Jerusalem Center for Bible Translators
The vision of the Jerusalem Center for Bible Translators (formerly Home for Bible Translators), through the Hebrew University program, has been to support translators and scholars from around the world as they deepen their knowledge of the Hebrew Bible while studying in the Land of the Bible. Since 1995, the Home has hosted over 184 Bible translators and scholars from 50 countries representing 146 languages in the semester program. These translators are making it possible for millions of native speakers to read the Old Testament in their own language.
The Home’s primary mission is to serve those who work to translate the Bible from the original Hebrew into over 6,000 languages in the world that do not yet have the Old Testament. Additionally, they serve Bible scholars and students who are seeking greater understanding of Old Testament text or a deeper understanding of the Jewish roots of the New Testament.
The Home, located in Yad HaShmona, a village near Jerusalem, is ideal for this project. Up to 12 students can reside in five bedrooms. Provisions, meals, phone and internet access are supplied, so that students can devote time to their studies. The Home offers a quiet setting for study in an international community of serious students and scholars, and hosts a small library and computer-assisted study of the Hebrew language and Biblical Hebrew text.
Translators increase their skill in contextualizing the text as they study the language of the Bible while experiencing the topography, agriculture, artifacts, and climate of the Land of the Bible. They also internalize vocabulary by engaging Hebrew as a living language at the Hebrew University, in the streets of Jerusalem, at the Home, and on their study trips throughout the Land.
The involvement of mother-tongue translators increases the stability and economy of translation projects, and reduces the burden on the consultants supervising these projects. Also, after returning to their translation work, HBT alumni have taught the Hebrew of the Bible, as well as the history and geography of the Land of the Bible to others in the translation teams. Thus, the blessing of studying in the Land multiplies the worldwide impact of the Bible.