[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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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[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 […]

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[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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.  […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.  […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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[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 […]

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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… […]

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[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 […]

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[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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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: 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 […]

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[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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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Question: Is the material found below about Jesus having a wife valid or false? http://www.livescience.com/34229-what-does-the-gospel-of-jesus-s-wife-say.html?cmpid=514627_20150825_51404246&adbid=10152957444286761&adbpl=fb&adbpr=30478646760 Answer: I would have to do some more care research to validate the age and to look at other attempts to translate, but please allow me to give my first quick impression.  I would say that with a quick glance, […]

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Question: Parchment 470–a Catholic writing from 250 AD that says they worshipped Mary in the early Christian church..this is from a Catholic scholar’s site from Canterbury England, I should have written down his name but I forgot to….he is trying to win Protestants to his Catholic faith. Answer: It is true that there is a […]

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Question: I’ve been studying out prophecies of the Old Testament and in studying out the prophecies of Isaiah I looked up what Wikipedia had to say about it.  According to Wikipedia “The exact relationship between the Book of Isaiah and any such historical Isaiah is complicated.  One widespread view sees parts of the first half […]

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Question: I have some general questions concerning Christianity. How can the Bible be considered inerrant if there are instances of copyist errors such as tht which occurs in 2 Samuel 10:18 and 1 Chronicles 19:18.  The second passage mentions 700 and the first mentionsr 7000 slain charioteers? I realize that most of these copyist errors […]

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Question: I’m doing a paper on Isaiah. Do you believe it is written by one author, two, or more…? Answer: Many scholars claim that the prophet Isaiah wrote Isaiah 1-39 and that another author influenced by Isaiah wrote “deuteroisaiah” which would be Ch 40-66.  They base this claim on supposed and sudden differences in subject, […]

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[Editor’s Note:    I recently answered a question about R. G. Price but, not knowing his middle name, thought the question was about a different critic of Christianity named Robert Price.  Interestingly, the positions of the Robert Price and of R. G. Price are actually fairly similar.  Nevertheless, I am a bit embarrassed and apologize […]

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Question: I have a question regarding the disputed texts in the Bible i.e. the Adultery Pericope, the extended ending of Mark 16 and the Comma Johanneum. I’ve encountered some Muslims who try using these disputed texts in the Bible to prove that the Bible has been corrupted. While I’m aware that there is overwhelming consensus […]

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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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Question: Do critics have a case for the allegation that since Jesus’ life and events were recorded way after his actual death that they cannot truly reflect his image and deeds during his life? Are there any other examples of historical texts that were recorded 20 to 40 years after the fact? Is the reason […]

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