Category: Answering Critics

WHY THERE IS AN ERROR IN MARK 1:2 IN YOUR BIBLE: Another Example of the Evangelical Betrayal of the Bible

© 2015, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction You begin to read the Gospel According to Mark in your New International Version (NIV) Bible, and you see the following: 1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God,[b] 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send …

THE RESURRECTION ACCOUNTS: “Incompatible Contradictions” or Coherent History?

© 2018, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the …

SHERMER’S ERROR AND THE MEANING OF LIFE: Another Failed Attempt to Find Meaning in an Atheistic Life

© 2018, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. [N.B. READ THE FOOTNOTES, FOLKS. THEY ARE IMPORTANT!] One of the problems associated with atheism is that life in such a worldview is without any sort of objective meaning; the atheist inevitably must choose between some sort of hedonism, based on personal preferences, or he is faced …

IS CREATIONISM SUPPORT DROPPING? A Response to USA Today and a Warning to Creationists

© 2017, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. A Response to USA Today The American national newspaper USA Today treated us to an interesting opinion essay on Friday last.[1]  It was called “Creationism drops for hopeful reason,” and was authored by Yale Divinity School’s communications director Tom Krattenmaker.  Krattenmaker was cheering the results of a …

DID JESUS DENY HIS OWN DEITY IN MARK 10:18? The Significance of Jesus’ Answers to the Rich Young Ruler

© 2017, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” (Matthew 19:17a) So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” (Mark 10:18) So Jesus said …

ARE THE EVENTS OF JESUS’ CAREER THE BEST ATTESTED FACTS OF ANCIENT HISTORY? A Comparison to the Attestation for Caesar’s Crossing of the Rubicon and for Spartacus

© 2016, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS AN EXCERPT (mutatis mutandis) FROM A FORTHCOMING LONGER ARTICLE. Introduction Maclean’s, which boasts of being “Canada’s National Magazine, celebrated Easter this year by publishing a cover article titled, “Did Jesus Really Exist?”[1] with the provocative cover blurb, “The science is in: New memory …

TIME OUT: Fifty Years Later, Answering Time Magazine’s Question, “Is God Dead?”

© 2016, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction Fifty years ago today, Time, “the weekly newsmagazine,” published what some consider its most controversial cover story ever.[1]  Inside the usual red border of the cover there was nothing but a stark black background with, under the Time banner, a question in three large red letters: …

YES, JESUS REALLY DID EXIST: Refuting Maclean’s Magazine’s Latest Madness

© 2016, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction Maclean’s madness is back. Like a bad B-grade horror movie series, Maclean’s, “Canada’s National Magazine,” used to celebrate Christmas and Easter every year by publishing sensationalistic cover articles attacking the historical reliability of Christianity.  The claims in these articles were presented as the assured results of …

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 …

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 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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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, …

THE IRREFUTABLE CASE FOR THE RESURRECTION: How David K. Clark’s Risible “Betting on Jesus: The Vanishing of the Christ” (Free Inquiry, April/May 2014) Strengthens the Case for the Resurrection of Jesus

© 2014, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Part 1: David K. Clark’s Super New Argument  Attempts to disprove the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ date back all the way to the very day of the resurrection itself, when the tomb guards who reported this event to the chief priests were told to “‘Tell them, …

THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS AND THE TESTIMONY OF GOD IN OUR DAYS

© 2014, by Derek Casey. All Rights Reserved. Verification of Contemporary Facts and Proof for the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus “… because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.  He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him …

DO APPARITIONS OF MARY UNDERMINE THE CASE FOR JESUS’ RESURRECTION? Debunking Hector Avalos’ “Living Laboratory”

© 2014, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction In an article entitled “Jesus’ Resurrection and Marian Apparitions: Medjugorje as a Living Laboratory,”[1] Dr. Hector Avalos (below, left) seeks to cast doubt on the New Testament records of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances by arguing that the so-called “Marian apparitions”[2] which began in 1981 at Medjugorje, Yugoslavia …