Japan Bible Seminary

David & Susan Tsumura

Japan Bible Seminary

TsumuraFamily2017TCC Background: 

David & Susan have been TCC supported missionaries since 1988.

What is your ministry?

Seminary training of pastors and study of the Bible

What is your role in that ministry?

Teacher and scholar

 What religious groups do you serve?

Japan Bible Seminary .  I also preach at churches of various groups.

What age groups do you serve?


What is the country and location of your ministry?

Tokyo, Japan

What is the geographic area you serve?

The seminary students come from and go out to places throughout Japan, and sometimes abroad.

Briefly describe your current ministry

My activities can be divided into three types:

I teach at Japan Bible Seminary, in particular courses such as Hebrew Exegesis, Researches in Pentateuch, Prophets and Poetic texts, and Hermeneutics. The Japanese church is now in great need of pastors, and especially of pastors who can work with the Bible in the original languages.

I am the chairman of the editorial committee for the revised edition of the New Japanese Bible 2017 (Shinkaiyaku), which has just been published on the 500th year of the Reformation. I will continue to work explaining to various groups what changes have been made in the revision and why.

I also continue scholarly work on Biblical studies, both in Japanese and English. I have written a number of articles in Japanese and English, especially on Hebrew poetry, and the end of November I will be reading a paper at the Society of Biblical Literature conference in Boston.

Tell us one brief story of how God is working in peoples’ lives through your ministry.

Bible translation helps in understanding of God’s word.

List the three specific goals you had for the past year and describe the degree to which they were reached

  1. We are praying for around 8 to 10 new students to enter the seminary next year, and also that the numbers stay steady. We are also praying for a full-time New Testament teacher.”

The seminary had welcomed seven good students this year. Please keep praying for the theological education in Japan. The number of enrollment has dropped in the past few years, while the need for ministers is increasing as many are retiring. We expect to have a new faculty member next near, but not New Testament, so we still have that need.

  1. Finishing the revision of the New Japanese Bible in the fall of 2017, hopefully in time for the 500th anniversary of Reformation Day

The goal was well met. We have finally finished publishing the new substantial revision of Shinkaiyaku 2017. The Bible is well accepted and it is already out of stock; the first 20,000 copies sold out right away. We are also going to print a larger and smaller versions. The second printing of the standing side will start next year, hopefully at the end of January. Thank you for your prayers for this

  1. Talk in Hong Kong on the books of Samuel. Finishing the NICOT 2 Samuel Commentary.

I taught 1-2 Samuel to the group of Christian leaders from mainland China for a week at the end of June in Hong Kong. It was a meaningful experience to get to know their works in the house churches in China.

After the entire manuscript of the translation was submitted to the printer, I started up again on my NICOT commentary on 2 Samuel, which has been almost ready for sending to the publisher for almost three years. I worked on the pre-final draft during the months of August and September. Now, ten days ago I sent the work to the Eerdmans editor. But may take another two or three years until it is finally published,

Please update your children’s (thru High School) activities, school / college plans, ages (birth dates), etc.

Susan continues to be on the church board. She also occasionally plays the cello for special church events. She is also trying to get involved in translation work.

Our son Michio and his wife Ai now have four children. Michio is a leader of the Boy Scouts at our church and a Sunday School teacher. The two older boys are now involved in the Scouts also. With his work, Michio is very busy. He started a new business in the area of education, publishing a journal for the students who plan to take entrance examination at various schools.

Our second son Makoto is now in seminary in Sapporo, in the north of Japan, and is being largely supported by our church. He and his wife Ruth had their second child, a son, in the summer. He is planning to graduate in March. From April he will be the pastor of a branch church in Miyazaki, on the east coast of Kyushu Island. Pray for his studies, and also for his ministry after he graduates.