Imagine that you grew up Deaf, with very little access to written or spoken information around you. If you encountered a book of the Bible for the first time (e.g., the Book of Mark), how would you make sense of the concepts you encountered… concepts like Israel, prophets, or priests? You would have no context.
To address this, DOOR uses a revolutionary, yet time-tested approach to teaching the Bible: Chronological Bible Translation. For thousands of years, God’s Word was passed down through the oral tradition of storytelling. Research has shown that still today, people groups who do not have a written form of their heart language generally learn through stories, poems, dramas, and songs.
These people groups are typically referred to as “oral” people groups. For the Deaf, the term “oral” is an ironic term, as it carries another very negative meaning. However, Deaf people share most, if not all, of the characteristics of other “oral” societies.
DOOR’s Deaf staff chose Chronological Bible Translation as the most culturally-appropriate way to teach the Word of God to Deaf people worldwide. We have found that, not only is this a very effective way to teach Deaf people, but it is transferable; Deaf people are able to go and teach it easily to others.
The core of DOOR’s curriculum, developed by our Deaf staff, consists of 110 biblical narratives. Each narrative is accompanied by an introduction to give context, and a section giving more information about the passage.
These 110 narratives are divided into three overlapping sets:
- Evangelism (“Know God How?”) – 32 narratives from Genesis 1 through Acts 2
- Discipleship (“Follow God How?”) – 77 narratives from Genesis 1 through Acts 2
- Church Planting (“Serve God How?”) – 35 narratives from Acts 1 through Revelation
Deaf believers learn how to use these translations to lead Bible studies, home groups, worship services, evangelism, discipleship, leadership training, children’s classes, camp programs, and much more.
Again and again, the Deaf say that they never really understood the Bible until they learned it through Chronological Bible Translation.