One Book at a Time

Micah: A Series

October 28-November 14, 2019
Instructors: Drs. Ernst Wendland and Lynell Zogbo

(In the Video: 2018 Study Program, Psalms in Context)

This series is designed to allow participants to focus on a given book of the Bible—its text, context and message– during an intensive time period. 

In line with the most recent “One book at a time” seminar on Psalms (November, 2018), JCBT is happy to announce a new course focusing on the Poetry of the Prophets, based on the book of MICAH, taught in the very land where he prophesied.

The prophet Micah, who lived in the turbulent 8th century B.C., was a contemporary of the great Isaiah, with whom he has much in common. Micah, who addresses both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel, joins the other prophets in his overt criticism and condemnation of social injustice and the rampant political and religious evils of his day. Thus, today’s readers find in this book a powerful message for our contemporary world. The book of Micah is also filled with many captivating poetic images and powerful rhetoric which greatly add to its widespread impact and appeal.

This course, taught by experienced translation consultants and published authors, Drs Ernst WENDLAND and Lynell ZOGBO, aims to provide an in-depth exegetical study of the book of Micah based on the Hebrew text, a discussion of its geographic, cultural and historical context, as well as its many translation challenges, especially focusing on producing natural poetic texts in mother tongues. Periodic excursions in the land where Micah worked will bring to life various contextual aspects of this important prophetic text. The goal is to equip participants with tools of discourse analysis and translation that they can take away to apply to the many other poetic and prophetic books in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Book of the Twelve in particular.

Studying and Translating Course Location:
Yad Hashmona, Jerusalem
Estimated Course Costs:
$1900 (sharing a room; travel to the land is separate)

Participants are ideally expected to have the equivalent of an MA in a field related to Bible translation and a basic working knowledge of Hebrew. It is recommended that participants are also able to use an interactive interlinear computer program such as PARATEXT or LOGOS. The course, offered in English, is full-time and intensive.

Please note: space in this course is limited (14 places). Special consideration will be given to Mother Tongue Translators (team leaders), consultants or consultants-in-training. MT translation team leaders engaged in a current OT project may apply for a scholarship.

For further information, please contact:

The deadline for applications is April 30, 2019 Candidates will be informed of their acceptance on or before May 15, 2019.

JCBT Office Phones and Email:
Tel: +972-2-579-0201
Fax: +972-2-533-3793

JCBT Office Mailing Address:
Jerusalem Center for Bible Translators
PO Box 40258
Mevasseret Zion, 9080500

Founders and Co-Directors

Halvor Ronning, Director:
Cell phone: +972-54-422-1994

Mirja Ronning, Director of Hebrew Studies:
Cell phone: +972-54-422-1995

Brian (Baruch) Kvasnica, Special Programs Director:
Cell phone: +972-54-599-6993


This series is designed to allow participants to focus on a given book of the Bible—its textcontextintertextmessagetranslation, and contemporary communication—during an intensive period of joint study together. However, the various literary and structural features discussed will be applicable to other poetical books of the Hebrew Bible.  The course will include, but not be limited to, the following aspects:

  • A cultural and historical exploration of prophecy and the role of the prophet in Israel, with particular reference to Micah but not excluding other Old Testament prophets;
  • A detailed study of Micah and his primary audience, his situational milieu in the land of Israel; the circumstances of his prophetic composition, the ancient socioreligious setting, biblical inter-textual connections, and his discourse goals (skopos);
  • An overview of the main poetic (literary), structural, and rhetorical devices characteristic of Micah’s prophetic style;
  • Micah will be studied in its canonical context, that is, as it relates and compares in theme an style to other prophets in the Book of the Twelve;
  • A group reading of the entire book in Hebrew, including a textual, exegetical, literary and linguistic analysis, a search for traces of orality, clues for public performance, etc.;
  • On-site field trips to areas related to selected texts of Micah, including important geographical-archeological locations (for example, the sites mentioned in Micah 1.10-15), museums with artifacts, flora and fauna, etc., led by JCBT’s outstanding tour guides Dr. Halvor Ronning, Co-Founder and Director of JCBT and Mr. Brian Kvasnica, ABD, Hebrew University.
  • In-depth discussions of translation issues related to selected text (translation approaches, special problems, questions of ambiguity, ideology, historicity, key terms, recommending helpful commentaries and resources, etc.);
  • Opportunity to discuss various possibilities for translating Micah and related prophetic texts in actual target language drafts either brought or produced on site by participants;
  • Reflections on various aspects of Micah’s important prophetic message, its relevance for today’s reader-hearers in local world settings, and how this
    message can be effectively communicated to impact a modern audience through various contemporary media.

The atmosphere will be one of convivial group learning and exchange. Besides learning from the book under study within its wider contextual setting, it is hoped that participants will renew or reinforce their various competencies in biblical Hebrew, literary analysis, exegetical analysis, as well as current translation theories and related issues of interest.

Note that this course will be intensive. Most mornings will be dedicated to detailed studies offered by Drs Wendland and Zogbo. Afternoons will be given to class presentations by participants, outside speakers, short excursions, or study time. Students will be expected to make two in-class presentations (including a final 8-15 page paper on an original topic). Students will receive grades based on their class participation, presentations, and final paper.

A group Shabbat fellowship meal will be celebrated every Friday night and students will have Saturday morning free for worship in local communities (Messianic or other).

A more detailed course outline will be provided at a later date.