Question: People say that the story of Jesus’ resurrection is a copy cat from the Egyptian myth about the gods Horus and Isis. Is this claim credible? Answer: I have heard this charge many times.  It is a very common point of discussion on the internet.  At ARS we sponsored a public debate on this […]

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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 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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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: How do you explain the similarities between the Egyptian god Horus and Jesus. Horus suffered the same tribulations. It could be said that the jesus story was plagiarized. Answer: Apparently you have been reading the claim that the Christian Jesus is a myth, borrowed from various Greek, Egyptian or Persian gods.   This well-worn claim […]

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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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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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Question: Sir, in Matthew 2:23 its written that Joseph was told in a dream to go to Galilee and live in the town of Nazareth just as the prophets said that He will be called a Nazarene. I have heard that this is clear evidence of an error in the New Testament. Can you give […]

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Question: My question would refer to the harmonization of theme and chronology.   I’ve seen that modern liberal scholarship takes aim at disproving the reliance of the gospels by picking these things apart. My teacher will make points about the same stories being at different times in different gospels with different details (albeit small details). He […]

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Question: Why is the cleansing of the temple at the beginning of John and at the end of the Synoptics?  What were John’s motivations for placing it earlier?   Also:  How do you harmonize the different gospel accounts amidst editing and audience?   I’m taking a class that is picking the gospels apart and I would like […]

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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 OT describes the prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah.  The doubt I have comes from the question, did God the Father command Israel to worship this Messiah?  Or on the other hand, did he only predict the coming of a great prophet who will teach Israel his way (like the old prophets […]

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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: Dr. Oakes, I am reading a book for one of my classes called “the rise of Christianity” and the author makes a point that if the early church had well over 3,000 adherents then a significant of the population in Jerusalem would have been Christian. He claims that there is no evidence of this […]

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Question: I was hoping you could help me understand how the the setting of Zechariah 14:16-18 could be referring to somewhere other than Earth.   “Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. […]

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Question: I have a question about creation: In Genesis 1 it says God made vegetation, water creatures and birds before making man but in Genesis 2 it’s says that man was made before vegetation and animals Is this a biblical contradiction? I ask this question as a disciple who struggles with being logical at times, […]

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Question: My teacher at my university claims that Daniel was written in 165BCE. [editor’s note: probably the professor meant that it was written after 164 BC when the events surrounding Antiochus Epiphanes occurred]  He says that it was written with the Babylonian setting to make it look like it was prophesying the future. He also […]

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Question: There so many things in the Bible I don’t understand up to now. For example, I struggle to understand the nature of Jesus Christ.  Some verses show us that  he is God but some show that  Jesus and God are different.  In  John 17 Jesus was praying God. So If he is God why […]

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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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Comment: I’ve been reading your book “Daniel: A Prophet to the Nations” and I’ve been very inspired and overwhelmed by the very specific prophecies. I’m thankful for how God is using you to reveal his word to others. So suffice it to say, while I have a problem with your response to Daniel 11:36-45 my […]

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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: 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 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: 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: 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: Hello, can you respond to R.G. Price’s articles about the origins of Christianity, especially this one?http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/fictional_jesus.htm Response: We at ARS sponsored a debate with Robert Price, so we are extremely well aware of his position.   I have spoken to him personally.   Let me do this.   You should get a hold of a copy of […]

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Question: I believe that a Christian can lose their salvation. However, I hit a metaphorical stone wall when I read Romans 11:29.  “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”  Salvation is referred to as a gift in the New Testament, so where do I go from here? Answer: From the tone of […]

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