I plan to make this the last post responding to Craig Evans’s article, “Getting the Burial Traditions and Evidences Right,” in which he attempts to refute my argument in How Jesus Became God, that Jesus was probably not given a decent burial on the day of his crucifixion. Several readers have asked me interesting questions about this or that thing that I’ve said, and I may try to answer these questions in a few days or, well, eventually; but for now, this will be my last post on it. It think maybe this thread has been more than enough!
I have dealt with a wide range of Craig’s arguments, and have saved his two strongest arguments for last. In my last post I dealt with the claim of Josephus that Jews (always? usually? sometimes?) buried crucifixion victims before sunset, and I showed that as a general statement it simply isn’t true, and argued that in any event it would not have applied to a case such as that of Jesus, one who was crucified as an enemy of the state. Today I deal with the second argument that had been seen by some readers to have a good deal force: an archaeological discovery of a crucified man. Once again, I do not think this provides Craig with the evidence that he wants and needs in order to make his case.
Let me first introduce what this evidence is. What follows is a very brief description of the discovery of the skeletal remains of Yehohanan, the crucified man.
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