A voice says, “Cry!”
All flesh is grass,
and all its goodliness
is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
The Corona virus has killed some 280 000 people worldwide, some 80, 000 in USA alone. We hear the numbers and do not want to fully grasp that each number is a person who was having a regular life just few weeks ago. These numbers demonstrate in a gruesome way how fragile the human life is, including yours and mine. What then has lasting value? What stays after we are gone? The above verses in Isaiah gives the answer: the truth in the word of God is the only thing that will stay forever. What does that mean in practice? What should people do that is of lasting value? This is given clearly in the advice Jesus gave: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
LIVES DEVOTED TO GOD
Every Friday evening one of our 13 students tells his/her personal story of the events and decisions that led him to become involved in Bible translation. We have heard 4 stories this far. One thing stands out, they all have a calling that puts all other interests aside, be it better position or income, including separation from the family for the duration of the studies here. They study here in order to ensure the understanding of the Hebrew text more accurately and clearly in order to help translate it well to the nation for whom it will be first translation ever.
There are yet many unreached people groups where the Bible has not been translated into their language. These students are committed to do their best to fill that need. By choosing to be a consultant for a new nation, whatever it costs him/her personally shows in practice that the word of God is in the first position in their life. Their lives will make a big difference for a certain people. You, who pray and support this work are an integral part of this important work. Thank you for your interest and ongoing prayers and support.
WORK OF JCBT (1995- 2020)
For the last 24 years JCBT has been training translators and consultants who have displayed full commitment to bring the word of God to previously unreached people as the highest service they could offer in their lives. Our former 172 students are spread in 45 countries and they continue their work there. Some have had the great joy of attending the dedication of a complete Bible for their own language or some other language. Some of you have followed the story of JCBT from its beginning. Thank you for your faithfulness.
MAP of the IMPACT of JCBT ( 1995-2020)
THE PRESENT NEWS
Thankfully, the Corona virus restrictions have not had much effect on the studies at the JCBT. The Living Biblical Hebrew course continues as usual until beginning of June. In April the advanced course on Hebrew Texts was taught by Zoom by Hebrew University professor Dr. Tania Notarius. Now in May our friend Dr. Noah Lee, an experienced Bible translation consultant for years, is teaching Discourse Analysis by Zoom from his home office in Seoul, South Korea. The final course will be Biblical Hebrew Poetry by a friend of many years, an expert in the subject matter, Murray Salisbury. We hope he could come in person, if not it will be another Zoom course, this time from England.
Life at the log home is going on smoothly even after the volunteers left. Now the students are taking care of all needs with a set role for each one. They make all the meals except the main dinner (prepared by local paid cooks). They keep the floors and toilets clean and wash the linens and own clothes with the washing machine. In fact it broke down the other day from the heavy use, and a new one had to be bought.
There is true fellowship in the home. Even though the 13 students come from 9 different countries and backgrounds they have become a true family. The reason is the personal commitment each has to love God above all and their neighbor as themselves. The special blessing felt at the home comes from prayers by the students and staff as well by praying friends like you. God hears prayers and has answered them by keeping the course of 2020 safe and focused on the heavy study program.
FORUM OF BIBLE AGENCIES INTERNATIONAL – FOBAI
FOBAI had a plan to have the annual conference in Greece in April. However, the conference, which was planned to have people meet and discuss with representatives from other Bible translation, was cancelled and postponed to later date. All that remained this April were just two Zoom sessions of two hours each with the representatives of the organizations from all over the world.
1. the Translation Development Group (TDG ) led by Brian Harmelink,
2. and two days later, the meeting of the CEOs led by Paul Richardson.
TDG was an exciting event and quite an experience as the faces of some 50 people from all over the world appeared on the screen, many of them friends and acquintances from years of contact (JCBT has been a member since 2005). After prayer, the first question asked by Brian was how has Corona affected the work. We could report almost no effect on studies except temporary cancellation of field trips. Meanwhile our field trip program is being renewed now this afternoon (to the Elah Valley – David and Goliath) by a new part time employee, Adam Focht, licensed tour guide living with his family near JCBT in the Yad HaShemonah village.
Online contacts had enabled much of the work related to instruction and consultation to continue for many organizations. But what became obvious is the vast economical consequences that will follow because of lack of fund-raising meetings in churches, especially difficult for small organizations. Yet there was optimism and cooperative spirit in the meeting. It was clear that all involved were working out of deep commitment to the vision of providing “all nations” with the word of God by different means.
The second zoom meeting was for CEOs; it was characterized by more prayer than ever before…even breaking up into small groups where one could pray for the needs of the other organizations. The emphasis was on all of us working for same God who is in control – for that purpose a reaffirmation and reworking of common goals over the last three years was ratified.
BIG NEWS: special plans for 2021
Special study program for Bible translation Consultants, Consultants in Training and advanced MTT Translators.
– An accredited modular study program under Rothberg International School of Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
The study program is offered in Jerusalem with a new option of online participation by Zoom.
For more information about the 2021 Semester Program please contact: office@BibleTranslators.org
The 5 month STUDY PROGRAM of JCBT: The courses are taught in Modules of one month
(45 ac.hrs each). Each course will be taught by an expert in their field.
1. Living Biblical Hebrew – to be taught in a 3 months sequence simultaneously with another course. ( 120 h. /6 cr.).
2. Biblical Texts and Semantics. March.
3. Discourse Analysis of Biblical Hebrew. April.
4. Historical Geography and Cultural Background of the Land of the Bible as the context of the text (Intensive one month course of lectures and comprehensive study tours throughout the land with Hebrew Bible in hand and an eye on Bible translation issues (120 h./6 cr.) May.
Note: attendance in person in Israel is required for the course in Historical Geography of the Land of the Bible.
5. Workshop on Biblical Hebrew Poetry (60/4cr). June.
CLICK here for Halvor’s several minute post-resurrection video clip related to an appearance of Jesus to the disciples by the Sea of Galilee – where Jesus asked the most important question in the world!
(Resurrection Week in Corona Jerusalem was the subject of the video in our April circular.)
Committed to the Word of God,
together with you,
Halvor and Mirja and staff
YOU CAN HELP for the word to reach new nations by supporting JCBT with any amount. The options are by online giving etc.