Jerusalem Center for Bible Translators:

The Home for Bible Translators since 1995

Your help is needed


Greetings from Jerusalem!

Dear JCBT friends,

It is visa time again, this time for some 20 Ph.D. Bible Translation Consultants of the United Bible Societies who are planning to come next week from June 4–17 to participate in the land of the Bible study tour of JCBT. These are the “Global Translation Advisors” who check the work of translations for accuracy, clarity and naturalness. Only after such checking do they give their stamp of approval so that a new Bible translation can go to print. They carry a tremendous responsibility since after the translation is printed or recorded, one more language group has the Word of God in their tongue. Their coming to the land is part of the effort to give these consultants more insight into the text of the Bible in the land where it was written.  

The potential for blessing is great when a group of this level are now being given a chance for exposure to the great resources that this land has to offer for Bible translators, and above all to consultants. Accordingly the opposition is also fierce. 

Four participants have been denied visas – two (from Indonesia and from Mali) for “security reasons” – because of the anti-Israeli stance of their governments, and two from Africa because of passport glitches of having to get a new passport because “there was no room in their passport” for yet another visa stamp. But since the complicated applications and recommendations and acceptance letters from the Hebrew University were all made with the old passport numbers, the visa offices are refusing to grant the visas. 

We are now scrambling last minute to redo all these documents with the new passport numbers and to collect the necessary papers for submitting once again tomorrow. Hopefully reason and mercy will prevail and at least the passport glitches can be overcome! 

It will take your prayers and supernatural intervention to get the security clearances in time… even though we regularly start the application process some two months before a program starts. We have turned again for help from the Hebrew University lawyers, but the matter of security issues may be beyond their reach. Let’s pray and see what happens.

We also urge you to pray for our present 12 students who have one more month to go to complete this unique 5-month intensive study program planned and executed by JCBT staff in cooperation with the Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School for Overseas Students. We have been blessed by a very committed and talented group of individuals who have gained a lot of knowledge in this academic program of 5 different subjects related to understanding the Hebrew text as well as its context of the land. Context information is obtained largely by means of some 18 full days of study tours to the important Biblical places, museums and archeological locations throughout the land.

20170524_jcbt da class1 (1).jpg

Most of 2017 students with Lynell Zogbo (middle) and Noah Lee (third from right). 

Three visiting lecturers have added a lot to the program. Dr. Noah Lee, has now been with us as visiting lecturer and scholar for almost 3 months lodged in a little ‘scholars apartment’ near the Mevasseret premise, where our office is located. Noah Lee filled a much needed role when the leaders, Halvor, Mirja and Brian have been busy with travel abroad or guiding or with the FOBAI Conference. 

Dr. Lynell Zogbo, came especially from Ivory Coast to teach the important course of Discourse Analysis to our students. Murray Salisbury has come now to start the final course of the program in Biblical Poetry. The course covers the more difficult parts of the Hebrew Bible, such as the Prophets, Psalms and Proverbs.

All three lecturers are dear friends from years ago and contribute their time free to JCBT in the framework of their commitment to the cause of forwarding the Bible translation work in the world – so that more and more nations could get a quality Bible in their language. 

The Certificates in Bible Translation will be presented by Halvor and Eric Saranovic, the head of the special programs of the Hebrew University. The date is 22 June at the faculty lounge on Mount Scopus, Jerusalem.  

A few days later our precious students will fly off to Guinea-Bissau, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Cameroon and Tanzania carrying in their minds treasures of information and experiences which will bless many others. “Blessed to be a blessing” is the JCBT slogan. 

You, our supporters, made their study here possible! Take the credit!

All but one have families with children whom they have not seen for months. We would like to send them off with love gifts for their wives and children and even themselves with some important books necessary for the work. 

Any amount will be greatly appreciated! 
Dear friends and co-workers, thank you for your continued support by prayers and funds!

In His service, 

Halvor, Mirja, Brian, Adam and Anna



NOTE: Application for the 2018 semester program is open. This far we already have some 16 applicants, for example 4 from Mongolia, 2 from Former Soviet Union and at least six from Africa. Much prayer and finances are needed to welcome them in Jerusalem! 


Urgent: Please commit yourself to praying for the 4 Visas for the UBS consultants. They need the visas this week in order to be able to come Sunday to Israel. Thank you!




How To Donate

Donations are USA tax-deductible and appreciated from around the world.

Secure Online Giving

Online donations may be done in three methods and can be either a monthly recurring donation or a one-time gift:

  1. Electronic USA check (or savings) account. This method is the most effective for JCBT and you.  It has the least cost and can be scheduled flexibly.
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  3. Via PayPal.

To donate electronically via…

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Mailing Checks

USA Tax-Deductible Checks may be sent to our USA office:

c/o Mary Gemmel
1450 Webster Ln.
Des Plaines, IL 60018-1422   USA
Federal ID #04-3286275

Checks in Other Currencies (Euros, British Pounds, Israeli Shekels) may be sent to our Jerusalem office:

Jerusalem Center for Bible Translators
PO Box 1336
Jerusalem 9078427   ISRAEL





Updated: May 29, 2017 — 6:28 pm


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