Jerusalem Center for Bible Translators:

The Home for Bible Translators since 1995

Upgraded Semester Program For Bible Translators & Consultants


The JCBT/Hebrew University program offers a one-of-a-kind training program for mother-tongue translators (MTTs).  Studying Hebrew in the Land increases the accuracy and naturalness of translations of the Hebrew Bible into the native languages.

Biblical Hebrew is taught at JCBT as a comprehensive program involving four accredited semester courses.  In fact, JCBT this year has upgraded the program to five courses in order to expand the range of knowledge and skills in Biblical Hebrew.

Biblical Hebrew will be taught as a “living, spoken language” together with narrative text taught in a traditional way. Another new course introduced this year will replace the Translation Workshop Seminar held in June. It will introduce translation features of the poetic texts:  Psalms, Proverbs, and Prophets.

Here is a summary of the semester program initiated in 2017 (Total of 23 credits):

I. Hebrew Language Studies

 (Total of 23 credits)

Modern Hebrew course at the Hebrew University enables students to start reading, writing, speaking, and listening to Hebrew with vocabulary that is common to modern and Biblical Hebrew. (5 credits)

Modified Living Biblical Hebrew methodology enables students to
learn the language by verbally communicating in Biblical Hebrew. (6 credits)

Intermediate Biblical Hebrew is taught by a Hebrew Univ. professor who utilizes also Biblical texts while teaching grammar. He is assisted by a high level TA from JCBT. (6 credits)

Discourse Analysis of Biblical Hebrew. This course concentrates on the finer points of text analysis of the Hebrew Bible. The aim is to help the translators identify stylistic features in the source text, determine their function, and find ways of expressing equivalent meaning in the receptor language. (2 credits)

June Seminar on Poetical Texts of the Bible: Psalms, Prophets and Proverbs. This practical course aims to give students an increasing appreciation of how Hebrew poetry works and to help them develop their skills in unfolding the layers of meaning embedded in the artistry of many Biblical poetical texts. The students will learn to discover the Biblical world of the authors and their original audiences in order to read the texts through their eyes. Classes will demonstrate how to analyze and synthesize a variety of biblical poems, and students will practice applying these principles and procedures. (4 credits)

II. Contextual Studies – Text in Context: Historical, Geographical and Cultural settings. 

(6 credits).  

Through both lectures and 18 days of field studies students are able to experience the land as a visual and experiential “dictionary” of Biblical realities. Translators return home with a rich understanding of the Land that makes their translation more accurate. This advantage cannot be duplicated elsewhere!

Transferable Academic Credits (29 Credits)

The study program offers 400 academic hours of Hebrew studies (23 credits). In addition, there are 18 days of field trips and 30 hours of lectures on various subjects in Historical Geography and Cultural Backgrounds (6 credits).

Hebrew University Certificate

A “Certificate in the Translation of the Hebrew Bible” is issued by the Rothberg International School for Overseas Students, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. An official transcript, including grades for each course, is sent to the student or directly to another university for credits.

Subsidized Fees

Total estimated cost: $9,300. This includes tuition, room and board, transportation in the land, and all other mandatory fees. (This cost does not include flight tickets, pocket money or books).

For more information, including possible scholarships, see our website: or
email us at

Updated: May 25, 2017 — 8:12 pm


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