Category Archives: Bible Study

YOUTH PASTORS AND THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE

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I.  Biblical Study:Most of those in Christian ministry know that the Bible is the primary source of material that will be used in preaching, teaching, counseling and personal development. Because they use it so much, the time they give to studying it is very important. Many youth pastors have had some form of formal Bible training which has familiarized them with the skills necessary to do this kind of research. Others have not had any such training and so find studying a fairly challenging task. For either group there is always a need to become more familiar with things that are available to streamline and enrich their time of study. Read More

25% Coupon Code for PBC Curriculum

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Portland Bible College has launched an all new Curriculum Store! To celebrate, we are offering 25% off any one course of your choice!

Many of PBC student’s favorite courses are available for independent study – including Basic Doctrine, Covenants, Counseling Techniques, Pauline Epistles and Romans. Listen to all the updated lectures from your favorite teachers. Go to www.pbconlinecurriculum.com to see if your favorite course is available.

To utilize the discount, simply visit our curriculum Store, add your chosen course to the shopping cart and add the Coupon Code ‘NewStore25’on the payment page.  Online access to the lectures and handouts is then available for 6 months and is licensed for independent use only.

This coupon expires May 31st, so get your curriculum now!!

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!

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

Video Tutorials for Logos Bible Software

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Here are the Logos video tutorials we have developed specifically for Intro to Bible Study, Bible Research and Hermeneutics. While there are plenty of good tutorials in Logos itself, and on the web, these videos take the time to explain how to use Logos to perform the tasks and assignments given in the PBC classes. The videos are password protected. If you have taken the classes at PBC, you should have been given a password. Contact Travis Arnold if you cannot access them.

  1. Getting Started in Logos – Set up Logos in a way that makes it easy to use for the required tasks ahead.
  2. Basic Search – Learn how to search your entire library for words, phrases, etc.
  3. Bible Search – Learn how to search your Bibles for words, phrases, etc.; and how to analyze the results
  4. Original Languages – Starting with the English Bible that you understand, learn how to find and read definitions of the Hebrew and Greek words being translated into English
  5. Finding Every Occurrence – Learn to search your Bible for Hebrew and Greek words (not just English words) in order to find every occurrence of a particular original-language word
  6. Bible Dictionaries – Learn how to access and use your Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias to study Bible people, places, things and themes
  7. Topical Studies – Learn how to use Nave’s Topical Bible to find pertinent Bible passages related to particular topics
  8. Character Studies – Learn how to use the skills acquired in the videos above to perform character studies according to the Portland Bible College model
  9. Mounce’s Expository Dictionary – Learn how to use “Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words” to go deeper into the meaning and background of key Bible words (required for PBC word studies)
  10. Word Studies – Learn how to use the skills acquired in the videos above (and some new methods) to complete word studies according to the PBC model
  11. Morphology – Learn how to use reverse interlinears and the information window to access morphological information about a Hebrew or Greek word
  12. Comparative Mention – Learn different approaches to finding comparative passages using Logos

If True Morality Exists, God Must Exist

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C. S. Lewis opens his famed book, Mere Christianity, by presenting a convincing case for the existence of God. I am going to summarize his argument here; but I recommend you purchase the book and read it for yourself—it’s an easy-to-read classic.

Lewis begins with a description of people arguing over some misdeed that has been committed. Cutting in line. Stealing a seat. Breaking a promise. He notes how fascinating it is that people always make the claim that the offending deed was wrong. Even if they don’t make that claim outright, the fact that they are so upset indicates that they believe some rule has been broken. Moreover, the offender hardly ever says, “To hell with your standard” (Lewis’ words). Instead, he explains why his actions were justified—he had some special reason for breaking the rule. This, of course, admits that there is in fact a standard. And if the offender is so bold as to claim that there is no standard—that he can do whatever he wants—he almost always appeals to this very standard when someone wrongs him later on!

Lewis then claims something bold. The above scenario indicates that there is indeed a basic universal standard of morality governing all humans. Sure, different civilizations have had slightly different perspectives about how morality should play out; but there have never been any major differences between societies regarding basic morality (a point further defended as Lewis continues). But the astounding thing is this: though we all sense obligation to this Moral Law, none of us really keep it! Over time “we have all failed to practise ourselves the kind of behaviour we expect from other people.” And when we do fail to practice it, we almost always make excuses for why our failure is understandable, given the circumstance. Of course, this just further proves how real the Moral Law is to us and how obligated we feel to keep it.

If there is a Moral Law, there must be a Lawgiver. God is the best explanation for the fact that all humans have, more or less, this concept of right and wrong.

If you find any of this compelling, or if you have some objections to Lewis’ logic (or rather my imperfect summary of it), please watch this video. It is a reading of a chapter from Mere Christianity in which Lewis tackles some of the major objections to his claim.

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