Warm Christmas greetings from JCBT to you our friends and prayer supporters. The LORD has abundantly blessed JCBT during this year of 2018. It has been a blessing and a joy to representatives of many tribes and nations who do not have a Bible in their mother-tongue. The fruit of this work is our and your common gift to these peoples.
What does this gift contain?
Take a look at what JCBT has provided: The Spring Semester program of 2018 included 10 people groups. It was a significant to be able to provide them with the best tools for understanding the message of the Bible. They learned Hebrew, the source language of the Bible and studied the Land of the Bible. This study program, conducted under the Hebrew University, has been active and refining its service for over 23 years. READ MORE.
The second kind of program, is the short term 1-2-week Land of the Bible Program. It concentrates on the topography and climate of the LAND of the Bible, as well as on the plants, animals and Biblical agriculture. This is important to the understanding of the text in its original context. JCBT has been pioneering this approach in Bible translation circles. These programs have become increasingly important as they point out the differences between the land of the Bible and the lands in which the translation work is being done. In 2018 JCBT hosted 143 participants from three different continents: South America, Asia and Africa. The courses were offered in five different languages: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese. READ MORE.
New service for consultants by JCBT
Dr. Ernst Wendland and Dr. Lynell Zogbo are experienced authors and translation consultants. They turned to JCBT with a new suggestion: JCBT should offer a special series of ONE BOOK AT A TIME courses. The suggestion was to begin with the book of Psalms. Both of them have authored articles and books, and together have published a book on the Hebrew Psalms, called Hebrew Poetry in the Bible.
JCBT focuses on studying the Text in its original Context. This dual principle was expressed in an amazing way in this November course. 14 consultants were chosen to participate in a special course on the Hebrew Psalms. Together, these consultants are responsible for quite a number of translation projects. The participants expressed great appreciation for the insights gained and for the practical benefits when facing the challenges involved in helping to translate the difficult poetic texts. Indeed, plans are underway to continue the series and offer next November a similar course on the poetry of prophets – in context.
The CHALLENGE of 2019
The translation needs of French-speaking West Africa have been on our hearts from the beginning. In the early 90’s Mirja was heading the two-year MA program in Biblical Hebrew at the Institute of Holy Land Studies (known as JUC). She had a British student who was a Bible Translation Consultant from Ivory Coast. She continually emphasized the lack of study opportunities in French speaking areas in Africa compared to English speaking areas. This led to a trip to Abidjan, Ivory Coast in Dec. 1993 and to a chain of events that led to the establishment of JCBT. It became a long term commitment to serve the needs of translators in French Speaking West Africa.
2019 is no exception. After a long Student and Visa application process, we are now looking forward to welcome 8 translators from Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin Togo, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. We are still praying for a student from Mali to receive his Visa as well.
It is a given fact that most of our candidates do not have the finances to come. One of our students’ CEO has made the appeal: “From the beginning we have been open about the fact that we were still working to secure financial support…. until yesterday we were still hopeful something would come through. Unfortunately, [we do] not have the resources to be able to send [the student] … We’re sorry to have to withdraw [the student’s] application”. JCBT have made a commitment to find the necessary funds to help this student. We need your help to assist him, and others like him.
During the graduation ceremony of 2018 Semester Program, a student from Paraguay spoke in Hebrew from the heart. “God brings Christmas peace to all nations. We can change the world by giving God’s Word to the Nations.”Following this message, the students broke forth in singing “You and I will change the world”.
Together with you – In the service of spreading
the Word to the world,
Halvor and Mirja and staff.