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

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, […]

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: 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 […]

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: 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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

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: 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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

[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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

[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 […]

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

Note: This is a rather long question with a relatively short answer. Question: Recently I found some interesting claims about the Gospel of John.  These are quotations of the Muslim critic Misha’al Al-Kadhi and his references to Christian scholars, that should bring doubt about the Gospel of John:  1. “Even at that, it is recognized […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

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: Dr. John,  recently it has been claimed that nothing in the prophetic books came from the 8th and 7th centuries and that the prophets are fictional characters created by post-exilic authors who produced an imaginative history for the Jewish community of their time. It is also confirmed by the fact that books of Kings […]

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: 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 […]

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:  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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More

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’ […]

Read More

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 […]

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

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

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 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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

[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 […]

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: 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 […]

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: 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 […]

Read More