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darb al wosoul

supports emerging leaders with easy-to-use disciple making resources in the language they actually speak - Levantine Arabic

find a lesson get the app

search the 750 lessons from darb al wosoul

Search in English to view and stream any darb al wosoul file. Enter a book and chapter from the Bible or the module and lesson number from the app. For example, type “John 15” to see if there are any files from John chapter 15. Or type “2.3” to get the files from module 2 lesson 3.

Get the darb al wosoul android app with all the lessons in one click

Then drag and drop the contents of the folder onto an SD card and it will be ready to go. After installing, a user can…

  • have all of the lesson files at once without having to download anything
  • give the app and all of the lesson files to someone else without using the Internet
  • meet and share new lessons with each other much faster than their Internet connection (and for free!) using WiFi Direct in the app
  • Whatsapp individual files to friends and groups just getting started

The Current App Package has 750 lessons and was last updated on .

learn more about darb al wosoul

THE AIM: that anyone from the Levant, no matter her level of education or religious background, can understand the Word of God and reproduce new DBS groups.

that anyone

Anyone?

That includes you.

These MP3s were originally made to help English speakers from the West start new Discovery Bible Study groups in the region. We were finding that the person from the West would have to be the one to read the Bible in Arabic, and that was a huge barrier keeping groups from being sustainable and reproducible.

If you aren’t fluent in Arabic we hope this site will help you easily find different lessons and enable you to start sustainable and reproducible groups or share a relevant lesson with someone you know from the Levant.

that anyone from the Levant

from the Levant

People from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine should be able to easily understand this project because their spoken dialects are similar. Also because the Levantine Spoken Arabic dialects are popular in TV shows they can also be understood in the broader region by many people.

Here is some feedback from Arab pastors about this project:

“It’s so different hearing the Bible in the language we speak.”

“You know something….I have a hard time understanding other pastors when they read the Bible because they don’t read clearly enough.”

“This is great! I really don’t like to read.”

And from someone without experience in the Bible:

“I love reading in Arabic. I always have a novel or philosophy book in Arabic with me for when I have free time. A few years ago a friend gave me a Bible for the first time and I thought it would be easier to understand than the Quran, but it wasn’t and I stopped reading. But with this project I felt like the story of Jesus came alive and I wanted to keep going to see what would happen next. It’s nice to be able to relax and listen to the actual story and not always be trying to figure out the difficult things in the written language.”

And that is from someone who reads in Arabic everyday!

The original project was 140 DBS Lessons retold in a spoken dialect from Beirut. These first MP3s where a significant first step to validate the idea of having a passage retold in a dialect of Spoken Arabic after it is read from a Written Arabic translation of the Bible.

From this experience, we were also able to clarify our vision and improve our process to better serve a growing audience.

Make sure to read more answers to the other related questions to understand this approach and the difference between a Bible Passage MP3 and a DBS Lesson MP3.

that anyone from the Levant, no matter her level of education or religious background, can understand the Word of God

no matter her level of education or religious background, can understand the Word of God

How?

A voice actor reads about 20 verses from the Good News Arabic Bible (Mushtarake) and then retells the passage in the Damascus dialect - like a TV drama from Damascus. The Written Arabic is read first to show the more formal and authoritative source that Arabs expect from a holy book. But when the voice actor retells it, he uses words that everyone in the room can understand no matter their education or religious background. He follows the Good News Arabic translation of the Bible closely and sounds like a Christian from Damascus because that is who he is. However, it should be clear to the listeners that it is important to him that everyone in the room can understand the Bible as he retells the passage with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

The result of this retelling should be that someone from a Christian background will hear important words in a more vivid and impactful way and hear the Gospel in his spoken language. For someone who is from a non-Christian background, we hope to show him that Jesus is for him, today, no matter where he is from or where he is at on the journey towards Jesus.

An Opportunity in the Retelling

Words like Messiah, temple, Pharisee, tax collector and circumcision don’t make sense to someone new to the Story of God. Words like these carried images & emotions and had multiple dimensions to the original audience, but they are typically skipped over today by Christian and Muslim readers alike.

Through introductions and added explanations in the retelling the goal is that listeners who hear the term “Pharisee” can know the significance of that person to the story and picture people in their community who are modern day equivalents to the Pharisees. The hope is that in doing so, our audience can better see how Jesus was different from his own culture & its expectations and how He is different from what we might have expected today.

that anyone from the Levant, no matter her level of education or religious background, can understand the Word of God and reproduce new DBS groups

reproduce new DBS groups

By having passages retold in the spoken language and including DBS questions on every MP3 anyone who can press play and pause on their phone can become a group facilitator and help others start new groups. This means people who aren’t fluent in Spoken Arabic or are unable to read Written Arabic can be involved in this.

Make sure to read the answer to the next question to learn more about Spoken and Written Arabic.

Good question! Here’s two reasons.

1. No one in the world speaks Written Arabic (Fusha).

Written Arabic is a language used in newspapers and books and news broadcasts. Because no one speaks Fusha natively in the home it will always be functionally a second (or third) language for Arabs.

Written Arabic is also the language of textbooks and homework for schools, but oftentimes the oral instruction in the classroom is in Spoken Arabic, French or English depending on the type of school and its location.

It is important to know that there are different levels of Written Arabic. The Quran and Van Dyke translation of the Bible were written before Modern Standard Arabic was adapted making them more difficult to understand for today’s reader.

Translations such as the Sharif, Good News, Hayat and Simplified Arabic use Modern Standard Arabic with different degrees of ease of understanding for different types of readers. However, all of these Arabic translations of the Bible use the written form of Arabic that is never spoken. As a result, the amount, type, and quality of education an Arab has influences how comfortable he is with a text in the Written language.

2. The Bible should be in Written Arabic

Arabs’ first language is a dialect of Spoken Arabic. This is the language of relationship and it’s not written or taught in school. The dialects of Spoken Arabic differ from Written Arabic depending on where in the region someone lives, his age, economic level, literacy, and religious influences. Even within a country you can find a significant difference in spoken dialects.

However, because of cultural, historical and religious reasons, a holy book is expected to have a high level of written Arabic and to require much striving and religious education to understand. This means that, to Arabs, the language of the Bible should not be the same language as their thoughts and relationships. Not only that, but culturally for many Muslims and Christians, a more poetic and high Arabic translation of the Bible is pointed to as evidence that a text is from God.

And that’s why we read each passage in Written Arabic and then retell it in Spoken Arabic

The most common language used by Arabs to described the idea of pairing the Written and Spoken languages is “a sigh of relief.”

First, a listener is able to relax and know that the authoritative, written language of Arabic he expects the Bible to be in is included. In a region where new translations of the Bible are met with suspicion this allows listeners to know where the retelling came from and use the Written Arabic as a standard reference.

Secondly, by including the retelling in the Spoken dialect we give listeners the chance to hear Jesus speaking in their language. The retelling creates a “sigh of relief” because instead of paying attention to the written Arabic grammar and feeling like you might miss something you get to hear the Bible in the language you actually speak. As a result everyone in the family can gather around and be able to hear, understand and obey the Word of God.

Through pairing the written and spoken language we’ve heard feedback like this:

“You know something, I have a hard time understanding pastors when they read the Bible out loud in a sermon.”

Lebanese Christian

“We’ve never been able to understand a religious lesson until now. And now we can teach them to others.”

Syrian Refugee

Both the MP3s that are tagged Bible Passages and DBS Lessons have a passage read from the Good News Arabic Bible and then retold in the spoken language. However, there are two differences:

  1. MP3s categorized as DBS Lessons also have Discovery Bible Study questions before and after the passage.
  2. MP3s tagged as DBS Lessons are retold in a spoken dialect from Beirut and those tagged as Bible Passages are retold in a spoken dialect from Damascus.

In time, the new content labeled Bible Passages will be used to make new DBS Lesson MP3s and take the place of the current DBS lessons in the spoken dialect from Beirut. This audio is more thoughtfully made for anyone to be able to understand it no matter his or her educational and religious background and is in a dialect that is more widely understood thanks to popular Turkish TV shows being dubbed in Damascus.

You can easily see all of the Scripture lists in English by browsing through the playlists of DBS Lessons above on this page.

The standard set is covered in these 3 playlists:

  • Creation to Christ
  • Following Jesus Part I
  • Following Jesus Part II

In the long run, users of the Android App will be able to make their own Scripture lists within the app and share them across their in-person networks.

Each DBS MP3 has Discovery Bible Study questions that are read before and after a passage or two from the Bible.

The Bible passage is read from the Good News Arabic Bible and then retold in a Spoken Levantine dialect.

The DBS questions are the same for every lesson and are always included in every MP3 and PDF for any DBS Lesson. This way a new group can facilitate their own lessons from the first meeting and reproduce easier and more consistently. If you are starting a new group have someone in the group press play and then pause after each question.

Here’s the script of the questions. Please note that the English is a close to literal translation from the Arabic.

INTRODUCTION: [0:00 to 0:32]
Welcome to a new episode of darb al wosoul. In this episode we are going to think, discuss and decide. Before we read a passage from the Bible we are going to answer a few questions. It’s best if everyone answers each question.
THANKFUL [0:33 to 0:36]
What are the things that you’d like to thank God for?
Then press pause and let everyone answer
STRESSING YOU OUT [0:41 0:46]
Each of us has things this week that are stressing us out. What are the things that are bothering you?
Then press pause and let everyone answer
RECAP QUESTION 1 [0:51 to 0:54]
Do you remember what we talked about last time we met?
RECAP QUESTION 2 [0:59 to 1:05]
Did you share something we talked about last time with anyone? How’d it go?
RECAP QUESTION 3 [1:09 to 1:15]
How did we help each other and those around us since the last time we met?
RECAP QUESTION 4 [1:19 to 1:30]
The last time we met you decided to change some things in your life. Did you do anything in response to that? Yes or not yet?
INTRO TO READING [1:31 to 1:41]
Now let’s listen to a new story from the Bible…

Now the voice actor will read the passage from the Bible and then he will pause and say, “Now I will retell it to you in the spoken language.” Then he will retell it.

At the end of the retelling he will say “Now let’s retell the story together with all of its details.” Then pause and make sure the group can retell it without missing any main points. If they need to listen again that’s fine.

AFTER READING QUESTION 1 [-1:38 to -1:35]
What did you love most from this story?
AFTER READING QUESTION 2 [-1:30 to -1:27]
What’s something new that you learned about God from this story?
AFTER READING QUESTION 3 [-1:21 to -1:14]
What do you think, after we have read this story, about the role of man and how his response to God should be?
AFTER READING QUESTION 4 [-1:09 to -1:04]
In your opinion, why might this lesson be important for you personally?
WRAP UP QUESTION 1 [-0:59 to -0:47]
Before we end this meeting, what are the things that you have decided to change in your life as a response to the story that we listened to today? And what are the first steps you want to take to see that change?
WRAP UP QUESTION 2 [-0:42 to -0:26]
What do you think? How can we meet each other’s needs and the needs of those around us?
WRAP UP QUESTION 3 [-0:31 to -0:26]
What affected you most from this meeting and who do you want to share it with?
OUTRO [-0:26]
We loved this meeting with you all. We invite you to listen again to this passage another time and to meditate on it until we meet again.

All darb al wosoul audio uses the Mushtarake (aka The Good News Bible) which is an ecumenical translation by the Bible Society of Lebanon.

When the first MP3s were made, the target audience was only in Beirut and the decision to use the Mushtarake was based on 1) the council from local believers with the same purpose and 2) the ability to get permission to use the Mushtarake from the Bible Society of Lebanon.

It’s been a surprise to see God use this project beyond Beirut and in different types of communities. With these DBS MP3s, Arabs from all education levels and religious backgrounds have been able to understand the Word of God, groups are reproducing, and they are speaking and acting in a way that is accepted and relevant in their own communities.

So far, the feedback from those who have been using these MP3s for a year or more is that the translation of the Bible wasn't as big of a deal as they thought it would be. Group members still speak like they always have to their neighbors and to each other. They have also learned to filter and share other things with people before giving the DBS MP3s to them - an essential skill no matter what translation is used.

It seems that the Bible translation doesn’t change how people act and talk in their own community and culture especially if they want to remain a part of their own community. Instead, it's what is modeled by other believers and if someone goes to a church building that seems to influence what words they use and how they engage in their own communities.

Because of this feedback darb al wosoul intends to use Good New Arabic Bible for the long run with the hope that other people will create something similar in other dialects and with other Arabic translations of the Bible.

If you are interested in doing that, find us and we can connect, share what we have learned, and talk about making this technology available for you too.

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