Here is the third and final section of the paper that I read at the Life of Brian conference. The entire paper tried to argue that parody can be an effective historical method. By providing a caricature of a narrative or an alleged historical event, the film was able to highlight some very important historical realia that otherwise are too easy to miss, or that have not been given enough prominence by biblical scholars and historians.
This third part of my paper is the really controversial one (although part 2 raised some concerns as well!). Here is where I argue that Jesus was not given a decent burial, and I use the film to explain why.
I should say that in a few days I am going to be devoting a sustained thread to just this issue, of why I think the story of Joseph of Arimathea in the NT is legendary, that Jesus was almost certainly not given a decent burial on the day of his crucifixion. My thread will be a response to criticisms of that view, especially as made most systematically by Craig Evans in the response book How God Became Jesus. I will be conceding that Evans has made the best case possible that Jesus was buried decently; and I will be arguing that his case completely fails to convince. My posts will be written to explain why.
But before going there, we still have some Monty Python to cover! Be sure to watch the film clips at the appropriate spots, as they are crucial for my argument here.
One of the most significant parodies of the Life of Brian involves his crucifixion, but here I am not principally interested in always looking on the bright side of life or, in fact, any episode explicitly covered in the movie, either for Jesus or for Brian. I am instead interested in the question of whether a Jew crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem would have been given a decent burial.
There is a prescient but fleeting shot early in the movie, right after the famous stoning scene, when Brian and his mother are walking along outside the walls of Jerusalem.
Please watch video segment in the page as to remain in context with outline.