Manuel Perez Tendero was born in Urda (Toledo) in 1966. At the age of 16 he entered the seminary of Ciudad Real, studied theology and another three years in the Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome. After his priestly ordination, he taught Sacred Scripture classes at the seminary of Ciudad Real, where he was also the rector. For some months now his classes have been available on the internet and have been surprisingly well received.
When and why did you decide to share your Scripture classes on YouTube?
- It was on the occasion of the pandemic, and thanks to the initiative of a seminarian. Until I started the channel, I taught at the seminary and at the Diocesan Institute of Theology. At the beginning the videos were about the Gospel of the following Sunday, but soon I chose to record more systematic and structured series: the Gospel of Mark or Luke, books of the Old Testament (Genesisthe Novels), the Apocalypse...
What was the reason for the change?
- When it seemed that the pandemic was ending and we were released from confinement, we had to decide whether to continue with the channel or leave it. When we decided to continue, we thought it would be interesting to do something more systematic, taking the books of the Bible as a reference.
Do you spend a lot of time preparing the videos, and do you consider the time you spend teaching online to be well spent?
- There is a long term preparation: the one that has given me these thirty years of being a priest and a teacher. On the other hand, there is a short-term preparation: I have to spend some time preparing each recording and the recording itself. For me, it is a worthwhile job, but I would not do it on my own if it were not for the encouragement and help of others.
Why did you study Sacred Scripture? What do you enjoy most about studying and teaching the Bible?
- At the end of my seminary studies, I was sent to Rome to study. The fact of studying Sacred Scripture was due to the lack of professors of that subject in our Seminary.
What I like the most? To know the Scriptures is to know Christ, says St. Jerome. Christ, the Word of God, is what I like most. Also, the precise human aspect of the Bible: the stories, the profound themes, the forms of expression. The mystery of the Word, which has so much to do with our life and our faithThe main beauty of this is the main beauty.
What do you consider the biblical knowledge of the average Catholic to be like? What do you think your channel brings to it? How do you explain that such long videos are being so well received?
- I believe that we are improving among Catholics. I see, above all, that there is a great thirst for the Word of God. Of course, there can be a mismatch between what the specialists publish and other more popular books on spirituality. I believe that an approach to the Bible that is profound and, at the same time, sapiential, believing, is necessary. This sapiential, believing reading, which raises questions, is what we try to contribute from our channel.
Some may be surprised to find such well shot and edited Bible videos. What's the secret?
- The secret lies in Martin, who is the editor; it lies in his biblical and computer skills; it lies, above all, in the passion that all of us who work on it put into it.
Surely in these years of channel, with several thousand subscribers and about a hundred videos. Can you share with us some fruit of your YouTube channel especially striking or significant?
- One of the fruits is that I have been able to meet some people and communities who have called me to give Exercises or a Conference. Perhaps, the best fruit is in the fraternal words of so many believers -some of them non-Catholics- who encourage us to continue; many of them, with a sincere prayer. Months ago, in a town of Ciudad Real, a lady whom I did not know came up to me and greeted me with a big smile and said very loudly: "Captivated by the Word!
If our readers want to start their scriptural training with your channel, where would you recommend them to start?
- You could start with a simple book, such as Ruth. Then, we could move on to a book like Genesis, which has 4 videos. There is also Revelation, very current and not so difficult, which has 3 videos. Then, I would start with the Gospel according to Mark, to work slowly on the itinerary of Jesus and the mystery of the Gospels.