Study God's Word!
A Virtual 24/7 Conference on Tips, Context, and Techniques

Originally an annual conference in the Pacific Northwest, the venue changed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. To continue our efforts of serving the greater church with wonderful freely available Bible study resources, we moved this conference to the Internet.

Someone recently shared that a renown Christian evangelist, reflecting upon his life, said, "I wish I spent more time reading the Bible than reading books about the Bible." His admission was making 3 statements:

1. Bible study is difficult.

2. Commentaries make Bible study easier.

3. Commentaries aren't always correct.

Amid declining biblical literacy around the world, this conference brings together concerned scholars, pastors and teachers who desire to inspire you to read the Bible. We want to show you the beauty of God's word and His great agapē love.

Scholars have long recognized the need for sound objective biblical hermeneutics and the underlying issues that cause much theological confusion. Addressing the primary causes of erroneous biblical interpretation, academic theologians have produced two statements that are worth reviewing:

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978) emphasizes that only a high inerrant view of Scripture maintains the force of God's word.

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics (1982) confronts erroneous hermeneutic approaches and clarifies biblical hermeneutic principles and methodology.

And the most important factor that should drive one's desire to study the Bible as well as care about another's progress in salvation, whether initial or ongoing, is agapē.

"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, "'You shall love (agapaō) the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love (agapaō) your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." (Matt 22:36-40)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love (agapaō) one another, even as I have loved (agapaō) you, that you also love (agapaō) one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love (agapē) for one another." (John 13:34-35)

Who is This Virtual Conference For?

For those who have difficulty reading the Bible, this conference will introduce you to new methods and approaches.

For those who are in a Bible study funk, this conference can inspire and re-ignite your desire to know God better.

For those who are confident in their Bible study skills, this conference can serve as a tool to mentor or disciple another!

For pastors who seek to build up their church body, this conference can fill a biblical hermeneutics gap in your Christian education program as well as free on demand videos of past conferences for your study groups.

An example of some of the things you may learn:

From our culture’s perspective, the nearest meaning to "agapē love is to "esteem another" and, in some instances, for personal benefit. How do we gain a more accurate understanding of this type of love?

1. Study the Greek noun "agapē" and the verb "agapaō" and extend this study using the Septuagint to identify and study the corresponding Hebrew terms. Use several language helps references.

You'll discover that while the Greek verb "agapaō" (to love) is found in first century extra-biblical texts to express today’s cultural meaning of "esteeming another," the noun "agapē" is almost exclusively found in the Bible. In effect, this becomes a supernatural term that avails its meaning to those who believe in God and read His word.

2. Collect all the verses with "agapē" and "agapaō" into three groups: those pertaining to God, Jesus Christ, and human beings. As you study these collections, a greater understanding of "agapē" emerges.

Agapē is the love of the Father who desires that His children be with Him forever. Agapē is the love of the Son who knows He's the only means that others will know of His Father's love for them. Agapē is the love of God's children who know that everyone can be adopted by the Father Who accepts them as they are. Agapē is selfless and encourages others to grow closer to the Father. Agapē is the divine love of God’s family. But because only Jesus knows who's in the Book of Life, we are commanded, in a sense, to presume everyone is potentially in the family.

3. Over time, test your working definition when you read the Bible, and you may discover that it does not encapsulate the priority that Jesus places on "agapē" with his two great commands (Matt 22:36-40).

Matthew 22:40 indicates that your working definition must incorporate some mention of God's word which was authored by the Holy Spirit.

"Agapē" recognizes its basis in holiness.

Biblical scholarship recognizes and respects the force of God's Word.

Genuine "agapē" requires biblical scholarship.

Genuine biblical scholarship requires "agapē."

Without either, you cannot change anyone's mind including your own.

4. Re-test your working definition.

Against the Original Sin (Gen 3), you gain a better understanding of how Adam and Eve failed. Their lack of biblical scholarship (Adam's failure to ably teach resulted in Eve's mishandling of God's word) demonstrated their lack of "agapē." Without the force of God's word to keep them holy, they could not alter their desire "to be like God."

The significance of this study of "agapē" is that without the constant reminder through Bible study, one will forget and assume the natural and cultural meaning of the verb "love" as "esteeming love" without any concern for one's holiness.

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