Now that I have restated my views about the burial of Jesus by citing passages from How Jesus Became God (HarperOne, 2014) and emphasized one particular general point – that it is of utmost importance to remember why Romans crucified people, and in particular why they crucified those who were guilty of insurrection, the threat of insurrection, or high treason (a point that I cannot stress enough: Jesus was executed for calling himself the King of the Jews – a political charge of treason against the state) – I can now begin to summarize the counter-arguments that Craig Evans has made in his relatively long response, “Getting the Burial Traditions and Evidences Right.”   Despite this title, and despite the respect I have for Craig as a scholar, I have to say that in my judgment he gets virtually all the evidence precisely wrong.

He focuses his counter-argument on two of my main points: the Roman practices of crucifixion and the character of Pontius Pilate in particular.  I will respond to all of his major claims – but if anyone wants me to respond to yet anything else in his essay when I’m done, just let me know and I’ll be happy to oblige.

When reading Craig’s response, I have to say that I was taken aback by the fact that he started to counter my views by quoting a passage from the Jewish philosopher from Alexandria,Egypt, Philo, in order to show that Romans had a “practice” (his term) of allowing bodies of crucified people to be given burials under “various circumstances.”  I was surprised because

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