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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

[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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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: […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

[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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Question: My friend says: During the Babylonian exile, the Jewish scribes created “oracles of glorious future” for comforting the Jews that a king from David’s descendants would deliver them from slavery but the truth is: Jesus is not a king according to those so-called oracles. If those visions/oracles had been genuine, then the Jews would […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Question: How do you view Isaiah 19:18-24?  It seems that the prophecy has not been accomplished yet from my understanding of the scripture. I’ve seen some commentaries claiming that Assyria and Egypt unification is more related to Christianity and that the Coptic and Syriac churches united as one in fellowship with our Lord. Could there […]

Read More

Questions: The NT authors manufactured prophecies about Jesus by twisting OT passages out of context to make them say things the original authors never intended. For e.g. (1) The murder of children by King Herod was not prophesied in Jeremiah 31:15 because Jeremiah was describing the deportation of Israelites from Ramah a century before his […]

Read More

[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 […]

Read More

Question: My Muslim friend says:  There were a number of oracles delivered by recognized prophets which did not come true. For example, Ezekiel predicted the destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar (Ezek. 26:7-14), but he himself later acknowledges that the king’s siege of the city was UNSUCCESSFUL (Ezek. 29:17-20). Both Haggai’s (2:21-23) & Zechariah’s (4:6-7) glorious […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Question: Is there any credible evidence for the supernatural (miracles, immaterial conscience, life after death, demon possession, etc.) ? Answer: Yes, there is.  Quite a bit, actually.  The evidence for Jesus of Nazareth’s resurrection is very strong. There is the fact of his execution by crucifixion, the fact of his empty tomb and the fact […]

Read More

[Editor’s Note: This is a series of several questions from a Muslim who has criticism of the Bible.  Q & As are interspersed] Question: If you read Quran, you will observe that God is addressed as God for All Universe but in case of Bible, God is just a Tribal God addressed as “God of […]

Read More

Question: Unitarians claim that Zechariah 12:10 cannot be used to prove that Jesus is God because Zechariah 12:10 says that Yahweh will be pierced, but according to trinitarians- Yahweh is God the Father- and we know that God the Son was crucified and pierced- not Yahweh or Father. As a Trinitarian, how to respond to […]

Read More

Question: I have recently read an article that makes the argument that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. However, there is archeological evidence of another Bethlehem this therefore means that Jesus was not born in the town of David and that the gospel writers may have either lied about him being born in David’s Bethlehem or […]

Read More

Question: My Muslim friend claims that Genesis 21:13-21, Isaiah 42:11, Isaiah 21:13-17 clearly prophesy about Muhammad. How do I respond to him- because I am confused. Answer: There is a grain of truth to the first passage being about Muhammad, but just a very small grain.  Let me explain.  The Bible makes it plain that […]

Read More

Question: How to respond to a query about Jesus–whether he is a liar, a lunatic or God? Answer: I respond to this by asking the people to read my book “Reasons for Belief” (available at www.ipibooks.com).  In this book I spend two chapters delving into the liar/lord/lunatic question. If they do not want to spend the […]

Read More

Question: Dr. William Lane Craig and others have pointed out that first century Jews were not waiting for humble Messiah who will suffer, let alone will rise from the dead. They waited for king who would free them from the Romans. But I found information in a video about Dr. Knohl who decoded an inscription […]

Read More

Question: I have a question concerning the kings of Syria as mentioned in Isaiah 7:1, it identifies the kings Uzziah, Pekah,and Rezin. Do we have evidence for these three kings?  My special concern is for Rezin, the king of Syria.  Do we have evidence for Rezin as a Syrian King? Alexander: Yes we do.  He […]

Read More

[Editor’s note: the one asking this question did some follow-up research, finding his own really useful additional information on what Nebuchadnezzar did to fulfill the prophecies in Ezekiel and Jeremiah.  His additional information is at the end of my original response.] Question: I want to ask some things relating to some answers you’ve given on […]

Read More

Question: John, have you heard/do you have thoughts about the Westar Institute material? They claim that Jesus was an exceptional man, but not the ‘son of God’. They are very learned and seem less ’emotionally motivated’ than a Bart Ehrman type account.  https://www.westarinstitute.org/projects/the-jesus-seminar   https://s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-documents/carson/1994_five_gospels_no_Christ_Jesus_Seminar.pdf    They are saying, yes Jesus existed, and he said and […]

Read More

Question: I recently stumbled upon a theory that the story of Jesus as the Messiah is borrowed from people before him who also claimed to be the Messiah.  Two claimants in particular were mentioned. The first one is called Simon, some aspects of his life are extremely similar to those of Christ. The second one […]

Read More

Question: When Jesus said the the Church of Jerusalem will fall, did he advise the Jews about the fall as well, or was it a prophecy and is there evidence of the church fleeing to the mountains? Answer: Actually, it was not the church in Jerusalem which fell in AD 70.  It was the Jewish […]

Read More

Question: Rabbi Dtovia Singer has a video on youtube saying the church is lying about christology.  In this video he says when Isaiah talks about Jesus’ peirced hands it is actually spun by Origen and other church fathers. The Rabbi claims the verse says that King David is like a lion surrounded by dogs with […]

Read More