Did Jesus Deny Deity and Moral Perfection in Mark 10:18? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Did Jesus Deny Deity and Moral Perfection in Mark 10:18?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The New Testament writers repeatedly testified to the fact that, though Jesus “was in all points tempted as we are,” He was “without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Paul claimed that Jesus “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Peter said that Christ “committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth”—that He was the perfect sacrificial Lamb, “without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 2:22; 1:19). Likewise, John wrote that in Christ “there is no sin” (1 John 3:5). Jesus was supremely “pure,” “righteous,” and “good” (1 John 3:3; 2:1; John 10:11,14).
Additionally, the New Testament has much to say about the divine nature of Christ. Jesus claimed to be the Messiah (Mark 14:62; John 4:25-26), Whom Isaiah prophesied would be “Mighty God” and “Jehovah” (Isaiah 9:6; 40:3). Jesus accepted worship while in the form of a man (John 9:38)—implying that He, too, was Deity (Matthew 4:10; cf. Acts 12:21-23; 14:14-15). Jesus forgave sins, which only God can do (Mark 2:5-10). The apostle John said that Jesus “was God” (John 1:1). Jesus claimed to be “one” with God (John 10:30), leading His hearers to believe that He made Himself “God” (10:33). And, after the apostle Thomas called Jesus “Lord” and “God” (John 20:28), Jesus immediately acknowledged Thomas’ faith, rather than deny the deity that Thomas had just professed. In his letter to the Philippians Paul wrote that Christ Jesus “being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:6). In fact, “in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9).
In light of the fact that the Bible claims repeatedly that Jesus was both “good” and “God,” some contend that in Mark 10:18 (and Matthew 19:17) Jesus said just the opposite. In an article titled “New Testament Contradictions,” Paul Carlson stated that Mark 10:18 (among other passages) is “an embarrassment to the church,” as it indicates “Jesus did not consider himself sinless” (1995). By saying, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God” (Mark 10:18), allegedly “Jesus made a clear distinction between himself and God,” and, according to Muslims, Matthew and Mark “believed that Jesus was not God” (“The Bible Denies…,” 2014, emp. added). According to skeptic Dennis McKinsey, in Mark 10:18, “Jesus is not only admitting that he is not perfectly moral but that he is not God” (McKinsey, 2000, p. 247).
Does Jesus actually admit not being “good” and “God” in Mark 10:18? How did Jesus respond to the wealthy young ruler who asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Did He deny being perfectly moral and Divine? The simple fact is, Jesus never denied being good or God.
So what did Jesus mean? Before answering this question, one must keep in mind that Jesus often responded to questions in unexpected, masterful ways. He offered thought-provoking, soul-searching answers (often in the form of questions) that, unfortunately, many people have misinterpreted. [Consider, for example, when the Pharisees asked Jesus about why His disciples allegedly broke the law of Moses and plucked heads of grain as they walked through the fields on the Sabbath. Rather than explicitly deny that the apostles were disregarding the Law of Moses, Jesus asked His accusers two very appropriate (and very perceptive) questions:
Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? (Matthew 12:3-5).
Although many have misinterpreted Jesus’ response on this occasion to justify situation ethics, Jesus did nothing of the sort. The only “law” that Jesus’ disciples broke while going through the grain fields (Matthew 12:1-8) was the Pharisaical interpretation of the Law (see Lyons, 2003 for more information; see also Miller, 2004).]
The rich young ruler was confident in his keeping of various commandments (Mark 10:20), but he surely never thought that Jesus would instruct him to sell whatever he had and give it to the poor—to leave everything and follow Him (10:21). Similarly, when the young ruler initially came to Jesus, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” he never expected Jesus to say, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God” (10:17-18).
The young man seems to have regarded himself as “good” (since he professed to have kept all of the commandments that Jesus mentioned—Mark 10:20). Perhaps the gentleman simply wanted to know—from one good man to another good man (a “good teacher”)—what do I need to do to inherit eternal life. Rather than immediately answer the young man’s question, however, it seems Jesus first wanted (1) to humble him, by highlighting that he was not as “good” as he considered himself to be, and (2) for him to realize Who exactly he was questioning. He wasn’t merely petitioning a “good” (Greekagathosman.
The Bible records various (mere) human beings who were called “good” (agathos). Luke recorded that “Barnabas was a good man” (Acts 11:24). Paul indicated that Christians are to “do good to all” (Galatians 6:10). (Are Christians who do good, “good” Christians?) Even Jesus stated previous to His encounter with the rich young ruler that “a good man out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth good things” (Matthew 12:35). Thus, clearly when Jesus spoke to the wealthy ruler He was not using “good” in the sense of a man being “good.” Rather, He was using it in the sense of God beingabsolutely, supremely good. The kind of goodness to which He referred belonged only to God. The only way man can objectively call someone “good” is if there is an ultimate standard for goodness—the supreme, unblemished, good God.
Jesus never said what skeptics, Muslims, and others allege He said—that He was not good, or that He was not God. Instead, Jesus attempted to get the rich young ruler to see the implications of calling Him “good teacher.” Do good (merely) human teachers claim to be the Messiah? Do good menaccept worship and honor due only to God (John 5:23)? Do good men claim to have the power to forgive sins? Absolutely not! But Jesus had the power to forgive sins. He actually claimed to be the Messiah and accepted worship. So what was Jesus implying when He asked the young ruler, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God”? As Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe observed:
Jesus was saying to him, “Do you realize what you are saying when you call Me Good? Are you saying I am God?”… Jesus was forcing him to a very uncomfortable dilemma. Either Jesus was good and God, or else He was bad and man. A good God or a bad man, but not merely a good man. Those are the real alternatives with regard to Christ. For no good man would claim to be God when he was not. The liberal Christ, who was only a good moral teacher but not God, is a figment of human imagination (1992, p. 350).
To contend that Mark 10:18 proves that Jesus thought Himself to be neither morally perfect nor God is (1) to disregard the overall context of the Bible, (2) to twist the Scriptures like untaught and unstable people do—“to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16), and (3) to take a superficial reading of the text. Far from denying the deity of Christ, Mark 10:17-22 actually affirms it. The young ruler “called Christ a ‘good teacher,’ with no indication that he understood Jesus to be the Messiah. Jesus seized on the word ‘good,’ pointed out that if the man thought He was good, then He must be God” (Roper, 2:203), because only God is innately and supremely good.


“The Bible Denies the Divinity of Jesus” (2014), A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam,http://www.islam-guide.com/ch3-10-1.htm.
Carlson, Paul (1995), “New Testament Contradictions,” The Secular Web,http://infidels.org/library/modern/paul_carlson/nt_contradictions.html.
Geisler, Norman L. and Thomas A. Howe (1992), When Critics Ask (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books).
Lyons, Eric (2003), “Did Jesus Condone Law-Breaking?” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=1276.
McKinsey, Dennis (2000), Biblical Errancy (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books).
Miller, Dave (2004), “Situation Ethics,” Apologetics Press,https://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1064.
Roper, David (2003), The Life of Christ (Searcy, AR: Resource Publications).

From Mark Copeland... "THE CHURCH JESUS BUILT" Identifying The Lord's Church Today

                        "THE CHURCH JESUS BUILT"

                  Identifying The Lord's Church Today


1. In this series we have sought to examine "The Church Jesus Built" by studying...
   a. The nature of the church
   b. The authority of the church
   c. The organization of the church
   d. The worship of the church
   e. The work of the church

2. We noted some of the distinctions between the church universal and
   the church local...

       The Church 'Universal'              The Church 'Local'

   Composed of all Christians          Composed of Christians in one
   There is just 'one'                 There are 'many'
   Began on the Day of Pentecost       Begins when people join together
   Enter only by being added by the    Enter by 'joining ourselves'
   The Lord keeps the books of         Enrolled by human judgment
   Consists of all the saved           Consists of both saved and lost
   Must be in this to be saved         Do not have to be in this to be
   Has no 'earthly' organization       Has 'earthly' organization
   Can't be divided                    Can be divided
   Death doesn't affect membership     Death does affect membership

3. When we are aware of the difference between the church universal and
   local churches, we are better equipped to identify "The Church Jesus
   Built" today...
   a. In view of the high estimation placed upon the church as described
      in the New Testament, I would like to be able to identify it
      today, wouldn't you?
   b. But is our task one of being able to identify the church
      universal, or local churches?

[It is the latter question that I wish to address in this study.  Let me
begin by asking...]


      1. Jesus said He would build His church, and we read about it in
         the Bible
      2. If today you could find that church we read about in the Bible,
         wouldn't you want to be a member of it?
      3. Well, here is a chart which shows the pattern of the New
         Testament church...
         a. A chart is then used which describes the beginning of the
            church (its founder, place and time of origin, and its head)
         b. The chart also lists verses describing the organization,
            name, worship, etc., of the church
      4. If you can find the church that is like this in all respects,
         then it is the New Testament church today!

      1. Are we not trying to identify the one and true church, i.e.,
         the church "universal"?
      2. But charts like the one described above often make no
         distinction between the church universal and the church local
         a. E.g., its founder, time and place of origin, head, etc.,
            refers to the universal church
         b. Yet passages describing organization, name, worship, etc.,
            refer to the local church!
      3. This can easily lead to confusion...
         a. Concerning the church universal
            1) That it may have earthly organization
            2) That it is overseen by elders and served by deacons
         b. Concerning the church local
            1) That they all started in Jerusalem
            2) That they all started in 30 A.D.
      4. It is virtually impossible to identify the church universal in
         this way
         a. It has no earthly organization that can be visibly seen
         b. Only the Lord knows...
            1) Those who are truly saved
            2) Those who thereby make up His body, the one true church!
      5. At best, we can only identify local churches today

      1. Regarding the church universal
         a. Emphasize that the Lord is in the process of building His
            one true church
         b. Which consists of all the saved, for the Lord adds those
            being saved to it
         c. Here is how you can be saved and thereby become a member of
            the Lord's church...
      2. Regarding the church local
         a. Once saved, and a member of the body of Christ, the NT
            teaches you should "join yourself" with a local congregation
         b. But which one?  How can you identify which of the myriad
            congregations are considered by the Lord as His faithful
            churches in the local sense?
         c. Now let's examine what the NT reveals about the local

[This approach is not only scriptural, it also has less potential for
confusing the universal church with the local church.  With this in
mind, here are a few thoughts on...]


      1. The name of a local congregation reveals much
         a. Whether the church is concerned about promoting unity in the
            body of Christ
         b. If the name is a denominational name, religious division
            must not be a major concern of those in the congregation
      2. The "name" should therefore be a scriptural name
         a. There is no one scriptural name for the Lord's church in the
            New Testament
            1) The expressions "church of God" (1Co 1:2), "churches of
               God" (1Th 2:14), and "churches of Christ" (Ro 16:16) are
               commonly used
            2) Other terms are used also, and all reflecting an
               association with God and Christ (body of Christ, kingdom
               of God, bride of Christ, temple of God, etc.)
         b. But the use of scriptural names instead of a
            humanly-conceived name...
            1) Reflects a desire to follow the Scriptures, and not human
            2) Certainly conveys a desire to honor God and Christ, and
               not some man, creed or particular doctrine
      3. However, the "name" alone is not a sure guide
         a. Just as the name "Mrs. Copeland" alone is not a sure guide
            if you were seeking to find my wife
            1) For there are a lot of  women who go by the name, "Mrs.
            2) But only one who bears the name is properly my wife!
         b. So there may be many congregations that bear the name of
            Christ or God that may not be truly honoring them!
            1) For example, there are over 200 separate denominations
               that use the name "Church of God"
            2) Likewise, there may be "Churches of Christ" that are no
               less a congregation of the Lord than any with a
               denominational name!
      -- Yet I would still recommend that one begin with the name, and
         in particular those congregations that use the expression
         "church of Christ"

      1. Remember how Christ is adding people to His church universal
         a. Through the gospel, He calls us - 2Th 2:14
         b. As we heed the gospel call, the Lord adds us to His body,
            the church - Ac 2:41,47
         c. That is why it is so important that the gospel not be
            perverted in any way - Ga 1:6-9
      2. If the gospel proclaimed by those in a local church is
         a. By changing either the facts or commands of the gospel...
         b. ...then people are not being saved, and the Lord is not
            adding them to His church!
      3. A church with a perverted gospel...
         a. May have the nicest people, but they are still unregenerate
         b. May wear the name of Christ, both as individuals and as a
            church, but are not truly the people of God, nor a part of
            "The Church Jesus Built"!

      1. In the New Testament, we find a pattern regarding local churches
         a. The NT describes the early church during its first 60 years
         b. A careful study of Acts and the epistles reveal a picture of
            the church
         c. From this picture, a pattern emerges in reference to:
            1) The worship of local churches
            2) The work of local churches
            3) The organization of the churches
         d. This pattern emerges as we see the early Christians...
            1) Continuing steadfastly in the "apostles' doctrine" - Ac 2:42
            2) Being taught the same things in every church - cf. 1Co 4:17; 16:1-2
      2. Faithful churches abiding in the "apostles' doctrine" will
         reflect this pattern today
         a. Their worship will be like that described in the New Testament
         b. Their work as a congregation will be similar to that found
            in the New Testament
         c. Their organization as a congregation will seek to be like
            that described in the New Testament
      3. At the very least, does the local congregation allow you...
         a. To fulfill your obligations related to other Christians?
            1) E.g., gathering on the first day of the week to break
               bread? - Ac 20:7
            2) E.g., laying by in store as God has prospered you? - 1Co 16:1-2
         b. To fulfill your obligations without violating your conscience?
            1) E.g., praising God in song without mechanical instruments
               of music?
            2) E.g., using the Lord's treasury for what is the proper
               work of the church?
      4. Bear in mind, no congregation is perfect - cf. Re 2:1-7; 3:1-6
         a. Christians are not perfect, though they are to strive toward perfection
         b. Churches may lack the spiritual fervor we might desire to
            see in them
         c. But if a church at least provides the basics for your
            spiritual growth and service, then perhaps you can encourage
            the other members to grow and serve with you!


1. If we wish to identify "The Church Jesus Built" today...
   a. We cannot point to one group of churches and say "There is The One
      True Church!"
   b  For "The One True Church" that Jesus built...
      1) Is a spiritual entity, a body made up of saved individuals
         throughout the world
      2) With no earthly headquarters nor earthly organization

2. But there are countless individuals who have joined themselves
   together as local churches...
   a. Following the apostles' doctrine as revealed in the New Testament
   b. Imitating the pattern seen in the New Testament regarding the
      work, worship and organization of the local church
   c. And such churches can be so identified today!
   d. Feel free to contact me if you would like for me to see if I can
      find a church in your area

3. A person's first concern should be to look to the Lord through His
   Word to save him, thereby adding him to His church universal

4. Having done that, he or she should then examine the New Testament to
   learn what to look for as one seeks to locate and worship with one of
   His local churches

But suppose one is unable to find an established congregation in their
area that is following the New Testament pattern, what then?  The answer
will be offered in our next and final lesson in this series...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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Fort Hood and the Quran by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Fort Hood and the Quran

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan “cleaned out his apartment, gave leftover frozen broccoli to one neighbor and called another to thank him for his friendship—common courtesies and routines of the departing soldier” (Baker and Blackledge, 2009). Shortly thereafter, he opened up on his fellow Fort Hood soldiers, killing 14 (a pregnant mother was among those killed) and wounding many others. Mainstream media outlets, and even some Muslim groups, were quick to assure Americans that the incident had nothing to do with Hasan’s religious views (“U.S. Muslims...,” 2009; “Military Experts...,” 2009; Brown, 2009).
This almost irrational refusal to link terrorism with Islam is apparently widespread even among mainstream Muslims (“U.S. Muslims...,” 2009). Nevertheless, some Muslims appear a little more willing to entertain the possibility that perhaps Islam and the Quran are responsible for the terrorists’ behavior: “For too long, we Muslims have been sticking fingers in our ears and chanting ‘Islam means peace’ to drown out the negative noise from our holy book. Far better to own up to it” (Manji, p. 78).
Own up to it, indeed. It may well be true that the vast majority of Muslims disapprove of the wanton acts of violence by Islamic terrorists happening around the globe. But the Quran—the holy book of Islam that 1.3 billion Muslims believe to be the word of God—is replete with explicit and implicit sanction and promotion of armed conflict, violence, and bloodshed by Muslims. Difficult to believe? Then read for yourself the following sections of the Quran from the celebrated translation by Muslim scholar Mohammed Pickthall:
Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain (Surah 47:4, emp. added).
Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers. The forbidden month for the forbidden month, and forbidden things in retaliation. And one who attacketh you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil) (Surah2:190-194, emp. added).
Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not. They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel his people thence, is a greater with Allah; for persecution is worse that killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can (Surah 2:216-217, emp. added).
Muhammad was informed that warfare was prescribed for him! Though he may have hated warfare, it was actually good for him, and what he loved, i.e., non-warfare, was actually bad for him! And though under normal circumstances, fighting is not appropriate during sacred months, killing was warranted against those who sought to prevent Muslims from practicing their religion. Killing is better than being persecuted! A similar injunction states: “Sanction is given unto those who fight because they have been wronged; and Allah is indeed Able to give them victory” (Surah 22:39, emp. added). In fact, “Allah loveth those who battle for His cause in ranks, as if they were a solid structure” (Surah 61:4, emp. added).
In a surah titled “Repentance” that issues stern measures to be taken against idolaters, the requirement to engage in carnal warfare is apparent:
Freedom from obligation (is proclaimed) from Allah and His messenger toward those of the idolaters with whom ye made a treaty: Travel freely in the land four months, and know that ye cannot escape Allah and that Allah will confound the disbelievers (in His guidance). And a proclamation from Allah and His messenger to all men on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage that Allah is free from obligation to the idolaters, and (so is) His messenger. So, if ye repent, it will be better for you; but if ye are averse, then know that ye cannot escape Allah. Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve. Excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye (Muslims) have a treaty, and who have since abated nothing of your right nor have supported anyone against you. (As for these), fulfill their treaty to them till their term. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty (unto Him). Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (Surah 9:1-5, emp. added).
The ancient Muslim histories elaborate on the occasion of these admonitions: “[T]he idolaters were given four months’ respite to come and go as they pleased in safety, but after that God and His Messenger would be free from any obligation towards them. War was declared upon them, and they were to be slain or taken captive wherever they were found” (Lings, 1983, p. 323).
Later in the same surah, “Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low” (Surah 9:29, emp. added). “Those who have been given the Scripture” is a reference to Jews and Christians. The surah advocates coercion against Jews and Christians in order to physically force them to pay the jizyah—a special religious tax imposed on religious minorities (see Nasr, 2002, p. 166). Muslim translator Mohammed Pickthall explained the historical setting of this quranic utterance: “It signified the end of idolatry in Arabia. The Christian Byzantine Empire had begun to move against the growing Muslim power, and this Surah contains mention of a greater war to come, and instructions with regard to it” (p. 145). Indeed, the final verse of Surah 2 calls upon Allah to give Muslims “victory over the disbelieving folk” (vs. 286), rendered by Rodwell: “give us victory therefore over the infidel nations.” That this stance by the Quran was to be expected is evident from the formulation of the Second Pledge of Aqabah, in which the men pledged their loyalty and their commitment to protecting Muhammad from all opponents. This pledge included duties of war, and was taken only by the males. Consequently, the First Aqabah pact, which contained no mention of war, became known as the “pledge of the women” (Lings, p. 112).
Additional allusions to warfare in the Quran are seen in the surah, “The Spoils,” dated in the second year of the Hijrah (A.D. 623), within a month after the Battle of Badr:
And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah.... If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them.... And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s purpose). Lo! theycannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horsestethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not.... O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty stedfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a hundred stedfast they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence.... It is not for any Prophet to have captivesuntil he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise. Had it not been for an ordinance of Allah which had gone before, an awful doom had come upon you on account of what ye took. Now enjoy what ye have won, as lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (Surah 8:39,57,59-60,65,67-69, emp. added; cf. 33:26).
Muslim scholar Pickthall readily concedes the context of these verses:
vv. 67-69 were revealed when the Prophet had decided to spare the lives of the prisoners taken at Badr and hold them to ransom, against the wish of Omar, who would have executed them for their past crimes. The Prophet took the verses as a reproof, and they are generally understood to mean that no quarter ought to have been given in that first battle (p. 144, emp. added).
So the Quran indicates that at the Battle of Badr, no captives should have been taken. The enemy should have been completely slaughtered, with no quarter given. This very fate awaited the Jewish Bani Qurayzah, when some 700 men were beheaded by the Muslims with Muhammad’s approval (Lings, p. 232). Likewise, members of a clan of the Bani Nadir were executed in Khaybar for concealing their treasure rather than forfeiting it to the Muslims (Lings, p. 267).
Another surah describes how allowances respecting the daily prayers were to be made for Muhammad’s Muslim warriors when engaged in military action:
And when ye go forth in the land, it is no sin for you to curtail (your) worship if ye fear that those who disbelieve may attack you. In truth the disbelievers are an open enemy to you. And when thou (O Muhammad) art among them and arrangest (their) worship for them, let only a party of them stand with thee (to worship) and let them take their arms. Then when they have performed their prostrations let them fall to the rear and let another party come that hath not worshipped and let them worship with thee, and let them take their precaution and their arms. Those who disbelieve long for you to neglect your arms and your baggage that they may attack you once for all. It is no sin for you to lay aside your arms, if rain impedeth you or ye are sick. But take your precaution. Lo! Allah prepareth for the disbelievers shameful punishment. When ye have performed the act of worship, remember Allah, standing, sitting and reclining. And when ye are in safety, observe proper worship. Worship at fixed hours hath been enjoined on the believers. Relent not in pursuit of the enemy (Surah 4:101-104, emp. added; cf. 73:20).
These verses show that the Quran implicitly endorses armed conflict and war to advance Islam.
Muslim historical sources themselves report the background details of those armed conflicts that have characterized Islam from its inception—including Muhammad’s own warring tendencies involving personal participation in and endorsement of military campaigns (cf. Lings, pp. 86,111). Muslim scholar Pickthall’s own summary of Muhammad’s war record is an eye-opener: “The number of the campaigns which he led in person during the last ten years of his life is twenty-seven, in nine of which there was hard fighting. The number of the expeditions which he planned and sent out under other leaders is thirty-eight” (n.d., p. xxvi).
What a contrast with Jesus—Who never once took up the sword or encouraged anyone else to do so! The one time that one of His close followers took it upon himself to do so, the disciple was soundly reprimanded and ordered to put the sword away, with the added warning: “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). Indeed, when Pilate quizzed Jesus regarding His intentions, He responded: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36)—the very opposite of the Aqabah pact. And whereas the Quran boldly declares, “And one who attacks you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you” (Surah 2:194; cf. 22:60), Jesus counters, “But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also” and “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:39,44). The New Testament record presents a far higher, more noble and godly ethic on the matter of violence and armed conflict. In fact, the following verses demonstrate how irrevocably deep the chasm is between the Quran and the New Testament on this point:
[L]ove your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? (Matthew 5:44-46).
But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:27-36).
What an amazing contrast! The New Testament says to love, bless, do good to, and pray for those who persecute you. The Quran says that “persecution is worse than killing” (Surah 2:217)—i.e., it is better to kill your persecutors than to endure their persecutions!
The standard Muslim attempt to justify the Quran’s endorsement of violence is that such violence was undertaken in self-defense (e.g., Surah 42:41). Consider the following Muslim explanation:
At the time when this surah (Surah 2—DM) was revealed at Al-Madinah, the Prophet’s own tribe, the pagan Qureysh at Mecca, were preparing to attack the Muslims in their place of refuge. Cruel persecution was the lot of Muslims who had stayed in Meccan territory or who journeyed thither, and Muslims were being prevented from performing the pilgrimage. The possible necessity of fighting had been foreseen in the terms of the oath, taken at Al-Aqabah by the Muslims of Yathrib before the Flight, to defend the Prophet as they would their own wives and children, and the first commandment to fight was revealed to the Prophet before his flight from Mecca; but there was no actual fighting by the Muslims until the battle of Badr. Many of them were reluctant, having before been subject to a rule of strict non-violence. It was with difficulty that they could accept the idea of fighting even inself-defence [sic].... (Pickthall, p. 33, emp. added).
Apart from the fact that the claim that Muhammad’s advocacy of fighting was justifiable on the ground of self-defense is contrary to the historical facts (since the wars waged by Muhammad and the territorial expansion of Islam achieved by his subsequent followers cannot all be dismissed as defensive), this explanation fails to come to grips with the propriety of shedding of blood and inflicting violence—regardless of the reason. Muslim scholar Seyyed Nasr seems unconscious of the inherent self-contradiction apparent in his own remark:
The spread of Islam occurred in waves. In less than a century after the establishment of the first Islamic society in Medina by the Prophet, Arab armies had conquered a land stretching from the Indus River to France and brought with them Islam, which, contrary to popular Western conceptions, was not, however, forced on the people by the sword(2003, p. 17, emp. added).
In other words, Muslim armies physically conquered—by military force and bloodshed—various nations, forcing the population to submit to Muslim rule, but did not require them to become Muslibbms! One suspects that, at the time, the distinction escaped the citizens of those conquered countries, even as it surely does the reader.
True Christianity (i.e., that which is based strictly on the New Testament) dictates peace and non-retaliatory promotion of itself. The “absolute imperative” (Rahman, 1979, p. 22) of Islam is thesubmission/conversion of the whole world. In stark contrast, the absolute imperative of New Testament Christianity is the evangelism of the whole world, i.e., the dissemination of the message of salvation—whether people embrace it or not (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47). Absolutely no coercion is admissible from the Christian (i.e., New Testament) viewpoint. The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and all other violent activities undertaken in the name of Christ and Christianity have been in complete conflict with the teaching of the New Testament. The perpetrators acted without the authority and sanction of Christ.
Islam seeks to bring the entire world into submission to Allah and the Quran—even using jihad, coercion, and force; Christianity seeks to go into the entire world and to announce the “good news” that God loves every individual, that Jesus Christ died for the sins of everyone, and that He offers salvation, forgiveness, and reconciliation. But, each person has free choice to accept or reject without any retaliation by Christians against those who choose to reject. Jesus taught His disciples, when faced with opposition and resistance, simply to walk away: “And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet” (Matthew 10:14). In fact, on one occasion when a Samaritan village was particularly nonreceptive, some of Jesus’ disciples wished to command fire to come down from heaven to consume them! But Jesus rebuked them and said, “‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’ And they went to another village” (Luke 9:55). Muhammad and the Quran stand in diametrical opposition to Jesus and the New Testament.
If the majority of Muslims were violent, that would not prove that Islam is a religion of violence. The vast majority of those who claim to be “Christian” are practicing a corrupted form of the Christian faith. So the validity of any religion is determined ultimately not by the imperfect, inaccurate practice of the religion by even a majority of its adherents, but by the official authority or standard upon which it is based, i.e., its Scriptures. The present discussion in the world regarding whether or not jihad includes physical force in the advancement of Islam is ultimately irrelevant (cf. Nasr, 2002, pp. 256-266). The Quran unquestionably endorses violence, war, and armed conflict. No wonder the Muslims who perpetrated suicide bombings, America’s 9/11, and yes, the Fort Hood massacre, manifest a maniacal, reckless abandon in their willingness to die by sacrificing their lives in order to kill as many “infidels” (especially Israelis, Brits, and Americans) as possible. They have read the following:
Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks.... Andthose who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain. He will guide them and improve their state, and bring them in unto the Garden [Paradise—DM] which He hath made known to them (Surah 47:4-6, emp. added).
O ye who believe! Be not as those who disbelieved and said of their brethren who went abroad in the land or were fighting in the field: If they had been (here) with us they would not have died or been killed.... And what though ye be slain in Allah’s way or die therein? Surely pardon from Allah and mercy are better than all that they amass. Whatthough ye be slain or die, when unto Allah ye are gathered?.... So those who...fought and were slain, verily I shall remit their evil deeds from them and verily I shall bring them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow—a reward from Allah (Surah 3:156-158,195, emp. added).
Even if the vast majority of Muslims in the world reject violence and refrain from terrorist activity (which is, seemingly, the case), it is still a fact that the Quran (as well as the example of Muhammad himself!) endorses the advancement of Islam through physical force. While Muslim apologist Seyyed Hossein Nasr insists that “the traditional norms based on peace and openness to others” characterize true Islam and the majority of Muslims, in contradistinction, he freely admits that at times Islam “has been forced to take recourse to physical action in the form of defense” (Nasr, 2002, pp. 112,110). This concession cannot be successfully denied in view of the Quran’s own declarations. Hence, the Muslim is forced to maintain the self-contradictory position that, yes, there have been times that Islam has been properly violent and, yes, the Quran does endorse violence, but, no, most Muslims are not violent, and then only in self-defense. As reprehensible and cowardly as Islamic terrorists have shown themselves to be in recent years, an honest reading of the Quran leads one to believe that they, at least, are more consistent with, and true to, their own Scriptures—as revolting an idea as that may be.


Baker, Mike and Brett J. Blackledge (2009), “Fort Hood Suspect Said His Goodbyes Before Rampage,” The Associated Press, November 6, [On-line], URL:http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091106/ap_on_re_us/us_fort_hood_shooting.
Brown, Matthew (2009), “Muslim Organizations Condemn Fort Hood Attack,” The Baltimore Sun, November 6, [On-line], URL:http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/faith/2009/11/nidal_malik_hassan_allahu_akba.html.
Lings, Martin (1983), Muhammad (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International).
Manji, Irshad (2005), “When Denial Can Kill,” Time, 166[4]:78, July 25.
“Military Experts Discuss the Attack at Fort Hood” (2009), New York Post, November 8, [On-line],URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/06/AR2009110602072.html.
Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2002), The Heart of Islam (New York: HarperCollins).
Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2003), Islam (New York: HarperCollins).
Pickthall, Mohammed M. (no date), The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (New York: Mentor).
Rahman, Fazlur (1979), Islam (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), second edition.
Rodwell, J.M., trans. (1950 reprint), The Koran (London: J.M. Dent and Sons).
U.S. Muslims Condemn Attack at Fort Hood” (2009), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), November 5, [On-line], URL: http://www.cair.com/ArticleDetails.aspx?ArticleID=26126&&name=n&&currPage=1.

Babylon: A Test Case in Prophecy [Part II] by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


Babylon: A Test Case in Prophecy [Part II]

by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Part I of this two-part series appeared in the November issue. Part II follows below, and picks up where the first article ended.]
In the preceding article of this two-part study, I began an investigation of certain Old Testament prophecies that focused on the famous city of Babylon. Three major points were discussed: (1) the prophets emphatically declared that wicked and arrogant Babylon would fall; (2) the providential instrument of the Lord, employed in the initial destruction of the city, would be the Medo-Persian regime; and (3) the immediate fall, and ultimate deterioration, would come after the Hebrews had languished seventy years in Babylonian captivity. In this article, I would like to highlight a number of particulars that are reflected prophetically in the biblical record.
The works of Herodotus and Xenophon are the two principal sources of historical confirmation. Herodotus (484-425 B.C.), known as the “father of history,” produced the first attempt at secular narrative history. His work, which dealt primarily with the Persian Wars, is an important source of information on the ancient world. He vividly describes the overthrow of Babylon. Xenophon (c. 430-355 B.C.), a student of Socrates, was a Greek historian born in Athens. He served in the Persian army and produced several valuable literary works. One of these, called Cyropaedia, is a sort of romance founded on the history of Cyrus the Great (559-530 B.C.). It provides considerable data on the fall of Babylon.
Again, we emphasize that one of the traits of true prophecy is that it deals in specific details, not generalities. Let us examine some of these particulars.


Babylon had been a brutal force. She was “the glory of the kingdoms” (Isaiah 13:19). She had been Jehovah’s providential “battle-axe” that had broken in pieces the nations of the ancient world (Jeremiah 51:20-24). For example, Nebuchadnezzar had defeated thoroughly the Egyptians at the battle of Carchemish (605 B.C.), and had enjoyed great success in Syria and Palestine, even subjugating “Zion” at the Lord’s bidding.
One might surmise that Babylon would have feared no one. Oddly, though, Jeremiah said: “The mighty men of Babylon have ceased fighting. They stay in the strongholds; their strength is exhausted, they are becoming like women” (Jeremiah 51:30). How remarkably this conforms to the actual history. Xenophon said that when Cyrus brought his army to Babylon, he initially was perplexed as to how he would take the city, since the Chaldean soldiers “do not come out to fight” (VII.V.7). The Babylonians fearfully remained behind their massive walls refusing, for the most part, to encounter the enemy—exactly as the prophet had indicated.


When Cyrus surveyed Babylon’s fortifications, he said: “I am unable to see how any enemy can take walls of such strength and height by assault” (Xenophon, VIII.V.7). Accordingly, he devised a brilliant strategy for capturing the city.
As I mentioned in the previous article, the Euphrates river ran under the walls through the center of Babylon. From the river, canals—quite broad and sometimes navigable—were cut in every direction. The Jews in captivity could thus lament: “By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept, When we remembered Zion” (Psalm 137:1). Just to the west of the city was a huge lake-basin, some thirty-five feet deep and covering forty miles square, but which, at the time of the invasion, was but a marsh. Cyrus stationed soldiers at the point where the river entered the city, and also where it exited. At a given time, he diverted the Euphrates from its bed into the marshy lake area. His forces then entered Babylon under the city walls (Herodotus, I.191).
Consider what the prophets declared regarding Babylon’s fall. Isaiah, writing more than a century and a half earlier, referred to Jehovah’s decree. The Lord “saith to the deep: Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers, that saith of Cyrus, he is my shepherd and shall perform my pleasure” (Isaiah 44:27). Some contend that the language of this passage is an allusion to the Exodus, which occurred in Israel’s early history. That cannot be the case, however. The utterance is framed in the future tense, and the context specifically relates this matter to Cyrus. The prophecy “is usually taken as referring to the device Cyrus used in order to capture Babylon” (Fitch, 1954, p. 593).
Later, in his famous oracle against Babylon, Jeremiah exclaimed: “A drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried up: for it is a land of graven images, and they are mad over idols” (50:38). Again, “I will dry up her sea, and make her fountain dry” (51:36). Though these passages have been interpreted in various ways, the language is quite consistent with the diversion of the river, which allowed the Persians to take the city virtually unopposed (see Wiseman, 1979, p. 849).


Concerning Babylon’s fall, Jeremiah represented the Lord as saying: “I have laid a snare for you, and you are also taken, O Babylon” (50:24). The term “snare” suggests that the citizens of the city would be taken by surprise; they “were not aware” of what was happening until it was too late (50:24b). Herodotus wrote: “Had the Babylonians been apprised of what Cyrus was about, or had they noticed their danger, they would never have allowed the Persians to enter their city” (I.191).
One aspect in the rapid conquest of the city had to do with the fact that the Babylonians, in their smug security, were engaged in drunken festivities; thus, they were wholly unconcerned about the enemy beyond their massive walls. But the Lord had declared: “When they are heated, I will make their feast, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, says Jehovah” (Jeremiah 51:39). Again: “And I will make drunk her princes and her wise men, her governors and her deputies, and her mighty men; and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, says the King whose name is Jehovah of hosts” (Jeremiah 51:57).
Herodotus recorded that the citizens of the central section of the city did not know that Babylon had fallen for a good while because “they were engaged in a festival, continued dancing and revelling until they learnt the capture” (I.191). Similarly, Xenophon said that “there was a festival in Babylon, in which all the Babylonians drank and revelled the whole night” (VII.5.15).


The prophets indicated that when great Babylon was taken, her rich treasures would be looted. The Lord, speaking prophetically to Cyrus, had promised: “[A]nd I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places” (Isaiah 45:3). Jeremiah announced: “And they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures, and they shall be robbed” (50:37). The treasures of Babylon were splendid beyond description. Herodotus, in describing just one of the temples in the city, declared that it contained more than twenty tons of gold (I.183). It is interesting to note that when Cyrus issued his famous decree that allowed the Jews to return to their land, he endowed them with silver and gold to help finance the project, as well as returning some 5,400 vessels of gold and silver that originally had been taken from the Hebrew temple (Ezra 1:4,11).
When Jehovah beckoned the Persians to come against evil Babylon, He charged: “[O]pen up her store-houses [granaries, ASV footnote]; cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly; let nothing of her be left” (Jeremiah 50:26). Xenophon reports that Babylon “was furnished with provisions for more than twenty years” (VIII.5.13). No wonder they felt secure; the storehouses were bulging. But God emptied them—just as His prophet had announced!


I already have mentioned Babylon’s famous walls. An ancient historian, Diodorus, stated that it took 200,000 men a full year to construct these fortifications (Fausset, 1990 p. 181). But Jeremiah prophesied: “The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly overthrown, and her high gates shall be burned with fire” (51:58). Where are Babylon’s walls, and her one hundred gates of brass (Herodotus, I.179) today? Under the “Summary” below, I will detail more precisely the demolition of the city.


The prophets repeatedly proclaimed the eventual utter desolation of ancient Babylon. Isaiah gave the following particulars:
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall shepherds make their flocks to lie down there. But wild beasts of the desert shall live there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and ostriches shall dwell there, and wild goats shall dance there. And wolves shall cry in their castles, and jackals in the pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged (13:19-22).
Jeremiah was equally graphic; the reader may consult chapters 50 and 51 of his book for the numerous details given there.
At this point, I would like to mention two points that I made in Part I of this series. First, there was to be an initial defeat of Babylon. Second, afterwards there would be a gradual but progressive degeneration of the locale, which ultimately would become a site of absolute waste. In the following section, I will catalogue the destructions and degeneration of once-great Babylon.


  1. After a siege of two years, the city of Babylon was captured by Cyrus, commander of the Medo-Persian forces, in October of 539 B.C. This brought the Neo-Babylonian empire (614-539 B.C.) to a close. Significant damage to the city was not inflicted at this time, though some of the walls may have been broken down, at least partially.
  2. Following a rebellion of the Babylonian subjects, Darius Hystaspes took the city again in 520 B.C.He demolished the walls significantly and carried off the huge gates (see Jeremiah 51:58). Elsewhere I have given a detailed account of how the city was taken—again by a “snare” (Jackson, 1996). Herodotus wrote: “Thus was Babylon taken for a second time. Darius having become master of the place, destroyed the wall, and tore down all the gates; for Cyrus had done neither the one nor the other when he took Babylon” (III.159). Apparently, however, there was some subsequent repair of the walls (see McClintock and Strong, 1969, 1:596).
  3. During the reign of Xerxes (485-465 B.C.), the temple of Bel (Marduk) was plundered and destroyed. Much of the city was turned into ruins in 483 B.C., and the walls were dismantled further.
  4. Babylon again fall to Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. As Alexander neared the city, priests and nobles went out to meet him with lavish gifts, surrendering the city. Alexander proposed that he would rebuild the temple of Marduk. He employed 10,000 men to clear the dirt and rubble. They labored in vain for two months. Alexander died and the work was abandoned (Rollin, 1857, 1:575). A clay tablet has been found that confirms this enterprise. It records that in the sixth year of Alexander’s reign, he made a payment of ten manehs of silver for “clearing away the dust of E-sagila [Marduk’s great temple]” (King, 1919, 2:284-288).
  5. In 270 B.C. Antiochus Soter, a Greek ruler, restored several of the temples in Babylon, but the general decay of the city continued.
  6. In the time of Strabo (at the end of the 1st century B.C.), the site was in ruins. Jerome (fourth century A.D.), learned that Babylon had been used as a wild game park for the amusement of numerous Persian dignitaries (McClintock and Strong, 1969, 1:596). In the fifth century A.D., according to Cyril of Alexandria, due to the bursting of canal banks, Babylon became a swamp (Jeremias, 1911, 1:294).
  7. Volney, the French atheist who was such a militant adversary of the Bible, wrote his book, The Ruins of Empires, in 1791. Therein he stated: “Nothing is left of Babylon but heaps of earth, trodden under foot of men” (as quoted in Holman, 1926, p. 333). As Jeremiah had prophesied: “[C]ast her up as heaps” (50:26). It is ironic that a skeptic should lend support to confirming the accuracy of the biblical narrative!
  8. When archaeologist Austen Layard explored Babylon in the mid-nineteenth century, he described the heaps of rubbish that rendered the area a “naked and hideous waste” (1856, p. 413). Later, when Robert Koldewey excavated the city for eighteen seasons beginning in 1899, he said that as he gazed over the ruins, he could not help but be reminded of Jeremiah 50:39 (1914, p. 314). He reported that many of the sites were covered with forty to eighty feet of sand and rubble.
  9. A relatively modern air-view of Babylonia—once the world’s greatest city—shows only a mound of dirt and broken-down walls (Boyd, 1969, pp. 153ff.).
In recent years, Sadam Hussein attempted to build a tourist center near the site of old Babylon. The 1990 Persian Gulf War seriously impaired his plans.


The accuracy of the dozens of prophecies regarding the fall of Babylon has baffled skeptics for generations. So remarkable has been the precision of the fulfillment that critics often have resorted toredating the predictions in both Isaiah and Jeremiah so as to make them appear to be records ofhistory instead of prophecy! For example, in commenting upon the oracles of Jeremiah, chapters 50-51, James Philip Hyatt wrote: “Some of the poems in this present collection seem to reflect the city’s downfall, as prophecies after the event rather than predictions...” (1956, 5:1124, emp. added). Such a view ignores the evidence for dating the books at a much earlier period.
A former professor in a Christian university has even capitulated to this liberal viewpoint. Anthony Ash asserted:
Dating chapter 50 is virtually impossible. The arrangement of the text indicates that it was a composite, probably containing materials from different periods.... The chapter may have reached this form near the mid-sixth century B.C., when the fall of Babylon appeared likely (1987, p. 309, emp. added).
Upon this basis, then, one supposes that Jeremiah—or whoever put the composite together!—simply made a lucky guess as to the fall of Babylon. Such a view is disgusting, and unworthy of any Christian writer.


The prophetic details regarding the fall of ancient Babylon, as minutely recorded in the Old Testament narratives, truly are astounding. This is but another example of the amazing evidence that demonstrates the character of the Bible as the inspired Word of God.


Ash, Anthony L. (1987), Jeremiah and Lamentations (Abilene, TX: Abilene Christian University Press).
Boyd, Robert (1969), A Pictorial Guide to Biblical Archaeology (New York: Bonanza).
Fausset, A.R. (1990 reprint), “Jeremiah,” A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Volume 2, Part 2, ed. Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, and David Brown (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Fitch (1954), “Isaiah,” The New Bible Commentary, ed. F. Davidson (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Herodotus (1956), The History of Herodotus, transl. by George Rawlinson (New York: Tudor).
Holman, Thomas (1926), “Prophecy Vindicated by Volney,” New Testament Christianity, ed. Z.T. Sweeney (Columbus, IN: NT Christianity Book Fund).
Hyatt, James Phillip (1956), The Interpreter’s Bible, ed. George A. Buttrick (Nashville, TN: Abindgon).
Jackson, Wayne (1996), “Zopyrus the Persian,” Christian Courier, 32[7]:27, November.
Jeremias, Alfred (1911), The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East (New York: Putnam’s Sons).
King, Leonard W. (1919), A History of Babylonia and Assyria (London: Chatto & Windus).
Koldewey, Robert (1914), The Excavations at Babylon (London: Macmillan).
Layard, Austen H. (1856), The Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon (New York: Harper).
McClintock, John and James Strong (1969), Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, reprint).
Rollin, Charles (1857), Ancient History (New York: Harper & Brothers).
Xenophon (1893 Edition), Cyropaedia, transl. by J.S. Watson and Henry Dale (London: George Bell & Sons).
Wiseman, D.J. (1979), “Jeremiah,” The New Layman’s Bible Commentary, ed. G.C.D. Howley, F.F. Bruce, and H.L. Ellison (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).