The most important thing about this post is – that you need to read yesterday’s post!   Here I am including a section from my book How Jesus Became God that deals with the question of whether Jesus was actually given a decent burial by Joseph of Arimathea.  In my book I begin by doing a detailed analysis of the biblical accounts in order to show that Paul did not know of any such tradition and that it was probably not in circulation prior to the Gospels, and that even within the NT there are conflicting accounts of Jesus’ burial.  Then I get into more detailed historical argumentation.  Here is the first of two bits from this argumentation, straight from my book:



In addition to the rather general considerations I have just given for calling into question the idea that Jesus received a decent burial by Joseph of Arimathea, there are three more specific reasons for doubting the tradition that Jesus received a decent burial at all, in a tomb that could later be recognized as emptied.


Roman Practices of Crucifixion

Sometimes Christian apologists argue that Jesus had to be taken off the cross before sunset on Friday, because the next day was Sabbath and it was against Jewish Law, or at least Jewish sensitivities, to allow a person to remain on the cross during the Sabbath.   Unfortunately, the historical record suggests just the opposite.  It was not Jews who killed Jesus, and so they had no say about when he would be taken down from the cross.  Moreover, the Romans who did crucify him had no concern to obey Jewish Law, and virtually no concern about Jewish sensitivities.  Quite the contrary.  When it came to crucified criminals – in this case, someone charged with crimes against the state – there was regularly no mercy and no concern for anyone’s sensitivities.   The point of crucifixion was to torture and humiliate a person as fully as possible, and to show any bystanders what happens to someone who is a troublemaker in the eyes of Rome.  Part of the humiliation and degradation was being left on the cross after death, to be subject to the scavenging animals.

FOR THE REST OF THIS POST, go to your paid membership site.  If you don’t belong yet, YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE!!!

Membership Content Continues: