Since translation consultants check and approve the Biblical accuracy of the mother-tongue translations, they must be knowledgeable in not only the text of the Bible but also of the context in which the words were written.
We believe that translation consultants should have a minimum of one study experience in the Land of the Bible to learn about its geography, archaeology, flora, fauna, etc., forming an experiential dictionary of Biblical terms and resulting in improved expertise in advising toward a more accurate and natural translation. Sadly, the vast majority of translation consultants worldwide have never experienced Israel!
JCBT aims to rectify this problem through offering many short-term, low-cost study opportunities in Jerusalem.
Below are samples of several short-term courses JCBT offers that:
- Are tailor-made for consultants and translation groups;
- Focuses on how the context impacts the understanding of the original Text; and
- Is inexpensive and flexible for each group.
New in the Horizon
A New Course on Psalms set for 2018:
STUDYING AND TRANSLATING THE PSALMS
The course description can be found here!
Contact us with your interest and reserve a spot!
“Text in Context” — Land of the Bible Short-Term Course
Fourteen Days of Eye-Opening Insights into Hebrew Scripture. We regularly offer each year several inexpensive and insightful courses on the historical, archaeological, and geographical context of Scripture and how this understanding can impact translations. With Bible in hand, trips to Biblical sites throughout the Land are experienced with an eye toward Bible translation issues.
Since 2008, JCBT has provided this valuable experience to nearly 300 consultants, translators, and translation personnel.
Testimonies. The testimonies of a consultant group organized by Krijn van der Jagt in 2009 for this learning experience speaks volumes.
- “Experiencing the topography, its hills and ravines, the hot summer climate, the biblical plants and animals, the archeological evidences of biblical history–all went beyond anything learned from books. We expected it to be a beneficial experience, but the tour was much above our expectations,” was the corporate response expressed by all.
- A consultant in this group wrote later: “I am still touched somehow deep in my soul and am processing it.”
- A few days after returning home, Krijn van der Jagt wrote:
“On behalf of Dr. Margaret Muthwii, the UBS area coordinator of Africa I would like to express our sincere gratitude and complete satisfaction about the Training Seminar you have organized for us. Dr. Muthwii indicated to me that she has received enthusiastic reports from the participants. We all feel that a dream came true for our consultants who never visited Israel in their life.
I wish to thank all of you for your great contributions, in guiding, teaching, organizing, and welcoming us in your home and in Israel. I sincerely hope many consultants and translators will profit from your valuable services and expertise as they develop in the field of bible translation.
Once more, thank you very much and may God bless your ministry…With warm greetings!”
- A consultant from another group a few years later wrote: “Nothing compares with personal experience of the settings of events about which I have been teaching and consulting for a lifetime. Every day I am using the resources gained.”
A consultant who participated in a Land of the Bible in 2014, Stephen Payne, has provided a slideshow presentation of his experience. If you may wish to review it, you can Click here.
How to Apply for the “Text in Context” — Land of the Bible Short-Term Course
The course is open to all, but certain preferences apply:
- Preferably currently consulting in a Hebrew Bible (OT) translation project. National consultants are encouraged to apply as JCBT can help in the visa process. See here for who needs a visa.
- Preferably under 55 years of age.
Cost: All-inclusive expenses in the land for the intensive 14 day study tour is $ 1,200 for groups with 7 or less. Groups larger than this will cost more to cover increased accommodation and transportation costs. See our Admission page for application procedures.
Sampling of groups who have attended the course. Yours could be next!
Two Groups in 2015
1: 8-21 Nov, national consultants.
2: 29 Nov-12 Dec, expatriate consultants (for those not needing pre-application for a tourist visa). See here for a list of countries exempted from pre-application requirements.
A Group in 2011
In April we held an Easter/Pesach consultant study tour for international consultants: Phil and Cecilia Noss (UBS/ABS; Cameroon), Ronnie and Margaret Sim (Wycliffe/SIL; East Africa), Wolf and Hildegard Seilers (Wycliffe/SIL; Alaska, Nigeria), Marianne Beerle-Moor (IBT; former Soviet Union), and Yancey Smith (WBTC).
Three Groups in 2010
1. The April Passover/Easter study tour. The participants were senior Bible translation leaders who had worked as consultants on many translation projects for decades: Keith & Mary Beavon; Ernst & Margie Wendland; Christo & Marli van der Merwe; Constance Kutsch-Lojenga; and Ignatio Magangat.
The 10 day intensive course in the land of the Bible confronted them with physical, historical, geographical and, cultural context of the Biblical texts they had so often advised other about. It proved to be an unexpectedly unique experience for them: …We didn’t know what we didn’t know…!
2. Consultants from Korea, Senegal, Ethiopia and the USA (working in Peru) attended the course in July, 2010. All were surprised at the many textual insights gained when considering context in translation. The national consultants were especially gratified.
3. A course for the office staff of Wycliffe, Finland in May 2010. They saw firsthand the importance of supporting translators to study in the land as part of their professional training.
A Group of UBS Consultants in 2009
Lynell Zogbo (UBS, USA/Cote d’Ivoire),
Riikka Halme (UBS, Finland),
Youssouf Dembele (UBS, Mali),
Gerrit van Steenbergen (UBS, Netherlands),
Krijn van der Jagt (UBS, Netherlands),
Don Slager (UBS, USA),
Fabian Dapila (UBS, Ghana/Canada),
Jean-Claude Loba-Mkole, (UBS, Congo).
[from left to right]
Sample Schedule of Study Trips
JERUSALEM AND VICINITY
Day 1 – Lv at 9:00am “MOUNTAINS AROUND JERUSALEM” (Ps 125:2): Mt Scopus Overlook, Hebrew University and the Mt. of Olives (Acts 1); Ancient Jerusalem/City of David (2 Sam 5) and the Pool of Siloam (John 9 and 7:37-39); Nebi Samuel with a view of Gibeah of Saul.
Day 2 – Lv at 8:00am for walk along the VIA DOLOROSSA from the Antonia Fortress to the Holy Sepulcher Church. YAD VASHEM HOLOCAUST MUSEUM (Ezek 37). Afternoon free.
Day 3 – Lv at 8:30am for ROAD TO EMMAUS with Arieh Bar David ca 3 hour hike.
Day 4 – Lv 8:00am for JUDEAN HILLS: Bethlehem (Gen 35:19; Ruth 4; Micah 5; Matt 2; Luke 2); Herodian; view of Tekoa (2 Sam 14, Amos 1; Neh 3:5, 27); Shepherd’s Field; Promenade View of Jerusalem (Gen 22).
Day 5 – Lv 8:00am JERUSALEM IN THE FIRST AND SECOND TEMPLE PERIODS: First Temple Model/Yad BenTzvi; Herodian Quarter, Burnt House; Temple Mount/Ophel (1 Kings 8; 2 Sam 24); Western Wall; Southern Wall Excavations/Davidson Museum (Matt 23).
WILDERNESS AND FOOTHILLS
Day 6 – Lv 8:00am for THE JERICHO ROAD and THE JUDEAN DESERT: View Good Samaritan Inn and Northern Judean Desert (Psalm 23); Jericho (Josh 2, 4; Luke 10, 18, 19); Qumran of the Dead Sea Scrolls; Ein Gedi Field School (1 Sam 24 and Psalm 57); Masada; Overnight in tents in the Judean Desert at Cfar Nokdim.
Day 7 – Morning: THE NEGEV – Arad (Deut 1:44, Num 21:1)and Beersheba (Gen 21:22-32). Afternoon: THE SHEPHELAH FOOTHILL VALLEYS: The Lachish Valley: Lachish letters; The Elah Valley: Azekah, David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17; 21:9); The Sorek Valley: Beth Shemesh, Samson and the Philistines (1 Samuel 6-7).
Day 8 – Lv 8:30am BIBLICAL GARDENS of NEOT KEDUMIM. 3:00pm Yoel Nesson, former director of the HBT at the Hebrew University, lecture on Jewish Perspective of Biblical Feasts – Especially Passover. 8:00pm Ray Pritz, former director of the Israel Bible Society (UBSA), lecture on Man-made Things in the Bible.
Day 9 – Lv 8:00am for THE COASTAL PLAIN AND THE JEZREEL VALLEY: Caesarea (Acts 10; 12; 25); Megiddo (1 Kings 9:15; Revelation 15:12); passing by Mount Carmel (I Kings 18:20-46). 3:30-5:00pm Nazareth Village (Matthew 2:23; Luke 1:26; 4:16, 28-30; Jn 1:46), Overnight in Galilee.
Day 10 – JESUS’ MINISTRY IN THE GALILEE AND GOLAN HEIGHTS: Hatzor (Hazor) (Joshua 11:10-11; 1 Kings 9:15); Tel Dan (Joshua 19: 4748; 1 Kings 12:26-32); Caesarea Philippi [Panias/Banyas] (Matthew 16); Kuneitra and Golan Heights/Bashan. Fish Dinner. Overnight in Galilee.
Day 11 – JESUS’ MINISTRY AROUND THE SEA OF GALILEE: Mt. of Beatitudes (Matthew 5-7); Korazim (Matthew 11:23-24; 23:1-3); Capernaum (Matt 4:13; 17: 24; Mk 2:1); Beth Shean (1 Samuel 31); Travel via Jordan Valley; pass by Wadi Qelt (Luke 4, 10). Overnight at the Log Home. Farewell Meal.