Plan of Study

During the first year of the M.Div. program, students study the Hebrew language and take a course in hermeneutics. The first course in translation, MI 752 Semantics for Exegesis and Translation, allows students to strengthen their hermeneutical skills and knowledge of Hebrew as they study linguistic meaning at the word, sentence, and utterance level in the context of exegesis and translation.
In the second year of the program, students continue with Hebrew and also start coursework in Greek. Students in the translation emphasis take a course in the fall semester in either grammatical analysis, MI 754 Grammatical Analysis in Translation, or text linguistics, MI 756 Text Linguistics in Translation. In the spring, they take a course specifically on the theory and practice of translation, MI 795 Theory and Practice of Bible Translation. These courses further equip students in the skills necessary for in-depth exegetical work and translation.
In the final year of the program, students take a two-part course, MI 796,797 Field Methods and Linguistic Analysis I, II, in which they work with a speaker of a language to analyze the structure of the language and investigate translation issues, drawing upon what they have learned to exegete key biblical passages and address linguistic and translation issues, just as they would as a translator on the field.

Course Details

MI 752 Semantics for Exegesis and Translation

Semantics for Exegesis and Translation addresses linguistic meaning at various levels of language. The difference between meaning and reference is explained, semantic distinctions such as homonymy, polysemy, and ambiguity are explored, and the components of meaning are studied. The student learns to investigate terms and create definitions based on a thorough semantic analysis. The implications of these findings for exegesis and translation are explored.

MI 754 Grammatical Analysis in Translation

Grammatical Analysis in Translation surveys the principal structures associated with words, phrases, clauses, and sentences across the world’s languages and the implications of these structures for translation. The manner in which grammatical information is encoded in the verbal system is treated, followed by in-depth discussion of how meaning can be accurately conveyed from language system into another. Exegetical skills are strengthened through discussion of common translation problems and their appropriate solutions.

MI 756 Text Linguistics in Translation

Text Linguistics in Translation surveys units of communication beyond the level of the sentence, from the paragraph to larger textual units. Linguistic features that signal a textual unit’s internal cohesion and integrity are contrasted with features that signal a division. Interpretive matters such as participant reference, prominence, and direct and indirect quotations are also discussed. The implications for translation are examined in detail and solutions addressed.

MI 795 Theory and Practice of Bible Translation

Theory and Practice of Bible Translation is an introduction to the theory and practice of translation, emphasizing exegetical precision and clarity of meaning in the transference of meaning across languages and cultures. Current issues in translation theory, especially approaches based on Relevance Theory, will be discussed. Practical aspects of the course will include the recognition of common translation problems and their solutions, quality control,  and team dynamics.

MI 796,797 Field Methods and Linguistic Analysis I, II

Field Methods and Linguistic Analysis is a two-part course providing practical experience in how to elicit, transcribe, and analyze linguistic data, working together with a speaker of a non-Indo-European language. Translation issues will be addressed such as the treatment of key theological terms.  External sources as well as elicited data are consulted to arrive at a better understanding of the major linguistic properties of a given language and the best translation for that language.