We are an ecumenical, openly welcoming, international organization whose mission is to encourage everyone to learn and tell biblical stories.
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We Tell and Hear Biblical Stories
We are an ecumenical, deeply caring, inclusive, openly welcoming community of pastors, Christian educators, storytellers and laity. We gather as a Network around our belief that the oral telling of the Holy Scriptures is of critical importance as the church grows and changes. We have dedicated ourselves to the study, internalization and performance of the ancient oral tradition of the scriptures. Long before the narratives of the Bible became "scripture" ("writing") they existed in oral form as stories shared in the faith community and passed down from generation to generation. Even the early written records were regarded as notation for the performance of the stories as oral/aural events. Members of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, Int’l. internalize and present biblical stories for audiences of all ages. Making use of the scholarship of performance criticism of biblical texts, our biblical storytellers present authentic, lively experiences of the scriptures for worship, conferences, retreats, festivals and other programs. We seek to bring out the storytelling and the story sharing abilities of individuals. As such, we encourage the learning, telling and hearing of biblical stories. We are committed to cultivating the learning and telling of stories by offering various levels and methods of study.
A leader in the field of performance criticism of the Bible, NBS supports the storytelling of the scriptures through scholarly debate and discovery; networking between members; its quarterly magazine, The Biblical Storyteller; e-communications by our scholars; performance opportunities and regional events; workshops on biblical storytelling; continuing education through our Academy for Biblical Storytelling; and our annual convention, The Festival Gathering.
We Explore the Connection between the Biblical Stories and Contemporary Life
We realize and understand that each of us comes to the story of God in a unique manner. When our story is connected appropriately with the story of God, there is revelation. As such, some will be moved to laughter, others to tears. Some listeners/tellers will take on societal and political issues, while others will engage in contemplative prayer. We do not seek to determine or manipulate how God should move an individual but rather encourage open expression and response to the story as we embrace, grapple and wrestle with the text.
We Find Divine Power for Transforming Our Lives
We strive to tell the story without fear, believing that Christ calls his followers to influence both individuals and the culture in which they live. We believe that the sacred stories of the biblical tradition have the power to transform the lives of both teller and hearer.
We Have Our Deepest Needs Met
We believe that the foundation and impetus for our desire to tell the biblical text begins with the gratitude for the gift of the stories of Scripture. Energized by that gratitude, and in joy for "being connected with God's story," we learn, tell and listen to the stories as a resource for our individual journey, and offer the stories to others for worship, retreats, or conferences.
We Encourage Research
A goal of the Network is to encourage research on the implications of biblical storytelling for biblical scholarship.
Interested in what we do? Start by putting your name on our e-communications list. You can receive information about regional biblical storytelling workshops and events and learn more about our Festival Gathering. Subscriptions to our colorful, content rich, quarterly magazine, The Biblical Storyteller, are only $25.00. If you become a member you will receive our quarterly Scholarly Musings in addition to The Biblical Storyteller and other benefits. Ready for workshops, dynamic storytelling performances day and night plus fabulous keynote lectures by internationally respected biblical scholars? Register for our annual Festival Gathering!
Doctor of Ministry in "Biblical Storytelling in Digital Culture"
offered at United Theological Seminary by Tom Boomershine and Tim Coombs
Tom Boomershine Tim Coombs
This program will provide education and training in the understanding and implementation of a new paradigm for communicating and understanding the Bible in post-literate, digital culture. The paradigm recognizes that the Bible was originally performed for audiences by heart. Participants will demonstrate a mastery of the basic theory and practice of biblical storytelling and performance criticism in ministry, including the performance of the Bible in worship and education, the enabling of others in biblical performance, and the study of biblical compositions as performance literature. Participants will explore and develop biblical tellings that are responsive to the current digital media culture. The projects will explore original action research in the implementation of this new framework in the practice of ministry. To learn more about this program contact Dr. Tim Coombs at firstname.lastname@example.org or click the United logo above to go to their website!
Click here to read an article from The Biblical Storyteller about the program.