Dr. John Oakes is teaching a four hour class on the Book of Daniel for a student group in Merced June 29-30, 2022.  Notes, ppt and audio are attached.  Daniel Notes    Daniel PPT    Daniel Merced Audio I    Daniel Merced Audio II                       […]

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Question: 2 Corinthians 10:5 mentions the ‘casting down of reasonings’ but this phrase is omitted in the Douay-Rheims Vulgate version. Why is this the case, and which translation should we trust? Answer: The Vulgate is a Latin translation of the Greek New Testament, so I am not all that sure why the content of the […]

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Question: I watched a debate between a Muslim and a Christian. The New Testament has by far more number of Greek/other manuscripts. The Muslim debater said that 94% of these manuscripts come 9th century onwards. It wasn’t clear if he was referring to the Greek manuscripts alone or every manuscript we have of the New […]

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Question:  I have questions to ask you.  First about angels and humans. If both of us have free will, why is it that God still create human? Does the Bible talk about this topic?  Second about soul and spirit. Are these the same things? And if not, what is the differences between them? Also, do […]

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Question: I’ve been comparing some “Messianic passages” from the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) to the corresponding verses in our Christian Bible (KJV, NKJV, NASB).  And I’ve noticed that, in many passages, the Tanakh translation differs significantly from our OT/NT translations.  Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, and Zechariah 12, for example, are quite different in the Tanakh, […]

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Question: I’m new to your website. I only have three questions:  1. How should we, Christians, react to textual criticism and to what extent we should believe their opinion about the Bible?  2. How should we react to several textual criticism opinion that some Bible verses are “doubtful”?  3. Should we be afraid? Answer: A […]

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Dr. John Oakes is  now leading a new church planting in Merced, California.  Please join us 10:00 Sundays at 1195 Pinnacle Dr, Merced or on zoom at 342-225-5971 pw 857096.  We will be posting notes, PPTs and audio for all lessons in Merced.  Also, visit our website at www.mercedchurch.com 6/5/22  Acts 1 Jesus’ Ministry/Our Ministry PPT  […]

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Question: What diseases known to modern science would be considered demonic?  Thank you Answer: This is an interesting question.  Actually, we had a conference on “Christianity and the Paranormal” a few years ago at which we had a presenter take a stab at this question. (The audio is available at www.ipibooks.com) Please allow me to […]

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Question: Dr Oakes, how do you respond to Muslims’ argument such as this:  “Even if your Bible is 99,5% accurate, the Quran is more.  It is 100% accurate. Unlike your Bible that have forgery verses added and changed many times, the Quran didn’t have anything like this and perfectly preserved from the start. All our […]

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Question: I read that: Book of Daniel is forgery because his author was very ill-informed about history. He said: Belshazzar succeed Nebuchadnezzar as his son (Daniel 5; cf. Daniel 7:1 and 8:1). But Belshazzar was neither his successor nor his son; and abundant contemporary records show he was never King of Babylon, but only served […]

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Question: Dr. John,  Bible Expert Mr. Naveed Khan writes:  The Quran consists of God’s verbatim. It does not have “human words” or “interpretations” like the Bible. Christians misinterpret the Jewish scriptures and try to show that Isaiah 53 or Daniel 9 were fulfilled prophecies, but the truth is: they are misinterpretations, nothing else. Moreover, Christians […]

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Question: Dr. John,  recently it has been claimed that nothing in the prophetic books came from the 8th and 7th centuries and that the prophets are fictional characters created by post-exilic authors who produced an imaginative history for the Jewish community of their time. It is also confirmed by the fact that books of Kings […]

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Question: Jesus is not from the “David Lineage” and he did not fulfill the Hebrew scriptures. Proofs are:  1) Messiah must be a descendent of David through his son Solomon (2 Sam. 7:14; 1 Chr. 17:11-14, 22:9-10, 28:4-6) but Luke 3:31 describes the lineage of David’s son Nathan, not Solomon.  2) Ezekiel (37:26-28) said “he […]

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Question: This question came from my atheist friend. I recommended him to read at your website and books, but he was curious regarding your answer on certain textual variations, particularly your response that “No, Christianity doctrines are affected by these variations” in your website. He asked back that: 1.) Isn’t God supposed to preserve His […]

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Question: How would you respond to the following Muslim claim made in https://www.islamic-awareness.org/quran/miracle/ijaz ‘The Qur’an in many places challenges the people to produce a surah like it. It appears that the Christian missionaries who call the challenge irrelevent or an utterly subjective criterion are pretty much unaware of how the Arabic poetry and prose compares with […]

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Question: I see in the Bible lots of references to God stretching out the heavens l.e, Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 42:5 etc. Is this a potential reference to the universe’s expansion as approved by the vast majority of scientists today?  Is there any Hebrew to support this view in these “heaven stretching” passages with the universe’s […]

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Question: Israel, in the singular, is called God’s servant throughout the Bible, for e.g. Isa. 45:4; 48:20; 49:3; Jer. 30:10. Also, note that in Jer. 30:17, the servant Israel is regarded by the nations as an outcast, forsaken by God, as in Isa. 53:4; Jer. 46:27-28; Ps. 136:22, a messianic reference. Also, given the Christian […]

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Question: Moses died presumably around 1410 BCE, and Malachi existed around 430 BCE. During this period of 1000 years, hundreds of prophets came to the Jews, but the Jews/Christians know only a few dozen Hebrew prophets. What’s the reason? Answer: The reason is that God decided that the most appropriate prophets through whom to speak […]

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Question:  Dr Oakes, can you view this article:  https://quranandbibleblog.com/2022/01/02/what-did-the-ante-nicene-church-fathers-believe-about-jesus/ What did the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers Believe About Jesus? بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم What did the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers Believe About Jesus? Read as PDF “…but of His Son the Master said thus, Thou art My Son, I this day have begotten thee. A… quranandbibleblog.com This came […]

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Question: How can I answer atheists and Muslim’s arguments like this:  1.) If Christianity is the truth, why there are so many sects and schisms? Imagine thinking you have the truth when you’re just a part of sub sect 26-times schism offshoot of another sect. Christianity has already changed from believing Jesus as a prophet […]

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Question:  I just had a thought… and it’s disturbing me…   Outer space is so vast, there must be other life out there. Now… what are the odds that Jesus came to THIS planet, out of all of them? Why not others? Think about it. There are so many other planets out there, there must be […]

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John Oakes is now preaching regularly for the Bakersfield Church of Christ. We will be posting all of his sermons here.  Services are now live streamed Sundays at 1:00 at  www.bakersfieldchurchofchrist.com. 1 Thess 2 Paul’s Ministry Notes Combined Acts Sermons I – VI    Acts Combined Sermons I – VI Notes    Acts Combined Sermons […]

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Question:  Dr Oakes, can you view this article:  https://talesoftimesforgotten.com/2021/09/17/heres-how-we-know-the-canonical-gospels-were-originally-anonymous/   This came from a historical scholar it seems. She tried to refute an apologist regarding the gospel’s names and authors. But I found several of her interpretation are quite forced (Like the Mark verses she cited) and how she said Didache and Didascallia just got accepted without […]

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Question: In the world of 1st century Palestine, a woman’s testimony was not recognized as legally binding BUT the Jesus resurrection account is built on the testimony of women.  Does that mean it’s a hoax? Answer: Absolutely it does NOT mean that the gospel message is a hoax.  Who said that?  How sad is it […]

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Question:  If Jesus Crucifixion was so evident then why some early Christian sects denied it?  Some said: Simon of Cyrene was crucified.  Some said: Judas Iscariot was crucified.  Some said: someone substituted him. What is your response? Answer: This is a flat-out, blatant lie.  Plain and simple.  There is absolutely no truth to this claim, […]

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Question: Barabbas, who is also called “Jesus Barabbas”, was crucified instead of Jesus of Nazareth due to confusion created by God.  What is your opinion? Answer: My opinion is that this is one of the most far-fetched and outrageous proposals about Jesus I have ever heard about.  Jesus’ mother Mary was at the cross.  Jesus’ […]

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Question: Radak (Rabbi David Kimchi) explains Isaiah 53 except for the final two verses, as the “Words of the Other Nations”. These words are not Isaiah’s words. Evidently, this is recorded to understand the view of the Gentile Nations at that time.  What is the Christian response? Answer: It should not surprise anyone that a […]

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Question: My friend says:  Josephus and Tacitus are not reliable sources of Jesus’ Crucifixion. They presented vague references based on rumours. NT authors had no ability to know what the truth was. What should be Christian reply? Answer: I think you had better find a more reliable source than this “friend” who says this rather […]

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Question: Jesus had no traits of a King who would save Jews from their enemies as the OT prophets anticipated. Why are these prophecies fabricated? Answer: I assume that this criticism is coming from a Muslim source. You begin with an erroneous premise, which makes your question a nonsense question.  I will share with you […]

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Question: Is Israel God’s firsborn son (Exodus 4:22) or Jesus (Hebrews 1:6)? My understanding is it’s both but in different senses. Would this be correct? In what sense is Israel God’s firstborn? Is it in the sense that Israel was chosen among the nations? In what sense is Jesus God’s firstborn? Is it in the […]

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Dr. John Oakes gave a sermon for the Lifeway region of the Los Angeles International Church of Christ 4/10/22.  The lesson is a discussion of what it meant to be set apart for God in Christ, to be made holy/sanctified in Christ and to have the veil lifted in Christ, which leads to transformation, with […]

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Question: There was no proper canon or collection of the writings of the Old Testament, until the time of the Synagogue under the Maccabees, which was only about 200 years before the appearance of Jesus. Up to this period, the “Holy books” were scattered and liable to be altered or amended just as priests might […]

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Question:  It is impossible for any part of God, even if incarnate, to decompose in any way and still be considered God. The everlasting, one God, in whole or in part, does not die, disintegrate, or decompose: ‘For I the Lord do not change.’ (Malachi 3:6).  Did Paul invent God-Son concept to attract Romans? Answer: […]

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Question:  1) The article ‘St Paul converted by epileptic fit, suggests BBC’ By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent and Jonathan Wynne-Jones https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1427916/St-Paul-converted-by-epileptic-fit-suggests-BBC.html?fb states ‘ ‘A documentary about St Paul has infuriated Christians by suggesting that the apostle’s conversion on the road to Damascus may have been caused by an epileptic fit’How would you respond to this claim?2) […]

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Question: I asked on chabad.org this:  How did Rabbis know that Isaiah 8:19-20 belongs to Beeri and Micah 3:12 to Uriah? Are there any other instances of anonymous prophecies in prophetic books? I got the following answer:  “I could not find any other examples. There may be more, but I don’t know them and have […]

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Dr. John Oakes gave a lesson 4/2/2022 at a Men’s Camp on the theme “Be Like Men.”  I know… It is a bit corny, but the lesson was fun and a bit inspiring, so here it is:  Running the Race PPT    Running the Race Notes    Run the Race Audio         […]

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Question: According to Midrash (Levit. Rabba 15), Hosea’s father, Beeri, was also a prophet, and fragments of his prophecies are preserved in Isa. 8:19-20. It means that works ascribed to well-known Prophets include anonymous portions. On the other hand, Megillah 15a says: when the name of a Prophet’s father is recorded, the latter, too, probably […]

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Question: A Muslim friend proposed this to me: I have seen this “issue” before and I haven’t done a proper investigation into it. He said there’s no evidence to support Jesus’ divinity in the first century. I believe (although I am yet to see) that there is evidence of early Christians in first century honoring […]

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Question: How would you respond to someone who asked whether Jesus was born again? If He wasn’t, what about His statement, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3)?  What does it mean to be born again? And what is “circumcision of the […]

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[Editor’s note: This is a series of challenges from a Muslim regarding Jesus to be the fulfillment of Old Testament messianic prophecies.  My answers are interspersed among the questioner’s examples in italics] Claim: There are many biblical prophecies which do not fit into Jesus, for e.g. Response: Whether Jesus fulfilled all potential messianic prophecies is […]

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Dr. John Oakes is doing a series of two classes on evidence for the reliability of the Bible for “The Temple Project,” an on-line program of the Boston Church of Christ March 19 and 26.  The first class is on the reliability of the New and Old Testament texts and on the historical accuracy of […]

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Question: How did Judaism form? I saw from Wikipedia that it formed from one of the Canaanite god’s called Yahweh?  Is this true? I am skeptical of this notion. Answer: It is hard to prove unambiguously the path by which what we call Judaism was formed.  The biblical evidence is that there were at least […]

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Question:  “Why did loving God create predators”?  I heard many answers but all are non-sense!  The most famous 2 answers are:  1- Predators are important for the ecosystem.  The problem is that God is the one who created this ecosystem. He could create an ecosystem that doesn’t need predation. He could decrease fertility rate of […]

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