DID GOD LOSE A BATTLE IN MOAB? An Examination of 2 Kings 3:27
© 2023, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction I came across a short video on YouTube that had the provocative title “When the God of Israel Was Defeated By Another God.” In this video, one Dan McClellan, a Mormon, discusses 2 Kings 3, which, he says, “tells a fascinating story where the God of Israel promises victory in a military invasion of another country but is unable to deliver …
IS JESUS OUR “KINSMAN-REDEEMER”? Christmas Follies from Creation Ministries International
© 2020, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction While Creation Ministries International (CMI) is very good on their core competency – scientific creationism – when it comes to other matters, they are less than stellar. Their Christmas Eve article this year contains four plain errors, of varying degrees of importance. We discuss them below. Quirinius and the Census One of the most common attacks on the historical reliability of …
ISAIAH 48:16 AS SUPPORT FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRIUNITY OF GOD: A Response to Unitarian Challenges
© 2020, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction The doctrine of the Triunity of God, that the one true God exists eternally as three Personae – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is fully revealed in the New Testament, but there were certainly hints given of it in the Old Testament, particularly in the form of indications of plurality within the Godhead. Therefore, when it was fully revealed, people …
WHAT ABOUT POLYGAMY? A Response to “One Man and One Woman: Not the Only Biblical View” (American Atheist, 3rd Quarter, 2013)
© 2020, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. In “One Man and One Woman: Not the Only Biblical View,” published in American Atheist (3rd Quarter, 2013), Drs. Hector Avalos, Robert Cargill, and Kenneth Atkinson, who identify themselves as “academic biblical scholars,” claim that the biblical texts do not support the frequent claim that marriage between one man and one woman is the only type deemed acceptable by biblical authors. However, …
ACCORDING TO WHAT SCRIPTURES? Examining Paul’s References in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
© 2020, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) παρέδωκα γὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν πρώτοις ὃ καὶ παρέλαβον ὅτι Χριστὸς ἀπέθανεν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν κατὰ τὰς γραφάς καὶ …
SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE THROUGH FAITH ALONE: What about James 2:24?
Prima facie, James 2:24 seems to say that works are needed for salvation. However, careful exegesis of the original Greek text shows that James is not, in fact, saying “that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only,” but that a man is justified by acts of commitment, and not by intellectual belief alone.
SALVIFIC BELIEFS: Salvation by Grace Alone through Faith Alone
Salvation by grace alone through faith alone in the true Christ alone is a salvific belief. The verses adduced by those who teach the necessity of water baptism for salvation all align with salvation sola fide. The only baptism necessary for salvation is the baptism of the Spirit.
“THAT’S JUST YOUR INTERPRETATION!”: A Response to Dr. Thomas Howe on Understanding the Bible
Univocal propositional statements cannot be “interpreted” to mean something other than what the words and syntactical construction convey. If we can understand such statements made by people even though we are not infallible, we can understand God’s propositional statements in the Bible.
WHAT ABOUT THE COMMA JOHANNEUM (1 JOHN 5:7b-8a)?
Although the absence of the Comma Johanneum in almost all Greek manuscripts strongly indicates it was not in the autograph, the Greek grammar indicates that it might indeed be part of the original autograph
TEXTUAL CRITICISM AND THE END OF BIBLICAL INERRANCY: Follow-up Comments on the Tors/Costa New Testament Text Debate (Part 1)
Every saying of a prophet recorded in a book of the Bible was first said and then written. Therefore, it is perfectly correct to describe any quote of any saying by any prophet as “as was spoken by the prophet.”
“WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?”: A Closer Look at the Parable of the Good Samaritan
The common interpretation of the Parable of the Good Samaritan is that it means everyone is your neighbour, love your neighbour by helping him. According to our understanding, the Samaritan is Jesus, the One who has mercy upon us, and He is the One we are to love and so inherit eternal life.
CAN WE BECOME GODS? An Examination of John 10:34
John 10:34 and Psalm 82 say, “I said, ‘You are gods.’” The Bible does not say that these people were actually gods, but only that the Psalmist made that comment to them. The following words, “But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes”, show that the comment was just a rhetorical device.
WHO IS FALLIBLE? Proper Exegesis and the Origins of the Earth
For those who are interested, there is plenty of scientific evidence that supports an earth that is no more than 10,000 years old. Why more Christians are not aware of these is a mystery.
DOES GENESIS 2:4-5 CONTRADICT SIX-DAY YOUNG-EARTH CREATIONISM? A Response to Meredith Kline
Meredith Kline, overlooking that Genesis 1 is full of miraculous acts, argues that Genesis 2:4-5 disproves six-day young-earth creationism, because if the divine providence was operating through normal processes, then, for example, plants could not have been created before the sun.
THE MUSTARD SEED REVISITED: A Look at a Critical Review
Our solution to the problem that Jesus supposedly erred in calling the mustard seed the smallest of all seeds is that γῆ means a “limited area of ground for agricultural use”, which is an attested meaning. Brad Cooper argues that σπέρμα here means “agricultural seed,” but this is not an attested meaning.
DID JESUS ERR ABOUT THE SIZE OF MUSTARD SEEDS? A Case Study in How to Do Serious Evangelical Apologetics
In Mark 4:31, Jesus apparently makes a scientific error by asserting that the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds. But in the original Greek, He did not say that. He said that a mustard seed, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on the ground, not smaller than all seeds on earth.
OLIVER AND HARDY AND HAHN: Debunking Greg Hahn’s Attempt to Salvage His Attack on Complementarianism
Hahn’s conceit that “the question will bring down complementarianism” is a pipe-dream, without any hope of succeeding with anyone who thinks at all about the issue; his approach is even weaker than the usual egalitarian gambits.
WHICH EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES? A Response to Greg Hahn’s Attack on Complementarianism
Hahn’s argument against complementarianism has been examined and found to be wanting in every conceivable way. His statement that “Complementarianism is bankrupt because it has no coherent biblical foundation” has been shown to be fatuous.
THE “SONS OF GOD” AND THE “DAUGHTERS OF MEN”: A Case Study in the Importance of Careful Exegesis
The nephilim in Genesis 6:1-4 were not the offspring of angels and human females. Jesus proves His bodily resurrection by appeal to the fact that spirits do not have flesh and bone. This proof is destroyed if angels could conjure up physical bodies for themselves so they could have conjugal relations.
IS A 4.6-BILLION YEAR-OLD EARTH COMPATIBLE WITH BIBLICAL INERRANCY? A Response to Norman Geisler
According to the Bible, the earth and all life originally on it were created by God in a span of six 24-hour days about six thousand years ago.
A GLIMPSE OF HEAVEN? An Assessment of “Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back”
The claim in Heaven is for Real that little Colton Burpo went to heaven is not credible. The evidence offered as proof is insufficient. The little boy’s descriptions of what he allegedly saw in heaven do not match what Scripture says, while they do match common images he could have seen here on earth.
“THEY TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH”: Does John 3:16-17 Record the Words of Jesus or of John the Evangelist?
One sometimes has to wonder if the raison d’être of Bible scholars is to “spen[d] their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). How else can we account for the bizarre idea championed by some of them that Jesus did not speak the words recorded in John 3:16-17 in His conversation with Nicodemus? How does one look at what seems to be a continuous speech of Jesus from John 3:10b-21 and conclude that vv.16-17 are not, in fact, part of this speech but …
THE HARBINGER AND “THE ISAIAH 9:10 EFFECT”: An Examination of the Claims of Jonathan Cahn
A sensational book has taken the evangelical community by storm. First published in January, 2012, it reached The New York Times bestseller list in its second week of release, and has remained there ever since.
SHOULD CHRISTIANS “EMPTY THEIR MINDS” THROUGH MEDITATION?
Many Christians who teach meditation as an element of “spiritual formation” insist that this has nothing to do with emptying the mind. But in fact, when one concentrates on or repeats a phrase, such as a line of Scripture, over and over again without rational thought, the brain tends to go into “neutral”. This is not meditation as it is meant in the Bible, which involves rational, logical cogitation with critical thinking.
WOMEN AND CHURCH LEADERSHIP: An Inquiry and a Response to Pastor Keith A. Smith’s “Can Christian Women be Pastors and Preachers?”
Pastor Keith A. Smith brings up most arguments adduced to allow women pastors and preachers. The key passages are in 1 Corinthians (the context of which is judging prophetic utterances) and in 1 Timothy. Smith confuses evangelism and prophesying with holding authoritative teaching roles.
SHOULD CHRISTIANS PRACTISE MEDITATION?
It seems not long ago that the greatest perceived spiritual threat in the minds of Evangelicals was the New Age Movement, an amorphous constellation of beliefs and practices focused on developing the divine potential of human beings. In essence, it was the basic worldview and practices of the Eastern mystic religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism) packaged for a modern Western audience. The degree to which the different packages delved into the concept of attaining to godhood varied widely, with much of the offerings simply talking about mastering limitless power, which many Western consumers …
HOW NOT TO DO HERMENEUTICS: A Response to Daniel Mann’s “Jesus: The ‘Begotten of the Father’” (Christian Research Journal 34(2), 2011, pp.8-9)
The writer to the Hebrews, in demonstrating the superiority of the Son of God to angels, quotes Psalm 2:7, saying For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? (Hebrews 1:5). In this CRJ article, Daniel Mann calls this a “controversial verse” and a “problem”, pointing out that this verse suggests to some that Jesus is ‘begotten’ in the sense of being created and having a beginning in time … Many cults understand this verse, and others like it, to affirm that …
WHAT IS FAITH?
We all have to have faith in many ways, including your atheist friend. The wise man will base his faith on facts and evidence. Faith in the Christian understanding is not believing Jesus blindly, but putting “complete trust and confidence” in Him because He has proven that He is God.
A SECOND CAINAN?
The dominant view among evangelicals seems to be that this Cainan does not belong in the genealogy, and is a scribal error introduced into Luke, probably accidentally reinserted from the legitimate Cainan in Luke 3:37.