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Bible studies

Bible study: Languages and communication

Literacy helps ensure clear communication between people and God through reading the Bible, and between individual people and their neighbours

2005 Available in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese

Footsteps magazine issues on a wooden desk.

From: Literacy – Footsteps 62

Practical articles on how to support child and adult literacy

Languages and communication: God’s plan for mankind.  

People working to develop literacy in local languages in many communities around the world play a full part in God’s plan for mankind. This is because literacy helps ensure clear communication between people and God through reading the Bible, and between individual people and their neighbours.

  • What is the link between clear communication with our neighbours, and loving them as we love ourselves according to God’s command?

Read Genesis 11:1-9

  • In building the Tower of Babel, did people want to improve communication between God and themselves, or to challenge him?
  • What are the consequences?

Thousands of different languages are spoken all over the world, many of which are still unwritten. The lowest rates of literacy are recorded in communities where education is carried out exclusively in foreign languages. People often struggle to speak them well, let alone learn to read and write in them. In such areas, people suffer a lot from ignorance, poverty, and illness. So low rates of literacy coincide with low areas of development. And yet God did not create people for them to live unhappy lives while on earth.

  • How can Christian literature in mother tongue languages help people understand God’s plan for us better?

Tearfund, through its partners, promotes the use of local languages for literacy and development and encourages people to work together in taking action to improve their use.

  • What role are we taking to support this?

Noé Ngueffo is a linguist who works with the Ministry of Scientific and Technical Research. He is Director of NACALCO, BP 8110, Yaoundé, Cameroon.

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