JCBT 2019 Christmas Update

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Alumni,

Greetings from the Jerusalem Center for Bible Translators!

We have the joy of wishing you a blessed time of celebration from the Judean hills, not far from Bethlehem. We are happy to share with you the many events of the passing year and look forward to the anticipation of the upcoming year of service in 2020.

We will share our recent news via three short videos by Halvor. Each tells about an area of the important work of JCBT:
1. New advanced courses in Biblical Hebrew
2. Land of the Bible short term courses
3. The special Spring Semester of 2020. 

NEWS: JCBT has become increasingly involved in new ways to help deepen the understanding of the Hebrew text for translators and consultants.  

1. New advanced courses in Biblical Hebrew

 * A major effort to enhance and to empower consultants of the Hebrew Bible was initiated two years ago by our friends Drs. Ernst Wendland and Lynell Zogbo. They initiated a new framework for studying OT books, ONE BOOK AT A TIME. Last year JCBT organized the 3-week course to be held at the log home dormitory in Yad Hashmonah, Israel. The focus was on the poetry of the book of PSALMS. The workshop was highly successful and enjoyed by the 14 high-level consultants, who also wrote a scholarly paper as a requirement for the course.
     This year they chose to concentrate on a prophetic book: MICAH. The course consisted of an intensive study of the entire Hebrew text of Micah to the benefit and joy of the 14 consultants who had been chosen to attend the course. Imagine the impact of the vivid viewing of the countryside where Micah had lived in the Judean foothills adjacent to their Philistine enemy neighbors in the plains. It was Micah who prophesized to the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem and proclaimed that HE would be “great to the ends of the earth”, the very purpose of the existence of JCBT. 

* JCBT has also provided a fitting framework for the project of Seed Company to fill a growing lack of OT translators. The project is to train experienced NT consultants to become OT consultants by intensive Hebrew studies which culminate in an intensive one-month course in August by a “Living Biblical Hebrew” instructor at JCBT. This year was the second time running and the plans continue. Bob Carter carries the main responsibility for this successful course. He has been assisted by the Israeli graduates of the course which trains Israelis to teach Biblical Hebrew ( ).  

2. Land of the Bible Short Term Courses JCBT is known for pioneering the emphasis on studying the TEXT in its original CONTEXT. The major visionary for implementing this emphasis with short-term groups has been one of the leaders of UBS, Dr. Voth. This year 139 consultants and translators, who were sent our way, participated in the well planned and organized JCBT courses on The Land of the BIBLE. There were 6 courses, sent mostly by UBS and one by The Word For The World from South Africa. The participants took back accurate images of the Biblical items and plants in the land. The images are sometimes similar and sometimes very different from what the translators and consultants had imagined before.  

3. The special Spring Semester of 2020

We all are looking with joyful expectations to welcoming the 14 candidates who were accepted to the 2020 special study program for translators and consultants of the Hebrew Bible. This will be a special class since most of the upcoming students are leaders in their different areas of service. They are consultants or consultants-in-training or translation facilitators with good academic backgrounds and translation experience. We are geared to serve them well by inviting experienced senior Bible translation consultants from abroad as well as lecturers from Hebrew University to be their professors. 

We are privileged to serve such a significant group of people. They are the ones who sign the confirmation of readiness for printing or audio or video formats to release the message, which is embedded in the Hebrew scripture, to people who are receiving it in their mother tongue – for the first time ever. It changes the individual and it changes the nation. It is through Bible translation that the message of the God of Israel and His Messiah has been brought to the world. This most fascinating story is available in a book edited by a dear friend Phil Noss.

History of Bible Translation, edit. Philip Noss. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing, 2007.

The JCBT / Hebrew University study program is helping to increase the number of qualified translators and consultants who are working with new translations that are underway.
During the 24 years of the existence of JCBT, 174 graduates from 44 countries have received this training.

We thank you for being a supportive part of the work, by prayers, by help, and by contributions. Most important are the prayers which will help overcome ALL challenges to this multinational work. We are aware of the amazing GRACE of the history of JCBT.

The present challenge is to enable all accepted national candidates to be able to come. Few have full support, some have partial support, some have none!
YOU can make a difference – please “part” with any sum as you are led, because you will become a “part” of a life-changing GIFT to a nation.

Be blessed…to be a blessing!  

Please pray for visas in time.
Please pray for funds in time.
Please pray for safe travel from different countries from the east and west.
Please pray for spiritual protection in all areas for JCBT, its directors and the hard-working staff.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PART …your joyful participation!

Halvor, Mirja, and dedicated staff  

Jerusalem Center for Bible Translators
PO Box 40258
Mevasseret Zion, 9080500