If you would like to know more about us and our qualifications for the ministry, you might be interested in the following:
- Dean & Sylvia both earned Bachelor of Music Education Degrees from James Madison University
- Dean is a graduate of Capital Bible Seminary, Lanham, Maryland, with a Master's Degree in Theology—majoring in Greek and minoring in Hebrew (the languages of the Bible)
- Sylvia earned a Primary Bible Certificate from Washington Bible College Evening School and also took several Seminary courses
- Dean has served in various positions of ministry: choir director, youth pastor, elder, pastor, missionary teacher in a seminary in Mexico
- Dean has been teaching and writing about the Bible for thirty-nine years
- Sylvia has been involved in the ministry along with Dean as well as in personal evangelism and discipleship and taught music in the seminary in Mexico
- We are now back in the United States due to health reasons. We are working with the same Mexican seminary, Dean teaching several live online courses, and Sylvia helping with administration and communication with students and making delicious meals!). Our purpose is to help prepare pastors, missionaries and Christian workers in Spanish-speaking countries.
All of the teaching articles on this site are written by Dean. Sylvia contributes in the areas of research and editing.
Actually, it does not necessarily require special training to teach the Bible. There are many who contribute greatly who have never been to a Bible college or seminary. Proper practice and methods are far more important. I am going to suggest in addition that you not take my word for anything. Be as the Bereans were with the Apostle Paul (Acts 17:11): they searched the Scriptures themselves to see if what Paul was teaching was true.
A note about my approach in these articles might also be a good idea. You may notice translations of the Bible that don't sound like the standard King James Version or any of the popular modern translations. I often translate passages myself for two reasons: first I don't have to worry about copyrights, and second, I often feel the need to emphasize a particular interpretation. Feel free to compare various translations; it will help your own study. Any other versions used will have appropriate copyright notice given.
Speaking of interpretation—how do you know which interpretation is valid? Of course it is true that various students of the Bible can have different interpretations. But on the central teachings of Christianity there is amazing agreement between Bible-believing teachers and scholars. The best method of interpretation is the "plain-sense-of-the-language" approach. This method recognizes figures of speech but assumes the writer of Scripture is using normal communication. This is the approach you will find here: no hidden meanings found in the Bible, no secrets only I can find, no bizarre forcing a point when an obvious meaning is at hand, no reading into Scripture what I want it to say.