Your Bible is True and Reliable

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more than a good book

Recently, in our sermon series at City Bible Church, we discussed the trustworthiness of the Bible. Here are some links discussing a few of the illustrations and concepts mentioned in the sermon.

We talked about a few of the seeming contradictions or conflicts within Scripture. Our premise was that the Bible has no real contradictions within itself when it is thoroughly examined in its entire context. Here are a few books that deal specifically with some of these “problem areas” if you are interested in investigating them further.

  1. Hard Sayings of the Bible by Walter Kaiser Jr., et al.
  2. The Big Book of Bible Difficulties by Norman Geisler & Thomas Howe
  3. New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties by Gleason Archer Jr.

We also discussed some of the major archaeological finds that support the historical accuracy of Scripture. Here are a few links to some of the examples from the sermon.

  1. This is an article from the Oregonian showing the archaeological evidence for the Biblical account of the fall of Jericho, as mentioned in the sermon.
  2. Here is an article on a recent discovery of a seal impressed with King Hezekiah’s signet. It is significant because the Bible says that Hezekiah was miraculously healed of a deadly illness; and the divine sign of his healing was the shadow cast by the sun going back several steps on a sort-of sundial. The seal comes from the time of Hezekiah, was found in the royal precinct, and has the Egyptian symbol for life with a sun rising on wings, as if to commemorate the event of the healing. It proves that not only was Hezekiah real (an otherwise well attested historical fact), but that the story surrounding his healing was not a fable to evolve long after his death, but comes from his lifetime.
  3.  Here is a link to the NIV Archaeological Study Bible, an illustrated resource focusing on historical and archaeological discoveries that confirm and illuminate the Biblical text.

In the message, we also briefly investigated the textual support for the Bible; that is, the manuscript evidence by which we trust that our English translations accurately represent the original writings.

  1. We considered the fact that we have thousands of very early New Testament manuscripts, produced astonishingly close to the writing of the original documents. If you are interested in how scholars weigh and compare these various manuscripts in order to come to a confident trust in the genuineness of the Bible as we have it today, Is My Bible the Inspired Word of God? by Edward Goodrick is a fascinating book. It is short and easy to read yet scholarly.
  2. We also mentioned a few recent discoveries that help confirm the trustworthiness of the Masoretic Text, the main manuscript we use to translate the Old Testament even though it is quite distant from the originals. Here is a link to a Christianity Today article on the Dead Sea Scrolls by Ed Stetzer. Although some significant differences are present (perhaps due to the separatist nature of the community responsible for them), these ancient manuscripts are quite early and are amazingly similar to the Masoretic Text, bolstering our trust in it.
  3. Here is an article on the En-Gedi Scroll, which was discussed in the sermon. This is a small charred scroll found in 1970 in a synagogue in Israel. It was an official scroll for reading on the Sabbath, meaning it was a respected and accurate copy. It dates to about 250 AD, which means it represents a very early tradition of the Hebrew Bible. In 2015, scholars made a CT scan of the scroll to discover its contents, since unrolling the charred remains would ruin it. Several paragraphs from the Leviticus have been deciphered so far, and every word is exactly identical to the Masoretic Text!
  4. Here is an article on the Silver Scrolls, which are two small silver amulets inscribed with a blessing from the book of Numbers. It dates to the 7th century BC, which is before the close of the Old Testament! Although the text from Numbers is abbreviated to fit on the scroll, the verbiage is identical to the Masoretic Text. The further back archaeology takes us, the more we end up trusting the reliable Old Testament manuscripts that have been preserved for us!

Is The Bible Worth Studying?

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When it comes to studying the Bible, the first questions to ask are, “Is the Bible worth studying?” and “Is this the right Bible?” These questions form the heart of Bibliology — the study of the Bible. The information on which one bases life is an important decision that should be approached with scrutiny. If a person were to base his or her diet off of what was seen on TV during the Super Bowl, that person’s physical health would rapidly decline. In this same way, if someone were to form his or her life’s principles off a few catchy phrases, that person’s mental, physical and spiritual health could all crumble.

Click on this link to download a full chapter on this subject.

28 Day Bible Reading Plan

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Check out these wonderful verses that teach us how to fall in love with the Word of God!

DAY 1: THE WORD CLEANSES
PSALM 119:9

DAY 2: THE WORD DELIVERS
Psalm 119:11, 170

DAY 3: THE WORD SHOULD BE OBEYED
Psalm 119:17, 158

DAY 4: THE WORD SHOULD NOT BE NEGLECTED
Psalm 119:16

DAY 5: THE WORD REVIVES
Psalm 119:25, 107

DAY 6: THE WORD STRENGTHENS
Psalm 119:28

DAY 7: THE WORD STABILIZES
Psalm 119:38

DAY 8: THE WORD IS LIFE-CHANGING
Psalm 119:41

DAY 9: THE WORD IS TRUSTWORTHY
Psalm 119:42

DAY 10: THE WORD IS TRUTH
Psalm 119:43

DAY 11: THE WORD GIVES LIFE
Psalm 119:50

DAY 12: THE WORD PROMISES MERCY
Psalm 119:58

DAY 13: THE WORD SHAPES OUR LIFE
Psalm 119:65

DAY 14: THE WORD KEEPS US
Psalm 119:67

DAY 15: THE WORD IS OUR HOPE
Psalm 119:74, 81

DAY 16: THE WORD PROMISES KINDNESS
Psalm 119:76, 82

DAY 17: THE WORD IS SETTLED IN HEAVEN
Psalm 119:89

DAY 18: THE WORD RESTRAINS OUR FEET FROM EVIL
Psalm 119:101

DAY 19: THE WORD IS A LAMP TO OUR FEET
Psalm 119:105

DAY 20: THE WORD UPHOLDS ME
Psalm 119:116

DAY 21: THE WORD IS RIGHTEOUS
Psalm 119:123

DAY 22: THE WORD DIRECTS OUR STEPS
Psalm 119:133

DAY 23: THE WORD IS PURE
Psalm 119:140

DAY 24: THE WORD IS OUR SPIRITUAL FOOD
Psalm 119:148

DAY 25: THE WORD IS ABSOLUTE TRUTH
Psalm 119:160

DAY 26: THE WORD IS AWESOME
Psalm 119:161

DAY 27: THE WORD IS A SPIRITUAL TREASURE
Psalm 119:162

DAY 28: THE WORD GIVES ANSWERS
Psalm 119:167

Click here for a downloadable version.

 

© Portland Bible College 2017

PBC Lecture on How We Got the Bible

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Here is a lecture from PBC professor Lanny Hubbard, taken from his course, Intro to Bible Study. In it Lanny explains the process of how the original texts of Scripture have been translated into English. In examining this process we can come to a greater trust that God has both inspired and preserved the Bible for us.

S.T.O.R.M. Japan 2016

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It was an honor to lead a team of PBC students and alumni on a ministry trip to Life Church in Osaka, Japan led by Pastors Joel (BTh ’97) and Kellie (BCM ’97) Kaylor.

This STORM was one of the most stretching, challenging and fruitful experiences in my life. It was such a privilege to serve churches in my home country. Although our daily itinerary was packed and there were many last minute changes, each member of our team did an amazing job to accomplish their ministry tasks without complaint.

We were involved in many things, but our first highlight was a night of worship (concert) and workshops. There were about 60-70 people who signed up for various workshops such as a songwriting, leadership, worship leader, vocal and musician clinics. Approximately 110 people showed up to the concert and we had a great time worshiping God together.

Church leader and alumna, Yukie (Nishihara) Kaylor reported that 70% of participants were from outside of life church. People were really hungry to receive from God. We received wonderful feedback from many participants and this event served as a bridge connecting several local churches in the area.

We led two weekend services. Life church is a worshiping church and the atmosphere was very similar to home at City Bible Church making it very easy to lead the congregation in worship. Each team-member did an amazing job to serve the church and the leadership team. Pastors Carlos Marin and Jeremy Scott led a powerful prophetic ministry session that first Sunday afternoon. During this time we prayed for pastor Joel and his family, as well as the entire leadership team and others in the congregation. The Holy Spirit moved mightily and many people were baptized in the Holy Spirit for the first time.

Another personal highlight of this trip was going down to Kumamoto in order to do volunteer work for earthquake relief. It was definitely heartbreaking for us to see the city in such brokenness. What we could do was a very small thing, yet we saw people who won back their smile because of our volunteer work. I was personally overwhelmed and blessed as we blessed them. There were also several personal divine encounters for me in Kumamoto such as meeting with my cousin who I hadn’t seen for decades, Eiichi (a leader of Ariake Bible Church and a staff of Operation Blessings), and Joshua (associate pastor of Ariake Bible Church).

Our three days in Kumamoto were unforgettable.

Our second Saturday in Life Church was another pretty packed day for us because we ended up leading worship practice to the life church worship team in the morning, hung out with their youth group in the afternoon and had a worship night/service in the evening.

Every event in the day was really fun and meaningful for all of us. It was fun for us to celebrate the life church’s 7 th year anniversary with them
at the second Sunday afternoon. We could meet many people and prayed for them as well. It was very meaningful for us to invite all of the leadership team members to the dinner afterward so that we could show our appreciation for them. Each leader expressed their gratitude toward us with sharing words with us. It was a wonderful way to end our STORM trip. God has great things in store for the nation of Japan and we are blessed that PBC has had such an impact in the lives of many church leaders in that country.

In Him,

Yasuhito Hontani, BCM

S.T.O.R.M. Uganda 2016

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Pictured from left: Pastor Mark Daniels (BTh ’98), Diana (Benton) Sokolof (BTh ’11), Dr. Emily Jones, Kandice Jameson (ATh ’16), Federico Serrano, Seth Sokolof (ACL ’11) and Adrian Allen.

This summer has brought many international travel opportunities to our PBC students. Most recently, students and alumni joined mission trip to Kampala, Uganda, working with Life Church.
The trip included many evangelistic trips to small neighboring villages where hundreds gave their life to Christ.

Here’s a report from alum and professor Pastor Mark Daniels:

Uganda STORM 2016 was a huge success! We were in the country for a total of 12 days within which we ministered in quite a few different places. We ministered to Life Church Uganda during 4 Sunday services and 2 youth services. We traveled to Kibiito in the west of Uganda and ministered for 3 days, seeing over 100 people make recorded decisions for Christ. We spent quite a bit of time building relationships with the Ignite Interns of Life Church (there were 19 of them, plus some of Life Church leaders who worked with Ignite). We spent a lot of quality time with Seth and Diana Sokoloff as well. Overall, we all felt like we were stretched and used by God to advance His Kingdom.

In my interactions with the team, I believe that we all agree on the highlight of the trip being the days in Kibiito. These were three challenging days as it was the first time any of us had lived in that manner – the accommodations were definitely different from what we are used to here in America. The toilet, bathing, food, and even sleeping arrangements were all at least a little bit of a challenge for us. Perhaps the “squatty potty” being the biggest challenge. However, those three days also saw some of the most fruitful ministry of our time in Uganda and I think is now viewed as the highlight of our trip. While in Kibiito we all spoke publicly about our faith (and I mean loud and clear through a sound system run with a generator), prayed in faith for the sick, shared the gospel with individuals through personal conversation and through it all came to love the people of Uganda.

Another highlight for the team is the relationships built with the Ignite Interns and the Life Church leaders that help out with Ignite. I have personally thought about all 19 of them fairly often since returning from the trip – an indication of the depth of love that was formed primarily through our time ministering alongside them in Kibiito. The Ignite interns are all young adults and since our team was pretty young overall, we clicked with them in a special way. I really felt like the team that ended up going on the trip was God’s handiwork in plain sight; there was just a special bond formed. In addition to the trip to Kibiito, we spent a whole morning with them the first Saturday. One of the things we did with them that day was to hear them share “one thing they have learned through the Ignite internship.” The fruit of that interaction was great. We felt like we had an idea of who they were and what their story was. Couple that with ministering side-by-side with them and it’s easy to see how the special bond was formed so quickly.

And then there was our time with Seth and Diana. They are great couple who are doing really cool things there at Life Church. I thought their leadership during the trip was first-class and well planned out. It’s obvious that they have lots of experience with teams coming over to minister. I really appreciated their heart for God, for our team, for the Kingdom, and of course for the people of Uganda. Our team felt like we were able to come alongside them and join their efforts without any trouble or hassle. They encouraged us, pushed us into our giftings, loved on us, received from us, and became a brother and sister to us all. They are a home run couple!

Jesus Culture on Campus

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Highlight: What an honor it was to have Chris Quilala, and the Jesus Culture Band for a worship night on our campus this summer. The band hosted a meaningful Q&A session which was followed by a powerful worship night with hundreds who came out to life up One Name with one voice.

In the midst of all the trials facing our country we have continued to find strength and hope when we come together to worship.

We are blessed to have this wonderful partnership with Jesus Culture and are excited to see that God is doing through their ministry.

Psalms: 7 Days of Prayer

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The Psalms are an amazing gift to believers in the journey and growth of our worship and prayer to God.  The uplifting high peaks of praise, on down to the low valleys of lament and struggle, help us express our longings, emotions, and words.  They direct us in how to verbalize these things to God, providing a vocabulary to say things we find difficult to articulate at times.

This past semester in the Psalms class at Portland Bible College, we have focused on immersing our hearts and minds into these God-oriented songs and prayers, and discovering ways to incorporate their use & deepen our spiritual walk.  One project reflecting this this was putting together a 7-day journey of prayer using selected Psalms, based on specific themes in our experience.

These prayer guides give a daily verse or passage that guide a prayerful response and conversation with God.  Click on the titles to download the attached card.

 

Psalm 23 God's Protection I Am Loved Psalm 103

Follow Us on Social Media!

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This past month we’ve really been pushing our social media platforms, not only with current students and alumni, but with prospective students! We’ve been keeping our followers updated by highlighting people, announcing events and even sharing some scripture. This consistent presence on the internet allows viewers to feel like part of the family here at PBC and we’re doing everything we can to keep it that way. Whether it’s responding to questions on twitter or reading comments on Facebook, we are able to keep in touch with hundreds of people though social media.

Feel free to follow us on any social media platform, as we follow Christ!