JCBT End of the Summer Update.

“To the Uttermost Parts of the Earth”

Dear friends, supporters, and colleagues!
Greetings from the Jerusalem Center for Bible Translators!

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“ …you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the uttermost parts of the earth”
(Acts 1:9).

This is the call and vision of JCBT as we are approaching the 25th year of our service to people
in the “uttermost parts of the earth”.

What has been achieved thus far?

The number of participants in HBT/ JCBT Hebrew University semester courses since 1995 is 172, from 45 countries. It happened unnoticed when year after year we served small groups of 8–15 translators coming to the JCBT/ Hebrew University program to study the language and the land in a conducive study environment and family atmosphere. Additionally, over the last nine years, some 500 people have come from over a hundred countries to attend the highly appreciated two-week Land of the Bible program for translators and for consultants.

Future: The 2020 course.

After saying goodbye to the successful 2019 French-speaking course for eight pastors/translators, we now focus our efforts to locate the translators and consultants for the 2020 English language Hebrew University spring semester course. This course is different from previous years in that the Biblical Hebrew prerequisite test for admittance is a higher level than before. The courses are translation-focused. They are also contextually enriched by the focus on the land as a tool to understand the text. The lecturers consist of linguists, Biblical scholars and known senior BT consultants; the study tours are conducted by experienced JCBT guides.
Good news: To our delight, we have some 31 applicants for the 2020 course. 10 of them are consultants or consultants-in-training or translation project facilitators in different areas of the world. There is huge lack of OT consultants to check and approve books that have already been translated by the nationals; the result is that a publication is delayed for months and even years. Lack of OT consultants is a bottleneck in the translation world. The short intensive 5-month course is ideal for busy consultants. JCBT is looking forward to serving this important group of students in 2020. We are seeking wisdom in the process of choosing and welcoming the students for 2020.

NOTE: The cost for the semester program is an all-inclusive $9,500 USA – except for travel to and from Israel. The cost includes all the Hebrew University expenses, all room, and board fees and 18 days of field trips (subsidized).

Update on 2019 Land of the Bible SHORT-TERM courses – by Brian (Baruch) Kvasnica

We have much to be thankful for in 2019.

It started out with JCBT’s annual January Open Consultants Course with 13 Bible Translation Consultants from all around the world.

In March, twenty-one Bible translators and consultants from Africa, the US, Europe, and Asia came for The Word for the World course which JCBT designed for organization.

In June, JCBT had the privilege of hosting eighteen United Bible Society (UBS) Bible Translators from the Asia Pacific, most of whom had never traveled to Israel before and experienced the most gain in replacing their imagined view of the land with the reality of its features as the context of the text.

Consultant Group on the Sea of Galilee

Update on SPECIAL BIBLICAL HEBREW COURSE for consultants:

In early August, six exceptional students joined us for a unique and challenging intensive JCBT Hebrew study course – Seed Company NT2OT Hebrew. This course has been offered by JCBT each August since 2017. All of the students this August are experienced Bible Translation consultants whose work is in Madagascar, various areas of Asia, and Francophone Africa. Accompanying them are long-time friends of JCBT, Bob and Amy Carter. Bob is a Senior Translation Consultant for the Seed Company. The month-long course is designed specifically for consultants who are transitioning from New Testament work to consulting Hebrew Bible translations. Each day, they spend six full hours of focused class time immersed in Biblical Hebrew with Hebrew-speaking assistant teachers from Hebrew for the Nations( supplementing what they learn daily.

There were also several Land of the Bible excursions planned each week to take advantage of the rich geographical, archaeological, and cultural aspects of the Land. These trips are also given partly in communicative Biblical Hebrew so they are learning about the Land also in the Language of the Hebrew Bible!

Brian K., Halvor and Mirja, Amy and Bob
Learn more about this unique program by watching the following JCBT YouTube video!


As we look to the future, we joyfully anticipate four additional student groups in 2019:

  • UBS African Portuguese translators (in September),
  • UBS Chinese translators (October),
  • UBS Asia Pacific CEOs (in October).

A special workshop in BIBLICAL HEBREW POETRY – The “One Book at the Time” courses

This is the second time that Dr. Ernst Wendland and Dr. Lynell Zogbo are offering a high-level course that delves deeply into the Biblical Hebrew text and its context in the land. Last year the three-week course was on the book of Psalms. It was greatly appreciated.

  • This year it will be on the book of Micah. It will be conducted in November in JCBT in Yad Hashmonah, Israel. Fourteen consultants and Bible translators were selected to participate.

These special annual courses are offered in the desire to help fill a great need for consultants to delve deeply into the difficult poetical texts of the Hebrew Bible. We have been considering the idea of offering a course in Proverbs by experts in the subject. Nothing practical has been planned yet.

BT2019, the biennial Bible Translation conference
sponsored by Wycliffe Bible Translators

Dallas Texas, Oct 11-15
An estimated five hundred participants, all related to the work of Bible translation and distribution, are to be gathering soon in Dallas. They are coming to teach and be taught, to see and be seen as new cooperative initiatives are stimulated. JCBT will have a display table with more information about the work, so please drop by to meet the Ronnings and Brian Kvasnica.

Please continue to undergird us in prayers for the JCBT staff and the all-important volunteers who keep the home fires burning.

Dear friend, you are part of the effort to reach the “uttermost parts of the earth”.

Thank you for your prayers and thank you for your support.

Halvor and Mirja Ronning, Brian (Baruch) Kvasnica and staff