The Biblical Mandate and Implications for the Ministry to the Deaf People.

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue III, March 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

The Biblical Mandate and Implications for the Ministry to the Deaf People.

Lulama Tshuma
Adventist University of Africa, Zimbabwe

IJRISS Call for paper

Despite attempts by governments and church organizations to formally educate and empower the deaf people, their lives still remain unsatisfactory. They also seem to suffer marginalization from the larger hearing society because of their communication barrier. In His Ministry of the deaf people Jesus appears to foster inclusivity and their empowerment to face life’s challenges. Little research has been undertaken on how deaf ministry can be improved as to capacitate the deaf in the communities they livein. This paper exegeted Mark 7:31-37, 9:14-27 and Luke 11:14-26 in light of some isolated texts that make reference to deafness in the Bible with the object of helping in forging out relevant interventions that can answer out the gaps in the deaf ministry. Although these Bible texts were not originally written to inform deaf ministry, there are principles in them that can shape, influence and direct it. In Mark 7:31-37 Jesus used more outward actions than usual in communication with the deaf-mute. The deaf people that Jesus met were healed even though not all people with disabilities were healed during Jesus’ time.J esus’actions and gestures when healing the deaf seem to encourage integration of the deaf people and their empowerment for survival in the mainstream hearing community. Mark 7:31-37, 9:14-27 and Luke 11:14-26 were chosen texts for exegesis because they are the only lengthy narratives that describe the healing of the deaf in the Bible. The others are single text references to deafness scattered in several books of the Bible. The study made use of narratives, Bible commentaries and Ellen White wrings as the main source data for the study. The study recommends that the deaf ministry must integrate the deaf people to the mainstream hearing community through programs that domesticate Sign Language (SL)in the larger community. Furthermore, the community must ensure that they empower the deaf people spiritually and economically so that they cease to see themselves as objects of charity but independent beings who can single handedly face life’s challenges.

Key Terms
Keywords: Deaf Ministry, sign language, mogilalon, disability, models of disability.

The passages in question(Mark 7:31-37, 9:14-27 and Luke 11:14-26) were examined in the light of the biblical texts that make reference to deafness and disabilities in general. The three passages were selected for consideration because they are the only ones in the Bible that gives lengthy narratives of how Jesus treated the deaf and dumb people. The rest are mere references scattered randomly in other books of the Bible. The organization of the paper a brief background of the study, models of disability, the exegesis of the selected texts, findings and discussions, conclusions and recommendations.