News and Views

PBI News

Pastoral Bible Institute (PBI) Annual Report for year ended April 30, 2023. Since its beginning in 1918, the main activities of the PBI have been reconnecting Bible students with each other and the dissemination of Bible truths through our publication, The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom. By God’s grace, we have been able to complete another year of activity, with the bimonthly issues reaching an international audience through the dedication of many workers worldwide.

Special mention should be made of those in India, Poland and Croatia who diligently translate each issue for distribution in their respective countries, and to those in England and Australia who cooperate diligently to make sure our magazine is available at a reasonable cost. Additionally, every issue of the Herald, dating back to its inception, is available online at

Annual Membership Meeting

Our bylaws require us to hold a membership meeting following the close of each fiscal year, at which time a new board of directors begins its tenure. Since 2020, we have been holding this meeting via ZOOM. This year the meeting was held on July. Prior to the meeting, the annual nomination and election of seven directors was conducted by mail. The following directors were elected: Todd Alexander, Jeffrey Earl, Leonard Griehs, Ernie Kuenzli, Tom Ruggirello, George Tabac, and Daniel Wesol.

The new board appointed five editors to oversee the production of the Herald for the current fiscal year. Those names appear on the inside front cover of each issue, along with the requirements for every article which appears in the magazine.

Our summary financial statement for the past year appears below. The PBI remains fiscally sound due to the gracious contributions we receive from many and the dedication of our total volunteer organization. We trust that the Lord will continue to bless our efforts, and we ask for your prayers that the work may continue as long as the Lord will permit.
Directors and Editors of the Pastoral Bible Institute

Fiscal 2023 Financial Statement for the Pastoral Bible Institute, Inc.

Income $11,043
Contributions ………………………………….. $9,131
Subscriptions …………………………………… 975
Sale of Material ……………………………….. 469
Interest ……………………………………………. 83
Other ……………………………………………… 385
Expenses $16,393
Herald Printing ………………………………… $6,265
Foreign Herald ………………………………… 728
Other Printing ………………………………….. 779
Mailing — Domestic ………………………… 5,949
Mailing — Foreign…………………………… 1,095
Other ……………………………………………… 1,577
Net Loss………………………………………….. ($5,350)
Net Worth, April 30, 2022 …………………. $123,845
Net Worth, April 30, 2023 …………………. $118,495


Christian worshipers who prayed at an archeological park bordering the Western Wall were met by hundreds of Jewish protesters, including Jerusalem’s deputy mayor, shouting at them to leave. The protesters were responding to an Evangelical Christian call for prayer at the Davidson Center, which is situated south of the Western Wall Plaza and features access to a segment of the Jewish holy site. The incident underlines the strains on the relations of religious Israeli nationalists with Christian Evangelicals, who politically and financially support Israel, but diverge radically from them on theology. — The Times of Israel, 5/29/2023

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich claimed in a speech before the Knesset that in the past he should have given a speech in the Hebrew language and not in English at an event in the United States. At the end he said: “In this matter, I think we should be proud of the holy language, the Hebrew language, thank God we have been blessed with the of the language. I spoke Hebrew and nothing happened, everyone has headphones that translate me into English, French and other languages.” — Israel National News, 6/12/2023

The Synod on Synodality, launched by Pope Francis in 2021, has sought out the views of Catholics all over the world on the church’s power dynamics and decision making. The Vatican presented a document that will form the agenda for the synod, detailing the major issues raised by the faithful in meetings on the parish level. Among those issues was the need for stronger accountability measures to address the clerical abuse crisis. — Religious News Service, 6/22/2023

Three sociologists have penned a primer showcasing data from around the world that proves religiosity is undeniably declining in most if not all modern industrial countries — at least when measured by beliefs (in God or the Bible), belonging (to a particular congregation) and behavior (such as church-based baptisms or weddings). In “Beyond Doubt: The Secularization of Society,” the group lays out a theory that countries that have gone through a process of “differentiation,” or the separation of religion from government, and “rationalization,” or the emphasis on modern, scientific ideals, have seen dramatic drops in the levels of religiosity. — RNS, 6/6/2023

The European Union [EU] will impose fines on social media and internet companies that fail to remove anti-Semitic and defamatory content, according to the new EU Digital Services Act, which will come into effect on August 25. The law will require internet companies in Europe to be more transparent and would oblige them to submit a risk assessment report detailing how they are working to neutralize such content. Europeans are discussing 19 digital players who are expected to adhere to these standards, including Facebook and Twitter. — Ynet News, 6/15/2023


A pod of killer whales repeatedly rammed a yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar, damaging it enough to require Spanish rescuers to come to the aid of its four crew members. It was the latest episode in a perplexing trend in the behavior of orcas populating the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula that has left researchers searching for a cause. This was the 24th such incident registered by the service this year. In 2020, the group registered 52 such events, some of which resulted in damaged rudders. That increased to 197 in 2021 and to 207 in 2022. The so-called Iberian orcas average from five to 6½ meters (16-21 feet) in length, compared to the orcas of Antarctica which can reach nine meters (29½ feet). — AP, 5/26/2023

For the first time, U.S. regulators approved the sale of chicken made from animal cells, allowing two California companies to offer “lab-grown” meat to the nation’s restaurant tables and eventually, supermarket shelves. The Agriculture Department gave the green light to Upside Foods and Good Meat to sell meat that doesn’t come from slaughtered animals — what’s now being referred to as “cell-cultivated” or “cultured” meat as it emerges from the laboratory and arrives on dinner plates. The move launches a new era of meat production aimed at eliminating harm to animals and drastically reducing the environmental impacts of grazing, growing feed for animals and animal waste. — AP, 6/21/2023


Lawmakers in several states are embracing legislation to let children work in more hazardous occupations, for more hours on school nights and in expanded roles, including serving alcohol in bars and restaurants to those as young as 14. The efforts to significantly roll back labor rules are largely led to address worker shortages and, in some cases, run afoul of federal regulations. Child welfare advocates worry the measures represent a coordinated push to scale back hard-won protections for minors. — AP, 5/24/2023

The United Arab Emirates has become a key trade hub for Russian gold since Western sanctions over Ukraine cut Russia’s more traditional export routes, customs records show. The records reveal the names of over 100 non-Russian companies that have handled gold since Western markets banned imports from Moscow. — Reuters, 5/25/2023

A state-sponsored Chinese hacking group has been spying on a wide range of US infrastructure organizations, from telecommunications to transportation hubs, Western intelligence agencies and Microsoft said. The espionage has also targeted the US island territory of Guam, home to American military bases. — Reuters, 5/25/2023

Nations willing to join the Union State of Russia and Belarus will be provided with nuclear weapons, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has promised. The Union State of Russia and Belarus is a supranational entity whose founding was ratified by both countries’ parliaments in 2000. The alliance promotes cooperation in economic, agriculture, technology, and border security matters. The Belarusian autocrat announced that Russia will transfer some of its nuclear weapons into Belarus’s territory. — Times of Israel, 5/29/2023

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to “hold hands” with Russian President Vladimir Putin and bolster strategic cooperation on their shared goal of building a powerful country and displaying “full support and solidarity.” North Korea has sought to forge closer ties with the Kremlin and backed Moscow after it invaded Ukraine last year, blaming the “hegemonic policy” and “high-handedness” of the United States and the West. — Reuters, 6/12/2023


Billionaire financier George Soros is handing control of his massive empire to his son Alexander. A hedge fund manager turned philanthropist and major backer of liberal causes, Soros, 92, said he previously didn’t want his Open Society Foundations (OSF) to be taken over by one of his five children. Alex said he’s “more political” than his father and will continue donating family money to left-leaning U.S. political candidates. The foundation directs about $1.5 billion a year to groups around the world. — Wall Street Journal, 6/11/2023

Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI said that he was “quite optimistic” about prospects for global coordination on artificial intelligence (AI). The public face of the startup, backed by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), has been on a whirlwind tour looking to capitalize on interest in generative AI and exert influence on regulation of the burgeoning technology. Regulators are scrambling to adapt existing rules and create new guidelines to govern the use of generative AI, which can create text and images and is engendering excitement and fear about its potential to reshape a wide range of industries. — Reuters,
— (Note: For a biblical-oriented discussion of the future impact of AI, see the July/ August 2023 issue of The Herald)

Fraudsters used Social Security numbers of dead people and federal prisoners to get unemployment checks, collecting benefits in multiple states. Criminals and gangs grabbed the money when federal loan applicants weren’t cross-checked against a Treasury Department database. All of it led to the greatest grift in U.S. history, with thieves plundering billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief aid. Fraudsters potentially stole more than $280 billion in relief funding; another $123 billion was wasted or misspent. Combined, the loss represents 10% of the $4.2 trillion the government has so far disbursed in COVID relief aid. — AP, 6/12/2023

In the rush to spread the manufacturing of chips beyond China, Israel and Intel have agreed to invest $25 billion in a new plant in Kiryat Gat. In 1999, Intel opened in Kiryat Gat, 35 miles south of Tel Aviv, a fabrication plant for Pentium 4 chips and flash memories. Intel received a grant of $525 million from Israel for the plant. In February 2006, the cornerstone was laid for a second Kiryat Gat plant. In 2021, Intel announced $10 billion more for manufacturing in Kiryat Gat. — Jewish Press, 6/16/2023


In September 2022, the Jewish Agency released worldwide Jewish population statistics. The Jewish global population was approximately 15.3 million, of whom 7,080,000 called Israel home. That figure equates to 46.2% of the total Jewish population. — Bridges for Peace, 5/22/2023

During a salvage excavation of a 19th-century excavation tunnel underneath the City of David, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) discovered a fragmentary inscription dating to the Second Temple period. According to the IAA, the inscription, written on a chalkstone slab, was likely intended as a receipt or sales record. The small, fragmentary inscription, which measures 3.5 by 2.5 inches, contains seven lines of text, written in the cursive Aramaic script used in Judah during the first century CE. According to the IAA, the inscription provides additional evidence for the economic importance of the City of David area during the time of the Romans. — Bible History Daily, 5/29/2023

The Gaza Strip’s only wetland is slowly coming back to life. 500 million birds migrate through Israel and Gaza twice each year. A whopping 35,000 tons of garbage have been removed from the wetland, known as Wadi (valley) Gaza, and water is flowing in again, thanks to a sewage treatment plant built by Germany. Home to more than two million people, most of them below the poverty line and unemployed, the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on the planet. It has been blockaded for 18 years by Israel and Egypt to prevent weapons to Hamas, which is sworn to the Jewish state’s destruction. — Times of Israel, 5/22/2023

About 700 feet off the Israeli coast sits the remains of a Roman shipwreck and 44 tons of buried treasure. Although not golden loot, the pristine marble columns and capitals, lost at sea 1,800 years ago, are certainly a prize find. Discovered by a swimmer and surveyed by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the marble was likely destined for Ashkelon, Gaza, or even Alexandria in Egypt. The hoard of marble, dated to the Roman period (c. 37-324 CE), includes Corinthian capitals decorated with vegetal motifs, partially carved capitals, and a 20-foot-long marble architrave. — Bible History Daily, 5/22/2023

What happened to the Canaanites? Researchers conducted DNA sequencing on ancient Canaanite skeletons and have determined where the Canaanites’ descendants can be found today. The Canaanites were a Semitic-speaking cultural group that lived in Canaan (comprising Lebanon, southern Syria, Israel and Transjordan) beginning in the second millennium. In the Hebrew Bible, the Canaanites are described as inhabitants of Canaan before the arrival of the Israelites (e.g., Genesis 15:18-21, Exodus 13:11). The researchers sequenced the genomes of five individuals who were buried in the Canaanite city of Sidon in Lebanon around 1700 BCE as well as the genomes of 99 individuals from Lebanon today. The results demonstrated a connection with the present-day Lebanese population. — Bible History Daily, 6/16/2023

With a goal of becoming an artificial intelligence (AI) superpower, Israel is leveraging its technological advancements to revolutionize warfare and decision-making in combat. Israel’s Defense Ministry is taking decisive steps including forming a dedicated organization for military robotics and increasing investment in related R&D. The country has already unveiled its autonomous capabilities, including a robot surveillance jeep for border patrols and an autonomous intelligence-gathering submarine. By seizing opportunities within the AI realm, Israel aims to join the small club of global AI leaders. — Feed Israel, 5/24/2023

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken conducted negotiations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to return diplomatic relations between the two countries. The effort attempts to do what no White House has done before: bring formal peace between the two strongest pro-Western countries in the Middle East who share a common fear of a nuclear Iran. Prime Minister Netanyahu has signed peace treaties with several Arab countries that did not require any of the Saudi Initiative’s former conditions. — Jewish Press, 6/18/2023

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