Category: Exegetical Issues

SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE THROUGH FAITH ALONE: What about James 2:24?

© 2019, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction  [N.B. READ THE FOOTNOTES, FOLKS.  THEY ARE IMPORTANT!] I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the …

SALVIFIC BELIEFS: Salvation by Grace Alone through Faith Alone

© 2018, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction [N.B. READ THE FOOTNOTES, FOLKS. THEY ARE IMPORTANT!] The two most important questions everyone must answer, most important because their eternal destiny depends on them, are both found in the Bible.  One is in Matthew 16:15/Mark 8:29/Luke 9:20, where Jesus asks, “Who do you say that …

“THAT’S JUST YOUR INTERPRETATION!”: A Response to Dr. Thomas Howe on Understanding the Bible

© 2018, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction [N.B. READ THE FOOTNOTES, FOLKS. THEY ARE IMPORTANT!] Recently, Dr. Thomas Howe posted “A Response to Ken Ham” on the SES website,[1] in which article he took Ham to task for claiming that Christians who maintain that the Earth is some 4.6 billion years old (“old-earth”) …

WHAT ABOUT THE COMMA JOHANNEUM (1 JOHN 5:7b-8a)?

© 2017, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. In the King James Version and NKJV (as below), 1 John 5:6-8 reads as follows: This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. …

TEXTUAL CRITICISM AND THE END OF BIBLICAL INERRANCY: Follow-up Comments on the Tors/Costa New Testament Text Debate (Part 1)

© 2017, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Part 1 of 2 Introduction On the evening of Saturday, April 22, 2017, I debated Dr. Tony Costa on the topic of “the methodology of the reconstruction of the Greek New Testament.”[1]  I was contending for the Majority Reading/Byzantine Text Approach, while Dr. Costa argued for Reasoned …

“WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?”: A Closer Look at the Parable of the Good Samaritan

© 2017, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your …

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, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

“THEY TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH”: Does John 3:16-17 Record the Words of Jesus or of John the Evangelist?

© 2013, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. 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 …

THE HARBINGER AND “THE ISAIAH 9:10 EFFECT”: An Examination of the Claims of Jonathan Cahn

© 2013, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The Background 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[1], and has remained there ever since.  Within the first year it had sold a million copies, …

SHOULD CHRISTIANS “EMPTY THEIR MINDS” THROUGH MEDITATION?

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. As I wrote in my previous article “SHOULD CHRISTIANS PRACTISE MEDITATION?“: There are different forms of meditation, but the commonality to them is to focus the mind, usually by intense concentration upon a word or phrase (mantra), which may be repeated continuously in the mind, or breathed, …

WOMEN AND CHURCH LEADERSHIP: An Inquiry and a Response to Pastor Keith A. Smith’s “Can Christian Women be Pastors and Preachers?”

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. For many centuries, the Christian church understood that God had allocated to men only the authority and authoritative teaching roles in the church.  In the last several decades in the Western world, however, the changing zeitgeist has led to this understanding being challenged.  Many churches and entire …

SHOULD CHRISTIANS PRACTISE MEDITATION?

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. 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 …

BRETHREN AGAINST CHRIST: An Indictment of The Brethren in Christ of North America’s “The Biblical Basis for Women in Church Leadership and Pastoral Ministry”

© 2011, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) There is a slogan popular among Evangelical Christians that goes as follows: …

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)

© 2011, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. 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 …

WHAT IS FAITH?

© 2010, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. First, faith is defined as “complete trust or confidence” (Webster’s), “complete trust, unquestioning confidence” (Oxford), and as such it is something everyone practises, including your atheist friend, in ways both profound and mundane.  For example, which of us would approach a complete stranger and ask him to …

A SECOND CAINAN?

© 2009, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The genealogy of Jesus given by Luke includes a certain “Cainan” (Luke 3:36) who is indicated to be the son of Arphaxad and father of Shelah.  In the Old Testament, Arphaxad was the father of Shelah (Salah), according to Genesis 10:24 and 11:12, and 1 Chronicles 1:18.  …