The Paroikos Bible Blog exists as a resource to those interested in Biblical studies and Koine Greek. It is hoped that this blog will simultaneously provide food-for-thought to the reader while pointing him or her in the direction of valuable resources, both in print and on the internet, that will further help his or her studies in the Word.

Nov 15, 2018

Our Bible Translation Degree here at BTS: What we are, and the classes we offer

Update! I forgot to mention, an internship is part of this degree.

As noted before on this blog, our seminary, Baptist Theological Seminary in Menomonee Falls, WI is now offering a "Master of Arts in Bible Translation." This is actually an upgrade of a "normal" master of arts in Bible (with all the theology courses, NTI, OTI, etc.) plus five key translation classes added on. Those classes are:
1. LI 601 "Bible Translation Theory & Practice" (3 credits), taught by my father, former missionary John Himes, lead translator of the forthcoming"Lifeline" Japanese New Testament.
2. "Morphology and Syntax" (2 credits), taught by Miss Kathy Birnschein, our linguistics specialist (finishing up a degree at the prestigious SIL; her thesis is specializing in the Hmong language)
3. LI 631 "Translation Issues in Greek and Hebrew" (2 credits), taught by my father and myself.
4. LI 621 "Translation Linguistics & Discourse Analysis" (2 credits), taught by Miss Birnschein
5. "Phonetics, Phonology, and Orthography" (2 credits) also taught by Miss Birnschein.
6. "Translation Internship," which is basically a 10-week trip oversees working with a translation committee, learning how to contribute, learn, and work as a team.

In addition, we have an elective that we hope all our students will take, "Translation Technology" (1 credit), taught by an adjunct who is (sort of) 1-part coder, 1-part translator, and 1-part Bible teacher!

As part of the normal MA in Bible, students are required to take advanced Greek (3rd year Greek), which includes Intro to NT Exegesis and either exegesis of Romans or exegesis of Pastoral Epistles (rotating every 2-years), as well as two semesters of Hebrew, all taught by myself (a note to NT specialists like myself: be prepared to teach Hebrew! You never know where the Lord might lead).

Basically, then, this is 11 extra credits (not counting the elective) beyond our normal MA in Bible. It is a 3-year Master's Degree. It is not meant for the professional Bible translator, but rather for those missionaries (both men and women) who may be doing translation work as part of their ministry (which, quite frankly, should potentially include almost anybody working outside of the US, and some working inside; you never know).

BTS is a very niche school. We are independent Baptist, with a heavy revival emphasis, and we definitely trend towards the "formal equivalence" side of translation. We are not "KJV-only" (i.e., "the King James is the only valid translation in English"), but we consistently use the KJV in public ministry. We believe the ultimate authority lies in the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, but for the New Testament we trend towards a broad Byzantine textual position (I'm including the TR position as a branch of the Byzantine position; there is some diversity among our faculty and staff) over the critical/eclectic text.

For those interested in such a school and a 3-year degree in Bible and Bible-translation (where the translation aspect is added on to a solid, rigorous MA in Bible, with more Greek and Hebrew), drop me an e-mail or hop on over to our website!