Monthly Archives: February 2017

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.