[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]


Was Jesus ignorant of Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai? Why did he not cite them?


Jesus was well aware of the entire canon of the Hebrew Scripture. He is, after all, God-in-the-flesh.  He is the Word of God.  He inspired these books in the first place. And besides, he was a Jew who was raised going to synagogue, so he surely was very well aware of the entire Jewish canon.  You say that he never cited these books, which is true from what we have of him in the New Testament, but we have a very small proportion of what Jesus said.  Probably we have less than 2% of the totality of what Jesus said.  Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.  I believe it is likely we can assume that Jesus quoted these prophets at one time or another.
Put it this way.  Think of the average Christian preacher.  Has the typical Christian preacher cited the book of Habakkuk in the last three years?  Has he or she quoted from Nahum or Zephaniah?  Maybe yes and maybe no, but somewhat likely the answer would be no.  Speaking for myself, I have quoted from Habakkuk, Haggai, Amos and Joel within the last three years, but I have not quoted from Esther, Song of Songs or Lamentations in the last four years.  What is the significance of this lack of me citing these books? Does this mean that I do not consider them canonical? Of course not!  I would say that there is no significance in this lack of quotation by Jesus at all.  We can assume that this theoretical preacher is well aware of the six books you mention and has probably read them several times.
I have a feeling that you are reading from Muslim websites which are trying to put a question into your mind about Jesus, about Christianity and trying to put into your mind that the Bible has been corrupted.  You should be wary about listening to these people without being very skeptical.  They are trying to place an unjustified doubt in your mind about the inspiration of the Bible.
John Oakes

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