Marcus Tso, PhD, MDiv, BASc

Marcus Tso Biblical Studies
Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies
+1 (403) 410-2000 ext. 3996
Office Location:


PhD (University of Manchester)
MDiv (Regent College)
BASc (University of British Columbia)


My parents didn’t name me Marcus at birth. I chose that name with them shortly after emigrating from Hong Kong to Canada in my early teens. That was also around the time I, along with most of my family, came to a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ through a Chinese Alliance church in Vancouver. So, the name Marcus signifies my primary identity as a Christian and a Chinese Canadian. 

Since then, I have been straddling multiple worlds in various ways—culturally, linguistically, professionally. I have been a mechanical engineer, an English–speaking pastor in a Chinese MB church, and now a Bible scholar specializing in the late Second Temple period. Since childhood, I’ve been drawn to what is real, what is true, and what works – which may explain my apparently random career path. But all these roles have been my responses to God’s call to serve him.

Here at Ambrose, I gratefully engage in my passion to connect students to the loving God. I do this through leading students in a careful study of the Christian Scripture, so that they and those they serve can experience what is real, what is true, and what works. 

At South Gate Alliance Church, I help teach adult Sunday School, lead young adults, and serve on a worship team. For leisure, I enjoy building scale models and playing strategy board games, or their digital equivalent. I have been married to Daphne since 1993. Next to God and my parents, I owe everything to her. I believe she is an angel in disguise.

Recent Publications

Current Research

  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Qumran sectarian literature
  • Comparative religious ethics
  • Morality in Second Temple Judaisms and early Christianities
  • Social-constructivist approaches to religious ethics
  • Cognitive-scientific approaches to religious ethics
  • Cognitive science of religion
  • Moral emotions
  • Virtue ethics
  • Divine command ethics
  • Natural law ethics

Scholarly & Professional Activity

  • Member of the Society of Biblical Literature
  • Member of the Institute of Biblical Research
  • Official Licensed Worker of the C&MA in Canada

Recent Conference Presentations

“Nature and Nurture: A Social-Cognitive Approach to Moral Emotions in the Qumran Sectarian Literature.” Paper to be presented on November 20, 2017, at the SBL Annual Meetings, Boston, Massachusetts.




“Applied Ethics Seminar: Gender Identity among Children in Canadian Schools.” Workshop presented on December 29, 2016, at the Canadian Chinese Christian Winter Conference, Calgary, Alberta.




Lectio Divina.” Workshop presented on December 28, 2016, at the Canadian Chinese Christian Winter Conference, Calgary, Alberta.

“Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible.” Workshop presented on December 28, 2016, at the Canadian Chinese Christian Winter Conference, Calgary, Alberta.

“Moral Emotions in Qumran Sectarian Literature from a Cognitive Psychological Perspective.” Paper presented on November 20, 2016, at the SBL Annual Meetings, San Antonio, Texas.

“Feelings, Nothing More than Feelings? The Place of Emotions in Moral Judgment from a Cognitive Psychological Perspective, the Case of Mencius and Qumran.” Paper presented on July 5, 2016, at the SBL International Meetings, Seoul, South Korea.

“Virtue Ethics in 4Q298 and Galatians 5: How Virtues are Chosen for Promotion in Early Jewish and Christian Communities.” Paper presented on August 6, 2013, at the Congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament and the International Organization for Qumran Studies, Munich, Germany, publication pending.

“The Use of Scriptural Traditions at Qumran for the Construction of Ethics.” Paper presented on July 7, 2009, at the SBL International Meetings, Rome, Italy, subsequently published.

“The Giving of the Law at Sinai and the Ethics of the Qumran Community.” Paper presented on July 6, 2007, at the University of Durham, UK, subsequently published.