About Me

With my lovely wife at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. (December 2017)

Hi, my name is Tim Chaffey. I’m a Bible-believing Christian, husband, father, teacher, apologist, author, and cancer survivor.

I have been happily married since 1996 and have a daughter and son. I enjoy spending time with my family, walking, basketball, swimming, and good theological discussions. In 2001, I was the starting center for a national championship basketball team. I swam the relay leg of half-Ironman triathlons in 2012 and 2013, and completed the Nation’s Triathlon in 2013 with Team in Training to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In the past several years my wife and I have completed over a dozen half-marathons in more than ten states.

I currently work as the content manager for the Attractions Division at Answers in Genesis, which means that I’m responsible for developing the content for the exhibits at the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. I spent five years as a pastor and associate pastor, in which I taught youth ministry, adult Sunday School, and a weekly theology class in addition to regular preaching duties. I have also taught high school Bible and science classes for six years.

In 2011, I completed a Th.M. in Church History and Theology from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary after successfully defending my thesis on The Sons of God and the Nephilim. In 2008, I earned a Master of Divinity degree (summa cum laude) specializing in Apologetics and Theology. I also hold a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Biblical and Theological Studies.

Overlooking the Dead Sea from the top of Masada. The nation of Jordan is on the opposite side of the water. (December 2017)

I am also a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia in July 2006. I have been in full remission since September 2006. My second full-length book, God and Cancer, traces my battle with the disease, but focuses on providing insight and advice to others who are going through difficult times. The book concludes with an apologetic for the existence of God. This section demonstrates that suffering and evil do not provide evidence against the God of the Bible, but rather the Bible provides the only solution to this issue.

I started Midwest Apologetics in 2005, a ministry dedicated to defending the word of God from the beginning to the end. With that goal in mind, I have written nearly two dozen books since that time. I co-authored The Truth Chronicles youth fiction series. Book 1 (The Time Machine) was published in April 2010, book 2 (The Contest) in May 2010, book 3 (The Rescue) in June 2010, book 4 (The Thief) in April 2012, book 5 (The Chase) in Fall 2012, and book 6 (The Ark) in December 2013. These exciting books are designed to teach young people how to defend the faith and learn more about the biblical worldview.

Having a little fun during a great day of hiking in Sequoia National Park. (September 2016)

More recently, I co-authored The Remnant Trilogy, a coming-of-age historical fiction series on the life of Noah from his early adult years up until the time of the Flood. It is essentially the official backstory for Noah and his family members as they are portrayed at the Ark Encounter. Visitors to the theme park will be able to see dozens of items or events described in the novels. They are full of adventure and designed to direct the reader to take a close look at Scripture, and each of the books include approximately 40 pages of non-fiction at the end to address questions that many people have about Noah, the Ark, the Flood, and the pre-Flood world. See the following posts for more information about each book—Noah: Man of Destiny, Noah: Man of Resolve, and Noah: Man of God.

But my favorite topic has long been the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I recently published In Defense of Easter to address the historicity of the Resurrection, to defend it against the skeptical and critical attacks, and to discuss many of the practical implications of the fact that Jesus rose from the dead.

I have contributed to several other books as either an editor or writer. Notably, I have written chapters in the following books: Searching for AdamHow Do We Know the Bible Is True? Volumes I & II, and Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions, Volume II.

Please note: the opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Answers in Genesis.


Comments

About Me — 108 Comments

  1. Hello Tim, its been a while, I was looking for my old post, but couldn’t find it. I competed your Noah trilogy in June, and took your suggestion,I have begun R. M. Huffman’s trilogy. I finished his first book “Leviathan” and I am about halfway through “Fallen.” I have enjoyed these works, but they seem to be more fantasy, whereas your works were more like historical fiction. I assume his third issue “The Remnant” will be published next year, and I do look forward to reading this and see how he wraps this up. You also suggested another series of antediluvian books, can you refresh me on who that author is?

    Thank you!
    Kevin Evans
    (Just a little about myself, I am an Ordained Bishop in the Church of God, and I have a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry from our seminary).

    • Hi Kevin,

      I’m glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed my books and Huffman’s. I’m not sure when his third one will be finished. Yes, they are more fantasy than mine are. The other series I recommended is the Cradleland Chronicles by Doug Hirt. These are also more fantasy than mine are, and they aren’t quite as graphic as Huffman’s. I’ve read each of them twice and really enjoyed them both times. God bless!

  2. I just finished reading the three books on Noah. I loved the series,but don’t understand why you made the king have the same name as Noah’s father. I couldn’t find anything in the last part of the third book about that part. It is also confusing when at the end of book three you said Adah who was the king’s wife was with Noah’s father. Also Noah’s brother was with her. This is really confusing. I don’t remember if it said they married which would be impossible since the king was not dead or at least not for quite awhile. I know it is fiction, but why?

    • Hi Candace,
      Thank you for the kind words about the series. I’m glad to hear that you loved the series. We enjoyed working on it and it’s always encouraging to hear things like this from readers, so thank you. To those reading this comment, there are some minor spoiler alerts below.
      Regarding your questions, allow me to clarify some points that you seem to have misunderstood along the way. The reason the king had the same name as Noah’s father is because in Genesis 4:18–24 the father of Tubal-Cain, Jubal, Jabal, and Naamah is named Lamech. We discuss the reason we made him a ruler in the non-fiction section of book 1 (p. 281). We even have Noah make a comment about the king having the same name as his own father. They are clearly two different people in our story. One is Noah’s father, “good Lamech,” and he lives on a farm near a small town to the north of where most of the story takes place. The other, “bad Lamech,” is a ruler who lives in the large city of Havil.
      The only place where we ever had Adah in the same scene as Noah’s father was in the middle of the third book when Noah’s group (which included his father) came across the large group of nomadic shepherds led by Jabal. Adah was there, and the book explains why she was no longer with the king, but we never make it seem as if Noah’s father was with her. We named Noah’s mother Nina, so that was “good Lamech’s” wife. I don’t want to say much more here so as to avoid spoiling the story for those who may not have read it yet. Also, I don’t really know what you mean by saying that Noah’s brother was with Adah. They are never in any scenes together. The only place we ever see Noah’s brother is in his hometown and one time in book 1 when he visits Noah before a wedding. Adah is never in any of those scenes. We only see her in Havil and the scene mentioned above with the nomadic shepherds.
      I hope this helps clarify some things for you. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  3. Tim,

    I recently stumbled across your article titled “Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement.” You are absolutely correct that it is difficult to make a credible case that the Torah is still in effect if one does not set the example by fully obeying it himself. In the article you described the “Mosaic Law,” which is more often called the Torah of Yahweh, as a burden that should not be placed on Gentile believers. I believe you will be extremely hard-pressed to find any indication from Genesis to Malachi that the Torah is in any way burdensome. If it actually is a such terrible burden then the Torah, Prophets, & Writings should be replete with examples of its great oppressiveness. Instead Deuteronomy 30:11-16, Psalms 19:7-11, & Deuteronomy 4:6-8 typify what Yahweh has to say about his right-rulings. In many places He speaks of His intention that Yisra’el would bless the nations through the light of His righteous Torah commands. Amazingly Malachi wraps up his book with the admonition to “Remember the Torah of Mosheh, My servant, which I commanded him in ?or?? for all Yisrâ’êl – laws and right-rulings.” Throughout the Torah, Prophets, & Writings, those who fully obey Yahweh’s commands, like Job, are consistently called righteous while those, such as Ahab, who cast off His commands are called wicked. It seems extremely unlikely that would change by simply turning the page from Malachi to Matthew. The question is, from what does Messiah free one? The bondage of sin, which is lawlessness (1 Jn. 3:4), or the Torah of freedom (Jas. 1:25)? Why would the New Covenant speak of writing the Torah in one’s heart if under this covenant Yahweh’s Torah is vacated? Was the Torah a tedious burden that Yisra’êl could not keep or a tremendous blessing that a faithless people would not keep? Ezekiel 5:6, 20:11-13; Jeremiah 6:19; & Hosea 4:6 are Yahweh’s typical assessment of the matter. Finally, how does believing in Yahushua Messiah, by following him in complete obedience to all of Yahweh’s righteous commands, equate to a “works salvation?” After all, 1 Jn. 2:6 says “The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked” and Jas. 2:18 says “But someone might say, “You have belief, and I have works.” Show me your belief without your works, and I shall show you my belief by my works.”

    Shawn

    • Hi Shawn,
      I did not express in the article that “it is difficult to make a credible case that the Torah is still in effect if one does not set the example by fully obeying it himself.” My point was that it is not just difficult, but impossible to make the case that the Torah is still in effect if one understands the extremely clear teachings of the apostles in Acts 15 and of Paul in Galatians and many other passages.
      James doesn’t say that the Torah is freedom or compare the Mosaic Law to freedom. When he mentions the “law of liberty,” he is speaking of the commands of Christ that are a part of the new and better covenant. And as I pointed out multiple times in the article, Gentiles are not and never were under the Law of Moses.
      Finally, you seem to object to identifying the Law of Moses as a burden. But that’s just what the apostles called it in Acts 15. In response to this statement in verse 5 (But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses”), Peter replied with the following words:

      Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” (Acts 15:7–11)

      So Peter called circumcision and the law of Moses a yoke that neither they nor their fathers were able to bear. But that’s not all. In the letter the apostles sent to the Gentile believers to inform them that they were not required to keep the law of Moses, they included these words:

      Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”—to whom we gave no such commandment—25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell. (Acts 15:24–29)

      So the apostles, and this included James who said pretty much the exact same thing in the previous verses (Acts 15:13–21), specifically said that they did not send out instructions to the Gentiles that they must be circumcised and keep the law of Moses. Some people were making that claim and troubling the souls of the Gentile believers, but those people were not sent by the apostles. Then the letter says that they determined not to lay upon them any “greater burden” than four basis prohibitions that were a part of the law of Moses (abstain from things offered to idols, blood, things strangled, and sexual immorality). In other words, if they said, “Yes, you must be circumcised and keep the law of Moses” then that would have been a greater burden on the Gentiles.
      James gave the reason to abstain from those things in verse 21. It was to avoid offending the Jewish people who met in the synagogues in various cities. These were people that they hoped to reach with the gospel and they didn’t want to unnecessarily offend them.
      The typical response from people in the Hebrew Roots Movement about verse 21 is a classic example of twisting Scripture. I’m sure you are familiar with it (feel free to point out if you disagree with those in the movement), but for those who might read this discussion, here is what I have heard many times before I wrote the article and since then from people in the movement. They claim that the reason the apostles only gave four basic prohibitions is because the Gentile believers were then expected to go to the synagogues and learn the rest of the Torah there. This is so wrong on multiple points. First, that is not what the verse says. Nothing in verse 21 says that the Gentiles were expected to go to the synagogues and learn the Torah. Second, the early church didn’t meet in the synagogues. They most often met in houses. Paul went to the synagogues to evangelize and reason with the Jews, but he was regularly thrown out of the synagogues, and in many cases, he was beaten (or worse) because those in the synagogues stirred up the people against him. Once the church was planted in that city, they didn’t meet in the synagogues, and they never would have been welcomed there. Third, even if this is what James meant (which it wasn’t), but for the sake of argument, let’s assume he did, then how come these words weren’t included in the letter sent to the Gentiles? How would those Gentiles find out that they were supposed to go to the synagogues to learn the rest of the law of Moses since the letter didn’t tell them to do that?
      So in Acts 15 the apostles referred to the law of Moses as a yoke they were unable to bear as well as a burden that they would not place on the Gentiles. That’s why I used that terminology.

      • Tim,

        Your answer is very long and restates many points from the article. It does not however address the fundamental point. If Kepha is saying that the Torah of Yahweh is an oppressive burden, then looking at Genesis to Malachi, the same Scriptures the Bereans searched, you should be able to quote a plethora of Scriptures that describes it as an oppressive burden.

        Shawn

        • Shawn,
          It absolutely addresses the fundamental point. Both Peter and the apostles at the “Jerusalem Council” said that requiring the Gentiles to be circumcised and keep the Law would be placing a burden or yoke on them. It was a yoke that neither they nor their fathers were able to bear. So I don’t need to find a passage in the Old Testament (or a plethora of them) that calls the Law of Moses a burden since I gave you two statements from the New Testament that deal specifically with the issue of whether Gentiles need to keep the Law. One would have been enough. Since I, and the vast majority of believers in the church today are Gentiles (even those in the HRM). That is why this passage is particularly relevant. And I believe it is why folks in the HRM either ignore it or completely twist the meaning of verse 21 and ignore the rest of the context.
          Despite what HRM followers believe, Gentiles are never called Jews in the Bible, and even those Gentiles who convert to the Jewish faith were never called Jews—they were identified as proselytes. And since the HRM is made up of Gentiles (defined in Scripture as those who are not physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), then that is why the article and my response focused on that passage. We are under the new and better covenant, and do not need to put ourselves under a burden that was too difficult for the apostles and their fathers to bear.

          • Tim,

            Contrary to popular tradition, Yahweh and Yahushua both consistently speak very highly of Mosheh and the Torah that he wrote down at the mouth of Yahweh:

            “And He said, “Hear now My words: If your prophet is of Yahweh, I make Myself known to him in a vision, and I speak to him in a dream. “Not so with My servant Mosheh, he is trustworthy in all My house. “I speak with him mouth to mouth, and plainly, and not in riddles. And he sees the form of Yahweh. So why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Mosheh?”” Numbers 12:6-8

            If Yahweh spoke to Mosheh so clearly, then it behooves one to pay close attention to his words, just as one pays close attention to the words of Yahushua Messiah.

            ““But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Mosheh and the prophets, neither would they be persuaded even if one should rise from the dead.’ ”” Luke 16:31

            ““For if you believed Mosheh, you would have believed Me, since he wrote about Me. “But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?”” John 5:46-47

            Yahushua is quite clear: not hearing & believing Mosheh leads to not believing Yahushua; their consistent message comes from the exact same source, Yahweh. Did Messiah do away with the Torah as Christian tradition teaches?

            “Let your light so shine before men, so that they see your right works and praise your Father who is in the heavens. Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete (??? Mâlâ (Aramaic) / ?????? Pl?ro-? (Greek 4137)). For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one yod or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done. “Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens.” Matthew 5:16-19

            “And it is easier for the heaven and the earth to pass away than for one tittle of the Torah to fall.” Luke 16:17

            The definition of the word translated “fulfill” is key as it DOES NOT mean to do away with or “He kept it for me,” but instead “to perfectly keep, to fill up completely.” It has this meaning in both Greek and Aramaic. Both passages mention heaven and earth passing away as the sign of the Torah falling, yet heaven & earth are still here.

            “Here is the endurance of the set-apart ones, here are those guarding the commands of Elohim and the belief of Yahushua.” Revelation 14:12

            In the end the faithful ones are those who are guarding the commands (the Torah) of Yahweh Elohim and the belief of Yahushuah Messiah. They believe in Messiah, Who writes His Father’s Torah in their hearts, so that they live out their belief by obeying their Father’s righteous commands. This directly relates to the new or better covenant that you mentioned. The word for “New” is Khâdâsh (???), which comes from Khâdash (???), meaning “to renew,” as in the moon renewing each month. Therefore, it’s not really so much a New Covenant as it is a Renewed Covenant:

            ““See, the days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when I shall make a renewed covenant with the house of Yisra’êl and with the house of Yehudah, not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I strengthened their hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares Yahweh. “For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Yisra’êl after those days, declares Yahweh: I shall put My Torah in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. “And no longer shall they teach, each one his neighbour, and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know Yahweh,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares Yahweh. “For I shall forgive their crookedness, and remember their sin no more.”” Jeremiah 31:31-34

            Notice there was nothing wrong with the first covenant. Instead Yisra’êl loathed Yahweh’s commands and refused to obey them (see Ezekiel 20:11-13); they broke His marriage covenant. The signatories to this Renewed Covenant are Yahweh and the combined House of Yisra’êl, which is the divided kingdoms of Yisra’êl & Yehudah, reunited into one House via this covenant. If one grafts into this Covenant as Yisra’?l (Rom. 11), he becomes bound to Yahweh Himself via this renewed covenant, which is cut in the blood of Yahushua Messiah. A burning desire to obey Yahweh’s righteous Torah commands is the evidence that one is in covenant with Yahweh. This Renewed Covenant is essentially a restatement of Dt. 30:

            ““And Yahweh your Elohim shall circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed, to love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being, so that you might live,
            “For this command which I am commanding you today, it is not too hard for you, nor is it far off. “It is not in the heavens, to say, ‘Who shall ascend into the heavens for us, and bring it to us, and cause us to hear it, so that we do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, to say, ‘Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, and cause us to hear it, so that we do it?’ ” “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it. See, I have set before you today life and wellbeing, and death and evil,”” Deuteronomy 30:6, 11-15

            When Sha’?l talks about the Renewed Covenant in Hebrews 8-9 he is talking about how the original covenant involved an earthly copy of the House of Yahweh, where the seed of Aharon offered the blood of animals once a year. Yahushua perfected that covenant by entering the actual House of Yahweh and offering Himself as the perfect slaughtering, once for all time. Sha’?l does not say the first covenant was defective or oppressive, simply that the Renewed Covenant is far superior; it is ??? (Mâlâ) / ?????? (Pl?ro-?); it is filled up to overflowing, to perfection. This covenant is written in the heart so believers in Messiah WANT to obey the righteous commands of Yahweh.

            The question is, did the Pharisees and Sadducees actually keep the Torah of Mosheh?

            ““Did not Mosheh give you the Torah? Yet not one of you does the Torah! Why do you seek to kill Me?”” John 7:19

            “And He answering, said to them, “Well did Yeshayahu prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it has been written, ‘This people respect Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commands of men.’ Forsaking the command of Elohim, you hold fast the tradition of men. And He said to them, “Well do you set aside the command of Elohim, in order to guard your tradition. “For Mosheh said, ‘Respect your father and your mother,’ and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ “But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me, is Qorban (that is, a gift),” ’ you no longer let him do any matter at all for his father or his mother, nullifying the Word of Elohim through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such traditions you do.”” Mark 7:6-13

            Does Yahweh change? Does He do away with His covenant or commands?

            ““For I am Yahweh, I shall not change, and you, O sons of Ya?aqov, shall not come to an end.” Malachi 3:6

            ““I shall not profane My covenant, Neither would I change what has gone out from My lips.” Psalms 89:34

            Finally, if Yahweh does not change, how can “abomination” suddenly cease to be “abomination?” How can one activity (refusing to hear/obey the Torah) cease to be abomination while another activity tied to the same word does not cease to be abomination? How can eating something that is called abomination suddenly cease to be abominable, especially when Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 65:4 uses the same word (??? – Sheqets)? After all, abomination is a very strong word.

            “‘But all that have not fins and scales in the seas and in the rivers, all that move in the waters or any living being which is in the waters, they are an abomination (??? – Sheqets – H8263) to you.” Leviticus 11:10

            “‘And a man who lies with a male as he lies with a woman: both of them have done an abomination (????? – toe-ay-vah – H8441), they shall certainly be put to death, their blood is upon them.” Leviticus 20:13

            “He who turns away his ear from hearing/obeying the Torah, Even his prayer is an abomination (????? – toe-ay-vah – H8441).” Proverbs 28:9

            I have let Yahweh and His Messiah say in their own words what their position is on the matter of the Torah of Yahweh. There is nothing more I can add to the discussion. Therefore, as Yahweh lives I will say nothing further on the matter; this is my final post. May Yahushuah Messiah lead you in the straight, narrow Way of Yahweh Elohîm.

          • Shawn,
            Two quick points. First, I did not imply or assume that the Law of Moses was bad. Following the example of the apostles in Acts 15, I said it was a burden that was too heavy for them and their fathers to bear. That is straight from Scripture.
            Second, you have continued to ignore the real issue here that I clearly stated in my article and in my first two responses to you. The question is not whether the Law of Moses was good or bad. The question at hand is whether Gentiles are required to keep the Law of Moses. The apostles repeatedly said, “No!” The Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 emphatically rejected the idea as did Paul in his letter to the Galatians. In fact, that was the main reason he wrote the letter. In all of the verses you listed above, you did not come close to showing otherwise. Every verse you cited was either written to Israelites (the OT verses and the book of Hebrews) or about Israelites (the passages in the Gospels where Jesus is interacting with Jews and the verse from Revelation).
            No one is claiming that we should reject the Law of Moses because it was bad. The claim is that Gentile believers are not under the Law of Moses because it was given to and for Israel (the Jews). It was the covenant God made at Sinai with the Israelites. Since Gentiles (by definition) are not Jews, then the Law of Moses is not for them. That’s the point. As the article stated, Christians have the freedom to follow parts of the Law of Moses if they choose, but they are not obligated to do it, and it is wrong to attempt to impose the Law of Moses on Gentiles.

  4. Greetings Tim.
    I have thought a great deal over many years about harmonising the resurrection accounts in the gospels, and have just read your web article on this on the AIG site as part of another search to see how other people have done it.
    The major sticking point between the accounts is that Matthew indicates Jesus appeared to ‘Mary Magdalene and the other Mary’…at least their names are antecedent to the comment about appearing to the women (Matt 28:8-10). Yet Mark says the Jesus appeared first to Mary M, and John seems to indicate she was alone when she saw him. If Jesus appeared to both Mary’s as per Matthew, how can it be that he appeared first to Mary M as per Mark, and alone as per John. Matthew has Mary M seeing and being spoken to by the angels and told of the resurrection, yet what she says to Peter and John, and the ‘the gardener’ precludes that as a possibility. Before meeting Jesus it appears she didn’t know anything about the resurrection.
    So how is all this put together?
    I would like to raise a possibility that I’m not aware of anyone mentioning, because it seems they take all accounts as verbatim, not considering the nature of the records and how such records may be framed up. I’m aware that this may be too far out for many to accept, but here goes.
    The accounts are very brief, especially Matthew’s. When giving brief accounts of events it often happens that various events get conflated in a way they would not be done if a more lengthy account was being given. I suggest that this is what has occurred in the various accounts, especially Matt, Mark, and Luke.
    By ‘conflation’ I am not talking about ‘abbreviating’ the record. For example John ‘abbreviates’ the record by only talking about Mary M going to the tomb, whereas it seems most likely she was only one of a group of about six women. Matthew abbreviates the number of women to two. When an account mentions only one angel, it an abbreviation because we know from the other accounts there were two angels.
    By conflation I mean that separate and distinct events are brought together and recorded as though they were only one.
    So Luke says the women – including Mary M – went to the tomb, saw the vision of angels and came back to tell the disciples. However it was not this straightforward. Events have been conflated. Mary M separated from the other women and went and told Peter and John that someone had taken the Lord out of the tomb, then went back to the tomb alone and so was not with the other women when they told the disciples they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. And interestingly, her account that she had seen the Lord is totally discounted in Luke, such that it is not mentioned, even though it was known about.
    I think Matthew’s account is conflated. It conflates Mary M seeing the Lord with the rest of the women leaving the tomb and going to the disciples without seeing the Lord. This means that even though the text says Jesus appeared to the two Marys, that in fact he only appeared to Mary M.
    And what’s more – this being so, the only person who saw Jesus for the best part of that day, from early morning to perhaps mid/late afternoon, was Mary Magdalene. If all the women had seen Jesus as implied by Matthew, their account would have been far harder to discount, and thus I can’t see how the two on the road to Emmaus would have limited their comments re the women’s report, to them simply seeing a vision of angels who said he was alive. However, if only one woman had seen him, and that one being a woman from a very disturbed past, though whose devotion to Jesus could not be questioned, then what she said could be more easily discounted – as Luke’s account indicates happened. Perhaps Mary Magdalene was sort of ‘fringy’ to the rest of the disciples because of her past, even though she is mentioned first in all the lists of the women re the resurrection, and she was at the cross, and followed Joseph and Nicodemus to the grave.
    This raises a whole lot of other interesting ideas about why the Lord choreographed the resurrection appearances this way. And I mean choreographed. These appearances were planned. They were not random chance occurrences. Why did he choose Mary M as the first and only witness for most of the day? This is another very strong indicator of the authenticity of the records because if they had been contrived, they would never have been written this way…they would never have had Mary Magdalene as the first and initially only witness to the resurrection.

    • Hi Renton,
      Thanks for your thoughts on this. I don’t think your proposed solution works as well as the one I described in this article (https://answersingenesis.org/jesus-christ/resurrection/christs-resurrection-four-accounts-one-reality/). Your view essentially states that Matthew is wrong in reporting that Jesus appeared to the women, because you think He only appeared to Mary Magdalene that morning. But Matthew is quite clear that He appeared to the women while “they” went to tell the disciples. However, the solution I described in the article has Jesus appearing first to Mary Magdalene (after she returned to the tomb following Peter and John), then to the other women (at least four others went to the tomb that morning according to Luke), but this appearance occurred after these women informed Cleopas and another disciple what had happened at the tomb (as described by these two in Luke 24:22–24). The women (minus Mary Magdalene) then continued on to tell the rest of the disciples who were probably staying in Bethany. This scenario accounts for all of the details, including the sticky point you raised about Matthew. It only requires us to see that Matthew also telescopes some of the events, which is a common practice in historical reporting. Matthew only mentions the two women, but you and I agree that he is not necessarily limiting the number of women that morning to two. He just doesn’t mention Mary Magdalene leaving the other women as they near the tomb. John fills in this detail for us.

  5. Hi Tim,

    I’ve just finished working through your 6 part RISEN WITHOUT A DOUBT series. Also busy working through you book IN DEFENSE OF EASTER.

    Thanks so much for these resources, they have been a massive encouragement to me personally. We plan to work through it with our church over this coming Easter weekend (in Johannesburg, South Africa).

    Quick question. On discussing all the resurrection appearances of Jesus (you had 12 in your book), why did you not count the appearance of Jesus to John in Revelation?

    Thanks for preaching the gospel with such apparent love and humility.

    Blessings,
    Jan

    • Hi Jan, thank you for the very kind words regarding the DVDs and book. It’s encouraging to me to know that they are blessing to others, and I pray God will continue to use them in such a way.
      The reason I didn’t mention John in Revelation was that John gives indications that what he saw was a vision rather than an actual appearance of Jesus in the flesh (note the description of Jesus in that passage in Revelation 1). Some have classified the appearance to Paul in the same way, usually based on what Paul said to King Agrippa in Acts 26:19 when he mentioned the “heavenly vision.” However, it is unlikely that Paul mean the same thing we do today when speaking of visions. When Jesus appeared to Paul, there was some sort of physical manifestation since even his companions saw the light (Acts 22:9), and Paul puts that appearance on the same level as the appearances to the other disciples (1 Corinthians 15:5–8).
      I’m not sure if it is really fair to distinguish the appearances to John and Paul the way I have, but that is the reason behind it. Perhaps the two are similar enough that I should have mentioned John at that point. Thanks again for the encouragement. I hope my answer was helpful.
      Sincerely,
      Tim

      • Thanks Tim that’s helpful. I’ll send your response to all the folk we workshopped your series with over the Easter weekend.

        All the best,
        Jan

  6. Tim,

    I enjoyed reading your posts. Quick question I have been struggling with: Why would God permit a second intrusion of fallen angels after the Flood, seeing as he punished the first group by putting them in chains? God bless.

    Buddy Smith

    • Hi Buddy,

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the posts. You’ve asked an excellent question. I believe the solution is that God did not imprison the “sons of God” at the time of the Flood. While it seems natural that He would have judged them at this time, the Bible seems to indicate that wasn’t the case. Genesis 6:4 tells us that the Nephilim (giants) were on the earth whenever the sons of God and the daughters of men got together, and that this happened both before and after the Flood. Further evidence of these sons of God being around after the Flood is found in Deuteronomy 32:8. Speaking about the Babel incident, Moses told the people that God divided the nations at that time according to the number of the sons of God (some translations have “sons of Israel” but this is clearly a later gloss—Israel had no sons at that time, but would eventually have 12 of them and the nations were split into 70 groups at Babel, also the oldest manuscripts we have, by far, support the sons of God reading).
      So the sons of God who committed these actions in Genesis 6 were still around to do it again after the Flood. As to why God permitted this, I think we get a glimpse of it in Deuteronomy 32:8–9. After explaining that split the people up according to the number of the sons of God at Babel (Deut. 4:17–19 teaches that these “gods” were given to the nations as an inheritance), but the Lord said in 32:9 that Israel will be His people, His inheritance. So it’s as if God is setting up a contest to show these other “gods” that He’ll start with a people in bondage, deliver them, and still bring about His plan to redeem mankind.
      Psalm 82 shows us that these other gods were supposed to rule justly, but they failed miserably. Consequently, they were going to be judged and brought low. “I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes'” (Psalm 82:6–7). When would this take place? Since this is after the Flood, there is one point in history that makes the most sense. It is the moment when God’s plan is vindicated and proven to all observers, that moment that serves as the foundation of the Christian faith, that moment that Jesus spoke of as being the one sign to an evil and adulterous generation: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. There might even be a strong hint of this at the end of Psalm 82. The Psalm begins by telling us that God has taken His stand in the divine council and that He judges among the gods. It ends with these words: “Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit all nations” (Psalm 82:8). Notice the language about inheritance at the end. What once was given as an inheritance to these others gods (in Deuteronomy) will now belong to the true God. When does this happen? Look closely at that first word: “Arise.” In the Septuagint, that word is anasta (anistemi), the same word used numerous times in the New Testament to speak of Jesus being “raised” from the dead (Acts 2:24, 30, 32, 3:26, and more), and comes from the same root as the word for “resurrection” (anastasis). Interesting, isn’t it?
      So it seems that these spirits were imprisoned when Jesus rose from the dead. This fits well with 1 Peter 3:18–20 which speaks of Jesus dying and the rising again and then going to preach “to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient…in the days of Noah.”
      I know they don’t teach this in Sunday school or from most pulpits, but that’s what the text says. I find it fascinating how well it all fits together and how the Resurrection is the focal point not only in human history, but also in the spiritual realm. Hope this helps.

      • Very interesting! Thanks for the food for thought. It does make a lot of sense. I have been looking into this subject for quite a while and what you wrote is more reasonable to me than what others have said. Is this stuff in your dissertation?

        • Hi Buddy,
          I’m glad that made sense. Most of that is not in my dissertation, but it will be in my upcoming book on the subject (later this year). Also, I think it sounds like a good topic for a blog post. Perhaps I’ll do that in the near future. Thanks for the great question.

    • Hi Brian,
      I’m glad to hear that your son has enjoyed the first two books. Thank you for the encouragement. The third book is not available yet (book 2 just came out in June). If all goes according to plan, book 3 should be available around May 2018. I’ll keep people posted about its progress on my blog and/or on my Facebook author page (www.facebook.com/TimChaffeyAuthor/).

    • Hi Linda,
      Thanks for your interest in book 2. It is currently at the printer and is expected to ship in early June. Amazon currently has June 1 as a release date, but I think it might be a week or so later than that. The Kindle version will probably be available a little earlier. Enjoy!

  7. Mr. Chaffey- My husband and I have taken two family vacations to the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter with our six children over the past four years. This past trip of 2016, we went to see the Ark. It moved me in the sense that it started to create a story that I could imagine in my own mind of how it could of happened. I enjoyed your work in the Ark immensely and I look forward to reading your book on Noah’s background story. I wanted to see if I could email you in regards to how you started to paint that picture in your mind to write the book as the Lord has given me a book idea and would like to hear from someone that has started down that road already. God bless.

  8. I don’t believe that there is a need to interpret Genesis 6 in this way. The Bible never talks of those who would have been the supposed offspring of these supposed copulations. The judgements always talk of judging man -or- judging angels. I have a really hard time reconciling that view with the rest of the Bible. The rest of the Bible is clear in its presentation. I try to read the Bible as I would any other book. The plain verses and the overall message do not lean toward this interpretation.

    • Hi Wesley,

      Thanks for reading my blog. I’m not sure which article it was that led to this comment, so I’ll just give a quick general response to your comment.
      The offspring of the sons of God (heavenly beings) and daughters of men (human women) were human. Genesis 6:4 calls them “mighty men” and “men of renown.” They were giants, which is what the word nephilim means. They were on the earth before the Flood and after the Flood, whenever the sons of God and daughters of men had children together. In fact, it is one of the reasons for the harsh judgment that we see in Genesis 7–8 and in Joshua. There were certain people groups in Canaan that Joshua was commanded to completely destroy (men, women, and children), and at other times, they were not given that command but were allowed to make an offer of peace. The places where God said to destroy them all are the places that the giants lived. There is no reason to look for something other than the straightforward meaning of the text. Whenever bene ha ‘elohim (and similar forms) appears in Scripture, it clearly refers to heavenly beings. Why would it be different here?

  9. Dear Mr. Chaffey, My congregation this morning is telling me that my sermon on 1/15/17 gave the same conclusion as your post regarding Exodus 21. I wrote my Hebrew thesis on the Bible’s view of unborn children and have pushed ever since that the passage be interpreted that even accidental killing of the unborn was a death penalty for the Law of Moses period (no longer in force but ethics still the same). If you would like the Hebrew research, please send me your mailing address. A less technical study maybe found for free download under “A Biblical Look at Unborn Children” at http://www.webtheology.com . For additional apologetics research, see also my books “Jesus and History” and “Papias and Matthew” (also avialable for free download) God’s grace, Dr. Steven Waterhouse, Amarillo, Texas

  10. Hi Mr. Tim Chaffey it’s me Carson, your biggest fan! I was wondering if you are going to make anymore The Truth Chronicles, they are my favorite books! What’s really annoying is that you met like EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY accept me:/

    • Hi Carson,
      It’s good to hear from you. I’m sure we’ll meet up soon enough. I’m not sure about writing more of the Truth Chronicles. I’d really like to do books 7-9, which would take place during the students’ senior year. I haven’t worked out a good enough story line yet, and I’ve got three other books to finish before I could even start #7. I’ll definitely let you know if I ever get moving on it.

  11. Tim,

    Yesterday I purchased and began reading “Old-Earth Creationism on Trial.” Thank you for this book.

    I hope you’ll allow me to ask a question here from time to time. I promise to only ask questions which could be of interest to other readers of your blog.

    In your research have you ever run across any OEC’s who believe that the geologic record is explained by both Noah’s flood and an old earth…or does everyone consider these two explanations to be mutually exclusive?

    • Hi Mike,
      Thanks for purchasing and reading the book. I hope it will be edifying to you.
      I am sure there are some people who believe the geologic record is explained by both the Flood and an old earth. However, this is a nonsensical position. The main “evidence” for the old earth is from the rock layers that supposedly formed over the course of millions of years. Yet the global Flood would rip up such layers and deposit new layers. So the two views are really completely at odds.
      I know some Christians have held to the so-called “tranquil flood” concept—that the Flood was worldwide but left no evidence. This is also an absurd view since floods, even small-scale events, leave plenty of evidence.
      I’ve learned an interesting fact about the rock layers since writing that book. Thanks to a process known as bioturbation, the rock layers really cannot be a record of slow and gradual processes. Tiny organisms in the soil churn up the highest levels of any area, meaning that you wouldn’t get layers over long periods of time. They need to be deposited rapidly.

      • Very good; thanks.

        Also regarding the flood, and maybe a little closer to your current activities, I have been surprised to see the Ark Encounter featuring a tapered hull – making it look more like a boat and less like a barge. (I am no expert in these things, and may even be using the wrong vocabulary.) This concerns me though because when Bill Nye debated Ken Ham, Nye made a big deal of some failed attempt to build an ark that could sail and I remember screaming in my mind at the screen “It didn’t have to go anywhere – it only had to float!”

        Could you please give me your thoughts on this, as it seems to me that in presenting the ark as a historical reality to a skeptical world, we are helped if we can present it without any need for navigability and only a need for bouyancy.

        • Hi Mike,
          There are several articles on the Answers in Genesis website addressing your concerns about this. The curved hull, bow fin, and stern projection are for buoyancy in stormy seas and are not intended for manual navigation. The purpose of these items is to make a stronger ship and a more comfortable ride for the passengers. A box-shaped Ark would float, but it could easily get turned side on into the waves, which would be extremely uncomfortable in storm conditions. The bow fin and stern projection would automatically turn the Ark into the waves (like a weather vane turns into the wind). This would make the ride a lot softer when the waves hit.

  12. Thank you for Truth Chronicles, my 11 year old daughter loves them. Can you recommend similar reading for her, she’s nearly done with book 5!! Or, will there be similar titles from your publisher?

    • Hi Cristy,

      Thank you for the encouraging words. I’m glad to hear that your daughter enjoys the books. At this point, I don’t have any definitive plans to write more books in the series, although I would really like to have books 7–9 at some point to follow the teens during their senior year. I don’t know of anything similar from the publisher. I am in the middle of coauthoring a different series at this time based on Noah. The first book is with the editor at this time. She may enjoy these as well, but they are geared more toward the high school on up audience.
      I know there are plenty of junior high age novels out there, but I’m not aware of any that provide the sort of apologetic/worldview teaching that is found in the Truth Chronicles. If I find out about any, I will update this post and let you know.

  13. I am currently reading In Defense of Easter. Love it! Could you provide the small group study guide separately from the DVD set? Maybe a link? I looked over the store, willing to buy it but did not see it separately priced. I am happy to pay for it.

    • Hi Sam,
      Thanks for the kind words about the book. I’m glad you are enjoying it, and I pray that it edifies you. I like the idea of a study guide for the book, but I won’t be able to work on it anytime soon since I have several other projects that need to be finished first. If I do get around to it at some point, I’ll be sure to let you know.

  14. Hi Tim, I read the article “four accounts, one reality” today and loved it. Could I please have a pdf version and print it out to give out this Easter at church (300 people), Pete.

    • Hi Pete,
      Thank you for the kind words about the article. I’ll contact the appropriate person with Answers magazine to see if I can get the PDF file for you to print out for your congregation.
      In case you’re interested, the article was drawn from a chapter in my book, In Defense of Easter: Answering Critical Challenges to the Resurrection of Jesus. Last month, we released a 6 DVD (12 sessions) curriculum on the Crucifixion and Resurrection that I filmed with Eric Hovind. Risen Without a Doubt takes viewers into much greater detail about these amazing events. Here’s a link to both products on my store page if you’d like more info: http://midwestapologetics.org/shop/index.php?rt=product/product&product_id=128

      • Thanks! I will order the book too. I had previously read Easter Enigma by Wenham, so I was interested to read your harmonization which seems reasonable and credible to me. The two locations of disciples seems the main key to unlock the harmony. I, like you, take the Bible to be the Word of God, and like you, want to demonstrate its veracity.

  15. YES..Tim Chaffey…..your hard work in writing the “GOD & Cancer” book was SO well worth it!!! I know after I read it, my dear church friends were passing it on to another cancer friend they knew!!!! GOD DOES work in mysterious ways & HIS word will get around thru you & your book to some that may need it as they might not know HIM yet..!!
    “THANK YOU” for your prayers & kind words to me!!! Each day is such a “GIFT” given to me as I travel this journey to the end when GOD sends his angels to take me home to my Eternal Home!!!
    Blessings that your health continues & you work to pass on GOD’s word to many others….!!! Yours in Christ, Sandy Bowen

  16. Hi Mr. Chaffey,
    I just wanted to tell you that I was given the opportunity to read your book about “God and Cancer” as a dear couple from my church bought it at the Creation Museum after seeing you there…!!! I too, am on my cancer journey of which started Sept. 2011 with Stage 3 breast cancer……just last Nov. adding bone cancer to that as it had spread, along with a small lesion on my liver….
    I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your book & could SO relate to all your shared feelings, too, even though much different journeys!!! I feel BLESSED with each day I get and try to do what I can with each one of them…I belong to a support group, have church family for support, and just hold GOD in my life with prayers for so many others on their journeys….some of which can be far worse than me…. I too, learned the meaning of the word….patience and still learning…?? Ha I will be on chemo pills or treatments the rest of the days I am given….Side effects are hand/foot syndrome which I have learned to tolerate…?? I know my days are counted & when GOD is ready for me…there is nothing that can stop that on this side of Heaven!!
    SO glad you are cancer-free for 10 yrs. now and pray you will continue for many more…..!!! “THANKS SO MUCH” for writing the book and giving me the inspiration to share with others on their journeys, too!!!
    Your Sister in Christ, Sandy

    • Hi Sandy,
      Thank you for taking the time to read the book and for your very encouraging words. I am glad the book was a blessing to you. I pray that the Lord will continue to grant you peace during this difficult time and that He might bring healing as well. I trust that your wonderful attitude toward this battle has been a great blessing to others and that the Lord will use your testimony to reach the lost.
      Thanks again for your encouragement. Your testimony, and others like it, remind me that all the time invested in writing the book was well worth it.
      God bless!

  17. I have been pondering and praying over much and I need your input if you will. How do you reconcile historical documents in comparison and contrast to the Bible? I have read many troubling things over the years, but recently I read one that troubles me more. There are accusations that Moses pretty much plagiarized older documents that as a prince of Egypt, only a select few would have had access to. The accusation goes on to say that he pretty much retold the story of ancient Sumerians, Sargon, in particular and made it his account in the Pentateuch. Can you enlighten me on this or how I can make it make sense. The writings are much older and supposedly real relics . Please help. Thanks.

    • Hi Genary,
      This is a common claim made my liberal theologians and many skeptics, but it just simply isn’t true. Genesis 1–11 tells us the history of the world up to the time when people scattered from Babel. If these chapters are true and accurate, then we would expect to find other cultures talk about similar events in their ancient past since all mankind had a common history until Babel. What do we find? We have discovered numerous cultures from around the globe that have similar stories to what we find in Genesis 1–11. They speak of the first man and woman being thrown out of paradise for eating fruit. They tell of the gods/angels mating with women to produce demigods or giants. They speak of the gods being angry with mankind so they sent a massive Flood to wipe out everyone except for one man and his family and the animals on a large boat. They also speak of an event when the gods were angry again and gave mankind different languages.
      The most popular of these is the Flood event. We have discovered over 200 cultures that have a Flood legend that sounds similar to the Bible, but with some distortions, and it seems like the older the account, the closer it is to the biblical record. The problem for those who claim that the Bible copied these stories is that the Bible is the only one that describes an Ark that would keep its passengers safe during the Flood. Also, the Bible is the only account I know of that does not “localize” the event. What I mean by that is that these other stories always focus on things from their culture (so the boat lands on a nearby mountain and the hero sends out certain animals that people from that area know about). The Bible doesn’t do this. It doesn’t pick a mountain in the land of Israel and the animals (dove and raven) sent out are some that can be found all over.
      Some skeptics will claim that the Flood legends exist because missionaries went into those cultures and taught the people about the Flood. The problem with this claim is that so many of these cultures know nothing of events after Genesis 11. Why wouldn’t these alleged missionaries share the gospel? It simply is not plausible that missionaries would spend years learning a language and trying to reach a culture for Christ, and then the only thing they tell them about are distorted versions of what happened in Genesis 1–11.
      It is very clear that Moses did not copy these stories because there are too many differences between them. The best way to understand these things is that the various cultures that started after people split from Babel began to write down some of the stories passed down to them. As time went on, these things were distorted, but the central truths remain. What Moses wrote was inspired by the Holy Spirit and accurately reflects what really happened.
      I have been given the privilege of developing the content for the Ark Encounter (full-sized Ark being built in Williamstown, KY), and I have read over 200 Flood legends. We are building an exhibit about these legends to explain these truths to visitors.
      I hope this helps.

      • Thank you for taking the time to help me. It does help me and my family. I pray that God guards your heart as you live to be a Light in this very dark and confusing world. Thank you!

    • Hi Marie,
      You can enter your email address in the box on the top right of my page. Thanks for asking me about this. I had the box there previously, but in one of my redesigns, I must have disabled it. God bless!

  18. I just discovered your blog and I am extremely impressed with your knowledge on Biblical studies. I am very curious what denomination are you? As I am in the process of finding a Church home.

    • Hi William,
      Thank you for the encouraging words. I currently am a member of a conservative Baptist church. “Baptist” can have a very wide range of views, so the Baptist church down the street from me is quite different than the one I attend. Also, while I agree with their doctrinal positions, I am not in complete agreement with the polity at most Baptist churches—in that area, I would prefer to see a plurality of elders model like many Brethren churches have. I believe their structure is more in line with what Scripture teaches. I hope this helps.

  19. Mr. Chaffey,

    First I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all your resources online. They are a great help to me. More specifically, I really enjoyed your article on Romans 9:13. That is a verse and passage that when I hear it interpreted by certain people I know something sounds off. But- not so with your commentary. I believe the same as you concerning that specific verse. However, I had another question for you that is definitely broad and may be hard to answer. I struggle reading the rest of Romans 9, as well as other passages like Romans 8:28-30, 1 Th. 1:4-5, Eph. 1:4-5. I see that God choosing is the focus of these verses, and I know the words elect and predestinate are in the Bible, but I am just struggling knowing how to read these verses in my head. On one side you have hard-line Calvinists interpreting them and making you feel as if you are selfish or not as Godly if you don’t interpret them to maximize God’s glory. But then there is the hard-line Arminian side that makes you feel like you are placing man higher than God. Needless to say, I have tried for a long, long time to find a balance between these two camps. I have heard people say “election is a mystery” and I think there is some partial truth to that, but most people that ascribe to that saying are 5-point Calvinists. So, I have tried to just understand what the Bible says and seek Godly counsel on my interpreting the Bible. I just want to create my theology from the Bible and not from other book or system from other people. Can you help me out here?

    Thank you
    In Christ,

    Preston Adams

    • Hi Preston,
      Thank you for the very kind words. I’m thankful that my writings have been helpful for you. Yes, Romans 9:13 is often ripped from its context along with those other passages. You nailed it when you said that going to one side or the other makes you feel as if you are selfish and ungodly or placing man higher than God. I don’t believe one needs to choose between Calvinism and Arminianism since I believe both systems have strengths and weaknesses. I believe the biblical position is somewhere between the two. I don’t believe the whole predestination/free will debate is an either/or proposition—it is a both/and. Norman Geisler did a pretty good job of explaining this in his book, Chosen But Free.
      It’s difficult for many of us to read the verses you mentioned without having a mindset that they are speaking about individual election, since that has been so widely promoted in the church since the Reformation. What’s interesting is that whenever Paul uses terms like election and predestination, it is always in a context that is loaded with Jewish/Gentile issues. A friend of mine, Dr. Chad Thornhill, did his dissertation on this very subject and will be releasing a book on the topic later this year (I think it’s due out in October). You can listen to a couple of podcasts he has done on the topic at the Moral Apologetics website. Follow this link (http://moralapologetics.com/tag/chad-thornhill/) and then scroll to the bottom for the two-part series he did on the topic.
      God bless!

  20. Dear Tim Chaffey
    I just finished a research on the last days of Yeshua and reached significant conclusions about his planned crucifixion and burial. I am astonished that Christians believing that Yesua’s passion and crucifixion was under divine control for his becomingv Jesus Christ, bu still blaim the Jews of killing ‘God’!!! Did God kill himself, at least for 3 days??? Please contact me. I wish you a happy Easter. Zeev Lewy (Jerusalem)

    • Hi Dr. Lewy,
      The passion and crucifixion were not for Jesus to become the Messiah. He already was the Messiah prior to those events, but as He pointed out to two of His disciples in Luke 24 on the Road to Emmaus, the Christ needed to suffer the things Jesus endured (Luke 24:26).
      Were all of these events under God’s control? Absolutely. Did God force individuals to act against their will in these events? Not at all. Jesus demonstrated His authority over those who came to arrest Him, but He still allowed it to take place (John 18:4–9).
      As for blaming the Jews, it is indeed sad that some Christians have blamed the Jews alone for this act. It is astonishing that any Christian could be anti-Semitic, but I do come across it on a somewhat regular basis. Jesus was a Jew. All of His disciples were Jews. Every writer of the New Testament was a Jew, with the possible exception of Luke. The church began with 3000 Jews on the Day of Pentecost. Paul said that he would be willing to suffer eternally if the Jews could be saved (Romans 9:3–4).
      Jesus told His disciples that they were going to Jerusalem where He would be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes and they would condemn Him to death, and then deliver Him to the Gentiles to be mocked, scourged, and crucified (Matthew 20:17–19). So who gets the blame for His death? We all do, because we are all sinners. Jesus mentioned both Jews and Gentiles, although He did tell Pilate in John 19:11 that those who delivered Him over were guilty of a greater sin (presumably because they should have known better). So they should have known better, but Paul told the Corinthians that the leaders didn’t understand what they were doing, otherwise they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8).
      We are all guilty of the blood of Lord Jesus since we have all sinned against God. Jews should never be singled out as being the only guilty party in this act. Instead, Christians should follow Paul’s example and love the Jewish people as God does.

  21. Thank you! We just yesterday had a discussion in our women’s bible study on Jepthath. Did he or did he not kill his daughter? 2 of us said he did, and 2 of said he didn’t. I looked up on google, and finally came to a sight of yours. (I also looked you up to verify who you are as to why I’m at this sight!) What it finally came down to, was not to divide ourselves about it. Some do believe he did some don’t. You at the time in 2008? I think believed he did, as do I and my other sister in Christ. What a great debate. My thought in MY study, is it’s ok to believe differently as far as did he or didn’t he sacrifice.. and to not have others try to change our answers? We won’t know for sure until we ASK Jephthah ! lol You’ve impressed me to that you don’t want us to become “enemies” over it, but look at the Word and determine, and it seems? ok for some to believe he didn’t sacrifice his only daughter and for some to believe he did. We aren’t changing scripture or changing it to suit what we want it to say… we are just trying to determine what it is saying.

  22. Mr. Chaffey,

    I discovered your name through comments about “Killing Jesus”, the Bill O’Reilly collaborated book.

    As a Muslim, I wish to inform you that it’s Islamic doctrine: Jesus, peace be upon him is Messiah as well as the Word and Spirit of God.

    Your statement, “Presumably, one reason to avid calling Him the Messiah would be that to make such a theological claim would offend Muslims and unbelieving Jews.” May indeed hold true for Jewish belief but is completely inaccurate to describe Islamic belief.

    I hope to have been some help in your relationship with man and God. Peace be with you.
    r,
    Pete

    • Hi Pete,
      Thank you for taking the time to read my review of O’Reilly’s book and then taking the time to get a hold of me with your concern. I have written on this subject in a little more detail in an article on the Resurrection. In one of the footnotes of that article, I wrote the following about the Gospel of Barnabas (GoB):

      Indeed it is strange that some Muslim apologists cite the GoB since it clearly contradicts the Qur’an. The GoB specifically denies that Jesus is the Messiah (GoB, 42), reserving that title for Muhammad (GoB, 97), yet the Qur’an calls Jesus the Messiah (Christ) on multiple occasions (e.g., Qur’an 4:171 and 5:75).

      Would you consider that quote to be accurate? I think that is what I had in mind when I wrote that statement in the O’Reilly review.
      Thanks!

      • Sure thing! Reviewed your Resurrection article and do feel your GoB quote is accurate. Emphasis however on Muslim apologists, i.e. as mere laypersons contrast to knowledgeable scholars yes, in this understanding it is acceptable. We do agree that the GoB is an obvious forgery.

        Muslims believe in the Gospel as revealed to Jesus, peace be upon him. Alas, zero writings of Jesus are preserved in todays canonicals. Proof? The Bible – Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John are speaking to us but no Gospel of Jesus. Concerning? No doubt, archaeological digs will continue to find “more ancient manuscripts” to improve upon the Bible’s updated versions – eventually… truth will indeed set us free.

        “Allah” not used by the Jews? – this is inaccurate. As Arabic and Hebrew are sister languages, Elohim sometimes El or Elah are not distinct words but all mean God or more accurately the single Arabic word Allah. Proof? An English Bible “NEW AND IMPROVED EDITION”, edited by Rev, CI Scofield, D.D. backed by eight other D.D.’s, went further offering an alternative spelling, “Alah” for God. See comment No. 1 on page 28 of that edition and also Mark 15:34 for the “Eli Eli lama sabachthani?” statement.

        Ask instead why we use “God” or “Jesus” at all as these pronunciations did not exist until modern English. Jesus derives from Early Middle English Iesu (closer to the Arabic Quran transliteration Isa). After the Great Vowel Shift in late Middle English (15th century) the letter J was first distinguished from ‘I’ by the Frenchman Pierre Ramus in the 16th century, not common in Modern English until the 17th century so that early 17th century works such as the first edition of the King James Version of the Bible (1611) continued to print the name with an I. see for yourself:

        http://nazirene.peopleofhonoronly.com/images/kjv1611/Jesus_Iesus.jpg

        The Jews mocked Jesus as “King” and his mother worse epithets in his time and continue to proclaim false charges today -What you see is the Quran testifying to this. See Deuteronomy 18:19 for your responsibility in recognizing the last testament to mankind – Al-Quran.

        Alas! No need to look further than the Bible itself for truths of what actually happened concerning Jesus. After what appeared to be his execution and an apparent resurrection, Jesus says to Mary M. “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” John 20:17

        Tim, I love you for the sake of Allah. Thanks for allowing me a voice on your blog!

        • Hi Pete,
          Thanks for looking into the Gospel of Barnabas issue. I appreciate the friendly discussion, although I would strongly disagree with some of the claims you made.
          I don’t agree with you that Muslims believe the gospel of Jesus. The gospel message is that Jesus died for our sins on the cross, He was buried, and He rose from the dead, just as the Scripture said He would (1 Corinthians 15:1–4). Muslims deny that Jesus died at all (claiming He was taken up to heaven), thus He wasn’t buried and didn’t rise either. If I may ask, how is the message of Islam “good news” (i.e. the gospel)? The reason Christianity can claim to have the “good news” is because through the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus, God graciously gives us what we truly need (forgiveness), and He offers what everyone really wants (eternal life in a perfect world). In Islam, a person must attempt to earn salvation, but in Christianity, God has already done everything and salvation is a free gift.
          Also, I don’t believe we will find any other Scripture. There’s no need to find something written by Jesus. We already have several books written by those who knew Him best, and they have explained His teachings.
          I understand that Arabic and Hebrew, along with Aramaic and Ugaritic are related languages. They are each part of what we call Semitic languages. But the name “Allah” does not appear in the Jewish Scripture (Old Testament), nor did the Jews view “Elohim” or “El” as God’s name. Instead, these were titles used for Him. God is very clear in Exodus 6:2 that His name is YHWH (Yahweh). Of course, that’s in the Hebrew. Jesus’ words on the Cross were in Aramaic, and there is actually another syllable in the word that what you typed. Rather than “Eli, Eli” it was “Eloi, Eloi” pronounced as el-o-ee.
          I do agree that “Jesus” did not have the English “J” sound until the past few centuries. The Greek started it with an iota (the “i” vowel). So we do agree on something here. 🙂
          Back to our disagreements. Deuteronomy 18:15–19 was not fulfilled by Muhammad, but by Jesus. Jesus was from among “their brethren” (v. 18) since “their” was referring to the Jews. Muhammad was obviously not an Israelite so he could not fulfill this prophecy. So there is no need for me to recognize the Quran as the last testament to mankind.
          I do agree that we do not need to look any further than the Bible for the truth about what happened to Jesus. He prophesied many times that He would be crucified and rise from the dead. That’s exactly what happened. He even showed His scars to Thomas and invited Thomas to touch Him (John 20:27), just as He invited the other disciples to do (Luke 24:39). There was no “apparent resurrection” or what “appeared to be his execution.” In fulfillment of numerous Old Testament prophecies, Jesus the Messiah died on the Cross for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again. I pray that you will come to know the Savior as I do.
          “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
          Thanks again for your civil tone—unfortunately, that is quite rare from those who disagree with me.

  23. Greetings, Tim just found your website,read some of you posts,with agreement.So far,but my belief is i believe that the only way into the kingdom,is the belief that jesus is the son of GOD,he is the way the truth and the light no one enters the father but through me.I believe jesus is what he says he is the son of GOD.In other words I dont believe in the trinity.But I can stand with believers that do,because we honor the same GOD. peace Ray

  24. We pray weekly, and I seek God then for what I should preach on following Sundays. Declaring the resurrection was what the Holy Spirit put on my heart to preach, and your article ministered to me in my preparation for tomorrow. The anointing of Jesus Christ that you have is merciful to me and my church (1 John 2. 27). May our God keep you well.

  25. Hi Tim, thanks so much for your clear teaching. These days many churches are cautious regarding preaching about sin. Christians are confused and need clear guidance especially in the light of “political correctness” and “religious tolerance”. Church leaders are easily intimidated and don’t want to be rapped over the knuckles for taking a stand on unpopular issues. The elephant in the room would be same-sex relationships. Christian family members are rejoicing in the recent legalization of same-sex marriages in California…I’m appalled! How do we address these issues without coming over like hate-mongers?
    Thank you for your informative articles
    Regards, Des Gray

    • Hi Des,
      There is much that can be said about this issue, but I’ll just point out a couple of things. First, homosexuality is certainly a sin. The Bible, both Old and New Testaments are very clear about that. I think it’s important to recognize that some people may be attracted to someone of the same sex, but they have chosen not to pursue that lifestyle, so same-sex attraction does not necessarily make one a homosexual. So how does one address the issue without sounding like a hate monger? I would say that we treat it like any other sin. I don’t think we should single it out as if it was the worst sin a person can commit. That’s what the other side wants us to do. I think we need to treat all sinners (that would be everyone) in a loving way. We can treat people with love and respect without condoning everything they do. A person who is involved in sin needs to see Christians who love them instead of Christians who despise them. My favorite passage on this topic is found in 1 Corinthians 6:9–11:

      9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

      Notice that Paul didn’t single out homosexuality as the big sin—it’s listed along with a bunch of other sinful behaviors. But the best part of this passage is found at the beginning of verse 11: “And such were some of you.” Some of the members at the church of Corinth were former thieves, drunkards, extortioners, and homosexuals. But they had been saved by Jesus Christ and were no longer any of those things.
      Think about it this way. What does an unbeliever who is a thief really need to hear? The gospel. What does an unbeliever who abuses people need to hear? The gospel. What does a homosexual person need to hear? The gospel. Jesus died on the Cross for all sins. We need to show the same sort of sacrificial love toward others—even homosexuals.
      I hope this helps.

  26. Hello Mr Chaffey
    About your article about the Wise Men, I thought they saw him in a house with his parents (Matt 2:11) This would indicate some time after his birth not the next day.

    Thanks
    Gail

    • Hi Gail,
      Regarding the timing of the magi’s visit, I think it would probably be many days after Jesus was born. In my article, We Three Kings, I just showed that the very earliest they could have visited would have been the following day. I co-authored another article that traces the timing of the events surrounding the nativity in which we place the magi’s visit sometime within the first year.
      The fact that they saw Him with His parents at a house would not rule out a visit on the next day since Jesus was probably born in the lower level of a house. Please see my article Born in a Barn (Stable)? for more details.
      Thanks!

      • The magi brought gold. This would have allowed Joseph to purchase a lamb as the required redemption (Leviticus 12:8). The fact that he and Mary offered two turtledoves or pigeons instead (Luke 2:24) suggests they were still poor at that time. I’ve concluded that Mary and Joseph returned to Nazareth (Luke 2:39) and it was a house in Nazareth to which the magi were led. They were then warned to return to Parthia/Babylon and Joseph was directed to head for Egypt. By the time Herod found out (there would have been practically no time delay had the magi been in Bethlehem), the escapes had been effected.

        • https://answersingenesis.org/holidays/christmas/a-matter-of-time/

          You correctly note the significance of the timing of Joseph’s obtaining gold from the magi, but the item above then states: “The family returned to Bethlehem—not Nazareth, as some have suggested. After all, they were still in Bethlehem when the wise men later visited, and they apparently planned to return there following the flight to Egypt.” It was Luke who “suggested” they went to Nazareth after they performed the requirements of the Law. I see nothing in the Biblical narrative that forces the conclusion that the magi found Jesus in Bethlehem. Rather, they learned from Herod that the Christ was to be born there. The story does not say the star led them to Bethlehem and, as a matter of fact, had the star appeared over a house in Bethlehem, the magi were already so close that this “guidance” would have been worthless. However, had the star appeared over a house in Nazareth, which was 63 miles north, they would have had viable guidance.

          • Hi Steve,
            The follow-up article we wrote to A Matter of Time addressed this point. While there is a little wiggle room for differing views, I find it difficult to believe that they went back to Nazareth prior to fleeing to Egypt. The timing of events seems too tight and there is an indication that they weren’t headed to Nazareth after Egypt. When they returned from Egypt, it seems that they were heading somewhere else in Israel, particularly in Judea (Bethlehem seems likely) before being warned by God in a dream about Archelaus (Matthew 2:21–23).
            Here’s a link to that article: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-timeline/timeline-twisting-texts/
            There was one more follow-up article too, but I’m not sure you would have the same objections as this guy, and you are certainly far more civil: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-timeline/more-timeline-twisting/
            God bless!

          • Luke was a first-rate historian, and I find it difficult to believe he would have written “So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth” if what really happened was “So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to … Bethlehem, and then because Herod wanted to kill the child, they fled to Egypt, and then when Herod died they returned to Bethlehem, but because Archelaus was reigning over Judea, they returned to …Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.” Luke would not collapse all of that information; no good historian would. Secondly, we see that the magi “departed for their own country another way.” I’ve looked at a few maps and don’t see “another way” as an option from Bethlehem. They HAD to go past Jerusalem and down toward Jericho, and obviously Herod or one of his spies would have noticed. (I believe Josephus pointed out that the land was full of spies.) However, there is another way if they leave from Nazareth and it’s actually a more direct route. Going back to Jerusalem from Nazareth would have been out of the way.
            Could a star over a house in Bethlehem really guide the magi from Jerusalem? Finally, the record says they were afraid to go into Judea; a valid concern since Joseph was once again warned in a dream. This does not compel me to believe Joseph had any intention of living in Bethlehem. Rather, it suggests an immediate change in travel plans – not necessarily destination plans. He may have wanted to travel through Judea, or perhaps he wanted to stop on the way to Galilee to see family or friends.

          • Looks like I’ll have to recant or rework my last, since it appears you found in Luke 23 something I said Luke would never do. So I’ll take a closer look at that, but I’d still appreciate your response to the other points I raised and, more significantly, to “Trivializing Jesus” and the basic “should we celebrate Christmas?” question.

            Best,

            Steve

          • Steve,
            This sort of thing is found in plenty of places besides Luke 23—it’s really part of the nature of writing history. Yes, Luke was absolutely a first-rate historian, especially when his writing was inspired by the Holy Spirit. But he also frequently employed a technique known as “telescoping.” This occurs when a historian glosses over certain details and events, which sometimes will make it seem as if he is unaware of them and/or the events he wrote about happen one after the other in immediate succession when in reality, many other events occurred in between them. Luke does this with the Resurrection appearances in Luke 24 too. If you simply read through the last chapter of Luke it seems as if all of those events happened on the day of the Resurrection. Well, the first 43 verses describe events of that day, but verse 44 is probably begins Luke’s description of one of the conversations leading up to Christ’s Ascension (although that transition could also be at v. 46). Did Luke know that Jesus appeared to His disciples over the course of 40 days rather than all in one day? Of course he did—he tells us that in the opening lines of the book of Acts.
            So why would Luke telescope events like this? Well, he probably has the best reason to do it. Since Matthew and Mark were probably already written, and he was probably very familiar with these books (Luke 1:1–4), he did not need to explain all of the details that were already told elsewhere. Of course, he does share many of the same events, but frequently gives some extra details while glossing over others.
            When it comes to the birth narrative of Jesus, Luke seems to fill in many of the gaps that Matthew left out. Luke does not mention the visit of the magi or the flight to Egypt. In attempting to reconcile these two books, I believe the most likely place to put these events is immediately after Luke 2:38 and before v. 39. This makes sense of all the data, but there may be other ways to reconcile these details.
            Regarding the guidance of the star…they were initially guided to Jerusalem by the star (v. 2). The text doesn’t say that the star guided them along the way. It could be that they saw the star while they were in the East and they recognized it as the sign of the birth of the King of the Jews, so naturally they headed for Jerusalem. Once they are told that Bethlehem was to be the birthplace, they leave Jerusalem and rejoice when they see the star again, and it guides them directly to the house where Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were (Matthew 2:9–11). There is nothing in the narrative here to suggest that they went all the way to Nazareth at this point. If that were the case, and if Herod truly had spies all through the land, then he would have sent his soldiers to slaughter the children in Nazareth instead of Bethlehem. It makes more sense to me that the magi went to Bethlehem, and then found a way home that did not take them through Jerusalem. This would mean that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus remained in Bethlehem for at least 40 days after Christ’s birth, and then fled to Egypt from there. After Herod’s death, they started to return to Judea (I think Bethlehem), and upon entering the land, he was warned by God in a dream to take them somewhere else. That’s when he makes the decision to go to Nazareth, out of the reach of Archelaus.
            Like I said before, I think there are other ways to reconcile the accounts, but I believe this one makes the most sense.
            Concerning your article on trivializing Christ… For the most part, I think you are spot on. Too many Christians do get caught up in all the rush and traditions rather than focusing on using this time to share the gospel. I don’t think it’s fair to imply that every Christian does this—I know many who do not. It’s important to remind people of what our real focus should be during this time (and every time). It isn’t enough to simply keep Christ in Christmas, if by that we mean that we gotta fight for Nativity scenes and make sure that people say Merry Christmas. If it means that we tell people who Christ is and what He has done for us, not simply at His birth but also at His death and Resurrection, then I would say that you are on the right track.
            God bless!

  27. I looked up open theism and saw that you questioned or were opposed to it. If open theism means that we have freewill then how can our freewill be denied? Are we puppets that God is using for his amusement or part of his plan. Does he make people rape and murder and sin or do we have personal responsibility for our actions?
    After the Fall, Man did what he wanted to the point of God flooding the earth for Man was continually evil(separated from God).
    Christ Jesus died on the cross for ALL. We have to come to the point in our own lives where we
    Romans 10:9 confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
    Do I believe that God intimately knows our heart and what we will likely do? Absolutely! He gave us freewill so we may decide to come to Him and not by coercion. When he showed himself in the OT it didn’t work anyway as the people quickly found other gods.
    If I was an unbeliever and a follower of Christ told me we don’t have freewill and everything that has happened was God’s will I would run away.
    In the bond of peace.

    • Hi Mike,
      I am definitely opposed to open theism. A central tenet of this view is that God does not know everything that will happen in the future because (according to open theists) the future is not there to know yet. The Bible repeatedly emphasizes that God knows the future perfectly and it will come to pass exactly as He has said (Isaiah 41:21–29).
      That being said, I am also adamantly opposed to the idea that God controls all people so that they do not even have free will. We are not puppets. If we were only carrying out exactly what God made us do, then God would be the source of all evil—every rape, murder, and sin. This is not the God of the Bible who is called “holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:3). I believe this is one of the major errors of Calvinism taken to its logical end.
      I am neither an open theist nor a Calvinist. Thankfully, one does not have to choose one of these two views. I believe that God does indeed know all things that will come to pass, and He knows them perfectly. He knew Adam and Eve would rebel, and He knew before He ever created anything that He would send Jesus Christ to die for the sins of all people, but He did not force Adam and Eve to rebel. I absolutely agree with you that Jesus died for every single person and that salvation was made possible for all (1 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:2), yet only those who receive Christ in faith will be saved. Some people say that this means a person can take credit for saving themselves, but that’s absurd since faith is not a work. Paul frequently contrasts the two.
      Open theists do believe that man has free will, but it is not the only theological position to hold this. Wesleyanism, Classic Arminianism, Free Will Baptists, and others also believe that God has given man free will. I would fit into the “others” category. I do agree with the Calvinist that we are born with a rebellious nature, and that we would never seek Him if He did not first make it possible for us to do so. I disagree with them in that I believe God makes it possible for everyone (not just the elect) to believe in Him. Those who accept His offer of salvation by faith will be saved, and those who reject it will be condemned.
      I have many good friends who are sincere believers that disagree with me, but these are the things I have been convinced of and convicted of as I read and study Scripture. While these differences can make for fascinating theological discussions, I think far too much time has been spent trying to convert fellow believers to our own way of thinking about these issues rather than reaching out to the lost. I know I’m guilty of doing just that, and I hope that it will not continue to be true of me.
      I hope this helps.

  28. I just want to say that your articles are SO refreshing! Thank you for not compromising God’s Word. I have to admit that my heart hurts so often when I hear of Christians being more influenced by man’s opinions rather than what God says. God is amazing and His Word is perfect! I want others to see that! So thank you again for speaking the truth in such love!

    • Deanna, thanks for the very encouraging words. I truly appreciate them. I pray that I will be able to continue to speak the truth in love. I’m convinced that far too often Christians try to be one without the other (love w/o truth or truth w/o love), but we’re aren’t being Christlike if we don’t do both. I strive to use my blog in a way that honors our Savior and I hope that others learn from that example. God bless!

    • I have just read your article highlighting the words of Mrs. Olsteen.
      Tomorrow during the morning message, my husband will be teaching the Biblical response to the idea of worship for “self”. I was quite interested in your life story as well, since our son who is a Hospice chaplain also is now cancer free after 4 years post surgery. His diagnoses came at age 29 and was followed by the replacement of his femur due to ewing sarcoma. I praise God for your writings, and for revealing his purpose daily in your life, in our son’s life, and in the life of my husband and myself.
      May God go before you in all you do.
      Darlene
      Pipe Creek, Texas

  29. Greetings Tim!

    We met at the Creation Museum earlier this year. My wife and I were visiting during our furlough and heard you speak concerning the Resurrection (I mentioned Licona’s book on the Resurrection).

    As we continue to work here in Kenya (a place where sound doctrine is often in short supply), God has been bringing people to my mind who are engaged in Christian Education. I simply wanted you to know that I thank God for you and how you are standing up for truth in a world that hates it. Keep standing upon God’s unchanging Word and preaching the unchanging Gospel! We are encouraged and continue to be encouraged through the ministry to which God has called you!

    May the Lord bless you and keep you! May He continue to fill you with the hope and power of the Resurrection!

    Till we no longer see in part!

    Phil

  30. Hi Tim, thanks for your page. I came across while looking for examples of verses taken out of context. Could you give an explanation of th rhema word? It seems like christians use the rhema principle to justify whatever they choose and apply out of context verses to suit their needs -simply by terming it a rhema word from God. Ps Are you the guy who was featured in Todd Friel’s Wretched TV? He mentioned your book which made mention of a selection of verses demonstrating God may indeed cause illness etc.

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for the kind words. I don’t believe I was the guy being talked about on Friel’s program. Perhaps he was talking about Tim Challies, a more popular blogger with almost as cool of a name as me. 🙂
      Regarding the term “rhema.” This word has been abused by many of the Word Faith preachers. Kenneth Hagin’s ministry or school was called Rhema. Bill Gothard made much of this term as well. I don’t think they viewed the term in precisely the same way, but they both abused the meaning. Basically, rhema means “word.” It appears several times in Scripture. Peter replied to Jesus’ instruction about throwing the net on the other side of the boat by saying, “Nevertheless, at your word (rhema)…” Hagin and other Word Faith folks made a big deal about it because they believe that a person can create with the words they speak. Bill Gothard, as far as I know, viewed rhema as a special word from God, as in the believer receiving special revelation from Him.
      I hope this helps.

    • So the Born Again of the Water in John 3 is not referring to Water Baptism–So Paul in Acts 16 was being hasty in Baptizing in Jailor after midnight–Why the rush since he had already Believed and as you say saved–What was Paul’s urgency–Was there a fear the Jailor might lose his life the next day-Every conversion in the New Testament always included Water Baptism -Even Jesus walked a long distance that He could be Baptized by John–When John hesitated Jesus explained it is to fulfill all righteousness–And last how do you baptize–Do you sprinkle, pour or immerse and if it is not necessary why argue over any difference and do you still use the titles Father, Son, and Holy Ghost or have you finally understood that His Name Shall Be Called Jesus for He shall save His people from their Sins–Prayerfully Consider

      • Charles, thanks for taking the time to read the post and for your comments. To claim that “every conversion in the New Testament always included Water Baptism” is a vast overstatement. First, the thief on the cross did not get baptized. Second, there are numerous conversions spoken of in the book of Acts where it does not tell us if the people were baptized (see Acts 13:12 and 17:34) for examples. I don’t doubt that these individuals were baptized at some point, but we aren’t told that in the text.
        How does my statement about “born of water” in John 3 mean that Paul was being hasty in Acts 16? What is the logical or exegetical connection here?
        Finally, I do believe that full immersion is the proper mode of baptism, but I do not believe the mode is as important as the reason for baptism.

        • Hi again, Tim –

          My question regarding baptism is this: “Is a person a candidate for baptism if they do not love Jesus Christ?” Outside the box, since loving Christ is never presented as a “condition.” But did Jesus come to give us a “formula” – a five-step procedure to avoiding hell? If the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength, then the greatest sin would be the violation of that commandment. If Christ came to show us the Father, then we know the one we are commanded to love. And if we meet Him and don’t love him, then we don’t really want Heaven, we just want to avoid the penalty for our sin.

          Most of the water-baptism-is-necessary people that I know are not secure in their salvation, but are Arminian, So even if they follow their 5-step formula perfectly, they still think it’s possible to be lost. My own conclusion is that “he who believes” in Mark 16 is baptized by the Holy Spirit and is saved. The “go and make disciples” of Matthew 28 is water baptism, since no one gets saved by being immersed and they obeying the commands of Christ. One must already be saved as a pre-condition to discipleship.

      • Charles, as important a topic as baptism is, it sounds to me as if you have an even bigger issue, namely, the Trinity. Judging by your closing comments, it appears that you are a believer in the Oneness doctrine. If God is triune, then denying this fact is a serious matter. If you believe that the Son did not exist until the Incarnation, then you are denying the deity of the Son, which is clearly taught in Hebrews 1.

        Consider Jesus’ words in John 5:23:
        “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”

        If the Son is God, then to deny His true identity is to deny Him the honor you owe Him. As as this Scripture tells us, if you don’t honor the Son, you don’t honor the Father either. I would encourage you to reconsider your view of the nature of God.

  31. Tim –
    I completed a dual MA in the fine arts and social advocacy in 2012 with an emphasis on utilizing the arts as catalysts for social justice. During my graduate research and beyond, I realized most methodologies/ideologies really just hack at the branches, not the roots. I wrote papers on the problem of human evil, but due to the mainstream scholarship of the university, I didn’t include the demon/satanic piece. Since then I have been researching the niphillim and appreciate finding your work. I will be ordering your thesis (have read your blogs) and have a question: My focus is to fight evil with good in utilizing life affirming creativity to facilitate community transformation, but sometimes the realities are so overwhelming – and although I believe God is bigger – I’m learning evil is deeply malevolent. If the niphillim are post flood, then they are on the earth today. I believe prayer is huge in the fight, – but what are ways Christ followers can take an informed stand against this kind of evil? I’m considering pursuing a PhD with this as a focus. – M. P.

    • Hi Maria,
      Thanks for your kind comments and taking the time to read my posts. I agree that most methodolgies/ideologies just hack at the branches instead of the roots. Paul says that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces (Eph. 6:12). Many Christians fail to remember this as we look at what is going on in our world.
      Regarding your comment about the post-Flood nephilim — it doesn’t necessarily follow that they would still be around. The book of Joshua tells us that Joshua wiped out all of the Anakim except for those in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod (Joshua 11:22). Goliath was from Gath, and these are the same places where David’s mighty men fought against giants (1 Chronicles 20:4–8). I think one could build a pretty strong case that the post-Flood nephilim were wiped out or died off in the distant past. If they were around today, we would be able to see them since they would be quite tall. 🙂
      You are right that prayer is huge in this fight. Look at Paul’s answer to your question in Ephesians 6:13ff. Take up the whole armor of God and stand firm. We know that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. It would be great to see revival in this country and around the world, and I would love to see the tide of evil overturned. I know that many Christians do not agree with my view on the end times, but I don’t believe we’ll see this kind of revival and turning away of evil until the Lord returns. Until that time, our job is to stand boldly for the truth no matter the cost. Be encouraged! We’re on the winning side. God bless!

  32. Hi, Tim –

    A mutual friend (my daughter, Jessica) suggested I check you out on the web since we have a huge number of common interests. We were living in Rochester when you were at MBC. Since then, we’ve transplanted to North Carolina.

    I do a daily program on BlogTalkRadio and the topic of the Nephilim (“as it was in the days of Noah”) are of interest to me. Please check me out and let me know if you’d be interested in being a guest on my program. In the meantime, I’ll check out your book.

    Best,

    Steve
    Anakypto Forum on BlogTalkRadio

    • Hi Steve,
      It’s good to hear from you. I just connected with Jessica on facebook a week or two ago. I hope all is well with you guys. I’ll be in touch concerning the program.

  33. Tim,

    I may be opening a can of worms here. But I would love to hear your opinion on the consmption of alcohol. I se you mention many times context. I was raised pentecostal. Point blank, drinking at all is a sin. I have searched and read every scripture on the subject I could find. Though I truly believe getting DRUNK is a sin. I do not believe drinking in moderation is. One scripture I have been thrown is judges 13:4 “now therefore beware, I pray the, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing.” Yes, when you read this scripture alone it seems pretty evident that you hould not drink. But if u read all of it you see it is an angel speaking to he mother of samson. informing her she is with child, and not to drink. This is only once scriptural example on the subject. But again, would love to hear your thoughts. God Bles.

    • Hi Brittany,
      That would be an interesting topic to address. There are certainly some strong opinions on it. I don’t know if someone can make a rock solid case that drinking in any and all circumstances is wrong (getting drunk definitely is). Paul told Timothy to drink some wine for his stomach ailments, and Jesus turned water into wine for people to consume. So I don’t believe a legalistic approach is the right one. However, there is also a danger of going too far the other direction. For those who think it is okay, they need to realize the huge ramifications their decisions can have (e.g., the example they are setting, the possibility of being a stumbling block for others, etc.). Personally, I never touch the stuff. I tell people that I’m drier than the Sahara. But that doesn’t mean that I condemn any of my fellow believers who choose to occasionally have a drink. That’s just scratching the surface of this topic, but I wanted to give you a few thoughts to go on.

  34. I just came across your blog. I enjoyed the explanation on Matthew, on the Romans verse, and the one about judging others. Yes, context is essential and application is pushing away from the context. I, myself, am all for context, so, I appreciated your comments on many verses like about the sons of GOD from the scroll of GENESIS 6. In the same way the fallen angels were active before the flood, the fallen angels will be–after the rapture of the CHURCH –very active before the judgment falling on earth. I think fallen angels has a role to get the race all messed up and GOD in both situation intervene. The plan of the devil is to crush GOD’s plan in any way or shape. That is only my opinion knowing there are other points out there.

  35. Hi Tim, thank you so much for your article on “Two or three are gathered..” I have held this opinion for a while but kept it to myself for fear of offending! There is another question I would like your response to: “For by His stripes we have been healed” has always been used to validate our requests for physical healing but I do’nt agree. I see the crucifiction of Christ as being a covenent regarding salvation. We know therefore that if someone sincerely asks Jesus for forgiveness and salvation, it is done. We dont doubt it for a minute. To use this scripture with physical healing, poses a problem to me as prayers for healing don’t always manifest in healing. My sister gets frustrated as she says the scripture applies to healing as well, but if we dont have the same certainty regarding prayers for healing, how do we know the new convert is saved? It is for that very reason I don’t think the two are covered by that scripture, just salvation. To my mind, it would have required a second covenant to pertain to healing!. When I pray for healing, I do it on the basis of James’ invitation James 5:14, 15 ” Is anyone sick among you…..I don’t see how we can piggyback anything onto salvation. Please respond.

    • Hi Desiree,
      I would agree with you about Isaiah 53. I do not believe that verse should be used to support physical healing. Despite what some people believe, we are never promised physical health in this life. The Bible tells us that Christians can expect persecution because the world hates us–this may include physical torment. Also, Hebrews 11 discusses people who had great faith, and near the end of the chapter, the writer talks about those who were destitute, tortured, scourged, stoned, sawn in two, or killed with the sword. It doesn’t work to say that they didn’t have enough faith–they are listed in the “faith hall of fame” (Hebrews 11).
      Can God heal people of physical ailments? Of course He can, but He never promised us that He would do that. Christ’s sacrifice, which is clearly depicted in Isaiah 53, was done to heal us of our spiritual problem–sin. While we still struggle with the flesh, believers have been forgiven of our sins and have a new nature that desires to please God.

  36. I am nearly finished with “Angels” by Ronald Showers, which you may be familiar with. He also supports the angelic infiltration doctrine. I first heard this from Robert Thieme over 40 years ago and was and remain persuaded that it is the only view that makes any sense, even if it seems repulsive to most. I’m sure that Satan’s fall and man’s fall was repulsive to God as well but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I am quite convinced that as the super natural tenor of the Bible began to wane and allegory became the more acceptable, palatable view of Scripture, the church has suffered immeasurably. Our understanding of these super-natural phenomena is never going to be complete this side of Heaven, but the Bible provides enough information for our faith to rest on. Jesus did many miracles yet there were still those who refused to believe. This is always going to be the case, unfortunately, until time is no more. I am thankful that you have thought this subject important enough to write a thesis on and have enjoyed your posts. I have a Biblesoft commentary which I enjoy very much for most study purposes but as you pointed out, on this subject, they are all wrong. I try not to rush to judgment because of it but sometimes it is a little irritating. For since early childhood God has always been Super Natural to me, and I believed in HIS omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience (I had to or else He wouldn’t have been any different from man, and God just had to be more than man. And as more information became available to me, through excellent teaching, and more blanks started filling in in my understanding, things my spirit had hungered for, I was fully persuaded my faith had been well placed. There’s been no turning back for me in this path, through rough waters and calm seas He’s ever been and remains faithful to me. Again many thanks.
    jennifer claxton

  37. Dear Tim,

    I publish an entertainment website for Christian teens and tweens at: http://www.clashentertainment.com/ We also feature a lot of apologetics/Bible and science posts so you can see why I would be interested in touching base with you. Please check out our website and, if you feel led contact me for further discussion.

    Sincerely,

    Ken Raney

  38. Hello Mr. Chaffey!

    I have a question that I hope would be answered soon.

    Arecibo Observatory sent out a radio message containing binary code in 1974 as a celebration to an area called M13, about 25,000 light years away. Back in August of 2011, a cornfield across the street received the same binary code.

    Thinks to Google: Arecibo Message, Arecibo reply, Arecibo Chilbolton

    What I wanted to know is, if there is really life out there… would that contradict the Bible? Could a Christian accept the maybe-fact that there is life other than our own?

    Thanks,
    Matt

    • Hi Matt,
      Thanks for taking the time to write. Re: alien life and the Bible. I outlined some of the problems with the idea of alien life in my post about ancient aliens. Although there is not one verse in Scripture that says, “There are no alien life forms elsewhere in the universe” we can make some reasonable deductions to show why this concept is contrary to the Word of God. Furthermore, the idea of alien life stems from an evolutionary worldview, so although a person can be a Christian and believe in aliens, it would be far better for that person to use God’s Word as the authority. In it we find that earth is unique and the focal point of God’s redemptive plan. There are no biblical reasons to believe in aliens, but there are several good reasons to reject it.
      Also, re: the Arecibo Message and Chilbolton circles. I would encourage you to read the response from SETI. Remember, this is a group that desperately wants to find traces of life elsewhere, so the fact that they reject these circles and the arguments they make against them are telling. I don’t agree with their evolutionary presuppositions, but they make a strong case for rejecting the Chilbolton formations.
      Thanks for reading.
      Tim

  39. Hello Tim. I am Doug from Cleveland. I met you at the creation museum Friday June 24 2011. My wife and kids were sitting in the front row for your GENESIS teaching. I came home to do homework today and this is what I was met with. I attend Kaplan University and currently taking a science class. SC300 Big Ideas in Science: Methods and Mutations. Thought you might like to read what they are teaching us.

    “Young-Earth Creationism and Intelligent Design

    Opposition to Darwin did not end in the nineteenth century. In the United States today, many vocal opponents to Darwin’s theory believe in young-Earth creationism, which is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. Three central tenets of young-Earth creationism are:

    1. Earth and the universe were created relatively recently, no more than about 10,000 years in the past.

    2. All life-forms were created by God in a miraculous act, in essentially their modern forms.

    3. The present disrupted Earth’s surface and the distribution of fossils are primarily the consequence of a great catastrophic flood.

    These beliefs differ dramatically from many of the scientific ideas presented in this book. The big bang origin of the universe (Chapter 15), the origin of the solar system (Chapter 16), the span of geological history (Chapters 17 and 18), and the chemical origin and evolution of life (this chapter) are all at odds with these religious beliefs. It’s not surprising, therefore, that science and creationism have come into conflict. In particular, evidence in favor of evolution requires a very old Earth and a means for transforming one species into another. Darwin’s idea of natural selection, particularly as applied to the origin of human beings, is uncomfortable to many people because Homo sapiens cannot lay claim to a history that is intrinsically different from other species.

    In the early 1980s, the Arkansas State Legislature passed a law requiring that the biblical story of creation be taught alongside the theory of evolution in public schools. Federal courts eventually ruled that this law was an attempt to impose religious beliefs in the public schools, something expressly forbidden by the U.S. Constitution. It is now against the law to teach creationism as part of any public school science curriculum.

    Young-Earth creationists then adopted a different strategy by trying to eliminate evolution from public school curricula. In 1999, for example, the Kansas State Board of Education had a majority of elected members sympathetic to the creationist position. They voted to eliminate any references to the big bang, Earth’s origin, historical geology, and biological evolution from statewide standardized science tests. That decision was overturned in 2001, when a new board was elected, but similar challenges continue to arise in many states and have reemerged in Kansas.

    The latest opposition to teaching evolution is in the guise of the “doctrine of intelligent design,” or ID. Proponents of ID argue that life on Earth is so extraordinarily complex that it could not possibly have emerged through any natural process. An intelligent engineer must have done the job (though ID advocates avoid talking about who designed the designers). In 2005 U.S. District Judge John E. Jones heard a case centering on the science curriculum in the town of Dover, Pennsylvania, and ruled that ID is simply another form of creationism. Consequently, intelligent design cannot be taught as a scientific alternative to evolution in the public schools (Figure 25-21).

    AP/Wide World Photos.

    Figure 25-21 In December, 2005, in a case in the U.S. District Court involving the Dover Area High School, Judge John E. Jones ruled that intelligent design is based on a religious belief, and therefore should not be introduced into public school science classrooms.

    We maintain that it is reasonable, perhaps even desirable, to discuss different ways of knowing about the origin and evolution of life in classes on the history of ideas, or comparative religions, or even current events. However, we view efforts to eliminate the teaching of evolution or to promote the creationist agenda in a science classroom as misguided and a significant threat to the integrity of public science education. We argue that evolution is an essential unifying concept in biology and thus is a critical aspect of any scientific education. All students should be expected to understand the principle of evolution and to be familiar with the extensive observational evidence that scientists have discovered to support it, even if they don’t believe that evolution actually happened.

    To what extent do you think that parents or local school boards should have the right to decide what scientific theories and ideas are presented in schools? To what extent do you think parents ought to have the right to demand that opposing religious views be taught as well? Should the views of creationism, which are primarily based on one particular type of Christianity, be given special consideration? ”

    I am shocked at the teaching of “FACT” not theory. I am currently working on starting an evangelist ministry, starting with speaking to men, that leads with what God did to restore my life and my family and then tells the truth of scripture, and then delivers the Gospel as the ultimate truth and authority ovar all. I am excited to be given the chance to spread the message.
    Thank you for your story, your faithfulness, and your message. We are blessed by your work.
    BE GREAT.
    Douglas Boose

    • Hi Doug,
      It was great to meet you and your family yesterday at the museum. Thank you for the kind words and for your efforts to share the truth of God’s Word.
      Although the quote above is very slanted, it’s a bit gentler than I expected. They still try to portray it as a religion v. science debate, but really it is a worldview v. worldview. There are some inaccuracies as well, but that’s to be expected when you try to indoctrinate someone against the truth.
      I pray that God will bless you and your family as you serve Him in ministry and in your daily walks. Always remain faithful to God’s Word and He will use you in amazing ways. Let me know if/when you guys come to the museum or one of our conferences.

    • Hi Sean,
      I read through the article on the link you posted. Frankly, I think the guy’s “theory” is extremely far from biblical. There are so many things for which he has absolutely no evidence, and many of the claims are contrary to Scripture. For example, there was no life on other planets at the time life was created here. In fact, God made the earth first, and made the stars, planets, etc., three days later. He created life on earth and this planet is the focal point of His plans. God became a man to die for man on earth, and Hebrews tells us that He died for sinners “once for all.” So i do not believe there is sentient life on other planets.
      That being said, I plan to refute some of these ideas in an upcoming post on the Sons of God and the Nephilim. I do think there may be a connection between what happened in Genesis 6 and what many people consider to be alien activity. While I don’t believe aliens exist, I do think that demons can deceive people under this guise. It would not surprise me if that is what we have been seeing with the alien abduction phenomenon. I’ll write more on this within the next few weeks. Thanks for reading.

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