Workman Lectures Series -- By: Charles H. Kraft
ATJ 12 (1979) p. 3
Workman Lectures Series
God’s Model For Communication
As one who specializes in communication and Bible translation I am increasingly fascinated by the communicational dimensions of the Word of God. I am, of course convinced that God knew what He was doing communicationally. I am, however, surprised that it has taken us so long to look at the Bible from this point of view. For generations, we who seek to communicate God’s Word have looked to the Bible for our message. I am afraid, though, that we have seldom looked to the Bible for our method. I have become personally convinced that the inspiration of the Bible extends both to message and to method. My aim in this chapter, therefore, is to elucidate a scriptural method for getting God’s message across that I dare to call “God’s Model for Communication.”
Though I will be talking about what I believe to be a method of approach that we see from cover to cover in the Bible, it might be helpful, by way of introduction, for me to point to a couple of scripture verses which, if translated from a communicational point of view, lend support to the point I am trying to make. Look, for example, at Mark 16:15. It is, I think, allowable to translate this verse: “Go into all the world to communicate the Good News to all peoples.” The word “preach” that is ordinarily used in English translations of this verse is only one way of communicating. Indeed it is a form of communication that Jesus used very seldom. I will deal more with this point in Chapter 4. Suffice it to say here that we are commanded by God not simply to monologue his Word but to communicate it as effectively as possible. A second illustrative verse is John 1:14. In this verse the Greek word logos, ordinarily translated “word” is employed. I believe it would not be doing the verse an injustice to suggest the following translation: “the (meaning God’s) message became a human being to live among us.” I will be alluding to other passages of Scripture as I go along but I wanted to point briefly to these verses at the beginning of my
ATJ 12 (1979) p. 4
presentation to alert us to the fact that, in the first place, God is concerned about communication and that, in the second place, God’s ultimate method of communication is via incarnation.
Now the problem I want to raise is: How can we follow God’s example in our efforts to communicate his Good News? God has, of course, communicated very effectively. He has, furthermore, involved us in the contemporary phase of His communicational efforts. How then can we learn to involve ourse...
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