Announcing the New Caskey Center for Biblical Text and Translation
Chad Burchett | December 13, 2022
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary announces new Caskey Center for Biblical Text and Translation (CBTT), which will launch in fall 2023. The CBTT will provide critical biblical translation resources for missionaries and church leaders around the world — while also providing residential research associateships for six PhD students.
Born out of Southeastern’s commitment to the Bible and the Great Commission, the CBTT exists to improve the quality of editions of the Bible in the original languages and to ensure the accuracy and clarity of Bible translations worldwide.
“Southeastern is unwaveringly committed to the inspiration, inerrancy, infallibility, authority, and sufficiency of God’s word,” shared President Danny Akin. “That is why we are delighted to be launching a center solely devoted to accurately translating the word of God from the original languages and resourcing the global Church to do the essential work of Bible translation.”
“When I think about what I want our students to give their lives to, it is this: faithful obedience to and proclamation of God’s word in service of the Great Commission,” commented Akin. “The Caskey Center for Biblical Text and Translation wonderfully embodies this mission, and I can think of no one better to lead it than our very own Chuck Quarles. He is not only a distinguished biblical scholar but also a former international missionary and devoted follower of King Jesus who is motivated by a passion to see the Great Commission fulfilled.”
When I think about what I want our students to give their lives to, it is this: faithful obedience to and proclamation of God’s word in service of the Great Commission.
The CBTT is designed to undertake three major initiatives: (1) to improve the quality of major English Bible translations, (2) to provide resources for Bible translators and translator consultants worldwide, and (3) to improve the quality of the critical editions of the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament.
The center’s research associates will conduct research on various text-critical issues, indexing and transcribing ancient manuscripts of Scripture, writing textual commentary, investigating paratextual features, and developing tools to assist others in their research. An important function of the center will be resourcing and educating translators worldwide by making the center’s research and resources available for free online.
During its first five years, the center will partner with the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) translation committee to improve the base translation of the CSB. Research associates will contribute key research and resources for future revisions of the CSB, while also adapting their research into resources for translators and missionaries.
Chuck Quarles, Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology and Charles Page Chair of Biblical Theology, will serve as the Director of the CBTT, dedicating his expertise and giving oversight to the center’s efforts.
“The Scriptures say in Isaiah 40:8, ‘The grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of the Lord endures forever,’” noted Quarles, commenting on the importance of the center’s translation efforts. “Nothing matters more than having an accurate, reliable, and clear translation in the hands of Kingdom workers. You must have the Scriptures to evangelize, to plant churches, to edify God’s people in the worship of the local church, and to train pastors and missionaries. Nothing is more basic and essential than people having access to the word of God in an accurate and clear translation.”
Nothing is more basic and essential than people having access to the word of God in an accurate and clear translation.
In addition to fueling Kingdom work with accurate Bible translations and translation resources, the center will provide strategic research and translation experience for qualified residential PhD students in biblical studies.
“My hope is that not only will the participating students contribute to this important Kingdom work during their time here but also they will see the importance, relevance, and strategic nature of this work, carrying that passion with them as they GO,” shared Quarles. “Whether they later serve as theological educators or Bible translation consultants or as IMB missionaries or Wycliffe Bible translators, they will carry this passion with them and continue the work while inspiring others to join the work.”
The center’s operational staff will include six research associates — one of whom will also serve as the center’s assistant director. Three of these research associates will be Old Testament and Hebrew specialists and three will be New Testament and Greek specialists. Research associates will receive full funding for their PhD studies at Southeastern; a stipend with benefits, including insurance; and free campus housing. Applications are open for fall 2023. To learn more or to apply, visit the Caskey Center for Biblical Text and Translation page.
Named in honor of bi-vocational preacher, Steve Caskey, the CBTT honors his legacy of faithfulness and sacrifice in ministry by championing the priority of Scripture and gospel proclamation. The center’s launch is made possible by a generous donation from the Cason Foundation, who share Southeastern’s heart for Bible translation and the Great Commission. Southeastern’s students, faculty, staff, and trustees are grateful for the Cason’s support and partnership in these Great Commission efforts.