Two birds with one stone
In 2018 and 2019, Dr Ernst Wendland and I, with the help of Chris Lovelace, led two successful one-book workshops (Psalms and Micah) at Jerusalem Center for Bible Translation. In these intensive 3-week courses, our highly qualified students (all with MA or PhDs) were challenged to study a single biblical book from the Hebrew, concentrating on exegesis (meaning and message) and linguistic analysis (discovery of stylistic features), with a view to rendering the text in a truly dynamic and poetic way in mother tongue languages. As a highlight, on our “days off”, we were able to visit key spots of interest related to the books under study (for example, visiting the new music museum in downtown Jerusalem to see what David’s harp might have looked like!). Students wrote publishable papers and left equipped to be better consultants, translation trainers and checkers.
For years, former JCBT student, Pastor Yao Serge from Côte d’Ivoire, has been hounding us for a similar course to meet the needs of francophone personnel, especially in Africa. This year we are happy to announce, not a one-, but a two-book course, covering narrative Hebrew discourse, based on the book of Jonah, as well Hebrew poetry, based on studies of a representative selection from the book of Psalms. Applications are flooding in, and we expect to have students from at least five African countries, including many African and European consultants and/or consultants-in-training who have never before had the chance to visit the Land.
Co-taught by Dr Samy Tioye and myself for a period of 4-5 weeks in October of this year, we are hoping to “kill two birds with one stone” (teach both narrative and poetic discourse), enrich everyone’s Hebrew, and pave the way for more lively and culture-based Bible translations in mother tongues across the African continent.
Please pray for our student selection process, our preparation as teachers, and a positive and safe course in Jerusalem.
Dr Lynell Zogbo,
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire