Learning how to DAB

OK so maybe this title is slightly misleading. I haven’t recently been learning the “dance move (bowing head into elbow) which represents confidence, accomplishment, and pride.” (And now for something I never really thought I’d say: Thanks, Urban Dictionary)

DAB stands for a Discussion Autour de la Bible, or a Discussion About the Bible. (I love acronyms that work in multiple languages). It’s one of the main things we do as a GBU – and the idea is that it’s open to everyone, Christian or not.

So in the first week of term, our regional staff worker and relay worker lead a training session in the method we use during the DABs. That method is known by another multilingual acronym: OIA. OIA, by the way, stands for Observation, Interpretation, Application.

The idea is to first make observations about the text. What sort of text is it? What’s the structure? Who’s involved? What’s the context? What’s the theme? What are the contrasts? What other passages are referenced? Of course, this list is nowhere near exhaustive. And different sorts of texts will raise different (sometimes fairly specific) questions.

Then comes the interpretation. What do these observations mean? Why was this text written – what did it change? What does this mean for us now?

The final stage is application. Essentially, what does this teach us and how can we put it into practice?

So now I guess I should put into practice what I’ve learned – use it to deepen my personal Bible study, and better engage with what I read. I might even, one day, end up leading a DAB.


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