By Tim Bennett
Author and Christian apologist, Vince Latorre, a life-long resident of Syracuse, NY, had an inquisitive mind since he was a child. At nine he already wanted to know if God existed and how everything got here. “I grew up in an intellectual and Catholic family, but my parents did not force me to believe,” Latorre said during a recent interview in Syracuse. “But, by the time I was 11, I knew the Lord in a personal way. When I was a teenager I began reading the Bible and searching for evidence to confirm what I already believed. I guess you could say I had a skeptical nature,” Latorre said. “In fact, it wasn’t until I stumbled on a book by Henry Morris, in my mid-twenties, entitled, The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, that I finally found a credible presentation for young earth creationism. Before that, I considered myself a theistic evolutionist,” Latorre continued. “Morris makes a good case for taking the book of Genesis at face value, instead of allegorizing it, or trying to make it fit into a certain theological mold.”
Latorre began his studies in biology at Syracuse University’s College of Forestry, but left school in his junior year to help his dad care for his mom who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. When he went back to school after she was in a nursing home, he changed his major to electronics at Onondaga Community College figuring he could get a decent job faster that way. He knew if he continued with a biology major, he would be obligated to get a Master’s degree, which he did not want to do. “I worked in the electronics field for several years and was a pretty good troubleshooter,” Latorre said, “but then the companies I worked for started moving south, literally, and I was laid off. Since I liked Math I took a few accounting classes and got a 100 in each course so I took that as a confirmation and pursued an accounting degree at Syracuse University at night while working at a bank that covered my tuition. It took me a while to get my degree but I finally got it shortly after my high school class’s 20th anniversary!”
Since that time, 21 years ago, Latorre has been working in the accounting department of Onondaga County Resource Recovery Association (OCRRA), “the blue bin people,” Latorre added with a chuckle. Over the years, however, Latorre’s passion to study the Bible and the evidences for its reliability has not abated. “I‘ve probably read more than 200 books on the Bible’s authenticity as well as a number of books that try to refute those claims,” Latorre said. “I read one book that is 700 pages long on just the evidences for the resurrection of Jesus Christ and a couple 500 page books on Bible archaeology. Twenty-five thousand archaeological proofs have been found for the Old Testament alone.”
After seven years of intense research and almost 30 years of study, Latorre decided to put his findings in a book of his own entitled, The Bible Can Be
Proven, published in 2012. “I wanted to get a book like this in print because I had heard too many stories of young people growing up in Christian families and then returning home after college as atheists, mainly because they could not answer their professors’ challenges concerning the Bible. I wanted to offer a book where I could synthesize all the nuggets and references I found into one place that’s accessible. Not something watered down, but packed with evidence that’s easy to read.”
Latorre’s book includes many areas that skeptics like to attack such as inconsistencies in the Bible, science and the Bible, manuscript evidence, and the history and the people of the Bible. It also contains chapters on scientific foreknowledge in the Bible, prophecies as proof of the Bible’s divine inspiration, biblical archeology, and the numerical design of Scripture.
I asked Latorre how he would explain the apparent inconsistency often cited of the meeting Jesus and the disciples had with the demon-possessed man, or men, coming out of the tombs. Matthew writes that there were two (Matt. 8:28) and Mark and Luke say there was “a” man (Mark 5:2, Luke 8:27). Latorre explained it this way: “Twentieth century critics erroneously apply their ways of writing to the first century writers. At that time it was okay to paraphrase or to leave out certain details. Mark and Luke may have focused on one demoniac because he was the one who decided to follow Jesus. I read a book, Cold Case Christianity, by a former detective, J. Warner Wallace, who said something very interesting in regards to witnesses. He said you need to expect genuine witnesses to have superficial discrepancies. In other words, if one witness says there were two demon-possessed men and the others mention one, then there was at least one. The fact that Mark and Luke wrote that there was “a” man does not necessarily mean there was only one.”
Latorre said that the publication of the book opened new doors for him to share the gospel, many times with unbelievers. So far he has given talks at Geneseo College, Cornell University, churches, Christian conferences, and at book signings around the state. He was invited by The Christian Veterinary Fellowship at Cornell to speak on campus and had more than 30 attendees, many of them skeptical of the Bible and Christianity. None of them tried to refute his claims or research.
Latorre is planning a new book, not yet titled, which will be a collection of articles he wrote in response to many questions he encountered at a liberal Bible study that he attended to contribute his findings and to challenge people to accept the Bible as the Word of God, not just another book written by men. To buy his book, The Bible Can Be Proven, read recent articles by Vince Latorre, or to invite him to speak, go to www.thebiblecanbeproven.com.