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CAN WE BECOME GODS? An Examination of John 10:34

© 2016, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” Jesus answered them, …

WHO IS FALLIBLE? Proper Exegesis and the Origins of the Earth

© 2016, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction I must be quite the quixotic fellow.  I was actually cheered when I came across an article online that was about creationism and was entitled, “You can trust God, but men are fallible.”[1]  It is too rarely acknowledged or accepted that what the word of the infallible God says about how and when He created the universe and the life in …

DOES GENESIS 2:4-5 CONTRADICT SIX-DAY YOUNG-EARTH CREATIONISM? A Response to Meredith Kline

© 2016, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction The first two chapters of the Bible, Genesis 1 and 2, describe the original creation by God of the world and the life in it, including Man.  Prima facie, these chapters are not difficult to understand.  Genesis 1 gives a description of the entire process, beginning with the creation of the sum total of matter/energy from which God makes the entire …

THE MUSTARD SEED REVISITED: A Look at a Critical Review

© 2016, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, …

DID JESUS ERR ABOUT THE SIZE OF MUSTARD SEEDS? A Case Study in How to Do Serious Evangelical Apologetics

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The Problem Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large …

IS LUKE WRONG ABOUT THE DATE OF JESUS’ BIRTH? A Case Study in How to Do Serious Evangelical Apologetics (Part 3)

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. PART 3 OF 3 An Analysis of the Issue Peripheral Issues As we have seen before, a number of charges are made against the credibility of Luke’s birth narrative of Jesus, to wit: “No taxation census ever required individuals to register, not where they themselves live but rather where their remote ancestors once lived!”[1] “[T]he census Luke posits (2:1), levied at the …

IS LUKE WRONG ABOUT THE DATE OF JESUS’ BIRTH? A Case Study in How to Do Serious Evangelical Apologetics (Part 2)

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. PART 2 OF 3 An Analysis of the Issue When Did Herod the Great Die? We are told repeatedly that Herod the Great died in 4 BC.[1]  Almost all reference books cite this date.  For example, the New Bible Dictionary tells us of “Herod the Great, king of the Jews 40-4 BC, born c. 73 BC”[2] and The Oxford Bible Commentary states …

IS LUKE WRONG ABOUT THE DATE OF JESUS’ BIRTH? A Case Study in How to Do Serious Evangelical Apologetics (Part 1)

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. PART 1 OF 3 Introduction And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into …

OLIVER AND HARDY AND HAHN: Debunking Greg Hahn’s Attempt to Salvage His Attack on Complementarianism

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction Years ago I saw an interesting episode of the television game show “Jeopardy.”  In this game, answers to questions in different categories are posted according to dollar value, and three contestants vie to be first to “ring in” and give the correct answer (i.e. the correct corresponding question).  If he answers correctly, the assigned dollar values are added to the contestant’s …

WHICH EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES? A Response to Greg Hahn’s Attack on Complementarianism

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction … Male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27b) In the beginning, God could have created one generic type of human being, but instead He chose to make males and females.  Males and females are different in form, in appearance, and in psychology.  They are not carbon copies of each other, but were designed to complement each other, and that means …

THE “SONS OF GOD” AND THE “DAUGHTERS OF MEN”: A Case Study in the Importance of Careful Exegesis

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he …

IS IT UNJUST OF GOD TO SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Is it unjust of God to send people to hell simply because they don’t follow Him?  This charge is frequently made by atheists and other skeptics, but it is unsustainable. The first thing that people need to understand is that God made us and so we belong to Him (Psalm 100:3).  Not only that, our ongoing existence is because of Him; He …

IS A 4.6-BILLION YEAR-OLD EARTH COMPATIBLE WITH BIBLICAL INERRANCY? A Response to Norman Geisler

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: This article is a companion to our article “THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER AND THE EVANGELICAL BETRAYAL OF THE BIBLE: Exposing the Major Weapons Levied Against the Trustworthiness of the Bible,” in which we look at, inter alia, Dr. Norman Geisler’s argument that seeing the resurrection of the OT saints in Matthew 27:52-53 as non-historical is incompatible with Biblical inerrancy. Introduction According to …

THE TESTIMONY OF JOSEPHUS: Powerful Evidence for the Truth of Christianity, or an Interpolated Fraud?

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction The four Gospel books in the New Testament are our primary sources for information about the life, ministry, miracles, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  They are all based on early eyewitness testimony. The Gospel According to Matthew was written by the former tax-collector Matthew aka Levi, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles, in AD 40-41. The Gospel According to Mark was written …

EXAMINING THE CLAIM THAT THE WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS OF JOHN 7:53-8:11 ARE MORE LUKAN THAN JOHANNINE

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: This is a companion article to our article “A CALL FOR SERIOUS EVANGELICAL APOLOGETICS: The Authenticity of John 7:53-8:11 as a Case Study” Introduction One of the best known stories about Jesus is His encounter with an adulteress whom He refused to condemn.  The story, known in academic circles as the Pericope Adulterae, or Pericope de Adultera (“the extract about the …

A CALL FOR SERIOUS EVANGELICAL APOLOGETICS: The Authenticity of John 7:53-8:11 as a Case Study

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The Problem There is a troubling dearth of serious and competent apologetics being done by evangelicals in the matter of the origins and transmission history of the New Testament.  The “received wisdom” about such issues as when, how, and in what order the Gospel books were written and about the original form of the NT text has come to be dominated by …

CONTRADICTIONS IN THE GOSPEL BOOKS? Lessons from the World Junior Hockey Championships

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. There are a number of events in the ministry of Jesus that are documented by more than one Gospel author.  Events that are documented by two authors (Matthew and Mark, Matthew and Luke, or Mark and Luke) are called the “double tradition.”  Events that are described by three Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are called the “triple tradition.”[1] One of the …

GIGO: Unearthing a Decisive New Tipping Point for Textual Criticism

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction The New Testament books were seen as Scripture from the very beginning.[1]  They were passed around from church to church[2] and copies must have been made of the originals (i.e. the “autographs”) from the very beginning.  Manuscripts of the NT proliferated through the centuries as copies were made of earlier copies, and copies made of those.  The large number of such …

ECHOES IN THE MATH: More Non-Evidence for the Big Bang

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. An article in the 24 January 2015 issue of New Scientist trumpets, “Ancient echoes speak to us from the big bang.”[1]  According to that headline, there are “ancient echoes” and they are “speak[ing] to us from the big bang.”  Surely this must be further evidence for the Big Bang Theory. And yet, as one reads through the article, he cannot be faulted …

A PRIMER ON NEW TESTAMENT TEXTUAL CRITICISM (IN MANAGEABLE, BITE-SIZED CHUNKS)

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Understand each bite before moving on to the next one! The First Bite A) The New Testament (NT) was written in Koine Greek in the 1st-century AD, but the printing press was not invented (in the West) until the mid-15th century AD. This means that for about 1,400 years, books – including the NT – could only be reproduced through copying by …

NOT COUSINS: The Genetic Dissimilarity between Chimps and Men

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. An advertisement from the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada appeared in today’s Globe and Mail (January 1, 2015, p. A9), entitled “Cousin, we need to talk.”  It featured the face of a chimpanzee and the text began, We share almost 99% of our DNA.  We still have so much to learn from each other. Here we again see an evolutionist trope that …

NOTHING FROM NOTHING (Response to the National Post, Nov. 19, 2014)

© 2014, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. According to an article in today’s National Post entitled “Answering the Great Questions” by Lawrence Krauss (p. A14), atheist Krauss tells us about “Hawking Radiation,” particles that are supposedly emitted by black holes.  (He does not tell us that Hawking radiation is a theoretical construct predicted by physicist Stephen Hawking, but not something that has ever been observed or experimentally verified.)  Krauss …

Silhouette of a Women doing Yoga at Sunset

CAN CHRISTIANS DO YOGA? Do Not Be Bamboozled!

© 2014, by Diane Hong. All Rights Reserved. Yoga has certainly gone mainstream.  It has been a craze for decades.  We see yoga studios pop up everywhere; fitness centres offer “hot yoga” as part of their classes; doctors recommend that you do yoga to relax; and I even heard of “Christian yoga classes” offer in churches, which is shocking! Over the years I have had this discussion with Christian friends, …

DOES AN ANCIENT TEXT PROVE THAT JESUS WAS MARRIED TO MARY MAGDALENE AND HAD CHILDREN? A Response to “The Lost Gospel” by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson

© 2014, by John Tors.  All Rights Reserved. Tuesday, November 11, 2014, saw the release of a new book called The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary Magdalene,[1] by Simcha Jacobovici (co-author of the risible The Jesus Family Tomb)[2] and Barrie Wilson (author of the less sensationalistic but equally risible How Jesus Became Christian).[3]  The Globe and Mail featured an article on The Lost …

FANTASIA 2014: A Response to Yuval Harari’s “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”

© 2014, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. When I was a young boy living in Montreal, my dad took me to a local theatre to see a re-release of Disney’s Fantasia.  Fantasia, made in 1940, features eight animated sequences set to classical music.  The sequences didn’t all have the same impact on me; I didn’t care much for the Dancing Hippo sequence or the Greek Mythology sequence.  The three …

A GLIMPSE OF HEAVEN? An Assessment of “Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back”

© 2014, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction Heaven is for Real,[1] Pastor Todd Burpo’s story of his son Colton’s alleged “trip to heaven and back” has certainly caught the public imagination.  As of this writing, the book sits in top spot on The New York Times’ Print/Paperback Nonfiction Best Sellers list, a list on which it has appeared for an astounding 186 consecutive weeks.[2]  It has sold more than …

JESUS OR THE BIBLE: Which is the “Word of God”?

© 2014, by John Tors.  All Rights Reserved. Introduction If one asks an Evangelical Christian whether Jesus is “the Word of God,” the answer is usually an unqualified “yes.”  If one then asks whether the Bible is “the Word of God,” the answer is also an unqualified “yes.”  While many are satisfied with these answers, there are others who see them as contradictory.  Muslims, for example, will ask how two …