Question: I recently got a new study Bible, which describes historical events. In a part of the Bible that says “Ancient Texts Relating to the Old Testament” it describes “Sennacherib’s Prism”: “Sennacherib vividly describes his siege of Jerusalem in 701 BC, making Hezekiah a prisoner of his own royal city (but cf. 2 Kings 19:35-37).” […]

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Question: I read a recent article about an ancient Roman document written by a Roman historian who says he witnessed Jesus performing the miracle of bringing a still born infant to life.  Have you heard about this?  Is this story credible? Answer: Sorry but this is a bogus claim put up by a satirical anti-Christian […]

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Question: In Jeremiah 45, God says that Egypt will fall and most all the remnant of Judah will be destroyed.  How does this work historically?  I don’t see where Babylon invaded Egypt at this time in history. Am I incorrect? Thanks for clarifying. Answer: I assume you mean Jeremiah 46.  In this prophecy we are […]

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Question: It makes me extremely uncomfortable to be the devil’s advocate regarding Exodus but just to give fair treatment to both sides of the story, I read the Wikipedia section summary of numbers, logistics, and archaeology. They all seem to have strong arguments of how the Exodus just couldn’t have happened. Do you have any […]

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Question: I believe that you have heard about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Reading its historical background, I see that this was used by Bobby Henderson as a logical supportive argument why Intelligent Design should not have equal attention in science classes along with evolution. The argument is that a religious faith such as a belief […]

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Question: How do we know the Bible, a collection of books and letters written of centuries, is the word of a deity? Answer: Given the amazing evidence for the inspiration of the Bible, the fact that it is a collection of writings written over many centuries makes it even more impressive.  The Bible contains the […]

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Question: What is your impression of the excavation of Christ’s tomb going on right now? Answer: No one knows exactly where Jesus’ tomb was, although archaeologists and Bible scholars have a general idea where to look.  Besides, he was only there for three days and surely there would be no physical remains from his stay […]

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Question: I was reading on your website an article about Nimrod and any evidence for Nimrod. I would like to take it a step farther. What if Sargon of Akkad was actually Moses?  What if the Enuma Elish which talks about Apsu the fresh pure water god and Tiamat who was the bitter salty water […]

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Question: Where does the gnostic belief that the Old Testament God is the Demiurge and not the true creator come from?  Also, where did the belief in archons tricking people into being reincarnated at death come from?  I’ve been reading some material about this and it has troubled me.  What is the evidence against these […]

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Question: There is a substantial amount of extra-biblical material written by historians that lived within a couple generations of Christ’s ministry supporting His existence, His status as a well-known miracle worker, and His crucifixion (Josephus, Tacitus, Seutonius, Pliny the Younger, Philo, as well as mention in much later editions to the Talmud). However, there is […]

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Question: I wanted to ask you about Matthew 15:3-6. What does Jesus mean when he told the Pharasees in verse 5 that “whatever help you might otherwise receive from me is a gift devoted to God”? Answer: This is a reference to a common Jewish practice of giving a sacrifice (actually, more accurately a gift) […]

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Question: I am happy to find your resourceful website and I hope you can help solve my puzzle.  Why did the book of Daniel get all the history wrong from verse 11:35 to the end? I tried to find answers in your power point but you list the historical facts just up to 11:35. This […]

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Question: The book of Ezra mentions that after Artaxerxes stopped the rebuilding of the temple that it began again during the reign of Darius. Is this Darius II that reigned after Artexerxes or is this Darius I and the Ahasuerus and Artexerxes mentioned in chapter 4 Cambyses and Smerdis? This is all a bit confusing. […]

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[editor’s note: This is a follow-up question from last week.  The original question is below to give context to the concern of the questioner. As you read the question, bear in mind it is a follow-up to the original question, which is if Luke grossly exaggerated the number of converts in Jerusalem in the Book […]

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Question:   [editor’s note:  This is a series of two questions from the same member of the same topic] I wanted to know if you know much about fulgurites and the evidence they give to support the reality of the ten plagues in Egypt?   How about this for a bible study?  Studying out about […]

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Question: I see from your articles that you view Genesis 1-3 as ‘true myths’ and I found this view really helpful. I wanted to ask how you determine at what point Genesis stops being a record of hebrew myth and becomes historical. Why, for example, do you not consider chapters 4-11 true myths? I know […]

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Question: What proof is there that the Bible is true? Answer: To tell you the truth, this is a rather broad question.   My first answer is please just start looking around the web site.  We have more than 2500 articles, each of which is intended to answer your question!   But you asked, so […]

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Question: I read in a question at the web site concerning the prophecies of Daniel 11 in which you said that the Kingdom of the North which were the Seleucids become later identified as the Romans. Why is it that this change seems random as if to accommodate for the fact that Antiochus IV did […]

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Editor’s note:  This is a series of about ten questions.  For ease of following the arguments, I will intersperse my answers between the questions. Question: I stumbled upon a website known as “RationalWiki” which lists supposed unfulfilled prophecies of the Bible which deeply trouble me in my understanding of the Bible. The most difficult of […]

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Editor’s note:  The person making this inquiry included material found from a web site.  This material is included, unedited, after my response. Question: I have some questions concerning archaeology and the Bible. 1.) Why is there such an absence of evidence concerning anyone mentioned in the Bible prior to Solomon or David, there is virtually […]

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Question: I am writing to ask you a quick question: a Christian friend of mine shared his conviction that Daniel was not truly written  by Daniel, but was written some time in the second century BC.  I would like to know what are the arguments for and against this view, and the same for the […]

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Question: I recently came across a video titled “A History of God” and it suggests that Josiah ordered religious reforms commanding the Deuteronomists to delete all Polytheistic themes in the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, and Kings. Additionally the Israelites were supposedly always polytheistic and that the “Yahwists” apparently enforced strict monotheism as late as the 8th, […]

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QUESTION: Recently I was browsing an article on Wikipedia titled “History of ancient Israel and Judah” and I read some passages I extracted and wanted to know of you could tell me if there is any actual historical credibility to them. 1 The religion of the Israelites of Iron Age I, like the Canaanite faith […]

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Question: Do the ethnic depictions of biblical figures matter?  I had a discussion with someone regarding an allegedly “white-washed and racist” depiction of biblical figures in a recent movie. Putting aside Hollywood or possible racial agendas, do we really need to be concerned about what color Bible characters are depicted as? Or could history provide […]

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QUESTION: Other than in the Bible, do we have any historical evidence that Jesus’ body was put in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea and that Pilate placed guards around the tomb? Answer: The simple answer is no.  We do not have external confirmation of this particular historical event.  What we have is the record […]

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Request: Hi, John! Can you comment this news, please?   http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/article/?id=12687 Thank you! Response: I had already seen this article. The papyrus is an interesting find, but I believe the author exaggerates the significance.  This is not unusual, as authors have a tendency to overstate the significance of a particular piece, for the obvious reason that […]

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Question: To your knowledge have there been any artifacts found in Herod’s tomb? Also, has there been archaeological/historical evidence found, out side of the Bible, of Joshua? Answer: A treasure trove of artifacts was found in Herod’s tomb. Here is a very brief introductory list, found at a web site (http://www.globaltravelerusa.com/artifacts-from-the-royal-room-inside-king-herods-tomb-on-display-at-jerusalems-israel-museum/) describing a museum special […]

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Question: Dear Dr. Oakes, while Googling the use of maritime drogues (a storm drogue is “a device external to a boat, attached to the stern and used to slow the boat down in a storm and to keep the hull perpendicular to the waves”), I found a link to a page at your site entitled […]

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QUESTION: I listened to your lesson on Baptism (thank you, it helped me to better understand this aspect of our walk in Christ). However, I am not able to find any scriptural passages where it mentions that the apostles were baptized.  Scripture mentions they did baptize others. Can you help with this question please? Thank […]

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Question: I did want to ask you if you have heard of an alleged inscription in the supposed largest near-eastern Mithraeum which was built in western Persia at Kangavar, which is supposedly dedicated to ‘Anahita’, with an inscription reading “the Immaculate Virgin Mother of the Lord Mithras” dated to around 200BC? I see this claim […]

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Question: I have a roommate who I am reaching out to.  He said that the origin of the word “Christ” comes from the Indian God Chrisna [sic. he means Krishna] (didn’t give the exact spelling) and that ancient monasteries have record of Jesus coming from Judea. He quoted John 10:34. Where it says we are […]

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Question: There is some information on the Old Testament I found through an atheist and I think it’s very interesting.  It hasn’t harmed my faith but it did raise some interesting questions. http://www.theology.edu/ugarbib.htm This link implies that the God we know as God YHWH is actually a remnant of Canaanite mythology which was as you […]

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Comment: I think Mr Oakes needs to take a course in logic. He attempts to discredit Robert Eisenman by using, not the extant historical evidence, but the unsubstantiated writings of “early church fathers”,and the new testament “writings” of Peter and Luke. First of all there is not a single writing of the church fathers and […]

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QUESTION: I really need help on the following-I was on a website recently that claims that Aaron’s feast day of the golden calf that is said to have occurred in around 1446 BC in Exodus was copied from a events that took place within the same time period (between 17-15 century BC) by a group […]

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Question: The Magi/wise men who visited the young Jesus were obviously men of knowledge, possibly scholars of some sort. I would assume that when they returned to their home they documented their experience. Is there any evidence of this? Answer: I would agree that the Magi were probably of high birth and likely were scholars. […]

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Comment: I am currently reading your book “Reasons for Belief”. I’m not that far into yet but I wanted to point out that the passage that you use from Josephus to support the miracles of Jesus is considered to be a Christian interpolation and therefore not reliable. From what I understand, several passages from Josephus […]

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Question: Give you give a brief history of archaeological discoveries at Jericho, as well as a brief history of theories about their implications and the current state of knowledge about Jericho and its relevance to biblical statements about the city. Answer: [Editor’s note: This answer comes from a student in our Christian Apologetics Certificate Program, […]

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Question: Ezra mentions that Cyrus wrote this :  [editor’s note, this is from Ezra chapter 1]  “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever there is […]

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QUESTION: I was wondering if you could help me with an apparent conundrum. I hear over and over again that the Bible is remarkably accurate in its ancient history that it records. If this is so, why do so many archaeologists have a minimalist or disdainful view of the Scriptures? Answer: This is a good […]

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QUESTION: I would like to know about the accusations against the Bible. 1. The fallacies and inconsistancies that people claim are there… 2. How accurate do we know the Old Testament to be historically speaking. Response: It is impossible for me to answer the first question because it is too broad to address. What I […]

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Question: (maybe you need to change 4 Kings to 2 Kings. In the Russian Bible, 2 Kings is 4 Kings)  Can I ask you to help me deal with the chronology of events in the life of Hezekiah? In the Bible, king Sennacherib wanted to conquer Jerusalem, threatening its residents. After this comes a description […]

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QUESTION: Since the birthplace of Jesus is too far from the Indian subcontinent, there is a viable chance for him travelling to India or Tibet.  All the story of Jesus is mythological like Indian mythology.  Hence, there is solid proof that Jesus Christ came to India and has made a deep study of Hindu religion.   After returning […]

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Question; I want to ask you about the one discovery – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezekiah%27s_Tunnel Is this the real tunnel from the Bible or not? Could you give me, please, a good web site about Bible discoveries? Answer: Yes, this is almost certainly the same tunnel which, according to 2 Kings, was constructed under Hezekiah in about 705 […]

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Questoin: I’m studying the book of Isaiah. When you look at the historical background of Isaiah, there are non-Messianic prophecies that were fulfilled, as the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions of Israel and Judah. Could you please write about these? Response: I have written some about prophecies in the Old Testament fulfilled before New Testament times already in my […]

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Question: If the Bible is correct then why did the prophecy in Ezekiel 29:17-20 fail?   We know that Ezekiel made this prophecy in about 571 BC, and Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Egypt in 568 BC failed?   Nebuchadnezzar was suppose to conquer Egypt according to those verses – “Behold, I will GIVE the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar […]

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Question: I wanted to get back to you about a synopsis of “The Discovery of Noah’s Ark” by G. Edward Griffin. (a low quality version is available on you tube) because it raises some valid points regarding the possible remains of a large, vessel.  This one NOT on Mt. Ararat, but rather about 18 miles south.  […]

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Question: I am getting hit with this subject more often. The bassist in my band who I basically live with when on tour sent me this video after a long talk we had on the tour bus. There are a lot of claims with no evidence to back it up however I think it’d be great […]

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Question: My dad brought this scriptire to my attention. What is your take on it?  Revelation 11:19 (NIV) Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.      So the ark is not […]

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Question: I found interesting article on findings in Khirbet Qeiyafa.  May I ask, what is your opinion about that, is it another archeological proof of Bible historicity,  or just a hoax? http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/History/Early+History+-+Archaeology/Cultic_shrines_time_King_David_8-May-2012.htm Answer: No, this is the real thing. This is a very exciting discovery. Garfinkle is a highly respected archaeologist and this find will […]

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Question: I really appreciate the time you take to read and respond these emails (which I believe does not give you anything in return but I believe you do it for Christ).  I need an advice from you.  I have been a kind of person who looks to validate things. I have followed a lot […]

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