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Center for Deaf Scriptures

Training & Tools

CDS  addresses the need for high level training and resources which are adapted to the specific requirements of Deaf translators by:

Offering  training taught in sign language that is tailored to the unique culture and learning style  characteristic of Deaf learners, emphasizing visual access to information, group discussion, and interactive learning opportunities with instructors and fellow students

  • Equipping students with a visual picture of the land, artifacts, culture, fauna and flora of the Bible
  • Creating resources that address the unique questions raised by sign language Bible translation
  • Developing biblical Hebrew courses that utilize a methodology appropriate for Deaf students, allowing them to comprehend the written Hebrew source text through visual signs and images
  • Establishing a sign language translation research center to assist consultants in investigating specific exegetical and visual questions that arise from the work of translation teams

As part of the Institute for Biblical Languages & Translation, CDS is particularly well-equipped to achieve these objectives due to its location in the land of the Bible. The biblical geography and historical sites as well as the plethora of museums and archaeological displays, provide an ideal environment for visual learning of the Bible. The location in Israel also provides a Hebrew immersion environment, including contact with Deaf teachers and users of Hebrew as a living language.

In 2019, CDS began serving Deaf Bible translation through its involvement in two initial training programs:

  • Josiah School of Translation: A one-month pilot training program of the Deaf Bible Society hosted by CDS in Jerusalem— 20 students attended the program, representing five translation teams from Colombia, El Salvador, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. CDS is currently in conversation with Deaf Bible Society to continue developing this program.
  • 17-Day Study Tour of Israel: A tour conducted by CDS with participants from the United States, Asia, and Europe— Deaf guides led students in sign language, emphasizing visual aspects of the Bible and addressing questions unique to Deaf Bible translation.

Programs under development:

  • Sign Language Specialization for IBLT MA in Classical Hebrew & Translation Consulting: Developed with partners to serve hearing consultants in sign language translation
  • Resource Development: Creating further visual resources for Deaf Bible translators through the unique location in the land of the Bible
  • Hebrew Bible Program for the Deaf: To equip Deaf translators with an understanding of the Hebrew Bible source language and context, providing a more accurate and meaningful translation of the text
  • Sign Language Translation Research Center: To assist consultants in investigating specific exegetical and visual questions that arise from the work of translation teams


Master Storyteller: a Book & film production on God’s Oral Communication in the Bible and Hebrew Tradition