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:  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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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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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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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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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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Question: If Isaiah was the greatest prophet in Israelite history from David to the exile, why are his character and personal life not known to us? Same with Obadiah, Joel, Nahum who are obscure figures. Answer: I can tell you have been hearing from Muslim critics, as this is the latest “fad” criticism of the […]

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Question: Could you explain what Romans 10:9 means? Obviously we can’t interpreted it in isolation or literally.  There are many discussions and opinions on this verse. Answer: Whether we take Paul “literally” here or not depends on your definition of literally.  Clearly, anyone–even a total heathen–can say the words “Jesus is Lord.” Simply mouthing the […]

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Question: The theology of the Prophets before the exile had no place for the priestly blood sacrifice system. There was no atonement. The law of forgiveness worked directly and without any ritual. If Abraham, Moses, David, etc. were saved without sacrifice, it is hard to understand how blood sacrifice became necessary for salvation from the […]

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[note: since this question was posted a friend of EFC sent a letter clarifying the issue.  His work is posted after this Q & A] 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 […]

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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: The NT authors fabricated stories about Jesus for e.g.   (1) Overturning of the tables in the temple & chasing out the money changers (John 2:13-16); Were the gospel writers unaware of the sizeable temple police and Roman guards who were permanently stationed at the temple? Were the temple police & Roman guards unable to […]

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Question:  1) Are Christians supposed to love everyone?   Are Christians supposed to love the following:  a) false prophets in general  b) the false prophet mentioned in the book of Revelation c) the antichrist mentioned in the book of Revelation d) Satan   2) Does God love (or hate) a) false prophets b) the false prophet mentioned […]

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Question: Paul said ‘Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.’ (Philippians 3:2) Why did Paul call his  opponents here dogs? What is meant by dogs here? How should we understand the meaning here? Also, how would you explain to someone why it was appropriate […]

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Question: I am Christian, but am also a very skeptical person.  I always challenge what I believe for the sake of truth and if it is truth it will stand. I would like to ask about Isiah 7:14. There is a lot of discussion about the use of the word “almah“. Does it imply virginity […]

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Editor’s note:  In this Q & A, I am interspersing the answers in italics among the four questions. 1) What does it mean to say Jesus is the ‘Messiah’ or ‘Christ’? What are some good Bible verses that show the meaning of the word ‘Messiah’ or ‘Christ’ when applied to Jesus? The Hebrew word for […]

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Question: What is the Abrahamic covenant mentioned in Genesis 17:7, 17:13 and 17:19? What aspect of the Abrahamic covenant is everlasting? Why don’t Christians practice circumcision if the Abrahamic covenant is everlasting? Answer: I wish that this was a simple question with a simple answer.  One difficulty here is that the Jewish concept of the […]

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Question: I hope you can give me helpful answers for my questions. Is salvation unconditional love? What is God’s love like after baptism? Is it unconditional love? Do I still have obligations after baptism? Is it true that God will not love me if I don’t fulfill my obligations or if I do not grow?  […]

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Question:  The Koran says the same things that God said to the Jews which the Major and Minor Prophets proclaimed. For e.g.   1) Hearts hardened (compare Quran 2:74 with Ezek. 3:7, Zech. 7:12) 2) Be Kind to orphans & don’t shed each other’s blood (compare Quran 2:83-84 with Isa. 1:17, 59:7)  What is the Christian’s […]

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Question: 1. When Peter said about Jesus “You are the son of the living God” what did he mean? Did the disciples know about the trinity at that time?  2. When did the disciples firmly believe Jesus was God? Might the disciples have held a basic understanding of Jesus as a God but not confirmed […]

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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: What writings should be called God’s word? The words which are literally said by God himself? Muslims claim that the Koran contain God’s words, not the words of Muhammad. His words are separately recorded in Hadith. Christians claim that every word in the Bible is inspired but the fact is: there’s difference between revelation […]

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Question: What is an “altar offering”? Should we give it separately from the usual offering on Sunday? Is it biblical? Answer: I may be wrong, but I am guessing you are referring to Matthew 5:24 in which Jesus is talking to Jewish people.  He says to these Jewish people that if they are presenting a […]

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Question: Jer. 30:8-9 and Ezek. 34:23-27 clearly speaks about a king who will rescue the Jews from the hands of those who enslaved them. Obviously, Jesus did not fulfill these prophecies. Are these prophecies are made-up? Response: You say that Jesus “obviously” did not fulfill these prophecies.  Forgive me, but this is not obvious at […]

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