[Editor’s note: The question below is a follow-up from a previous one in which the questioner is quite surprised that a faithful believer would agree that Christians do not have access to a perfect text of the Bible, to which I replied about the textual evidence for the great (but not perfect) reliability of the […]

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Question: My Muslim husband says:  Why do Jews & Christians not have Hebrew manuscripts from before the Exile or 600 BCE which could verify that the DSS & Septuagint are exact copies of the original text? Why don’t Christians have the original Aramaic Gospel from 30 CE? Answer: Out of respect for the ancient text and […]

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Question:  There were 12 tribes of Israel, who were given divine scrolls. They were called “Israelites”. Then how can one tribe [Editor’s note: I am assuming the questioner means Judah] represent the whole Israelites and their scriptures when 10 tribes are lost in history and what is the guarantee that the current OT was the […]

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Question: The only evidence of the Septuagint translation is the pseudepigraphical letter of Aristeas. It says: “six elders out of every tribe of Israel wrote it.” First, 10 tribes of Israelites had already been lost in history a long time ago, before this time, which shows that this story is fabricated. Second, if they wrote, […]

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Question: We are told in the Talmud that an assembly of priests were about to reject the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Ezekiel because those writings were contradictory to the Law but a certain Rabbi had tried to reconcile them and they were preserved as “canonical”. Those three books are confessedly presented to us as […]

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Question: St. Eucharius (3rd Century) said:  “It is evident why we have not remaining the books which the Holy Scriptures approve of, because Judea having been ravaged by the Chaldeans, and the ancient bibliotheque being burnt. There remaining only a small number of the books which at present make up the Holy Scriptures and which were […]

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 There is a short prophecy appended to the book of Jeremiah in Ethiopic Bible which August Dillmann translates:  A Prophecy of Jeremiah. And Jeremiah spake thus unto Pashur: But ye all your days fight against the truth, with your fathers and your sons that shall come after you. And they shall commit a sin more damnable […]

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Question: Adam Clarke (1831) wrote a commentary on Jeremiah 8:8 that:  It is too bold an assertion to say that “the Jews have never falsified the sacred oracles;” they have done it again and again. They have written falsities when they knew they were such.  John Chrysostom (4th Century) wrote in his homily on Matthew 2:23 that:  The […]

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Question: Although the Isaiah scroll [Editor’s comment: The questioner is referring to the Dead Sea Scrolls] is similar in structure to today’s book of Isaiah, it contains alternative spellings, scribal errors, corrections, and other variant readings. Strictly speaking, the number of textual variants is well over 2600, ranging from a single letter, sometimes one or […]

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Question: Christians deliberately corrupted the Jewish Scriptures to prove that Jesus is God, for e.g. they altered the translation of Isa. 9:6. They translate:  “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  but the Jewish translation is:  “The wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, “the prince of […]

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Question: What does the Bible say about reincarnation? Answer: That is an easy question.  The Bible says nothing about reincarnation except to deny the reality of reincarnation.  In fact, the Bible quite specifically, denies the reality of reincarnation.  Hundreds of passages could be used to prove the biblical reality that after this life we die […]

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Question: Jesus had no need to prove himself Messiah through corrupted Jewish prophecies. Jews fabricated the concept of “King like David”. Those prophecies will neither be fulfilled in the distant future for Jews, not as the Davidic Kingdom will never come to exist. Indeed, Jesus came as Messiah to teach Jews to leave their worldly […]

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Questions: Do we have the exact words of Jesus or a paraphrase? How does it affect the credibility of Jesus’s words?What is your definition or understanding of a contradiction? Did Jesus say to loose and bring one or two animals( a colt and donkey) Thanks Answers: No, we definitely do not have the exact words […]

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Comment: I have some comments regarding accuracy of biblical texts and the importance of genealogies in the Bible in response to your reply to my question: Which is correct on the time Adam to Abraham–the Masoretic text or the Septuagint?   [Editor’s note: Here is the article: https://evidenceforchristianity.org/which-is-correct-on-the-time-from-adam-to-abraham-the-masoretic-text-or-the-septuagint/ There were statements made in the article that weren’t […]

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Question: What are the Dead Sea Scrolls? Who were the Qumran Community? Who were the Essenes? Answer: The Dead Sea Scrolls are hundreds of manuscripts found in about a half dozen caves in the desert hills to the west of the Dead Sea.  Some are entire documents, and others are mere fragments.  Most were on […]

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Question: Sir,  Literalist Christians frequently employ the argument that the gospels represent objectively reliable “eyewitness accounts”, but this contention is disingenuous. The reasons are:  (1) Literalist Christians have no way of authenticating any of the gospels. In fact, all four were originally written anonymously.   and     (2) These gospels constitute unreliable hearsay and not true […]

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Question: Andrew B. Davidson (1902) wrote that Scribes were arrangers of the scattered fragments, many of them anonymous, existing in their time. They arranged small anonymous prophecies under general headings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, just like all Psalms were gathered together under the name of David. Dr. Oakes, is it possible that anonymous prophecies became part […]

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[Editor’s Note: This is a rather long question with a fairly long response] Question:  I read your article “Is Chapter 2 of Wisdom (part of the Apocrypha) inspired prophecy of Jesus?” and wanted to address your points. First, you asked where the Messianic prophecy is. Wisdom 2:12-20 contains a very clear Messianic prophecy: “For if […]

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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’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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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: 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:  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: 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: 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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[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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Question: I want to ask you, sir, regarding the textual variation of Mark 6:3. Some early manuscripts said son of carpenter. Between “carpenter” or “son of carpenter”? This one was cited by a quote in Origen works (184-253), Against Celsus (248 AD), where Origen claimed that none of the Gospel on the current church said […]

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Question: Sir, can you view this article: http://mquran.org/content/view/9181/16/  This comes from an anonymous Muslim apologist website written in 2006. He said that the New Testament is unreliable and the 99,5% number that Christian apologists used in their argument are not valid. He claimed that apologists just cite other apologists and only 50% of the gospel are […]

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[Editor’s note:  In this one the questions are interspersed, in italics, between the four questions] Questions: I have some points to discuss: 1. The Major and Minor Prophets of the Bible contain a significant amount of data from other persons, namely, editors and others whose words were added without acknowledgement. Those additions include materials such […]

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Question: Is there any proof of Isaiah 53 predating Christ? I’ve heard carbon 14 testing for the Isaiah Scroll could be inaccurate as the parchment could be reused and paleographic dating might be unreliable. David: There is a boat load of evidence for the Book of Isaiah predating Christ.  Perhaps the most obvious is the […]

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Question: I’ve written questions to you before about Jeremiah. I’m now studying Daniel and have found questions regarding the language.  Daniel is written in Aramaic and Hebrew. There are different arguments about the Aramaic. Some say it is quite young – 300BC and later. Others claim it is much older. The Hebrew I think is […]

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Question: This person claims that there have been entire books removed from the bible. https://quranicwarners.org/gospel They all seem legitimate.   What’s your opinion? Answer: It is hard to know exactly how to respond to this article, because the author is not specific as to which “entire books” were removed from the Bible.  If he does not specify […]

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Question: I have heard apologists say that the oldest manuscript of the Odyssey of Homer is from 2200 years after it was written.  I am preparing to teach a class on the reliability of the Bible in which I want to make the point that the biblical manuscripts are more reliable than any other famous […]

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[Editor’s note: This question is part of a series which are a believer passing along criticisms of Christianity from his Muslim friend] Question: My Muslim friend replied to me about your points that:  1) If presumably Daniel or Ezekiel talked about an earlier event, it doesn’t mean that whole book is reliable. Unless scrolls of […]

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Question:  The writings of several prophets were destroyed by the ruling class of the Jews. According to Justin Martyr, the Jews have omitted sayings by Jeremiah and Ezra, as well as the words “from the wood” after “The Lord reigns” in Psalm 95(96):10 (Dialogue with Trypho, 71-73). It means Jews were NOT honest keepers of […]

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Question: Is there evidence that Old testament prophecies like those in Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Nahum, Jeremiah etc. were made prior to the events they prophesied? Answer: Yes, of course.  Many of the prophecies in the Old Testament certainly were fulfilled after the prophecies were written down.  However, there are also Old Testament prophecies–especially in Jeremiah and […]

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Question: How do we know that Mathew Mark Luke and John were actually written by the people whose names they were accredited to? I will grant that it was probably at least written by a member of the church because it was widely accepted as the holy word of God by the early church who […]

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Question: Skeptics say that the Bible is at error because of verses that have Jesus saying that some of you standing here will not taste death until they see son of man coming in his kingdom, Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man […]

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Questions: My friend claims that the Bible is inaccurate and that means that Jesus was not God. Also because of the contradictions in the Bible, plus we do not have the original biblical texts, so Jesus is not God.  By the way is there a way to get your book “Is There a God?” as […]

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Questions: My Hindu friend asked 4 questions, please help me with how to respond  i. Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda teach real Christianity. ii. Jesus taught Pantheism and Monism (as said by Swami Vivekananda). He claims that ultimately what is in the Gospels were written 40-100 years after Jesus’s death- and that’s why the real […]

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Question: Hi,  I was just reading your article from May of 2005 about how scholars date ancient manuscripts and I had a question. In the article, you lay out the different methods of determining the dates, like styles of script or types of paper. My question is, how did historians determine when each style was […]

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[Editor’s note: This is a long question with an even longer answer.  The questioner makes some rather personal comments, so my response is more personal that I normally would use.  Feel free to give me feedback.  J. O.] Question: Bart Ehrman claims the Bible was changed and is unreliable in his book “Misquoting Jesus–The Story […]

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[Editor’s note: This question is a follow-up from the class Answering the Hard Questions which we have been teaching the past three weeks.] Question: Hi guys! Thanks for the great apologetics series!  I left last session with two questions. One is regarding the use of the “copying error” as a tool for explaining discrepancies between texts. […]

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Question: Bible critics and atheists say that none of the nine non-Christian writers like Thallus, Josephus, Tacitus and others actually wrote about Jesus of Nazareth of the Bible in their documents.  They say those documents were all fabrications by a Christian.  Your response? Response: This is quite simply a lie, and ought to be labeled […]

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Question: What is the name of God according to Exodus 6:2-3 based on the Hebrew Old Testament and the Septuagint? [Editor’s note: this is the early Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible in the late third century BC] Answer: God has many names in the Bible, as I assume you know.  He is called El, […]

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