Original Media and Meaning of Scripture

GoTell advocates and enables deep learning and face-to-face telling of sacred scriptures because we believe this is how the Word of God becomes part of who we are and what we do as individuals and as communities of faith. We also advocate telling scriptures because this is how they were originally experienced. We believe authentic understanding of the scriptures is best gained by experiencing them via the same media as did their original audiences.

The original media of the scriptures—that is, how the scriptures were originally communicated—matters. It matters for authentic and powerful communication of God’s Word in today’s global village and for faithful discipleship to Jesus the Christ. Institutional Christianity has largely lost the ability to communicate its sacred scriptures in their original media. GoTell joins the Network of Biblical Storytellers and the International Orality Network in the important work of revivifying this lost ability.

GoTell’s unique contribution to the work of promoting biblical storytelling is focused attention to original meaning. Just as there exists a need to communicate the scriptures in their original media for the sake of authenticity and power, so also we need to communicate their original meaning. These two aspects of communication are closely aligned; neither is truly possible without the other.

And just as the church has largely abandoned the practice of internalizing and telling scripture stories, so too has the majority church largely abandoned what early Christians clearly understood to be the primary meaning of the Gospel: that God had a way to save the world from violence through the love incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth, and that way was proven by his resurrection. It is our conviction that the telling and the hearing of the stories in this their original meaning is now, more than ever, what God hopes we will do.

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