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23 January 2014

Brain-friendly Bible study guide launched

Brain-friendly Bible study guide launched

Talk the Word is a new study guide which aims to help people engage with the Bible in a brain-friendly way, through talking.

It has been developed by Walk Through the Bible in partnership with Scottish Bible Society and Alliance members Scripture Union Scotland and Counties.

The resource is a new approach to helping small groups really take the time to consider Bible stories, digging deeply into each passage through listening and talking.

Paul Keeys, director of Walk Through The Bible, told Alliance member Christian Today: "It works by the leader learning a passage before the meeting, and then giving that passage completely orally.The group just listen, without looking at the passage, and the key is to use their imagination, to involve themselves in the story. Then, as a group, we go through it together. It means that everybody makes contributions and hopefully is able to engage more easily.".

Talk the Word consists of six Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments, drawing on a central theme, providing background, asking questions and ending with a challenging application.

Counties Norfolk evangelist Kevin Baldwin was part of an initial pilot group who trialled Talk the Word: "It is an excellent way to delve deeper into Biblical stories, which are full of images," he says. "Through telling and hearing we experience the Bible as it was given, heard and discussed in ancient times. It's a refreshing way of interacting with the word."

Dr Phillip Walker, president of International Christian Ministries, writes: "Talk the Word is a great addition to the growing methods of moving God's work from information to transformation through brain-friendly learning, Recent discoveries have shown that the brain processes behavioural information (right brain function) differently from general knowledge (left brain function).

"If you want to become more like Jesus then you need to go beyond facts to engage the stories of the Bible through group discussion and interaction. Stories, questions and discussion are the keys that unlock our character and help transform us to be more like Jesus."

Samuel Chiang, executive director of International Orality Network, writes: "An ancient key has been rediscovered, and it is unlocking the public square, work place, families, cultures and previously unengaged and unreached people groups."

Paul Keeys added: "There's a willingness needed to find ways of developing and engaging people of this generation who struggle to listen for more than two minutes. We're hard pressed to find people who can listen for half an hour in one go.

"Talk the Word has utterly transformed my approach to Bible study and I hope it will do the same for others."

For more details or to order a copy of the book, priced at £5, visit bible.org.uk.