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4.2.20 Foundation opens biblical Hebrew school

Since our last report, the 4.2.20 Foundation — a ministry dedicated to supporting the Bible Translation movement in eliminating the Old Testament Translation Gap by training translators, consultants and teachers in biblical Hebrew — has opened its School of Biblical Hebrew.

In June, the Foundation welcomed its first 15 students to its eight-month Biblical Hebrew immersion course based in Abu Ghosh at the Jerusalem Hills Inn.

Many of these first students, who represent communities from North America, Africa, South and Southeast Asia and Oceania, will enter directly into Old Testament translation projects upon completing the course.

One student who is a trainee consultant translator with the Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation, told KNI about the course.

“This training is most effective far beyond what I got from college when I was studying for my BA, many years ago,” the student said. “Here are well trained academics and professionals teaching, as compared to the one semester course I did in Hebrew in Ghana. The location of the training and the context makes the training very effective. It is the best anyone can get around the world by my personal observation.”

Another African student, also an experienced translation consultant, told KNI of the valuable benefits of this course.

“The experiences I am gaining both in class and on the field trips will be a good resource as I relate these to the subject matter of helping to translate the Bible into various languages.”

An Indian student and professor of Old Testament studies related how this course has a direct impact upon the work they do.

“Upon my return, I will incorporate this methodology into the teaching of Biblical Hebrew in our seminary back home. If I get a chance to be a consultant for any translation agency, I would use this knowledge to be better able to interpret the Old Testament so that the best possible translation be done in the target language.”

Opening of 4.2.20 Foundation's School of  Biblical Hebrew (Photo courtesy)
Opening of 4.2.20 Foundation’s School of Biblical Hebrew (Photo courtesy)

The Foundation is also happy to announce the launch of its Master Storyteller book and film production in September. The production, consisting of a book and three short movies, addresses a number of themes, including how God taught an oral people through the generations using oral methods, and the question: How does God speak?

In making the movies the 4.2.20 team filmed in Israel, working with local Israelis and volunteers from around the world.

“The production process itself was a testimony to God’s care and attention to detail, from the provision of set locations, actors from different cultures and gifts, and relationships that resulted in partnership,” the 4.2.20 press release said.

Earlier this year the 4.2.20 board and executive leadership met with key stakeholders and strategic partners in Israel. The group toured the land and Biblical sites but the aim of the gathering was to discuss new ways for bringing about the 4.2.20 vision of “training sufficient mother tongue translators in biblical Hebrew in order that translation of the OT can begin in every language by the year 2033.”

The fulfillment of this vision, the press release explained, is “to see every oral learner engage with the whole Word of God for whole life transformation.”

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Karen Faulkner
Karen Faulkner recently completed a Master's degree in Human Rights and Transitional Justice at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. She made Aliyah in 2006 and lives in Jerusalem.

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