Who We Are

The Founders

Dr. Halvor and Mirja Ronning are long time residents of Israel who are well known in Christian and academic circles in Jerusalem. They have resided in Jerusalem for 40 years and have four children and fourteen grandchildren.

IMG_4042-1Halvor, a US citizen, has a B.A. from St. Olaf College, a B.D. from Luther Seminary, a M.A. from Yale University, and holds an honorary Doctorate degree (D.D. h.c.). He also participated in a special study program in the Synoptic Gospels at the Hebrew University.  He lectures on the history and geography of the Land of the Bible and utilizes these skills as a licensed guide in Israel.  Halvor is also a scholar in the Hebraic background of the Gospels and is an active member of the Jerusalem School of the Synoptic Gospels.

Mirja (Miriam), a Finnish citizen by birth, became a resident of Israel in 1949 and was educated in Hebrew since childhood.  Mirja has a BA from Concordia College, USA and graduate degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Scientific Translation, in Clinical Psychology, and, most recently, in The Bible and Its World.  Mirja also conducts an ongoing Bible translation project from Hebrew to Finnish and has published Genesis, Joel, Obadiah, and Ruth and recently published a translation book on Isaiah into Finnish.  She has taught Biblical Hebrew and Bible translation in academic settings in Jerusalem for many years.

Director of Special Programs

brian1Brian (Baruch) Kvasnica joined JCBT in the summer of 2005 to assist in academic matters. Brian has a B.A. from Houghton College (NY), a M.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  As a youth he spent two years in the Philippines and graduated from high school in Papua New Guinea where his parents were Wycliffe personnel.

He has lived in Jerusalem since 1995, and together with his wife Shoshanna has seven children.  He loves to bring alive the context of the Bible, through teaching and guiding.  During the summer he often has taught Biblical Hebrew with the Biblical Language Center. He has lead dozens of Biblical study-tour groups throughout Israel, Jordan, Greece, and Turkey.