Question: I have heard that some early church writers interpolated several scriptures/verses into the New Testament: (For eg: Luke 23:34 was included by Irenaeus and Alexandrinus and others) Also, I heard it claimed that Luke 22:43-44, 22:19-20, 1 John 5:7-8, John 7:53-8:11,  Mark 16:9-20, and 1 Cor 14:34-35 are all interpolated. Apparently, New Testament scholars […]

Read More

[Editor’s note: this is part of an interaction with a questioner who feels my treatment of Peter Enns’ book How the Bible Actually Works is not fair. The article is found here: http://evidenceforchristianity.org/a-review-of-peter-enns-book-how-the-bible-actually-works/ ] Question: I have worked my way through some fairly lengthy portions of your sermon at the Boston Church of Christ on […]

Read More

Question: I read an article that claims that John 7:53-8:11 was not part of the original book of John.  https://www.gotquestions.org/John-7-53-8-11.html Please comment on this article.  Is today’s KJV bible accurate as to the original manuscripts written by the original gospel writers?  Are there any additional example of material that has been added to the Gospels over the […]

Read More

[Editor’s note: I received a long and somewhat rambling set of comments and questions from someone. I asked for a more succinct set of comments and questions so that I could respond. You will see below that the shorter version is still a bit unfocused, but this person asks sufficiently important questions that I felt […]

Read More

Question: I have heard it said that if all the New Testament manuscripts were lost, the entire NT could still be replaced merely by the quotes from the church fathers…except for a scant few verses. My questions: 1. Who all has done a study to verify this? 2. How accurate were the quotations by the […]

Read More

Question: I have three questions: 1- I have searched and found that there is division between scholars about dating the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. Although some believe that they were written before 62 AD because there is no mention of Paul’s death or destruction of Jerusalem, most scholars believe that they […]

Read More

Question: How were the books of the Bible chosen?   Do we know how many children Joseph and Mary had? Answer: I answer your first question in great detail in my book “Reasons for Belief” which is available at www.ipibooks.com.   I am also attaching a shorter version of notes on canon to this e-mail.    HOW WE […]

Read More

Question: Jehovah’s Witnesses state that Constantine made the Bible pagan, Hence their New World Translation. Do you have any evidence against this as nobody yet has been able to provide me something that backs up their claim. Thanks very much. Answer: This claim is so blatantly unfounded that for anyone to make the it they […]

Read More

Question: Robert Price claims that 1 Corinthians 15 : 3 – 11 is an interpolation  https://depts.drew.edu/jhc/rp1cor15.html  How can you prove the authenticity of this important text? [Editor’s note: this passage is a key one with regard to the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus] Answer: I did some research and found that, as far as I can […]

Read More

[Editor’s note:  This is a follow-up to a question just posted a couple of days ago.  I asked the questioner to send specific examples from a rather long article by an atheist who claims that Jesus did not even live at all.  The material in italics is the material he asked me to comment on […]

Read More

Question: Is habakkuk 3 13 anointed one or anointed ones please? Answer: I am not a Hebrew scholar, but I did sufficient research, by going to the original Hebrew and many translations and I am very confident that the Hebrew word is singular.  Therefore, the correct translation is Anointed One.  Therefore this is a messianic […]

Read More

Question: I found a claim that in the Codex Vaticanus,  “Messiah the Prince” is instead ” anointed place.” Also a Dead Sea Scroll states that Messiah is to come after the seven weeks instead of 62 sevens. Can these be proven wrong or is our translation incorrect? Answer: I did a bit of research and […]

Read More

[Note: the second of a series of three sets of comments from a site user] Claims: 3. The versions of events that didn’t make it into the Bible [Apocrypha] are very strange – ie: Jesus slaying children & blinding their parents. The early Church [up to 400 years after the life of Jesus] accepted this […]

Read More

[Editor’s notes. I received a six-part set of claims from a visitor to the site. I will answer them in a series of responses Claims: 1. The Bible [Gospels] were not written until well after the purported events. 2. There was much dispute over the contents of the Bible. The early Church had many conflicting […]

Read More

Request: Please, can you refute this video, I’d really appreciate it (considering Islam).   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R27Kb__1Ko&feature=youtu.be Response: I cannot refute a video.  I can attempt to refute particular things said in a video.  What you ask I cannot do.  In fact, a number of the things said in this video are actually true.  I certainly cannot refute […]

Read More

Question: I came across this forum on Reddit about the Old Testament. It says that it is mostly oral histories rather than detailed written histories. See the comment by BigBennP.  https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/8k455b/there_are_two_places_that_i_know_of_in_the_bible/ He referenced Schinderman’s book that I’m quite familiar with.  I’m not sure if this is correct.  But if it is true, then I have to ask […]

Read More

Question: In Colossians 4:16,Paul asks them to read a letter he wrote to the Laodiceans. Is this book available anywhere or is it permanently lost? Answer: That is one of the easier questions I have gotten.  The answer is that this letter is lost.  It is possible, but very unlikely, that this letter will surface.  […]

Read More

Comment: With regard to the concept of hell and Greek understanding, while we know that all Scripture is given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, The “all Scripture” that is being referred to is the Hebrew Scripture. The King James Version was written by using the Septuagint (Hebrew to Greek translation), converting the Greek into […]

Read More

Question: My questions are about authorship of the gospels.  We know that the first man to say that the second gospel was written by Mark was Papias, However some skeptics say that it’s a long time between Mark (who may have died in 60s) and Papias (who may have been born at about the same […]

Read More

Question: I have 2 questions: 1) As you know, in the earlier Bible translations 1 John 5:7 ‘these three are one’ (referring to the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit) and this is not found in the later Bible versions. But when I read this verse in the Interlinear Bible, it corresponds to the […]

Read More

Question: I recently heard an argument that Bill Maher uses to debunk the authority and authenticity of the Bible. It says, “the Bible was a book written by men and edited by men as well”. How would you respond to this? Answer: My response would be to say that this is true.  Maher is right.  […]

Read More

Question: I have a question concerning the three texts of Torah. I searched in the internet to know the 6000 differences between the three, and found that supposedly 1900 of them where the Septuagint agrees with the Samaritan [editor’s note: the questioner is referring here to the Samaritan Pentateuch], but I found nothing.   Do you […]

Read More

Question: My question is about John 1:18. If we use a modern translation, we can clearly notice that the verse says that Jesus is God. But the textus receptus translations just say that Jesus is Son. Which do you think is authentic? Answer: This is a question of translation, not of an error, either in the […]

Read More

Question: What is your response to Robert Eisenman’s theories on the Dead Sea scrolls and New Testament?  He states that James is the teacher of righteous and the true leader of the church instead of Peter while Paul is the man of lies and tried to corrupt the Church from within. He also states that […]

Read More

Question: Lord Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 28:18, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”  I have 2 questions: 1- Some critics like some Unitarians say that it’s impossible that Jesus said this because the […]

Read More

Question: Please check out 1 Corinthians 7:36 and 1 John 5:7 in various Bible versions, They seem to have different meanings. Also, only the KJV includes the term “God manifested in the flesh”, while other versions just say “He appeared in the flesh”. Which of these variations could be right? How do we deal with […]

Read More

Question: 1. Do you think the Hadiths that Muslims commonly use today like Sahi al Bukhari, Al tabari etc… contain true records? Are they completely reliable? There is a sect of Muslims called the quran-only Muslims and they disagree with the Hadiths. If they are true, then we can easily prove how pathetic and cruel […]

Read More

Question: I would like to ask about John 20 : 28.  While I was searching in Islamic websites, I found one that claimed that there are some manuscripts that don’t contain the word “the”, so the verse will mean that Thomas thought that Jesus was a god not God, like Moses.   What is your […]

Read More

Question: I have seen so many contradictory claims about the philological and linguistic analysis of the Book of Daniel. Does the Book of Daniel resemble Aramaic and Hebrew dialects from an earlier or later period? Does this depend on what part of the book one is looking at? Typically the sources I have found on […]

Read More

Question: Should I have faith in the canonical Bible being reliable and inspired because of those who established it back then, or should I mix this with trying to see the biblical evidence for myself? It is tempting to want to find all the evidence myself, as if I am the one who determines what […]

Read More

Question: Is it true that 1 john 5 :7 was added later and was not in Greek manuscripts until the 1500s?  Please explain this to me. If so why is it in King James Version?  If this is the case, has the Bible been subject to changes by human hands? Answer: Yes, this is true. […]

Read More

Question: What was the oldest manuscript we had before the Dead Sea Scrolls?  Was it the Aleppo Codex or Leningrad codex?  If  it is the Leningrad Codex, why do we compare the Aleppo codex with the Dead sea scrolls?   Can you please give me the dates of these manuscripts?   On the internet every site has a  different […]

Read More

[Editor’s note: This question is coming from a person responding to Muslim claims that Jesus never claimed to be God] Question: I’d like to ask you 2 questions.  1 What’s your comment on the New World Translation of Zechariah 12:10  “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem […]

Read More

Question: How can I decide if a particular writing by one of the church fathers is authentic?  I’m asking this question because critics [editor’s note: he is talking about Muslim critics of Christianity] criticize any writing, not only Irenaeus.  They say, for example, that we don’t know who wrote the writings of Justin Martyr, Origen… […]

Read More

[Editor’s note: This question is coming from a believer who lives in the Middle East and is clearly receiving a lot of attacking questions from his Muslim friends.  They are using rhetoric, false dilemmas and other logical fallacies to try to prove that the Bible is corrupt.  This will explain why I get a bit […]

Read More

[Editor’s Note:  This is two different but similar questions from the same person, so I am joining them as one article.  These questions concern letters from the church “Fathers” of the late first and the second century AD which help to inform us how the early church lived and what they taught.] Question: I’d like […]

Read More

Question: What is the evidence that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John really wrote the four gospels? I have searched and found that the oldest man (whose writings are available now) who said that the four gospels were written by these four men was Irenaeus.  Irenaeus said that about 180 AD about a century after the […]

Read More

Question: Protestants such as myself use the Masoretic Text for the translation of our Bibles. However, the Eastern Orthodox Church uses the Septuagint, a Greek translation we get primarily from the three large codices: Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, and Alexandrinus. How can I explain to someone why the Septuagint is good, but has problems (aside from the […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Question: I thank you for taking your time out of the day to answer questions that I have. I am learning about Islam and while researching I came across an article about the prophesying of Muhammad in the New Testament. This was just one of the examples presented:   John 14:16  “And I will pray the […]

Read More

[editor’s note: The person sending this comment included a document claiming that the NIV (and presumably nearly all other translations) have omitted major portions of the New Testament, including John 5:4, Acts 8:37, Acts 15:34, Matthew 17:21, Matthew 23:14, Acts 24:7 and several others.] Comment: As I dug deeper into your site I had to […]

Read More

Editor’s note:  This is actually a series of questions and answers. Question: I came across this statement in Sura III in the Quran, but I cannot find the exact scripture. “Jesus was of virgin birth, And performed many miracles. But those to whom he came as Prophet rejected him, and plotted his death. Their plots […]

Read More

Question: I live in India where 80% are Hindus and believe in reincarnation. I don’t believe in it but yesterday I checked out a website that has testimonies regarding Near to Death experiences. Some of them have seen Jesus after their death and he told them either to go back or reincarnate to a new […]

Read More

Question: My teacher just told us that the verse in Luke where Jesus sweats blood was not in the original text and is a textual issue. Have you heard this argument before? Answer: It is true that Luke 22:43-44 is not included in the majority of the oldest and most reliable manuscripts of Luke.  This […]

Read More

Question: I recently received an email response from the Muslim: Khalid Choudhary.  Here is what he said to me: We do have the original manuscripts of the Quran. Our Prophet’s companions gave those manuscripts a book form. Since we have only one Quran all over the world, that’s enough proof in itself of the original […]

Read More

Question: I believe that the Bible is the word of God and is the greatest text ever written. It is 100% accurate and reliable. That being said, are there any other inspired texts that were written in the first century that one can look at and research and that are reliable? I’m asking about other […]

Read More

Question: I am trying to share the Gospel message to a Muslim, and I need help in responding to his email. Here is his response:  [Editor’s note: Because there are so many questions here, the answers are interspersed among the different questions.  The questions are in italics.  J. O.] God created human being, showed them […]

Read More

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. […]

Read More

Question: I wonder why isn’t the name Yahweh mentioned anywhere in the NT?   We only see Christ calling him Father in the gospels as well as the apostles addressing Him in the same way.  Has it been omitted anywhere in various translations?  For a new believer isn’t it essential to know that the Father […]

Read More

Question: Hello Dr Oakes. I am taking an early Judaism and Christianity course in university and I have a question about the Bible.  My teacher is very critical towards the New Testament writers and writings (as most are in the department of religion) and he told us in class the other day that the first […]

Read More