Question: In the Gospel of Matthew 11:19, one version says wisdom is justified of her children(KJV) and another version says wisdom is justified by her deeds(ESV). Please explain this variant “children and deeds” Answer: This is a familiar example of a textual variant with a fairly well-understood explanation.  The explanation of the textual variant is found […]

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[Editor’s note:  This is a two-part question.  The first question needed clarification, which was given, allowing me to give a more nuanced answer to the original] Question: According to Duet. 13:1-3, if a prophet appears among the Israelites and announces a sign and if that sign takes place, and then that prophet orders them to […]

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Question: According to Philip R. Davies, a British biblical scholar, prophetic books are primarily the product of scribes who imitated the traditional style of intermediaries and wrote for their own interest. Does it mean our prophetic books are fake? Answer: Philip R. Davies is an unbeliever.  He is not a Christian and it is not […]

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Question: I have been doing a lot of research on Biblical authorship. Recently, I came across an article entitled “A biblical text with ‘new’ facts about Jesus was found — and Christians ignore it.” In this article the authors claimed that Luke wrote a document called “The Dialogue of Jason and Papiscus.” Apparently, it was […]

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Questions: Could you do an exhaustive defense of Sola Scriptura?  I heard Roman Catholics using arguments, claiming that Sola Scriptura is never mentioned in the Bible.   I also have heard that since the Bible doesn’t give us a list of what is inspired scriptures, we have to look outside to know what is inspired and […]

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Question: I’ve been hesitant to ask this question because I suspect this would be slightly annoying to do on your part, but here it goes…    I read one of your past Q & As addressing unfulfilled prophecies on rationalWiki: https://evidenceforchristianity.org/can-you-explain-all-the-unfulfilled-old-testament-prophecies-listed-at-rationalwiki/ You may or may not know this, but some authors on rationalwiki have actually posted your […]

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Question: Did Alice Whealey prove conclusively that Agapius was translating the Syriac edition not of Josephus, but of Eusebius and did she refute the thesis that the Arabic fragment of the Testimonium supports its authenticity? Answer: I have not read Alice Whealy’s discussion of the Testamonium Flavianum in its entirety.  In fact, I have only […]

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Question: Thank you very much, Dr. Oakes. Thank God I found you. There are also 6 more objections I found and was wondering what you think of these:  [Editor’s Note: This is a follow-up to fourteen previous questions from the same person. The answers are interspersed between the questions.] 15. The historians who supposedly offered […]

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Editor’s Note:  This is a series of 14 questions, so I disperse my answers after the questions.  Most of these criticisms are already refuted elsewhere at the web site, but since this poor unfortunate believer has been assaulted with so many false claims, I am including answers to all of them below.  My responses are […]

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Question: As an apologist, how do you always stand by your convictions and beliefs, as so often the arguments put forth to refute the Bible are so strong, rational and logical. Also, there is always the confirmation bias that could influence one’s judgement.  Thank you. Answer: A very good question.  I get literally thousands of […]

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Question: Why does the book of Jeremiah have the appearance of being a medley of unconnected passages which are sometimes in contradiction to each other for e.g. chapter 37:11-21 and chapter 38 are divergent accounts of one and the same course of events? Answer: Part of your description is a reasonable assessment of Jeremiah, and […]

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Question: Why can’t Jews/Christians prove that the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, etc. are the amalgamation of exact words of the prophets? Jonah is surely not written by Jonah as it is a historical narrative.  Your response? Answer: It is the nature of ancient documents that no one can ever “prove” the provenance of any […]

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Question: Up to what percentage can we reconstruct the New Testament text/ content from early church fathers’ quotations/citations?  And I want to know from when in the church’s history did believers start using NT scriptures as a base to preach the Gospel as we do now in our churches. When did Christians start having serious […]

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Question:  I just read your refutation of Jesus being plagiarized off of previous Mediterranean deities and I must say you cannot believe your own drivel. To argue that it couldn’t be plagiarized because only portions of the stories are similar is beyond ridiculous. I have several questions for you:  1) Was Jesus the first deity born […]

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Question: How can we be sure that the current books of the Major & Minor Prophets are actual words of the Hebrew Prophets? Christians interpret predictions of Israel’s glorious future fulfilled in the Church, but it’s their interpretation because prophets apparently never meant that. Jews are still looking for fulfilment of the glorious future predictions. […]

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Question:  The incest story of Lot and his daughters has been borrowed from Zoroastrian traditions of the incest performed between Jam and Jamag, who were brother and sister. Jamag took advantage of the intoxicated state of her brother and had sex with him. What’s your response? Answer: My response is that this is so obviously […]

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[Editor’s note: This exchange is part of a longer discussion in which the questioner believes that there are literally no mistakes in either the Greek text or in the King James translation of that text.] Comments and Questions: I just wanted to thank you for responding so quickly again and wanted to say a few […]

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[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: In the thread below the author demonstrates that Israel’s idea of the Arabian tribes of the time was contradictory, and based on a 7th century BC understanding on how they worked. I’ll copy paste the comment here, but I implore you to read the entire thread. The question was “Where does the idea that […]

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Statement: The incest story of Lot and his daughters is borrowed from Zoroastrian traditions of the incest performed by Jam and Jamag, who were brother and sister. Jamag took advantage of the intoxicated state of her brother and had sex with him. What’s your response? Response: My response is that this is so obviously a […]

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Question: Authors of prophetic books added their fantasies into God’s word for e.g.  1) Gentiles will come over to Israelites in chains and they will bow down before them (Isa. 45:14). David Guzik affirms this in his commentary.  2) A Gentile nation or kingdom that will not serve Israelites will perish and be utterly ruined (Isa. 60:12).  […]

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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: My teacher says:  The current Gospels are not reliable because they were written in Greek, whereas the language of Jesus and his followers was Aramaic. Christians don’t have manuscripts from 40 AD in Aramaic. Further, when Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 CE, his speech was translated from Roman to Aramaic. It means Greek/Latin was not […]

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Question: According to 1 Samuel 15:22, “Samuel said, Does the Lord take pleasure in whole-burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in hearing the words of the Lord? behold, obedience better than a good sacrifice.” Therefore, the whole story of Jesus’ crucifixion is bogus and God didn’t order Jesus to do it.  Your response? Answer: This statement is riddles […]

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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: Why did Jesus not make efforts to stop the promulgation of apocryphal/pseudepigraphal books, for e.g. the apocalypse of Enoch, apocryphon of Ezekiel, apocalypse of Zephaniah, etc.? Answer: A good question.  At the time Jesus lived, these books were NOT considered part of the Jewish canon.  They were non-canonical but popular spiritual books.  Toward the […]

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Question: Jesus came to the Jews to show them the right path, which was unacceptable for them. The New Testament tells us that he brought the concept of “God’s Son” or “Human-God” which was not prophesied in the Jewish Scriptures. That’s the reason the majority of the Jews rejected him. Similarly, when Muhammad came to […]

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Question: Ezek. 38:17 mentions the Israelite prophets who prophesied about Gog, but no prophecy earlier than Ezekiel’s prophecy talks about Gog. Then who were those Israelite prophets and why did Ezekiel not name them? Answer: I do not know for sure what prophets Ezekiel is referring to.  He does not tell us.  However, it is […]

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Question: Why did Peter boast about Jesus that all the prophets testified about him (Acts 10:43) although they have a meagre record of 15-16 prophets and among them Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Obadiah not talk about Jesus?  What is your response? Answer: My response is that all the true prophets of Jehovah did in fact prophesy about […]

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Question:  I often hear Jesus Mythicists arguing that Paul believed Jesus was a celestial being who put on a body of flesh to be crucified by demonic powers in the heavens. Hence I ask: did Paul ever situate Jesus on earth? Answer: First of all, unless you make reference to an actual person who makes […]

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Question: Could Jesus have received a proper burial by the Jews, rather than be tossed into an unmarked grave? Answer: The Jewish perspective is influenced by the passage Deuteronomy 21:23, which is referenced by Paul in Galatians 3:13 and possibly in 2 Corinthians 5:21.  Here is the Deuteronomy 21:23 passage: (NIV) “If someone guilty of […]

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Question: Dr. Oakes,  After deep study of the prophetic books, I come to the conclusion that, on one hand, the Bible portrays opponents of Jeremiah & Ezekiel as false prophets and blames them for lying, adultery and wickedness and, on the other hand, its accepted prophets did the same things for e.g. Hosea had an […]

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Question: I have a serious question about the Bible’s authenticity. Why did the biblical Prophets borrow characteristics from Canaanite/Ugaritic epic poetry and apply them to Yahweh? For e.g., Nahum (1:4-6) and Habakkuk (3:14-15) describe God as an avenging warrior God similar to Canaanite/Ugaritic storm god Baal.  Your response? Answer: First of all, you say this […]

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Question: Jesus failed to bring universal peace (Mic. 4:1-4; Isa. 11:6-9) because, after him, bloodshed occurred multiple times in Jerusalem. Former dominion was not restored nor was kingship established as predicted (Mic. 4:6-8).  What’s your response? Answer: Jesus fulfilled Micah 4:1-4 word-for-word and in detail.  He died to establish the Church, which is the Mountain […]

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Question: Liberal Rabbi Mark L. Solomon says:  “We have no way of knowing for certain the authorship of any of the Biblical books, including the prophecies in Neviim (Prophets), since they were probably based on oral teaching handed down for generations before being written down by anonymous scribes.”  What’s your opinion? Answer: My opinion is […]

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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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Question: If the Levites and Priests already knew the criteria for recognizing the true prophet and false prophet (Deut. 13:1-5; 18:21-22), then why did false prophets flourish among Israelites? Why is there no mention of the execution of false prophets by the hands of Levites and Priests? Answer: The answer to this question is really […]

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Questions: I’ve got a couple of questions. Some atheists and Jesus-mythers claim that a book like the Bible and the miracles in it are not surprising because during that time such writings and legends were common, with even serious historians like Tacitus adding miraculous or bizarre things to their writings. They say it was very […]

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Question: Mary (mother of Jesus) was a devout woman who was well aware of God’s scriptures, then why did she doubt Gabriel about virgin birth, when she already knew the prophecy of Isa. 7:14? Did it mean Christians fabricated the prophecy of Isa. 7:14? Answer: Mary was indeed a devout woman.  And we can assume […]

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Question: A Jewish friend of mine says:  According to Megillah 14b, eight prophets, who were also priests, descended from Rahab the prostitute, and they are: Neriah; his son Baruch; Seraiah; Mahseiah; Jeremiah; his father, Hilkiah; Jeremiah’s cousin Hanamel; and Hanamel’s father, Shallum.  ​None of them are considered prophets by Christians except Jeremiah. If Christians are […]

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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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