About the ISV Foundation
The ISV Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt educational corporation. It does not solicit public contributions, nor does it make solicited private or public grants.
Board of Directors
George Giacumakis, Ph.D. (Emeritus)
Dr. George Giacumakis was Professor of History & Director Emeritus of the California State University, Fullerton – Irvine Campus (1963-1979 & 1985-2008). He was also Professor & Chair of the History & Political Science Department of Biola University, La Mirada, CA (2008-2010). He formerly served as President and Executive Director, American Institute of Holy Land Studies (now Jerusalem University College) on Mt. Zion, Jerusalem, Israel (1978-1984). He passed away on 6 April 2019.
William P. Welty, Ph.D.
Dr. Welty is the Executive Director of the ISV Foundation. A graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.Div., 1978) and Louisiana Baptist University (Ph.D. in Communications, 2005), he taught New Testament Greek for 10 years at Simon Greenleaf University (now part of Trinity Law School, Santa Ana, California).
Steven Elwart, Ph.D.
Dr. Elwart holds a Ph.D. from Louisiana Baptist University. He has spent 40 years in the Oil Industry, covering the areas of Exploration & Production and Refining. During his career, Elwart has been responsible for crude oil selection and custody transfers, planning and economics & process engineering. Currently, Elwart is currently working in the areas of Information Technology and Industrial Control Systems, but has worked in other areas as diverse as refining, retail sales and fleeting operations. Steve Elwart has served as Director of Systems Engineering, Chief Process Engineer and Manager of Economics and Planning several oil national and international companies. Elwart is extensively involved in management roles with universities, state & federal government agencies and professional technical societies. He is a member of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association and was the recipient of the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award with that organization. Elwart is also a past member of the advisory board for Emerson Process Management and Invensys Process Automation. He is currently working with the Departments of Homeland Security and Energy as a Subject Matter Expert on cyber security and Petroleum Refining. Elwart is also a member of Oil & Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Committee as well as several federal Control System Working Groups. In those roles, he helped craft the “Roadmap to Secure Control Systems in the Energy Sector”.
Jeffrey E. Sisk
Mr. Sisk is the CEO of SWANsat LLC, and lives in Bradenton, Florida. Mr. Sisk pioneered and personally wrote the prototype software for a revolutionary search engine technology called “Multisearch” that is currently in development for the startup Find.com. Multisearch has the capacity to change internet search forever for the better, and also protects data and privacy; issues Mr. Sisk cares deeply about. Prior to this he had success with various dotcom companies, one of the most successful being PhysicianWork that for over 10 years was the leading site where doctors found jobs (as reported by New England Journal of Medicine) with over 85,000 jobs listed nationwide until he sold it in 2011. In earlier years Mr. Sisk was involved as a producer and senior engineer with audio and video production for clients such as AT&T/Lucent Technologies, Starlight International, World Cup Soccer, and the Atlanta Rhythm Section. These unique experiences over 30+ years have given Mr. Sisk a valuable combination of business, technical and creative skills that allow him to see the big picture, fully understand the technical challenges facing the world today, and to communicate his vision of the future to others. Mr. Sisk is also in charge of our language translation software currently in development (code named ‘Pentecost’) that will enable the Bible to be translated for the first time in history into all 7,120 languages of the world, and also will enable all SWANsat devices (cell phones, tv boxes & internet modems) the ability to process live “on the fly” highly accurate language translation.
The ISV Foundation, a biblical studies research center, is a combination of two distinct visions.
- LEARN, Inc. was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1967 under the direction of Mr. William Whitney, Fullerton College Reference Librarian. Other members of the Board who shared this vision were Dr. Robert Carpenter, Medical Doctor; Dr. George Giacumakis, Professor of History at California State University, Fullerton; and Dr. Irving Ahlquist, Professor of History at California State University, Long Beach. Over the years, LEARN, Inc. has produced microfilm and microfiche copies of out-of-print books and documents for personal research libraries of ministers and Christian workers. Thousands of books and documents, available only through such media, were produced through this organization.
- The second vision was that put forth in 1986 by Mr. William P. Welty to develop a research center that would produce an updated version of the Hebrew Old Testament text. From this proposed first project would flow other related academic materials for the biblical scholar. Both of these visions came together in 1996 under The ISV Foundation.
Importance of the Bible
People of faith throughout the centuries have recorded the revelation of God pertaining to the affairs of daily life. The experiences of prophets, kings, and common people have been communicated through the written text of Scripture. Jewish and Christian scholars have been concerned to make sure that the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts would be communicated to each new generation.
Even though governments and rulers have attempted to prevent the distribution of the translated Bible in many periods of history, faithful scholars such as John Wycliffe and William Tyndale gave their very lives to translate and distribute the books of the Bible. In every period of revival and renewal in the church, the Bible was central. This awesome history compels The ISV Foundation to undertake such projects as those listed below.
Projects of the Foundation
The ISV Foundation undertakes to produce accurate biblical materials both in printed and electronic formats for use around the world. Projects that are currently being developed include:
- A computer network based on biblical texts located in different countries
- Critical editions of the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts of the Bible
- Translations from the various texts of the Old and New Testaments
- Bible related computer software
- Critical textual commentaries on the Old and New Testaments
It is our prayer that through using these tools believers will grow to love the Scriptures more, will seek to apply them more faithfully to their lives, will interpret them with greater clarity, and will teach them more fervently.
The ISV logo is a triglyph of three historic symbols:
- The upper symbol is the Menorah. It was used by the Israel of Bible days as a symbol of the nation.
- The center symbol is the Magen David. Sometimes called the “Star of David,” it became a common symbol of Israel after the destruction of Israel in 70 A.D. under the Roman general Titus. Some scholars believe that the Magen David was not commonly used as a symbol of the Jewish people much before the twelfth century A.D. Today the Magen David is the official national symbol of the State of Israel. It appears on Israel’s national flag.
- The lower symbol, the ICHTHUS, is that of a fish. This symbol was used by the early Christians as a symbol of the Christian believers. In the Greek language, the word “fish” (ichthus) is an acrostic that spells out the words “Jesus Christ, Son of God, [is] Savior”.
The ISV triglyph logo as constituted here is a combination of all three historic images, thus symbolizing the historical roots from which New Testament era believers (the ICHTHUS) emerged as a direct result of Old Testament prophecy (the Menorah). Because the message of the entire counsel of God consisting of both Old and New Testaments is for Jewish believers also, we have symbolized the present and future hopes of modern Israel by the Magen David.
In the Spring of 1996, ISV Foundation’s Executive Director William P. Welty observed the logo at The Galillean Experience, a Christian-owned gift shop in Tiberias, Israel. The owners of The Galillean Experience claim that the logo was discovered in an archaeological dig from the late first century to the early second century, A.D. If this claim is accurate, the existence of this logo means that the Magen David has existed as a symbol of dispersed Israel from at least the late first or early second century, A.D. — nearly a thousand years before the traditionally accepted date for the first attestations of the Magen David.
Because the ISV’s triglyph is a historic symbol, it is in the public domain. Accordingly, the ISV Foundation claims no copyright ownership of the generic logo as it has been portrayed in various archaeological artifacts. However, the ISV Foundation has registered the rendering which appears on the home page of this web site as a trademark to indicate ISV Foundation’s exclusive rights to utilize the triglyph device for use in Bible translations and Bible study tools produced by various ministry subsidiaries of the ISV Foundation (including, but not limited to those produced by the International Biblical Research Center).
Photo of Triglyph on vase by Robert Fischer. Copyright © 1999 by Olim Creative Products, Ltd. All rights reserved internationally. Used by permission.