Postgraduate Program on Bible Translation in an Orthodox Context

Bible translation stands at a unique intersection of linguistics, translation studies, hermeneutics and biblical studies. It is also an activity which has been carried out continuously from the time of ancient Alexandria (the Septuagint translation) until today, thereby providing a rich corpus of historical material for study. Within this framework the special characteristics of Bible translation in the Orthodox tradition are less well known.

From the 27th of September until the 29th a postgraduate program began at the offices of the Hellenic Bible Society that will lead to the award of a postgraduate degree. The program combines distance learning and residential seminars that will take place in various historical Orthodox centers. The participants in this program, coming from countries such as Greece, Albania, Romania, FYROM, Serbia, and Russia, will attend courses through which they will have the opportunity to get to know the history, theory and practice of Bible translation in the Orthodox world, with special attention paid to the delicate balance of tradition and innovation.

In the first meeting that took place in Athens and was hosted at the offices of the Hellenic Bible Society, participants had the opportunity to attend lectures by esteemed scholars both from Greece and abroad. The lectures were given by: Prof. Emeritus of the Faculty of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Ioannis Karavidopoulos with the title “Bible in Orthodoxy”, the Dean of the Nida Institute Rev. Dr. Phil Towner with the title: “Bible Translation and Bible Societies”, Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Athens Konstantinos Zarras with the title: “Biblical Scholarship in the Orthodox World”, Dr. Simon Crisp, Manager for Interconfessional Scholarship and Training and scholarly editions of the UBS with the title: “Introduction to Translation Studies”, and finally the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Miltiadis Konstantinou with the title: “The Translational Work of the Hellenic Bible Society”.

Those completing the course will be well prepared not only for activity in the specific field of Bible translation, but also for work in areas like textual editing, libraries, documentation centres and museums. The postgraduate program is co-organized by the Hellenic Bible Society, Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship of the American Bible Society, and Fondazione Universitaria San Pellegrino.




Third educational seminar of translators of the Bible

Paratext 3_62For five days (16th -20th of June) in the Educator’s Laboratory of the Faculty of Theology on the ground floor of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 31 people in total, trainers and trainees from Greece and abroad from 09.00 am until 17.00 pm dealt intensively with the issue of translation of biblical texts and possibilities of specialized Paratext 7.4 software, which offers the possibility of continuous communication and exchange of information between translators around the world on issues relating to translation of the Bible. The trainees, graduate students, doctoral candidates, PhD, members of thParatext 3_75e Hellenic Bible Society and faculty members of the two theological schools of Greece attended presentations (in Greek and English) on the translation of the biblical texts and the various difficulties, the intertextuality (quotations, allusions and echoes passages of the Old Testament texts in the New Testament), the relevant background, the relationship of the books of the Old Testament with those of the New Testament, but also their respective listeners / readers of texts. The seminar also included practical exercises the trainees using Paratext 7.4 and its capabilities, translation of an indicative passage from the Prophets, as well as evaluating the translation efforts.

Throughout the seminar an Paratext 3_70Internet platform was operating as a digital classroom (e-class) through which the members of the seminar were communicating directly with each other and the supporting material, as well as the speakers’ presentations was constantly available. The Hellenic Bible Society and Professor of Theology AUTH Miltiadis Konstantinou, who had the scientific responsibility of the entire project, from the beginning of the first training course, hope that young translators who received specific training and the special software will directly enhance the translation work done in our country.