A project involving the Westminster Hebrew Institute and the Asia Bible Society (ABS) to translate the original text of the Bible into modern Mandarin is now underway.
Started in 2004, the project aims to produce the Chinese Standard Bible (CSB)- a fresh translation of the Hebrew Bible into Mandarin Chinese.
The Hebrew Institute is part of the Philadelphia-based Westminster Theological Seminary. It was approached by ABS for technical assistance with the Bible translation. The director of the Institute Professor Kirk Lowery, who is a Hebraicist and has additional skills in both linguistics and computing, is collaborating with the project.
Since then, the Institute has been cooperating with the linguists at ABS who are working on structuring and translating the syntactic language of Hebrew into Chinese. Through the process, a syntactically tagged and "richly annotated" Hebrew text for use in ABS's next generation translation software is developed under the guidance of Lowery.
Not only has the Institute offered guidance on translation to the editorial committee, it has also provided their Hebrew Morphology database to ABS.
Currently, the translation for the New Testament has already entered the final stage.
Over the summer 2005, representatives from the Institute visited the ABS headquarters and met with the Old testament project managers and key translators. The team will start on the Old testament early this year. Professor Lowery is serving as the Old Testament Translation Consultant for the CSB.
Founded in 1986, the Westminister Hebrew Institute applies computing and related technology to the study and teaching of the Hebrew Bible and language.
Formerly known as the "Center for the Application of Technology to Biblical and Theological Education" it was formed to expand the ongoing research in this area.