Question: Is there any proof that Joseph of Arimathea went to the British Isles to procure tin and took the young Jesus with him? I came across this claim presented as historical research with a significant amount of “documentation” from ancient sources. I was not aware of any evidence for the “missing” years of Jesus’ […]

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Question: The other day I overheard an atheist talking to someone about the Bible. I didn’t join in on their conversation, but they were loud enough and close enough for me to hear every word they said. Anyway, the atheist (I know he’s an atheist because I heard him say it) said that all the […]

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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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[Editor’s note: The original question was followed up with another which is below.  It became clear that the intent of the original question seems to have been to support the idea that baptism is not necessary, as the questioner quotes from Matt Slick who is a kind of self-appointed archenemy of those who believe that […]

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Question: When was the Roman Catholic Church started and is their proof that Peter was the founder and the first Pope. Answer: I have already answered a similar question with regard to when the Roman Catholic Church started at the site.  I am copying and pasting below. As for Peter, as far as I know, […]

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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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Question: I have a question regarding the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Do we know if the disciple Christians fled to the mountains like Jesus advised or did they participate in the Jewish-Roman war?     Mark 13:14-15  14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong– let the […]

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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 the same time). It’s […]

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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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Questions: Why are there so many translations of the Bible and why are there so many denominations? Did God actually walk the earth with Adam and Eve? Answers: You are asking three different questions, with very different answers. The reason there are so many translations into English is, quite simply, because there is a market […]

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Question: Among Christians there are so many doctrinal disputes. Many died making wars because of these different opinions. Why did God not intervene to clear up our understanding in order to avoid wars and disputes? Just after the Protestant Reformation eight million Christians slaughtered each other because God did not communicate the correct doctrine doctrine clearly to them. […]

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[Editor’s note: Below is a series of questions and answers from a seeker who is considering converting to Catholicism but who has a lot of general questions about the reliability of the Bible.  This one will take some time to wade through] Question #1: How do we know that the Bible is the Bible if […]

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[Editor’s note: Below is a series of questions and answers from a seeker who is considering converting to Catholicism but who has a lot of general questions about the reliability of the Bible.  This one will take some time to wade through] Question #1: How do we know that the Bible is the Bible if […]

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Question: Some people claim that Jesus Christ didn’t rise on Sunday but on Saturday.  This claim is based on that the Bible said that Mary Magdalene came to the tomb very early in the morning in the first day of the week, and Jesus rose before that, perhaps on Saturday.  They also claim that the […]

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[Editor’s note: this is a follow-up question from a Christian who is in debates with Muslims over the reliability of the Bible. The Gospel of Barnabas is a pseudepigraph (falsely claimed authorship) from about the sixteenth century by a Muslim person who is trying to make it appear that the Gospels are in line with […]

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Question: I found this article particularly interesting due to the impact it may have on a historical interpretation of Revelation. I am not familiar with much of the evidence the author uses to support his perspective but I do understand the bottom line. In short the author claims that there was no Domitian persecution of […]

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Question: Were the witnesses to Christs resurrection martyred? Answer: The answers is yes, some of them definitely were martyred, and most likely a significant proportion of the original witnesses of the resurrection were killed for their faith.  There are two categories here.  One, there are the original eyewitnesses about whom we can be virtually certain […]

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Question: Recently some of the relics of St. Nicholas were brought to Russia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas). Thousands of the faithful lined up in a kilometer-long queue to kiss them and kneel before them. How should we react to this tradition to worship the relics, because it looks to be clearly idolatry?   Do you know how the […]

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Question: A couple of months ago, I had a keen interest in the Gnostic Christian writings. Many of them sounded weird but some really did catch my interest.  Those that caught my interest include the “Protoevagelion of James”, “Arabic Infancy Gospel”, “Acts of Thomas” and “Gospel of Nicodemus”. Now let me tell you why.  The Protoevangelion […]

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Question: I was wondering what is the scholarly consensus and textual reliability regarding St. Cyprian’s Unity of the Church as well as the majority of the early church fathers, thanks. Answer: The reliability of the writings of the “Church Fathers” varies widely.  For example, the First Letter of Clement of Rome is considered by most […]

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Question: When was Paul killed? I’ve heard one person say AD 64 and someone else say AD 67. Also why was he killed? Answer: Here is the simple answer.  No one knows.  There are two general opinions, as you have heard.  One is that his imprisonment in Rome, as described by Luke, led to his […]

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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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[Editor’s note: this question is coming from a Christian in a Muslim country who is answering criticism from Muslims who claim the New Testament has been corrupted] Question: Please, I have questions about the time of writing of the gospels.  The first source outside the New Testament that quoted from the gospels is Clement of […]

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Question: What is your response to the claim in the Clementine Homilies stating that there are falsehoods in scripture and that the Bible was written to try us and test our faith. Apparently it was Peter who told Clement that. Also Simon was used as an alias for Paul in the Clementine Homilies, and in […]

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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: I’d like to ask a question.  It’s about the book of Revelation.  I read that the book of Revelation wasn’t accepted until now in the Syriac Orthodox Church… Is that right???  In addition, is there another difference between churches about the canonicity of the books of the New Testament today?  Another question, Why were […]

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Question/Comments: Why are you misinforming the public about the Holy Catholic Church? I see that you state priests wearing vestments is unbiblical?  How wrong you are. God commanded they be used in the Old testament. ‘For your brother Aaron you will make SACRED VESTMENTS to give dignity and magnificence…they will use gold and violet material […]

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Questions: If the Passover of the New Covenant (Jesus flesh and blood) is the only way to receive forgiveness of sins, then why did the Council of Nicaea remove this important teaching in AD 325? If the Passover of the New Covenant (Jesus flesh and blood) is the only way to receive forgiveness of sins, then […]

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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: 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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[Editor’s note: This question is more personal than we normally post, but the person raises important questions so we are posting it, hoping that noone will be offended] Question: My question is why did you say that the Holy Catholic Church is “corrupt?” How is the Church, who brought the Holy Bible to the world, “corrupt?  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: Hey Dr. Oakes, I’ve got a friend that is trying to communicate with me about Oneness Theology as opposed to the doctrine of the Trinity. Even as he was attempting to explain it to me, I am having a difficult time understanding the differences. What is the difference between the two? What do you […]

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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 am intrigued by your take on early Christianity and how you believe the Catholic Church can trace its history back to the 1st century AD, yet don’t believe it’s the one true church. If the RCC was founded in the first century AD and was originally the one true church, but then went […]

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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 a series of three related questions about the teachings of the very early church leaders, including on baptismal regeneration. Question: How much weight should be given to the early church fathers’ theological positions? Answer: The simple answer is that their theological position should be given zero weight.  When Irenaeus or Polycarp […]

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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: Jesus is the pillar of Christian faith, I want to know, what are some evidences that show that he existed and not just fabricated? Answer: It has been argued that hardly anyone in the ancient world is more well attested to than Jesus of Nazareth. Within one hundred years of his life, at least […]

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