This is the second of my two posts from over three years ago that try to show that Pilate almost certainly would not have removed Jesus’ body from the cross on the afternoon of his death simply because not to do so would have been in violation of Jewish sensitivities. (NOTE: Pilate is not said to have done so for the other two who were crucified with Jesus. Are we to think he made an exception in Jesus’ case, since, after all, he was far more important?)
To make the best sense of this post it is important to keep in mind what I said in the previous one.
In his response to my views of in How Jesus Became God – that Jesus most likely was not given a decent burial on the day of his crucifixion by Joseph of Arimathea – Craig Evans has maintained, among other things, that Pilate was not the kind of governor who would ignore Jewish sensitivities. For Craig, Pilate started his rule by making a big mistake of bringing into Jerusalem the Roman standards that bore on them the image of the emperor. But once he realized that the Jewish populace was offended, he backed down and from then on he showed that he had learned his lesson. For that reason, Craig finds it “hard to believe” that at a later time Pilate would do something so opposed to Jewish custom as allow a body unburied on the day of a person’s death.
This view strikes me as extremely problematic, for several reasons. To start with, it flies in the face of…
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