Question: What do Isaiah 66:17 and Isaiah 65:3-4 mean?  What are these passages about?  How should we understand these passages as Christians? How would you respond to someone who says Christians shouldn’t eat pork based on these verses and that Christians will be judged by God for eating pork based on these verses?  Those who […]

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Question: Book of Daniel and Zechariah (Ch. 9-14) are the product of Hellenistic era. Jesus is not prophesied in them otherwise DSS would elaborate it. What’s your response to this criticism? Harrison: These are quite simply false statements.  I assume that they are coming from a Muslim source. Muslims have a disingenuous approach to the […]

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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: Jesus did not fulfill Zech. 9:9 because a significant part of the verse speaks about the person riding as the “victorious king of Israel”. The passage explains that at that time, universal peace will be established. This is a key feature of the Messianic age, as we see in passages like Isa. 2:4; 11:1-9 […]

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Question: How God can allow his Messiah to be a descendant of immoral people i.e. Judah and Tamar, David and Bathsheba? Hadn’t scribes fabricated these immoral tales? Answer: Good question. One of the beautiful things about Christianity is that Jesus is the descendent of imperfect people.  In fact, when Matthew recorded the genealogy of Jesus, […]

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[Editor’s comment: This must be the Muslim biblical criticism of the day, as I have gotten five versions of this question in the last couple of days] Question: Was Jesus ignorant of Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai? Why did he not cite them? Answer: Jesus was well aware of the entire canon of […]

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Question: If so many experts and historians say the Bible is made up, full of errors, and has been changed, etc. then how can we trust what historians say about secular history? Answer: I assume yours is more of a rhetorical question than an actual one.  You seem to be making a point rather than […]

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Question: 1. If Jesus’s mission was to the lost sheep of Israel, why did he fail in his mission? And why did Jesus prohibit the gfrom being preached to the Gentiles during his ministry but after his ‘resurrection’ tell them to preach the Gospel to the whole world? If Jesus really had made the latter […]

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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: Trinitarians claim that Christ was declaring Himself to be God in John 8:58, but this sentence is not translated accurately. The New Jerusalem Bible has translated the phrase in Exodus 3:14 “I am that I am” from “Ehe’ye asher ehe’ye” (Hebrew) as “I am He who is: Ego eimi, Ho on” (Greek). The Divine […]

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Questions: Doctor,  There are historical problems in the trial & crucifixion accounts of the Gospels. 1) Passover was a family holiday. Would the entire Sanhedrin (and the high priest) get up and leave their families, first as a group to arrest him, and second, for a trial of a Galilean wonder-worker? According to later Rabbinic […]

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Question: The Bible doesn’t tell us how Joel, Amos, Micah, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Malachi, etc. proved themselves as prophets in the eyes of their contemporaries. Their alleged prophecies were fulfilled, according to the NT authors. Before then, what was their status? Answer: This is a good question.  The answer is that we do not have access […]

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Question: According to Robert Carroll and Auld:  Hosea, Amos, Isaiah, etc. were poets and were NOT thought of as prophets until exilic times. The collectors of their words labelled them “prophets”. The Koran also does not mention them except Jonah.  What are your thoughts? Answer: My response is this: Why do we listen to people […]

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Question: Zechariah Ch. 9:8 says:  “But I will encamp at my temple to guard it against marauding forces. Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch.”  But in reality, Jerusalem was soon overrun by the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans, who utterly destroyed the second temple in 70 […]

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Question: Prophecies need to be specific. There was no need to hide the promised messiah within a passage that was also speaking about something else, for e.g. if Isaiah had an intention of speaking about the Messiah, it would’ve been nice had he said it clearly, instead of using the same moniker to identify both […]

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Editor’s Note: The questioner mentions “Deutero Isaiah.” There is a commonly-accepted scholarly opinion that Isaiah only wrote Ch 1-39, and that Ch 40 onward was written after the exile by another author. This theory is somewhat speculative, but has some reasonable evidence supporting it. The author is assuming presuppositionally that the theory is true. Question: […]

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Question: Sir,  George Athas writes in his book “Deuteronomy: One Nation under God” that Yahweh continued to send prophets to Jews even after they returned from exile. However, they were never able to reinstall a Davidic heir as king. Foreign kings ruled over the Jews at that time. This frustrated Deuteronomy’s condition that Israel’s king […]

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Question: What is the meaning in Genesis 1:26 where God says, “Let us make man in our image”? My NIV study notes that “us” refers to members of His heavenly court? I was always led to believe it referred to the Trinity.  Thank you Answer: Commentators give three possible interpretations of the words “us” and […]

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[Editor’s Note:  This Q & A is a follow-up to an earlier question regarding Genesis 1:30 in which the questioner proposes that before the “Fall” of Adam and Eve, both humans and animals were vegetarian.] Question: Isn’t Genesis 9:3 problematic?  God says that “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as […]

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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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Question: Thank you for taking my question, My question is about the meal talked about in Exodus, that was eaten in haste, in which they ate the lamb they sacrificed. My question is this: in Jesus’s day, would that meal have been eaten on Friday night? Is that called the Passover meal? If it was […]

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Question: Why don’t Christians need to follow the Old Testament Laws (especially the Old Testament Civil Laws) anymore? Answer: Christians do not need to follow the Old Testament law because Jesus fulfilled the Law (Matthew 5:17).  Jesus replaced the Law of Moses with the Law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21, Galatians 6:2).  The requirements of […]

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Question: What are some key problems with Christian theocracy? Why shouldn’t Christians seek to have a Christian theocratic nation? Answer: There is no direct statement in the New Testament which commands Christians to not create a theocratic state.  If believers in some country decided to found a state based wholly on Christian principles, I suppose […]

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Question: How would you respond to these common claims that Muslims make with the intention of trying to show that Islam is true i.e. the one true religion 1) ‘Islam is not a religion in the common and distorted sense, for it does not confine its scope to one’s private life. It is a complete […]

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Editor’s note: I answered the question above in 2011. At that time, I had no knowledge of non-Christian sources supporting this claim, and said so.  However, a visitor to the web site has shared with me an article which does provide good support from a Jewish source in the first century that there was a […]

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Question:  How can Isaiah 42:2 apply to Jesus when he did cry out for people to repent, cleansed the temple and argued with the Pharisees? Response: I suppose you have a point here if we take Isaiah 42:2 to be literal.  Clearly Jesus “shouted” at times, otherwise how could his teachings to groups like the […]

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Question: I have some questions regarding the interpretation and fulfillment of Joseph’s second dream.  1. What do the sun, moon and 11 stars represent in the dream?  2. Was Jacob right at the interpretation of Joseph’s second dream?  3. If Jacob was sun, 11 stars were 11 sons of Jacob, then who was moon?   Do […]

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Question: This question pertains to your response regarding “Evolution” posted on September 15, 2022. I was somewhat surprised that you weighed in on Calvinist theology as the question was not overtly suggestive of that theology. (I was once espousing that theology until I came across your website). But that made me curious of what you […]

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Question:  I’m from Cameroon, Africa. I mention this because having been to Africa and in Cameroon in particular you may have noticed that many African families still worship ancestors. The reason for this is that The Bible was one of the powerful tools European Countries used to Conquer Africa.  SO my question is: HOW CAN […]

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Question: I have a few questions about evolution and the Bible. First of all if we evolved then in 100 million years could humans have evolved into a different animal like how apes apparently evolved into humans? Secondly if evolution is true then that means there were land animals before birds but the Bible says […]

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[Editor’s note: These are two questions of a similar nature from the same questioner, so are being put together in one article.] Question: Why does it appear that Matthew’s version of the last supper was copied from Mark? They’re so similar and it wouldn’t make sense for Matthew to copy Mark for the last supper […]

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Question:  I have a few questions about evolution. First of all evolution means death of animals before sin and that is super inconsistent with the Bible and there is no way God would allow death and suffering. And the last thing is if we evolved over time couldn’t we humans evolve into something else? Would […]

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Question:  Isaiah 42 does not talk about Jesus if you read with a broad mind, because KJV says.  “and the isles shall wait for his law.”  But the truth is Jesus did not bring new laws for Jews and he never nullified the laws of the Torah. Paul, who never met Jesus, distorted the true […]

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Question: If we don’t know who wrote the gospels then why should we trust them? Anyone could have just made them up. I want to be able to trust the gospels but since their anonymous I don’t know if I can. Answer: First of all, we very likely DO know who wrote the gospels.  It […]

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Question: The early church is unanimous in attributing the four gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John but they are also unanimous that Matthew wrote first. However Mark probably wrote first since most of Mark is in Matthew. So my question is if they’re wrong on who wrote first then why should we believe that […]

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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: I was reading your article on baptism and have a question. What happens to believers who are not baptized e.g the person who repented on the cross next to our Saviour? Answer: The person who repented on the cross is not a particularly helpful example for your question for a couple of reasons.  First […]

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Question: Hello Dr Oakes. I saw a video about why Muhammad was far more peaceful than Moses. The man claimed that Christian’s don’t read the Quran and Hadith everyday in context from Muslim scholars, so we have no right to say Muhammad was violent or to quote the violent verses without historical context. But he […]

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Question:  Jews say: “None of God’s prophet came after Malachi among them.” On the contrary, Justin Martyr said to Trypho: “you had prophets in succession until John; there never failed to be a prophet among you, who was lord, and leader, and ruler of your nation.” Who has the correct view in your opinion? Answer: […]

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Question; The Ascension of Isaiah mentions unknown Hebrew prophets named Aged, Ananias & Josab. Why did they not get canonical status? Answer: The so-called Ascension of Isaiah is an apocryphal book.  One thing we can know with certainty is that it was not written by Isaiah (and therefore it is pseudepigraphal, ie. falsely attributed), as […]

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Question: If Jews were such honest keepers of God’s word, then why did they reject and kill true prophets although Deut. 13:1-5 & 18:20-22 tells criteria for judging true prophets? Answer: It is always difficult to judge people’s motives.  We can observe what they do and we can observe what they say.  However, as Samuel […]

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Question: If Jews had uncorrupted prophetic books, then why are they blamed for rejecting Jesus, albeit they expected what they were told by canonical prophets? It was not their fault but their prophets who spoke overwhelming promises. What do you say? Answer: In John 5:39 Jesus called out the scribes and Pharisees because, as he […]

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Question: Hello Dr Oakes. I read your articles about the Zeitgeist movie and they did help a lot. However, after viewing a video by Acharya S, she made a rebuttal to not only your claims but the claims by other apologists. She said there are many details that apologists don’t take into consideration when trying […]

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