in a while. It will help them, and you may even raise up a leader. I learned the word hermeneutics when I was 17 years old. I thought my pastor was silly for asking me if I knew what it meant. Why would I need to know? I wasn't a pastor. I was just a kid who liked to sing. Today, I'm a Hebrew professor. Go figure!

Posts 22
Keith Howard | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 10:53 AM

M J 

thanks for your advice I have check the TNIV  and it is helpful, now I am trying to find a dictionary to help. Thanks again. 

God Bless as he has blessed me in finding you.

Keith

Posts 22
Keith Howard | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 11:03 AM

Thank you for your advice, yes I do teach them terminology when they ask bout what a word means. Sometimes it's difficult to translate it into Sign when I am working with deaf and Deafblind but I do enjoy it. People say it's God's gift but I don't know because its fun and I enjoy it when I know what I am talking about and know the meaning.

God Bless. Sarah 

Posts 801
GregW | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 12:05 PM

Keith Howard:

M J 

thanks for your advice I have check the TNIV  and it is helpful, now I am trying to find a dictionary to help. Thanks again. 

God Bless as he has blessed me in finding you.

Keith

Hi Keith - I assume you're in the UK from the "Church of England" reference. If so, the New International Version 2011 (NIV) translation has now pretty much replaced the TNIV, which never really took off, and the 2011 NIV is the only one generally available.

EDIT: I forgot to say that the NIV is very similar to the TNIV, produced by the same translation committee. 


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Posts 14
Sarah Blake LaRose | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 1:28 PM

Hi, Keith. It sounds like there is a lot about your group that would be useful to know. You mention working with deaf and deafblind. ... Yes, it is God's gift to be leading people. It is also important to educate ourselves about how to use the gift of being in leadership, and to equip ourselves with assistants who can help us communicate effectively. Do you have interpreters in your group who know sign language and who can help you communicate with this group effectively? Educated Deaf and Deafblind people do not need terminology changed for them, though they may have many questions just as the rest of your group has.

Posts 22
Keith Howard | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 2:56 PM

Hi Sarah 

i was a firefighter for 22 years and had to retire on medical grounds. I been Retired for 22 Years now,part of that I was a church communicator/ iinterpreter for both, And if I  not know the meaning I would ask the minister who could sign hiself. i would copie. I trained to become a licened.Lay reader with help. But the minister retired as I finished my reader training course, he give me the keys to five churches for deaf people which made me Chaplian to the Deaf and DeF blind as well as the hard of hearing. It was a struggle, because of the ruling I was not allowed to contact the last vicar it was difficult because I wanted everyone to be involve so I used pictures to explain a point on power point. I took a while to sort things out with Jan helping. Meeting different times and days, which was difficult not only for me but Jan my wife to proof read my service which I had to print  few copies thank god for computers, one for the interpreter for the blind girl, large print for an old lady that had difficult in lip reading and one for thepower point.

my wife came I'll and it was to much so I retired, them later found out through my past experiences I have PTSD. I have been attending a church near me because I had a fear of going out to far, joined there bible study group as form of theropy. But the minister left and I was voulrered to take over the bible group. I am very anxious becaise of the PTSD and my dyslexia . So I am trying to get everything  in the right order so I can understand and try and do my best.  Sorry for the bag gramma and English. And rambling on. My best complement was from a dear old lady she it was a wonderful service I didnt hear a word but it felt good. 

  

God Bless 

Keith

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 3:07 PM

It sounds as if the members of the group will know to cut you some slack as both the task and your condition present difficulties. When you run into specific difficulties, feel free to post here in the forums. It's not traditional software support but ... just remember that you can ask for resources providing definitions or supporting particular positions but we can't tell you if a position is right or wrong.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 22
Keith Howard | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 4:17 PM

MJ

God is good, as I was getting a bit lost where he was with all this happening. There as one thing that kept me going beside

people like youself, when I was in the psychol hospital my jan sent me this card God uses broken thing his wonders to perform, so I give him a chance and it worked up till now PTSD has come back, get anxious and lose of confidence. Barry a deaf friend sent me these

Words scratched into a wall in a cellar by a victim of the holocaust, I believe in the sun even when it is not shinning, I believe in love when I don't feel it. I believe in God when He is silent. It came at the right time as all these forums so He must be working somewhere. For He has given me the best gift of all time 

The best gift you can give to someone is your time, because you are giving something you can never get back.

Thanks  to the forim

keith

Posts 714
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 6:15 PM

Keith, we are all broken - just in different ways. Your courage, and your determination to serve, are a great encouragement to me. We do our best. That is all we can do. Our hope is in God, and not in ourselves.

Posts 22
Keith Howard | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 16 2016 11:49 PM

Thank you, sometimes I have seen strenght come from brokenness, the paraolympics and a good friend who was born deaf and gone blind, she is such fun or should I say a pain, when I interpret for her a spell things wrong I get a slap on the hand and signed stupid but it is all in fun. plus person  who I worked with a deaf blind priest as his communicator and guide.  He is fighting for the rights of dear peopie  in church. But sometimes like now with different things happening around me and maybe it's the tablets for PTSD slowing me down  I feel a little lost.

Thank you so much for listening God Bless 

keith

Posts 22
Keith Howard | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 17 2016 6:09 AM

What can I say is but a heart felt thank you to you all for responding to my question. This is the first time I have asked and used anything like thsee forum things, because of mental disabilities, i have been afraid that they will be to clever or to academic for me to understand. But I am glad that I was given the bravery and pointed in the right place maybe a the right time For me to start preaching agaiN big descision

 

So thank you all again it's great knowing that there a people willing to help.

keith

Posts 22
Keith Howard | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 18 2016 5:12 AM

One tip I have used for along time, after trying special glass, is that yellow/gold paper, comic sans or chalkboard font with 1.5 line spacing helps me to read afraid not to understand. Yet but getting there. 

Posts 22
Keith Howard | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 19 2016 3:06 AM

Yes I am from uk C of E, I was chaplain to deaf and Deafblind people, and my dyslexcia, that is where my keenness for knowing the meaning of words so I could find a Sign or ask different chaplain who work with deaf and interpreters who work in a church environment.

Posts 3100
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 19 2016 3:18 AM

Hi Keith, there are Bible versions that are even more accessible than the NIV. There are pages on the Internet that list reading levels by version. In Logos, the New Century Version (NCV), God's Word translation (GW), the Contemporary English Version (CEV), and the New Living Translation (NLT) all use simpler language than the NIV and TNIV.

Posts 3100
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 19 2016 4:03 AM

Also, although these are not available in Logos, there is apparently a dyslexia-friendly Bible being produced, with several books already available:

https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/product-search/dyslexia/

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