Today’s blog post will be about another hypothesis that some skeptics use to explain the eight historical facts that we have discussed previously on my youtube channel (if you haven’t checked that out, make sure you do, the link is here). The hypothesis today will be the idea that Jesus survived the crucifixion and didn’t actually die.
Like the previous posts, we will approach this hypothesis from two different perspectives, does it explain the 8 facts and is it probable.
Does this explain the 8 facts?
I feel that this hypothesis does explain, to a certain degree, the eight facts that we have discussed previously. Of course, there are limitations to the explanatory scope of this hypothesis, most notably the fact that Jesus would have had to lie about his resurrection, something which would go against everything he taught in his life.
Since Jesus didn’t die, it follows that he would know that he didn’t actually resurrect. This suggests that he would have told his disciples the truth, instead of lie to make it up.
Furthermore, it doesn’t explain a further fact, the ascension account, the idea that Jesus ascended into heaven. Even if Jesus didn’t die, it wouldn’t explain the supernatural occurrence of him ascending into heaven
Is it probable?
The real problem of this hypothesis is the fact that it is very improbable.
First of all, it is difficult for anyone to survive the crucifixion. This was the Roman way to execute criminals and they have become quite adept at carrying it out. This is recorded by Josephus where he recalls a time when he saw three of his friends being crucified. He went up to the Romans and asked them to take his friends down. Even after they took his friends down and sent them to a doctor, only one of the three survived. The rest were overcome by their ailments. (The Life Of Flavius Josephus, 75.) This is the only account that I am aware of which actually tells us that someone survived the crucifixion. Out of all the people who were crucified, only one person has survived. This means that the chances of surviving crucifixion, even with a doctor, is really small.
Secondly, Jesus was left in the tomb for three days. Not only was he buried there, he suffered from a spear wound after the Romans thought he was dead. According to a lot of online sources, one can last, at the most, for around three to four days without water before dying. On top of the wounds that he obtained from the cross, Jesus was dehydrated to the point of death within the tomb. The chances of someone surviving both these situations independently is already extremely small, let alone when suffered back to back.
Thirdly, the Roman soldiers were expert warriors. They were no slouches. Just as a good doctor can differentiate between a person with a sickness and those who are well, a soldier is adept at telling whether someone is alive or dead. For an army who built the Roman Empire, it is improbable that they would make a mistake about whether Jesus was alive or dead.
Therefore, due to these three reasons, it is clear that the chance of Jesus not dying is extremely small. If he did survive, it would be a miracle, and further evidence for the existence of a supernatural reality.
To conclude, it is very clear that this hypothesis is insufficient. I hope you enjoyed this entry, if you enjoyed this, you would enjoy my video on the same topic. Feel free to check it out, link is here.
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