Question: Was Haman the Agagite (Esther 3:1)an Amalekite (1 Samuel 15:32) or is it just a coincidence? Answer: I will admit that I am shamelessly copying and pasting from a Jewish web site, as I probably cannot improve on their knowledge.  Apparently, Josephus agreed that Haman was an Amalekite.  The veracity of some Jewish legends […]

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Questions: Why would God even create a hell? Why will souls live eternally in damnation?  If they don’t make it into heaven, their soul is destroyed.  Also, I was reading on your site about Jesus and examples you give for believing He is the Messiah. One is His fulfillment of prophecy. One of the prophecies […]

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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: I have a question about something in the Bible that bothers me. In Genesis 19, Angels come into Lots home. When under attack, Lot offers the men his daughters to, basically rape. I find this hard to understand? Is there any explanation to understand Lots mindset? Answer: I will have to say that this […]

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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: Is thinking a physical process, or is it spiritual? Answer: I believe that the answer is that thinking is both physical and “spiritual.” One thing we can be sure of is that thinking is a physical process.  This has been shown by experiment and our experience agrees with experiment.  MRI (magnetic resonsance imaging) experiments […]

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Question: I have recently moved from a church that taught things like tattoos are wrong, celebrating Halloween is wrong, kids dressing up in costumes (even unrelated to Halloween, and even if little girls dress up as princesses while having a tea party in her room) is wrong. I’m trying to reconcile some of the things […]

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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 am glad to be emailing you again on biblical matters.  I found our conversations quite insightful.   I wanted to ask you a question about the cause of disabilities per Exodus 4:11 and John 9:3 (about Jesus healing the man born blind).  Some translations render the text in John as “this happened so that the works […]

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Question: I’ve searched your site regarding marijuana use, and have found a few articles. However, they are a bit dated, and I’m wondering if you have any updated information given its current legal status in some states – and pending legal status in California.   My husband and I lead a group where two women smoke […]

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Question: I watched a recent debate (online) between Theist Dr William lane Craig and cosmologist Lawrence Krauss.  Krauss’s favorite example seems to be the divine command in the Old Testament for the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanite men, women and children (Deuteronomy 20:7). I would say Krauss and most other atheists use this brilliantly to […]

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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: Before Jesus’ birth at ~7-2 BCE, there were thousands of different religions around the world from the those of the Native Americans to thoses of the Africans and of course, those of the Far East. 1. Why do they exist? 2. Why did God choose the Jewish people? 3. What could make Christianity true […]

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Question: Paul said in Romans chapter 7 that he wanted to do the right thing and yet he continued to do the wrong thing, even though  he knew is bad for him,  I feel torn between being a saint and a sinner…  I do not understand why God has planned it that way especially when […]

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Question: It is becoming a more and more accepted theory that humans have no ability to truly make “willful decisions.” Under this assumption, how can one come to salvation? Wouldn’t this render John 3:16 useless, because we cannot choose to believe in God?  I understand the argument that this just points to predestination, but as […]

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Question: As we know God is infinite and eternal. Could there be several infinite and eternal Gods? Many thanks Answer: In principle, if we knew nothing about reality, and were simply asking the most basic question about how to explain the universe, I suppose if one were starting from scratch, with no assumptions, one could not […]

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Question: In Luke 3:3 it talks about John the Baptist preaching a baptism for the forgiveness of sins but Hebrews 9:22 mentions that the shedding of blood is needed for forgiveness of sins. How was the forgiveness of sins available for John’s baptisms without Jesus dying yet?  Thanks! Any input would be appreciated. Answer: A […]

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Question: One philisophical principle is that in a set of hypotheses, the one with less assumptions should be validated.  Most of my friends think that materialism is the worldview with the least assumptions since it only requires that we assume the physical world can be perceived, measured and understood by our human senses.  These materialist friends say […]

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Question: Read your excellent answers to Dan.9:27… What do you think about interjecting Luke 4:18-21 as first half (Yeshua’s ministry being first half of 9:27 while all things being put under His feet during completion of Eph.4:13 during Great Tribulation Period second half of week… The adoption process of Romans 8:18-23 coming into the mind,will,and purpose […]

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Question: Hello, thank you for your ministry. I have a question on when Jesus was called Messiah and when Simon was first called Peter. In John 1:41, Andrew tells Peter that Jesus is the Christ, but in Matthew 16:16-17, Peter declares that Jesus is the Christ and Jesus says flesh and blood did not reveal […]

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Question: I’ve been a Christian for almost 4 years and I’m 19. Recently I have been having some doubts that I don’t want to have anymore and I really want to solve them…. I know that God is not forcing us to know him and have a relationship with him, and obey him…He has given us […]

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Question: Is it plausible that John and the author of Revelation (presumably John) is praising Ephesus for their rejection of Paul as a false apostle in Rev. 2:2 with regard to Acts 19:8-9 and 23, 2 Tim. 1:15, and Eph. 1:1, and again in 1 John 2:18 as described in Acts 21:18-26 from a purely […]

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Question: Is it fair to say that a substantial portion of James’ letter is a rebuke of Paul and his followers?  As you know, Acts 15 describes a significant break between James’ leadership (likely including Peter, John, Mark, and Barnabas) and Paul’s doctrinal and dogmatic leadership as background for the letter; James 2:14-25 seems to […]

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Question: I have a question for you that sparked while going through one of the lessons in the ARS Apologetics Certificate Program. In terms of suffering – I understand most of the arguments/material in terms of our sin, humans causing suffering, humans choosing to suffer, Joy existing because of suffering, etc; however, there is one thing […]

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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: How do you counter something like this? – http://allpowertothelamb.com/2016/04/reconciling-isaiah/#comment-16126 Answer: First of all, let me quote the passage discussed at this web site, Isaiah 65:20.  I am using the NIV, rather than the KJV which is an archaic translation (although the meaning is almost identical). “Never again will there be in it [presumably the […]

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Question: I have several questions I hope you may help with: -Does Jesus not fall under the Curse of Jeconiah in Jer. 22:30, 36:30 in which none of Jeconiah’s descendants (Matt.1:11 states Jesus is a descendant) shall sit on the throne of David nor rule in Judah? -Did Paul violate Deuteronomy 23:16 and Jer. 34:13-17 when […]

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Question: I’m a bit confused about what this scripture means by saying that “women will be saved through childbearing” does this assume that women who haven’t had children aren’t saved? I know that can’t be right I just can’t think of another interpretation. “But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and […]

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Questions: I was confronted with these questions. Did Paul teach that the law was over by Jesus’ sacrifice? Also, when will the ten tribes come back to Israel? Answers: Not sure if I would say it exactly that way:  “the Law was over by Jesus’ sacrifice.”  What Paul did say is, “When you were dead […]

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Question: These are the questions I have in mind.   They stem from a discussion I had with a friend of mine who likes Christianity (especially Bart Ehrman and the Gnostic Gospels) [editor’s note: we are not sure what the questioner means by this comment] but rejects the idea that Jesus was resurrected because: a […]

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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: Is there proof outside the Bible of Christ’s Transfiguration? Answer: The transfiguration occurred on a remote mountaintop and there were only four witnesses.  It is hard to imagine what kind of proof one could ask for except the statements of the eye-witnesses.  What kind of “proof” are you asking for?  Are you asking for […]

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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: What is the meaning of the phrase “going to sleep” that is used many times in the New Testament.  Also, what happens when we die? Answer: This was a common euphamism for saying that someone died in their culture.  We also use euphemisms for talking about death.  We say someone “passed away.”  Or we say that […]

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Question: Can you compare the concept of forgiveness and cleansing of sins in Christianity, Hinduism and Islam? Answer: This is a very important question.  The concenpt of sin and of forgiveness is quite different in the three religions. Islam and Christianity are closer to one another, but still different in very important ways.  Hinduism is […]

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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: Why didn’t God send Jesus at the beginning to show love if He already knew the people that live in the world would be so evil…?   If He knew that Jesus’s teaching of love will make people become better today…why did he make the Torah rules to Moses…which is so cruel (killing a woman […]

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