IBLT – The Whole WORD for the Whole World

RICHMOND, VA – IBLT, the short form for the Institute of Biblical Languages & Translation, exists to fill a major gap in Bible translation and, therefore, world missions.

IBLT - the Institute of Biblical Languages & Translation, exists to fill a major gap in Bible translation and, therefore, world missions.That gap is the extreme lack of Old Testament translations available in thousands of heart languages around the entire world.

It is more than a minor semantical error when we think of the Gospel as the New Testament only. The fall of man and our need for redemption is recorded in the second chapter of Genesis. The Lord promises a Redeemer in the third chapter. From that point, the books of the Law, history, poetry, and prophecy each direct us to recognize, love, and worship Jehovah for His great and precious promises that are fully revealed in His Son, Jesus.

IBLT’s aim is to “accelerate the training of Old Testament translators and consultants” so that it will be possible to have at least begun translations in every language by the year 2033. Expert-level training of translators and consultants in Hebrew and Aramaic should ensure that IBLT reaches their goal.

IBLT’s vision is to make the whole Word available to the whole world.

IBLT’s mission is to accelerate translator training to enable the fulfillment of their vision.

IBLT’s goal is “to train sufficient consultants, [translation] checkers, and mother-tongue translators” to achieve their mission. They anticipate a need for 10,000 additional translators and 2,000 consultants.

The quantitative need for translators is based on having 2.5 translators per existing language. That number is based on translating 4,000 languages. The rate of decline of nominal tribal languages indicates that 1,500 of the currently existent languages will have disappeared by 2033.

The number of consultants is based on having one consultant for every five translators.

IBLT’s strategy is to establish

  • a global network of collaborative partner programs through which Christian men and women involved in translation work become more proficient.
  • a Hebrew immersion program in Israel designed to give participants a basic translation proficiency within nine months.
  • a consultant training program to persons who already have a native “or near-native” proficiency in Hebrew.

IBLT’s impact is already being felt around the globe as the first three groups of graduates from the School of Biblical Hebrew have begun work on new translations of the Old Testament for 60 different languages. As of December 2019, students from 27 different nationalities are working on MA degrees in translation and consultation.

Translation work always means learning the language of the indigenous people. IBLT enables young men and women to have an in-depth understanding of the source language of the Old Testament. Because they are highly functional in Hebrew, IBLT graduates are equipped to produce the best possible translation for the indigenous hearers.

IBLT is a program of the 4.2.20 Foundation.


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