למד מהמקור

הכשרה מקיפה לשפת המקרא בירושלים

Whole Word Institute trains full Bible translators and translation consultants. This one-of-a-kind training is an immersive and accelerated program for learning biblical Hebrew and provides a deep understanding of the source language, context, and culture of the Bible. Through the 9-month immersive School of Biblical Hebrew and through specialized master’s programs, individuals are equipped to translate the Original (Old) Testament directly from the biblical source language, maximizing quality, accuracy, and understanding of the Scriptures.

Why “source” language?

It can seem to take too much time, energy and resources to prepare a whole Bible translation from the original source language for a new language group. It is tempting to work from existing translations. However, as Jesus implies in the Parable of the Sower, shortcuts do not ultimately pay and the results can be a waste of resources. With the right preparation, growth will not only be better, but also faster, cheaper, and have much greater long-term benefits and results.

Study at the School of Biblical Hebrew

The goal of the School of Biblical Hebrew is to equip participants with the skills necessary for proficiency in translating the Old Testament directly from the source language.

SBH is a תוכנית ייחודית ל-9 חודשים שמכשיר מתרגמים לקבל החלטות עצמאיות לגבי משמעות טקסט המקור בפרויקטים של תרגום הברית הישנה.

סקירה כללית

Our immersive program in Jerusalem is an efficient way to learn biblical Hebrew and provides a deep understanding of the source language, context and culture within a one year framework. Through interdisciplinary and experiential courses, we give participants the skills they need to address the diverse linguistic issues that translators face on the field.

SBH focuses on Hebrew language learning and the study of biblical texts, making maximal use of the linguistic environment. The school reinforces Hebrew use in daily life, beyond the classroom. This program provides a unique living environment, in which Hebrew is used at meals, in travel and in daily routines among hosts and students around the housing and in the surrounding environment of modern Israel.


Students who successfully complete the 9-month program will receive a graduate certificate in Biblical Hebrew. Qualifying students may also continue to obtain an MA in Classical (Biblical) Hebrew by completing several additional courses offered either on site or online through our partner universities.

SBH is an affiliated program of the University of the Holy Land and of Corban University, universities accredited by the Asia Theological Association and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (USA Dept. of Ed.) respectively.


 Please note that those wishing to obtain credit from their home institution for attending this program must make appropriate arrangements with their home institution in advance.


Participants should:

  • be sponsored by a Bible translation organization or project, although an independent participant may also apply.
  • have the ability to read basic English, but will be permitted to present research in other languages including: English, French, Spanish, Russian, and Hebrew.

Participants will be required to study the series of Living Biblical Hebrew: Part One before coming to Israel in order to prepare for rapid learning in an oral environment. Listening to the material requires about 40-50 hours of preparation. This must be completed two months prior to the course start date, as a pre-condition to final acceptance.

All participants must also sign the Student Language Pledge.

Field Trips, Lands and Culture

The SBH program includes field trips to biblical locations, allowing students to directly observe the significance of the geography and physical artifacts while reading the relevant Hebrew texts. Descriptions on site are taught in basic biblical Hebrew and “easy” (modern) Hebrew, as necessary. Field trips will include various sites and museums, and classroom teaching will cover cultural configurations of ancient life in Israel, bringing to life key Hebrew terms for translators.

Benefit of Modern Hebrew

The program integrates modern Hebrew around the biblical Hebrew classes. The modern language is the most efficient framework for internalizing the structure of the biblical language, thus accelerating the language learning process.

Biblical Hebrew is not a complete language, and so modern Hebrew can be used when discussing texts to cover any gaps in the biblical language, without needing to resort to other languages. Modern Hebrew also gives participants access to valuable modern Hebrew commentaries on the biblical texts.

Dr. Aaron Hornkohl, Hebrew Language Officer, University of Cambridge, says, “While I have taken a handful of excellent biblical Hebrew courses with teachers who imparted foundational and/or seminal lessons, my own ability to read, analyze and teach the language and literature of the Bible is more a result of linguistic fluency gained thanks to the study of the modern tongue. This is for the simple reason that actually learning Hebrew has proven far more useful than merely learning to talk about it.” 

View Full Article – Training Bible Translators in Israel:
The Value of Modern Hebrew for Mastering Biblical Hebrew
, Aaron Hornkohl, University of Cambridge

“Actually learning Hebrew has proven far more useful than merely learning to talk about it.”
Pedagogical Best Practices

Language instruction utilizes a variety of techniques drawn from current research in the field of second language acquisition (SLA), so that learners find themselves in a language-rich, meaning-focused environment with many opportunities to interact with one another, negotiate meaning, and communicate ideas all in biblical Hebrew. Some techniques include picture storyboards, Total Physical Response (TPR), role-playing, and Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS). Stephen Krashen, a widely recognized researcher and theorist in second language acquisition studies says, “TPRS is better than anything else out there.”

These language teaching techniques and questions and answers in Hebrew on the biblical texts fill the classroom with understandable biblical Hebrew as the oral medium from the very first lessons.


Teachers for the SBH program will be from a pool of credentialed Hebrew professors and scholars (PhD or MA), primarily graduates of Israeli universities or teachers at the universities.

The whole program will receive reinforcement and language support through resident assistants. This commitment to using Hebrew outside of the classroom in a friendly environment both enhances the coursework and enables greater success for participants.


Tuition and living costs are 25,000USD per participant for the duration of the course. This covers accommodation, board and transport while in Israel, as well as any costs associated with field trips. The cost does not include flights or equipment, and is subject to change without notice.

Financial aid and bursaries can be applied for during the application process, and will be awarded on a case-by-case basis.


Application Process

To apply for the School of Biblical Hebrew, you need to:

  1. Apply online
  2. Upload supporting documents (such as transcripts and passport scans)
  3. Pay the application fee ($50)

Alternatively, contact our team by phone*+1 (804) 482 0756

It is required that all students who will be attending the School of Biblical Hebrew – Whole Word Institute acquire a multiple entry A/2 student visa prior to arriving in Israel. Married students must also acquire a multiple entry A/4 visa for each dependent (spouse and children) who will be in Israel during the time that the student is attending SBH – Whole Word Institute.

Please note: In some cases the visa application must be made by the staff of SBH at the Ministry of Interior in Jerusalem. In order to allow SBH to make this application on your behalf, you must supply the following documents and information as part of your application 6 months prior to the course start date.

*(8am – 1pm EST, Mon – Thu)

MA & Consultant Training Programs now offered:

2024-2025 Dates

Early Application Deadline: Jan 5, 2024

Late Application Deadline: Feb 23, 2024

Final Deadline:  Mar 30, 2024

*Please note that Course Dates are subject to change without notice

“This is the best thing that has ever happened in my life– reading the Scripture from the original source and understanding things that I have missed before. Other people should see this. Even if they don’t know the Hebrew, they should be able to discover the things that I have discovered, which is why it is important to me to make a more accurate translation.” 

– Milka מילקה

“I could not have predicted the eye-popping power of the Spirit hitting me the way He did as I moved through my first classes in Biblical Hebrew. Simply put, there is now in my opinion no way to fully grasp the context of whatever Bible version you hold in your hands without studying it in the original language. There is no deeper dive into the riches of God’s love and purpose for mankind than what is revealed in what we call the Original Testament.”

–Hannah חנה