It was my privilege and blessing to study the above course offered by Far Eastern Bible College, Singapore. I thank God for our lecturer, Rev Dr Jeffrey Khoo, whose systematic way of teaching made the hard things simple for his students. The following is my testimony of the lessons learnt from the course.
o “Hold fast the faithful Word”
The apostle Paul warns Timothy of many who shall depart from the faith in the last days (I Tim 4: 1). In the past, apostasy was mostly seen in overseas seminaries and churches. Tragically, this degenerative trend is now in our midst. Liberal scholars and even pastors are either denying the Bible or questioning it. Not a few of the so-called “fundamentalist,” “reformed” and “separatist” Bible-Presbyterian churches have capitulated to the onslaught of liberalism.
We learnt about “historical criticism” – a godless approach to the study of Scriptures. This form of criticism rejects God as the Author of the Bible and everything that is supernatural or miraculous. I find it hard to understand how so-called Bible scholars can concoct all manner of theories and imaginary sources in order to undermine the Holy Scriptures. However, I am reminded of the words of the apostle Paul in II Thessalonians 2:11: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”
I am determined to know the Bible well and to impart its truths to others so that they will not be led astray by strange and erroneous doctrines: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4: 14). In these perilous end times, it is important to “hold fast the faithful Word” (Tit 1: 9), that we may stay true to our Lord.
o Better understanding
• Religious Institutions
I enjoyed the lecture on the Religious Institutions. I learnt much about the religious and political parties like the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, Zealots and the Herodians. All these religious groups were mentioned in the Gospels. I knew that they were mostly the enemies of Christ but now I understand very specifically their political and religious leanings.
I was also enlightened concerning the four different “Herods” – Herod the Great, Herod Antipas, Herod Agrippa I and Herod Agrippa II.
o Deeper insight
Our lecturer gave us an overview of the different books of the New Testament. I particularly enjoyed the background study on the four Gospels.
I now read the Gospels with a deeper insight. One example is the inscription put up by Pilate – “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS” – on the cross of Christ (Matt 27: 37). This sign captures the kingly theme of Matthew. Christ’s kingship is evident from the very first chapter which traces His ancestry right back to the royal line of Judah (Matt 1: 2). Interestingly, the wise men of the east referred to the newborn Jesus as the “King of the Jews” (Matt 2: 2).
Though I found it a physical struggle to sit through the classes, I benefited much from the lectures. It is my prayer that what I have learnt may be passed on to those who come under my ministry. May we be found faithful in these last days to love and serve our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us continue to promote His great name and cause wherever He leads us. Amen.
– Sis Helen Wee
(Adapted from an assignment submitted for the New Testament Introduction course on 3rd November 2005)