Friday, February 4, 2011

Deaf author creates novel in ASL, releases it on DVD

From the author George B. Joslin's blog:

A Deaf Man’s Gospel, A Novel, was created and produced by George B. Joslin. It is narrated in American Sign Language by Tim Bender. Voice-over provided by Buddy Burgess.

This dbook is unique. How? It exists only in ASL on DVD. It is not available in printed English! This is the first novel created just for Deaf people in American Sign Language. Many “stories” have been recorded, but not a full length novel like this. Many things have been translated into ASL from English, but this was created in ASL.

Why it is different?

A novel is fiction. That means the story is invented, not true. This novel is called biblical fiction. That means it is based on something from the Bible, but the story itself is not true. In this novel, most of the events are taken from the Gospel of Mark, with some from the other gospels. Those events are true. They were not changed. The fiction is that the Deaf man, Benjamin, is added to the gospel stories and we learn about his observations and experiences.

There are millions of novels in English, printed in books and narrated (in sound) on tape and CDs. There are books in print in digital form, called e-books. This is the first novel created in ASL just for Deaf people like you. It is called a dbook with the d for Deaf. This is a book created by a Deaf man (George Joslin), presented in ASL by a Deaf man (Tim Bender), for Deaf people like you. This novel does not exist in printed English! Voice has been added to the DVD so hearing friends and family can enjoy this book with you. (George Joslin is a retired missionary to the Deaf with Southern Baptist churches. Tim Bender is missionary to the Deaf for Kentucky Baptists and pastor of the Deaf church in Louisville, KY.)

See an excerpt of this novel at

The Story Behind A Deaf Man’s Gospel

In Mark 7:31-35 you can read how Jesus healed a Deaf man. Have you ever thought about such questions as: Who was this Deaf man? Who brought this Deaf man to Jesus? What was it like to be Deaf at the time Jesus was on earth? What happened to this man after he was healed? This novel is my effort to answer those questions.

The Bible does not give the Deaf man a name. I named the man Benjamin. The Bible does not say where the Deaf man lived. I guessed he lived in the town of Capernaum, because this is near the place where Jesus healed him. The Bible does not tell the names of the people who brought the man to Jesus. I decided it could have been Nicodemus and his brother Abner. And Abner is the father of Benjamin. The Bible does not tell about the Deaf man’s life before he was healed. I thought of many things about what it was like to be Deaf at the time Jesus was on earth, based on what we know about Deaf people and what we know about the way things were at the time of Jesus. The Bible does not tell us what the Deaf man did after he was healed. I have suggested many things. Perhaps he met many of the people you have read about in the New Testament and later became a follower of Jesus.

The story in this novel is not true, but it is a good guess about the story the Bible did not tell us. When you see this story, you will think, “Yes, maybe that is how it happened.”