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« The Presence of Death | Main | STR's Anniversary Conference! »

January 24, 2013


Wow, thank you, Mr. Wallace! So glad you are on the STR team now. Thank you for helping to strengthen my faith by allowing me to be more informed and reasonable about my beliefs! These articles are incredibly helpful.

I am just a bit confused here. I was under the impression that the disciples were hiding out from the authorities, not checking to see if Jesus was actually dead. The fact that it was Joseph of Arimathea that gave Jesus a decent burial and not the apostles seems to speak to that. If anything, it seems that the women were showing more courage and they were the ones tending to Jesus after his ordeal on the cross. I have no problem with the medical evidence and the fact that Roman soldiers were very good at their job of killing, but this business of the disciples not going into hiding is novel and I don't know how our friend J. gets to that point. I can see how someone might have quizzed Joseph about what he did later on and then included his portion of the account, but is there really any evidence that Jesus' inner circle was out in the open after Jesus died?

I am resonably sure that he is dead.


"I am resonably sure that he is dead."

I have to hand it to you. At least you are willing to admit that he was alive. Some folks won't even go that far. You're at least one step ahead of them.

I had the same thought as Louis. I don't see any reason to think the disciples had anything to do with Jesus' burial, and every reason to think otherwise. That is, unless J. is assuming that Joseph of Arimathea was a disciple. I suspect Joseph himself didn't even handle the body, but had his servants do it.

I do think the argument could be tweaked, though. Whoever handle Jesus' body would surely have known whether he was dead or not by the time they finally got it in the tomb. And if Jesus wasn't already dead, he surely would've been in a short amount of time if they wrapped him up and left him in the tomb.

So either way, I think the idea that Jesus didn't die is crazy talk.


When you say 'crazy' you mean 'crazy given certain claims of the gospels'.


The podcast listener (mentioned in the OP) seems to grant (for unknown reasons) all kinds of Gospel claims before doubting just one in particular:

Couldn’t the disciples have been wrong about the death of Jesus?

Or maybe the listener is merely portrayed in the OP as doubting only this one claim.

The OP's response most certainly does grant all kinds of other Gospel claims to support the answer, "No". Many of these supporting claims have the same (low) level and (weak) kind of support as the claim, "The disciples could not have been wrong".

There are thousands of claims made in and around the Bible. The probability of any individual claim can be independent or conditional on one or more others.

If one asks, "Couldn’t the disciples have been wrong about the death of Jesus?", one could also question many of the Biblical claims used above to support the answer, "No".

If one questions certain other claims, then the idea that Jesus came down from a cross alive is not crazy.

Don't misunderstand: I don't defend the idea that Jesus survived crucifixion. I doubt it.

My point is that these things are at the edge - or beyond the edge - of history.

You can reason that IF 5 of them are true then the 6th is certain or likely.

But, assuming 5 of them (each no more certain than the 6th) in order to argue that the 6th must be true is, well, crazy.


History tells us that there was a tremendous penalty to be paid by Roman soldiers if they allowed a capital criminal to either escape or avoid the penalty for which they were sentenced. For this reason, Roman soldiers were brutal and meticulous, executing their orders with precision.

Sounds like it came from a book for 12-year-old boys - or an apologetic tract.


"If one questions certain other claims, then the idea that Jesus came down from a cross alive is not crazy."

I would give credit to the possibility that he came down from the cross if it was not for the medical evidence presented that would speak against Jesus being alive on the cross. Of course I am referring to the blood and water coming from his side when pierced. This would be consistent with what one could medically expect to occur if he was dead.

John, a disciple, gives the account of the piercing of Jesus's side and seeing the flow of blood and water from His side as an eye witness. Also, Joseph of Arimathea is a disciple (secretly).
I think it is safe to conclude that John, all the "Mary's" and many others not only witnessed the crucifixtion but the burial also.
I think what is being over looked here is those who are performing the preparation for the burial LOVED Jesus. I would have to think that all of them were wishing, hoping and praying that He was still alive, and absolutely aware of the fact that He was dead and observed the characteristics of a dead body Greg mentioned. NONE of them were thinking anything about the fact that He might rise again. It is clearly stated that they did not piece that together until after the assention.

Medical evidence?

No! John is an anonymous account of events.

This is exactly what I mean by questioning other claims.

You have medical evidence if YOU see blood and water.

That's the funny thing about history Ron - you weren't there!

But somehow your opinion of what happened at Calvary is superior to those that were there and thought enough about those events to write them down.

I wasn't there. That's right.
And I don't know what happened or who was there or whether they wrote anything down about it.

There's skepticism and then there's downright blathering about doubting everything you haven't seen with your own eyes and heard with your own ears. The latter would mean ignoring anything that happened prior to your 40 plus years of life, including most of what HAS happened DURING that time which you haven't been privy to seeing or hearing firsthand. Sort of makes life very, very small, insular, and empty...

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