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Origen

Debate: Did Jesus physically died upon the cross?

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Question: Did Jesus physically died upon the cross?

 

@Hakeem Alyazeedi Jesus did not physically die upon the cross.

@atpollard Jesus did physically die upon the cross.

 

The debate will consists of 3 rounds.

 

Hakeem you have 72 hours to make your first post.

 

No one is allow to post comments until the debate is finished.

 

Rules for Debates:

 

https://www.christforums.org/main/de...es-for-debates

Edited by Origen

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Dear all

 

First let me please thank you my debater and all readers.

 

In this debate, I submit to you that the accounts of Jesus trial in the Gospels prove that Jesus did not die at all. Such submission is proven by;

 

1. The nature of the Roman crucifixion.

2. The wine that Jesus took when on the cross

3. The actions and reactions of eyewitnesses to Jesus trial.

4. The actions and reactions of Jesus post his trial.

 

1. The nature of the Roman crucifixion.

 

After Jesus was declared dead in Mark 15:39, Joseph came requesting to take Jesus body and according to Mark 15:44 Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus died. Not only Pilate was surprised, Pilate also doubted the news of his alleged death as Pilate asked for confirmation IF he died. This is also according to Mark 15:44.

 

So why did Pilate have such surprise and doubt? The answer is that typical crucifxion lasts for three days whereas Jesus was only for 9 hours before declared dead and taken down;

 

"it was not common for persons crucified to expire under two or three days, sometimes not until the sixth or seventh" according to Barnes' Notes on the Bible at biblehub.com on Mark 15:44.

 

"for death, by crucifixion, was a slow lingering death; persons that were in their full strength hung a great while before they expired" according to Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible.

 

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges states when commenting on Mark 15:44 "Death by crucifixion did not generally supervene even for three days, and thirty-six hours is said to be the earliest period when it would be thus brought about."

 

1.2) it is worthnoticing that overall Jesus had a typical roman trial because his crossmates were alive until their legs were broken.

 

Given the aforementioned, had Jesus been dead, Pilate would not have been surprised and doubted the news of his alleged death. Also, had Jesus been dead, the greek word used always to describe dead body (PTOMA) should have been used. Hence, it only makes sense that Jesus did not die at all.

 

Even Mark 15:45 mentions the fact that the confirmation was made but does not tell us what was the confirmation. Still, the actions and reactions of Jesus post his trial and eyewitnesses prove Jesus did not die at all.

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@Hakeem Alyazeedi thank you.

 

@atpollard it is now your turn.

 

A time limit of 72 hours has been set for each person to respond but we will be lenient because of hurricane Irma.

 

No one is allow to post comments until the debate is finished.

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It is a pleasure and an honor to participate in this debate. I only hope that I can do justice to the case of my Lord and his death, burial and resurrection that is the core of our hope and faith.

 

My opponent has laid out four categories of evidence from the Gospels that he believes indicate that Jesus did not die:

 

1. The nature of the Roman crucifixion.

2. The wine that Jesus took when on the cross

3. The actions and reactions of eyewitnesses to Jesus trial.

4. The actions and reactions of Jesus post his trial.

 

 

Since he has focused on the first point, 'The nature of the Roman crucifixion', I am content to focus on the first point as well.

 

1. The nature of the Roman crucifixion:

Few things have greater historical certainty than that Christ actually died on the cross.

 

My opponent has expressed some concern over the fact that Jesus died so quickly after being nailed to the cross. Barnes stated "It was not common for persons crucified to expire under two or three days". Gills stated "persons that were in their full strength hung a great while before they expired". Cambridge Bible Notes stated "thirty-six hours is said to be the earliest period when it would be thus brought about."

 

Let's start by examining the facts surrounding crucifixion in general and Jesus' crucifixion in particular in greater detail. Most of what follows of a medical nature is from William D. Edwards, MD, Department of Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, ("On The Physical Death of Jesus Christ", JAMA, March 21, 1986 – Vol 255, No. 11).

 

Gills describes "persons that were in there full strength", and my opponent points to the two others crucified along side Jesus and implies that Jesus was as strong as they. However, looking at the Gospels, is that really true?

 

 

Jesus' time leading up to the Crucifixion:

 

A. The Feast:

Jesus spent the day before his crucifixion preparing for a last great feast with his disciples.

Matthew 26:17-20 NASB

Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’” The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover. Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.

 

Mark 14:12, 17 NASB

12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

17 When it was evening He came with the twelve.

 

Luke 22:7-14 NASB

7 Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.” 9 They said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare it?” 10 And He said to them, “When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters. 11 And you shall say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 12 And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there.” 13 And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. 14 When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him.

 

John 13:1 NASB

1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

 

 

 

B. The Garden

Jesus spent the night before his crucifixion awake in prayer.

Matthew 26:36,46-47 NASB

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

46 Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”
47 While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people.

 

Mark 14:32, 42-43 NASB

32 They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.”

42 Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!” 43 Immediately while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who were from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

 

Luke 22:39-41 NASB

39 And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. 40 When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray,

 

John 18:1 NASB

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples.

 

 

 

C. Jesus Beaten by the Priests:

Jesus was arrested, tried in the pre-dawn hours and beaten by the Jewish Priests on the day of his crucifixion.

Matthew 26:63-68 NASB

But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!” Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?”

 

Mark 14:62-65 NASB

And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers received Him with slaps in the face.

 

Luke 22:63-65 NASB

Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him and beating Him, and they blindfolded Him and were asking Him, saying, “Prophesy, who is the one who hit You?” And they were saying many other things against Him, blaspheming.

 

John 18:20-22 NASB

Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.” When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?”

 

 

 

D. Jesus Tried by Pilate, Herod and Pilate ... and finally Whipped by the Romans:

Jesus spent most of the morning of his crucifixion being interrogated and dragged from one trial to another with a few minor beatings along the way. Following his trials, Jesus was flogged and then beaten and mocked by the Roman Soldiers prior to his being led off for crucifixion.

"Flogging was a legal preliminary to every Roman execution, and only women and Roman senators or soldiers (except in cases of desertion) were exempt. The usual instrument was a short whip with several single or braided leather thongs of variable lengths, in which small iron balls or sharp pieces of sheep bones were tied at intervals. For scourging, the man was stripped of his clothing, and his hands were tied to an upright post. The back, buttocks, and legs were flogged either by two soldiers (lictors) or by one who alternated positions. The severity of the scourging depended on the disposition of the lictors and was intended to weaken the victim to a state just short of collapse or death. As the Roman soldiers repeatedly struck the victim’s back with full force, the iron balls would cause deep contusions, and the leather thongs and sheep bones would cut into the skin and subcutaneous tissues. Then, as the flogging continued, the lacerations would tear into the underlying skeletal muscles and produce quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh. Pain and blood loss generally set the stage for circulatory shock.
The extent of blood loss may well have determined how long the victim would survive on the cross.
After the scourging, the soldiers often taunted their victim."
(Edwards)

 

 

While the four Gospels do not explicitly discuss the severity of the scourging, a detailed word study of the original Greek in one of the letters by a disciple of Jesus (1 Peter 2:24) strongly implies the scourging of Jesus was particularly harsh.

 

Note Edwards' comment "The extent of blood loss may well have determined how long the victim would survive on the cross." which offers some insight on the 'typical' crucifixion comments of Barnes and Gills and how Jesus' crucifixion may have been atypical.

Matthew 27:24-26 NASB

When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

 

Mark 15:15 NASB

Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

 

Luke 23:13-16 NASB

Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”

 

John 19:1 NASB

Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him.

 

 

 

E. Jesus Beaten by the Roman Soldiers:

The treatment with the crown of thorns and the robe were not typical for soon to be crucified criminals and may signify especially harsh treatment towards the 'king' of the hated Jews by the Roman soldiers. At a minimum, removing the cloak would have caused pain and bleeding above and beyond the typical crucifixion victim.

"At the Praetorium, Jesus was severely whipped. It is not known whether the number of lashes was limited to 39, in accordance with Jewish law. The Roman soldiers, amused that this weakened man had claimed to be a king, began to mock him by placing a robe on his shoulders, a crown of thorns on his head, and a wooden staff as a scepter in his right hand. Next, they spat on Jesus and struck him on the head with the wooden staff. Moreover, when the soldiers tore the robe from Jesus’ back, they probably reopened the scourging wounds.
The severe scourging, with its intense pain and appreciable blood loss, most probably left Jesus in a preshock state. Moreover, bleeding from the skin particularly from the capillaries around the sweat glands from severe stress had rendered his skin particularly tender. The physical and mental abuse meted out by the Jews and the Romans, as well as the lack of food, water, and sleep, also contributed to his generally weakened state. Therefore, even before the actual crucifixion, Jesus’ physical condition was at least serious and possibly critical."
(Edwards)

 

Matthew 27:27-31 NASB

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.

 

Mark 15:16-20 NASB

The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort. They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; and they began to acclaim Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.

 

Luke 23:6-11 NASB

When Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was in Jerusalem at that time. Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him. And he questioned Him at some length; but He answered him nothing. And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently. And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate.

 

John 19:2-3 NASB

And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face.

 

 

 

F. Jesus' Trip to Golgotha:

After a scourging, a man to be crucified was forced to march in a parade, led by a centurion on horseback and a herald who shouted the crime of the condemned. This was Rome’s way of advertising a crucifixion, and to make the people afraid of offending Rome.

 

Jesus began his trip to be crucified being LED by the soldiers and bearing his own cross, like any other crucifixion victim, including the two with him.

Matthew 27:31 NASB

After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.

 

Mark 15:20 NASB

After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.

 

Luke 23:26, 32 NASB

23 When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

32 Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.

 

John 19:17 NASB

They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.

 

 

 

Along the way, they were forced to compel Simon to carry Jesus' cross.

"It was the custom of the Romans to make the condemned criminal bear the cross, but in this case Jesus was simply too weak to carry it. They preferred to keep the victim alive until he was crucified, because a public crucifixion was good advertisement for Rome. When Jesus fell under the weight of the cross, no Roman would help Him carry it. The centurion had the right to compel a local Jew to help carry it, but such an outrage might lead to uproar or riot. The best solution was to make a stranger carry the cross, so they found a foreigner (Simon from Cyrene in North Africa) to help Him." (David Guzik)

 

Matthew 27:32 NASB

As they were coming out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon, whom they pressed into service to bear His cross.

 

Mark 15:21 NASB

They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.

 

Luke 23:26 NASB

When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

 

 

 

Jesus arrived at Golgotha being BROUGHT by the soldiers.

"It would appear that Jesus was so weak through the strain of the last few days, and the scourging, that he was unable to walk, not to speak of carrying His cross. He had to be borne as the sick were borne to Him (Mark 1:32).” (Bruce)

 

“These two words are just a little window on the supreme physical exhaustion of the Saviour in this the greatest hour of His agony. You see, when He left the Praetorium they were leading Him; when they came to Golgotha they were bearing Him.” (Morrison)

 

Mark 15:22 NASB

Then they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.

 

 

A small background detail: An entire cross weighs about 300 pounds, but the victim was required to carry only the 75 to 125 pound crossbar. From this we can infer that Jesus was able to carry at least 75 pounds at the start of his forced march, but unable to carry it (or even walk on his own) by the end of the march. We have no reason to believe that the other two victims were unable to carry their 75+ pound cross the full distance.

 

 

 

Jesus' Crucifixion:

The Gospels offer few details on crucifixion since few were needed by people all too familiar with a Roman crucifixion.

Matthew 27:35 NASB

And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots.

 

Mark 15:24 NASB

And they crucified Him, and divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take.

 

Luke 23:33 NASB

When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.

 

John 19:18 NASB

There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.

 

 

For us, a better understanding of the process and mechanics of crucifixion would be of benefit:

"Although the Romans did not invent crucifixion, they perfected it as a form of torture and capital punishment that was designed to produce a slow death with maximum pain and suffering." (Edwards)

 

"The processional to the site of crucifixion was led by a complete Roman military guard, headed by a centurion. One of the soldiers carried a sign on which the condemned man’s name and crime were displayed. Later, the sign would be attached to the top of the cross. The Roman guard would not leave the victim until they were sure of his death." (Edwards)

 

"Outside the city walls was permanently located the heavy upright wooden post, on which the crossbar would be secured. To prolong the crucifixion process, a horizontal wooden block or plank, serving as a crude seat, often was attached midway down the post." (Edwards)

 

"At the site of execution, by law, the victim was given a bitter drink of wine mixed with myrrh (gall) as a mild pain reliever. The criminal was then thrown to the ground on his back, with his arms outstretched along the crossbar. The hands could be nailed or tied to the crossbar, but nailing apparently was preferred by the Romans. The nails were tapered iron spikes approximately 5 to 7 in (13 to 18 cm) long with a square shaft 3/8 in (1 cm) across. The nails commonly were driven through the wrists rather than the palms." (Edwards)

 

"After both arms were fixed to the crossbar, the crossbar and the victim, together, were lifted onto the post. Next, the feet were fixed to the cross, either by nails or ropes. Nailing was the preferred Roman practice. Although the feet could be fixed to the sides of the post or to a wooden footrest, they usually were nailed directly to the front of the post. To accomplish this, flexion of the knees may have been quite prominent, and the bent legs may have been rotated outward." (Edwards)

 

"When the nailing was completed, the sign was attached to the cross, by nails or cords, just above the victim’s head. The soldiers and the civilian crowd often taunted and jeered the condemned man, and the soldiers customarily divided up his clothes among themselves. The length of survival generally ranged from three or four hours to three or four days and appears to have been inversely related to the severity of the scourging. However, even if the scourging had been relatively mild, the Roman soldiers could hasten death by breaking the legs below the knees." (Edwards)

 

 

 

A. Death by Crucifixion, the Scourging:

"With a knowledge of both anatomy and ancient crucifixion practices, one may reconstruct the probable medical aspects of this form of slow execution. Each wound apparently was intended to produce intense agony, and the contributing causes of death were numerous." (Edwards)

 

"The scourging prior to crucifixion served to weaken the condemned man and, if blood loss was considerable, to produce conditions leading to a severe drop in blood pressure, fainting, and even organ failure. When the victim was thrown to the ground on his back, in preparation for transfixion of his hands, his scourging wounds most likely would become torn open again and contaminated with dirt. Furthermore, with each respiration, the painful scourging wounds would be scraped against the rough wood of the post. As a result, blood loss from the back probably would continue throughout the crucifixion ordeal." (Edwards)

 

 

 

B. Death by Crucifixion, the Nails:

"It has been shown that the dense fibrous tissue connecting the bones together, and bones of the wrist, can support the weight of a body hanging from them, but the palms cannot. Accordingly, the iron spikes probably were driven between the radius, the heavier of the two forearm bones, and the carpals, the eight wrist bones. Another probability for placement of the spikes could be between the row of carpal bones nearest the radius, or through the strong fibrous band-like tissue that covers the carpals, which forms a tunnel for the various fibrous bands connecting the eight carpal bones. The nail driven at this location would crush or sever the rather large median nerve. This nerve provides sensation and movement, particularly to the 2nd and 3rd fingers. Damage to the median nerve results in a contracture or a claw-like deformity of the hand. The damaged nerve would also produce excruciating bolts of fiery pain in both arms." (Edwards)

 

"It is likely that the deep peroneal nerve, extending to the front of the ankle, and branches of the medial and lateral plantar nerves, would have been injured by the nails driven through the feet. Although scourging may have resulted in considerable blood loss, crucifixion per se was a relatively bloodless procedure, since no major arteries, other than perhaps the deep plantar arch, a confluence of arteries in the foot, pass through the favored anatomic sites of transfixion." (Edwards)

 

 

 

C. Death by Crucifixion, Breathing:

"The crucial effect of crucifixion, beyond the excruciating pain, was a marked interference with normal respiration, particularly exhalation. The weight of the body, pulling down on the outstretched arms and shoulders, would tend to fix the chest muscles used for breathing in an inhalation state and thereby hinder passive exhalation. Accordingly, exhalation would require using the abdominal muscles rather than the chest muscles, and breathing would be shallow. It is likely that this form of respiration would not suffice and that a high level of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream would soon result. The onset of muscle cramps or tetanic contractions, due to fatigue and the high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, would hinder respiration even further." (Edwards)

 

"Adequate exhalation required lifting the body by pushing up on the feet and by flexing the elbows and pulling the shoulders inward. However, this maneuver would place the entire weight of the body on the bones in the feet, and would produce searing pain. Furthermore, flexion, or bending of the elbows would cause rotation of the wrists about the iron nails and cause fiery pain along the damaged median nerves. Lifting of the body would also painfully scrape the scourged back against the rough wooden post. Muscle cramps and loss of feeling in both the outstretched and uplifted arms would add to the discomfort. As a result, each respiratory effort would become agonizing and tiring, further reducing the oxygen levels in the blood, and lead eventually to asphyxia." (Edwards)

 

 

 

 

Jesus' Death:

The Gospels offer agreement on the fact of Jesus' death.

Matthew 27:50 NASB
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice,
and yielded up His spirit.

 

Mark 15:37 NASB
And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and
breathed His last
.

 

Luke 23:46 NASB
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this,
He breathed His las
t.

 

John 19:30 NASB
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head
and gave up His spirit.

 

 

 

A. Proof of Death 1 ... Asphyxiation:

From what we now know of crucifixion, identifying when a victim has died, or merely fainted is no great mystery. To survive, a person must breathe. To breathe, the victim must lift himself at great agony with each breath. When the victim can no longer lift themselves, they can no longer breathe. That is how breaking the legs hastens death, by speeding up the exhaustion that leads to suffocation. When Jesus "breathed His last", everyone watching knew that Jesus was dead. Modern science knows that he had at most a few minutes before brain death set in.

 

My wife is a Hospice Nurse and shared a common saying in her profession: "They are not dead, until they are cold and dead." As an experienced Nurse, she has seen enough people die to know how to be 'sure' before telling the family. A Roman Centurion, who has also seen lots of people die on a cross and whose survival depends on making sure that they are dead, probably had a similar standard of certainty before reporting that a prisoner was dead.

John 19:31-33 NASB

Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

 

 

The professional Roman executioners pronounced Jesus dead. They were so convinced that Jesus was dead that they did not break His legs to speed death by preventing Him from lifting himself to breathe. Jesus stopped breathing on the cross. Jesus WAS dead.

 

 

B. Proof of Death 2 ... Stabbed in the Chest:

 

The piercing of Jesus’ side with the spear is proof that He had physically died before the piercing (John 19:34). The Bible records that blood and water came out of Jesus’ side, which is medical proof that a person has already died.

John 19:33-37 NASB

but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN.” And again another Scripture says, “THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED.”

 

 

J. Warner Wallace is a homicide detective who continues to consult on cold-case investigations, while also being a popular national speaker and best-selling author. In his investigation of the crucifixion he explains that while dying on the cross was almost always an arduous affair, spanning days, yet Jesus only hung on the cross for hours, hidden science in Scripture proves Jesus did die on the cross:

“We have modern day crucifixions, we have the science of crucifixion, and we know that you don’t die usually of blood loss, you die of exhaustion because you can’t hold yourself up to take a breath anymore.” ... “It’s that passage in the Gospel of John where Jesus is stabbed with the spear and out of His body comes a separation of blood and water. What is the water?” ... “Every early Christian who wrote about that passage, the church fathers, had no idea what the water was. As a matter of fact, they refused to call it water. Every time an early church father writes about that passage, he refers to it as an analogy, metaphor, or a symbol.” (Wallace)

 

 

However, it is this very fact of water coming from Jesus that provides the modern scientific proof that Jesus had already died of cardiac arrest.

“He dies on that cross and we know He suffers cardiac arrest and dies because He’s suffering from now what’s called pleural effusion, where water collects in your chest cavity, in your lungs. If you do stab a lung that has water in it, you will see the separation of blood and water, but you don’t get there unless you’ve already died on that cross.” (Wallace)

"Although the side of the wound was not designated by John, it traditionally has been depicted on the right side. Supporting this tradition is the fact that a large flow of blood would be more likely with a perforation of the heart near the distended and thin-walled right atrium or ventricle than the thick-walled and contracted left ventricle. Although the side of the wound may never be established with certainty, the right seems more probable than the left. The water probably represented fluid draining from the tissues lining the lung and heart and would have preceded the flow of blood and been smaller in volume than the blood. Perhaps in the setting of low blood volume and impending acute heart failure, lung and heart tissue drainage due to cellular imbalances may have developed and would have added to the volume of apparent water. The blood, in contrast, may have originated from the right atrium or the right ventricle or perhaps from a collection of blood from the lining around the heart." (Edwards)

 

"Jesus’ death after only three to six hours on the cross surprised even Pontius Pilate. The fact that Jesus cried out in a loud voice and then bowed his head and died suggests the possibility of a catastrophic terminal event." (Edwards)

 

"The actual cause of Jesus’ death, like that of other crucified victims, may have been multifactorial and related primarily to shock from low blood volume, exhaustion asphyxia, and perhaps acute heart failure. A fatal cardiac arrhythmia may have accounted for the apparent catastrophic terminal event." (Edwards)

 

"Clearly, the weight of historical and medical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead before the wound to his side was inflicted and supports the traditional view that the spear, thrust between his right ribs, probably perforated not only the right lung but also the pericardium and heart and thereby ensured his death.
"
(Edwards)

 

 

 

C. Confirmation of Death:

My opponent has expressed some concern with Mark 15:44-45.

Mark 15:42-45 NASB

When evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead. And ascertaining this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.

 

 

He appears concerned with

1. That Pilate questioned whether Jesus had died already (so soon)

2 The lack of explanation for how the Centurion could be certain Jesus was dead

3. The use of the word "body" (soma) rather than "corpse" (ptoma).

 

I wish to lay his concerns to rest.

 

C1. Pilate Questioning the Death

From our discussion above, we know that it was typical to leave the corpse to be devoured by animals. We also know that the family could be allowed to bury it with the permission of the judge. We also know that death by Crucifixion is a highly variable event, sometimes lasting hours and sometimes lasting days. Given Jesus prior claim that he was going to rise from the dead and the warning that his followers might steal his body that prompts the guards on his tomb, Pilate may simply have been seeking to confirm that what you propose (Jesus was not really dead) was not happening. In any event, Pilate did question whether Jesus was dead yet and Pilate did receive confirmation of Jesus death. That is the more significant point.

 

C2. Centurion Confirms Jesus' Death

There is no detail on how the Centurion "knew" Jesus was dead because from what we now know of a Roman crucifixion, no explanation was necessary. The Centurion never left the prisoner until he was sure that he was dead. The prisoner had stopped breathing (a clearly visible event with crucifixion) long enough to be certain that he was dead. Per standard practice, Jesus was stabbed in the heart with a spear 'just in case' and his death was confirmed by the water and blood flowing out. A Centurion who had crucified many men, knew dead when he saw it and could simply provide a claim of absolute certainty that Jesus was dead. His professional opinion was good enough for Pilate to settle the matter in his mind and allow Pilate to release the body.

 

C3. Soma vs Ptoma

Mark 15:43
Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the
body
(soma) of Jesus.

 

Mark 15:45
And ascertaining this from the centurion, he granted the
body
(ptoma) to Joseph.

 

 

There is a common misunderstanding that 'soma' only applies to living bodies and 'ptoma' is the word for a corpse. However, this is simply not true. First some reliable definitions:

(Strong's G4983) σῶμα sōma, so'-mah; the body (as a sound whole), used in a very wide application, literally or figuratively:—bodily, body, slave.

 

(Strong's G4430) πτῶμα ptōma, pto'-mah; a ruin, i.e. (specially), lifeless body (corpse, carrion):—dead body, carcase, corpse.

 

 

Now let's look at some other verses that use the word 'soma' (G4983) and see if it can be used for a dead body as well as a living body:

Matthew 10:28
Do not fear those who kill the
body
(G4983) but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and
body
(G4983) in hell."

Matthew 27:52
The tombs were opened, and many
bodies
(G4983) of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

Luke 17:37
And answering they said to Him, “Where, Lord?” And He said to them, “Where the
body
(
G4983)
is, there also the vultures will be gathered.”

John 19:31
Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the
bodies
(
G4983)
would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Acts 9:36-40
Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did. And it happened at that time that she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her body, they laid it in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, having heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him, imploring him, “Do not delay in coming to us.” So Peter arose and went with them. When he arrived, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them. But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the
body
(G4983), he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.

 

 

So there are many uses for the word 'body' (soma), and the ones that I have chosen to point out include killing bodies, bodies of the dead placed in tombs, bodies that attract vultures, crucified bodies left hanging on a cross, and the body of a woman who died.

 

In English, saying "the corpse is stored in the morgue and the coroner must sign the papers to release the body to the family" does not imply that we expect the body to stop being dead when the coroner releases it. In this case, the Greek 'soma' and 'ptoma' work the same way. Joseph wants to bury a dead body, not trick the Romans.

 

 

D. Proof of Death 3 ... Burial:

Frankly, even if Jesus had somehow achieved the impossibility of surviving bleeding out from the beating, not breathing, and a spear through the heart, his preparation for burial would have killed him.

Matthew 27:59-60 NASB
And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

 

Mark 15:46 NASB
Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.

 

Luke 23:53 NASB
And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain.

 

John 19:38-42 NASB
After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

 

 

They did not drape a sheet over the body and call it done. According to the details provided by John's Gospel, which agree with Jewish burial customs, Jesus was wrapped in 75-100 pounds of cloth and spices and placed in a sealed tomb for three days. Even if Jesus had not been crucified, he would have died in the tomb from lack of food, water and medical treatment.

 

 

Conclusion:

So what do we really know, rather than wildly speculate about, at this point:

1. Jesus could not have survived crucifixion since Roman procedures were carefully designed to eliminate that possibility. Roman law laid a death penalty on any soldier who let a capital prisoner escape. Prisoners never escaped or survived.

 

2. The Roman soldier did not break the legs of Jesus to hasten Jesus' death like he hastened the other prisoners death. The soldier, an expert in crucifixion, was sure that Jesus was dead.

 

3. John, an eyewitness, saw blood and water come from Jesus' pierced heart which any medical expert can confirm shows that Jesus' lungs had collapsed and he had died of asphyxiation.

 

4. Jesus was totally encased in cloth and entombed.

 

 

As I stated at the beginning, few things have greater historical certainty than that Christ actually died on the cross.

Edited by atpollard
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2. The wine that Jesus took when on the cross;

 

What makes Jesus look dead but not dead is the wine he took. In John 19:29-30, Jesus was given drink and he drank it. The reason why Jesus was given drink, which he took it according to John 19:30, is (i) to relieve Jesus from pain and (2) to make him lose consciousness according to the Jewish Encyclopedia under the Article "Crucifixion" which states the following;

 

"The details given in the New Testament accounts (Matt. xxvii. and parallels) of the crucifixion of Jesus agree on the whole with the procedure in vogue under Roman law. Two modifications are worthy of note: (1) In order to make him insensible to pain, a drink (ὁξος, Matt. xxvii. 34, 48; John xix. 29) was given him. This was in accordance with the humane Jewish provision (see Maimonides, "Yad," Sanh. xiii. 2; Sanh. 43a). The beverage was a mixture of myrrh () and wine, given "so that the delinquent might lose clear consciousness through the ensuing intoxication." (2) Contrary to the Roman practise of leaving the body on the cross, that of Jesus was removed and buried, the latter act in keeping with Jewish law and custom."

 

In support of the above reasoning for giving Jesus drink is found on John 19:29 Bible commentaries. For instance, Pulpit Commentary on John 19:29 states that there was set there a vessel full of vinegar, probably for the use of the soldiers, and occasionally offered to the sufferers to soothe a part of their torment.

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@atpollard you 72 hours to respond.

 

No one is allow to post comments until the debate is finished.

Edited by Origen

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2. The wine that Jesus took when on the cross

 

What must be clearly understood is that Jesus was offered two different 'wines' at two different times. The first 'wine' was offered before he was nailed to the cross and the second 'wine' was offered just before he died on the cross. Each was a very different drink for a very different purpose. Let us examine the events in greater detail.

 

 

2a. Jesus Refuses the First Bowl of Wine

Note that the following verses refer to an offer of 'wine' to drink BEFORE Jesus was crucified and they cast lots for his clothes.

Matthew 27:33-35 NASB

And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull,
they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.
And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots.

 

Mark 15:22-24 NASB

Then they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.
They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it.
And they crucified Him, and divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take.

 

 

 

 

First, let's examine some words.

gall (Strong's G5521) χολή cholḗ, khol-ay'; feminine of an equivalent perhaps akin to the same as 5514 (from the greenish hue); "gall" or bile, i.e. (by analogy) poison or an anodyne (wormwood, poppy, etc.):—gall. [Matthew 27:34]. Old Testament verses (Lamentations 3:5, 3:19, Jeremiah 8:14, 9:15, 23:15) translated into Greek use this word for something that tastes bitter and is (many times) poisonous.

 

myrrh (Strong's G4669) σμυρνίζω smyrnízō, smoor-nid'-zo; from G4667; to tincture with myrrh, i.e. embitter (as a narcotic):—mingle with myrrh. [Mark 15:23]

 

wine (Strong's G3631) οἶνος oînos, oy'-nos; a primary word (or perhaps of Hebrew origin (H3196)); "wine" (literally or figuratively):—wine. [Matthew 27:34, Mark 15:23]

 

 

 

 

Now a quick chemistry lesson that any high school chemistry teacher can confirm for you. Almost all poisons have a 'bitter' flavor and almost all acids have a 'sour' flavor. This will be important in a moment. Before then, we will examine what some commentaries have to offer on this 'wine mixed with gall' and 'wine mixed with myrrh'.

"According to an old tradition, respected women of Jerusalem provided a narcotic drink to those condemned to death in order to decrease their sensitivity to the excruciating pain... This human practice was begun in response to the biblical injunction of Proverbs 31:6-7: ‘Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more.' . . . . When Jesus arrived at Golgotha he was offered . . . wine mixed with myrrh, but he refused it, choosing to endure with full consciousness the sufferings appointed for him" (William Lane, The Gospel of Mark, p. 564)

 

“The local sour wine was ‘laced’ with myrrh; this would give it a bitter taste, but a soporific effect. Thus is explained the reference to ‘gall’... He would not take any anaesthetic; all His faculties must be unclouded for what lay before Him.” (Cole)

 

(34) Vinegar to drink mingled with gall.—In Mark 15:23, “wine mingled with myrrh.” The animal secretion known as “gall” is clearly out of the question, and the meaning of the word is determined by its use in the Greek version of the Old Testament, where it stands for the “wormwood” of Proverbs 5:4, for the poisonous herb joined with “wormwood” in Deuteronomy 29:18.
It was clearly something at once nauseous and narcotic, given by the merciful to dull the pain of execution, and mixed with the sour wine of the country and with myrrh to make it drinkable. It may have been hemlock, or even poppy-juice, but there are no materials for deciding
. It is probable that the offer came from the more pitiful of the women mentioned by St. Luke (Luke 23:27) as following our Lord and lamenting. Such acts were among the received “works of mercy” of the time and place. The “tasting” implied a recognition of the kindly purpose of the act, but a recognition only. In the refusal to do more than taste we trace the resolute purpose to drink the cup which His Father had given Him to the last drop, and not to dull either the sense of suffering nor the clearness of His communion with His Father with the slumberous potion.
The same draught was, we may believe, offered to the two criminals who were crucified with Him.
(Ellicott's Commentary on Matthew)

 

They gave him vinegar ... - Mark says that, "they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh." The two evangelists mean the same thing. Vinegar was made of light wine rendered acid, and was the common drink of the Roman soldiers, and this might be called either vinegar or wine in common language. "Myrrh" is a bitter substance produced in Arabia, but is used often to denote anything bitter. The meaning of the name is "bitterness." See the notes at Matthew 2:11. "Gall" is properly a bitter secretion from the liver, but the word is also used to denote anything exceedingly "bitter," as wormwood, etc. The drink, therefore, was vinegar or sour wine, rendered "bitter" by the infusion of wormwood or some other very bitter substance. The effect of this, it is said, was to stupefy the senses. It was often given to those who were crucified, to render them insensible to the pains of death. Our Lord, knowing this, when he bad tasted it refused to drink. He was unwilling to blunt the pains of dying. The "cup" which his "Father" gave him he rather chose to drink. He came to suffer. His sorrows were necessary for the work of the atonement, and he gave himself up to the unmitigated sufferings of the cross. This was presented to him in the early part of his sufferings, or when he was about to be suspended on the cross. "Afterward," when he was on the cross and just before his death, vinegar was offered to him "without the myrrh" - the vinegar which the soldiers usually drank - and of this he drank. See Matthew 27:49, and John 19:28-30 When Matthew and Mark say that he "would not drink," they refer to a different thing and a different time from John, and there is no contradiction. (Barnes Notes on Matthew)

 

 

 

So what can we know as a reasonably certain fact from these verses and the commentaries? We know that before Jesus was nailed to the cross, he was offered WINE (oinos) mixed with something 'bitter' (the Greek words used for both 'gall' and 'myrrh' refer to bitter substances in general). We know that Jesus did not drink it.

 

Beyond what we know as a fact, there are several things that are quite likely. The 'bitter' taste probably came from a poison of some type given as a narcotic to ease suffering. Jesus probably recognized that the 'bitter' wine was drugged and that was why he refused to drink. The other two criminals were probably also offered some of the drugged wine to ease their suffering.

 

From these facts and reasonable assumptions, we can make several speculations. Jesus likely refused the numbing narcotic because he desired to maintain a clear head throughout his crucifixion. Scripture tells us that Jesus was not there by accident, so he still had work to do on the cross. Since Jesus refused the drugged wine that the other prisoners likely drank, this harkens back to the discussion of why Jesus died sooner: Jesus did suffer more than the two other men crucified with him.

 

 

2b. Jesus Drinks Wine from a Sponge

Note that the following verses refer to Jesus being offered wine on a sponge AFTER he has been crucified and just before he dies.

Matthew 27:45-50 NASB

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, “This man is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink.
But the rest of them said, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

 

Mark 15:34-37 NASB

At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” which is translated, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, “Behold, He is calling for Elijah.”
Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink
, saying, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down.”
And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last.

 

Luke 23:35-37 NASB

And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him,
offering Him sour wine
, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”

 

Luke 23:46 NASB
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this, He breathed His last.

 

John 19:28-30 NASB

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there;
so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon
a branch of
hyssop and brought it up to His mouth.
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

 

 

 

 

Time to examine one more word:

sour wine (Strong's G3690) ὄξος óxos, oz-os; from G3691; vinegar, i.e. sour wine:—vinegar. [Matthew 27:48, Mark 15:36, Luke 23:36, John 19:29-30]

 

 

 

 

At the risk of stating the obvious, sour wine (oxos) is not the same word as wine (oinos). So why did Matthew and Mark use both words? What is the difference between the first wine and the second? Let's take a closer look, starting with the commentaries.

"
A sour wine vinegar is mentioned in the OT as a refreshing drink
(Numbers 6:13; Ruth 2:14),
and in Greek and Roman literature as well it is a common beverage appreciated by laborers and soldiers because it relieved thirst more effectively than water
and was inexpensive . . . . There are no examples of its use as a hostile gesture. The thought, then, is not of a corrosive vinegar offered as a cruel jest, but of a sour wine of the people. While the words “let us see if Elijah will come” express a doubtful expectation,
the offer of the sip of wine was intended to keep Jesus conscious for as long as possible
” (William Lane, The Gospel of Mark, pp. 573–574).

 

“It is, of course, not to be confused with the drugged wine, the ‘wine mingled with myrrh’ of Mark 15:23, which Jesus refused,
but was the wine take to the cross by the soldiers for their own refreshment during what normally was a long time of waiting.
” (Tasker)

 

“The
vinegar
was the sour wine not only of the soldier’s ration, but of everyday use
... This is apparently quite a different occasion from the official offering of the drugged wine in verse 23.” (Cole)

 

 

 

 

So what can we know as a reasonably certain fact from these verses and the commentaries? The second wine was different from the first wine. Jesus drank the second wine (and did not drink the first wine).

 

Moving from what we know to reasonable assumptions, we can infer that the second (sour) wine was given to keep him “conscious for as long as possible”. Remember our discussions of chemistry. Bitter wine means it was poisoned with a narcotic, but sour wine means it has become acidic ... the common name for acidic wine is 'vinegar'. So the 'sour wine' offered to Jesus was simply a wine that had begun to turn to vinegar. The second, 'sour wine', would have been distinctly different in taste and smell from the 'bitter wine'. Jesus could taste the difference.

 

Time to speculate on why Jesus drank the second drink. A significant side effect of crucifixion is a powerful thirst due to the loss of body fluids. David prophesied this event in Psalm 69:21 when he wrote "They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink". From John 19:28 we know that Jesus was conscious of fulfilling scripture. So Jesus was near death, yet he needed to say his final words, so he accepted the vinegar-wine to provide moisture to his parched lips and throat.

 

 

2c. Why did Jesus do all of this?

 

So one final question ... WHY?

Not 'why did he choose to die?', which is a great question for another day. Why would Jesus refuse a drug that could reduce the pain? Rather than offering my personal speculation, I will offer a quote by someone that I respect:

“Was it out of any love to suffering that he thus refused the wine-cup? Ah, no; Christ had no love of suffering. He had a love of souls, but like us he turned away from suffering, he never loved it... Why, then, did he suffer? For two reasons: because this suffering to the utmost was necessary to the completion of the atonement, which saves to the utmost; and because this suffering to the utmost was necessary to perfect his character as ‘a merciful High Priest’ who has to compassionate souls that have gone to the utmost of miseries themselves; that he might know how to succor them that are tempted.” (Charles H. Spurgeon)

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusions:

 

When all of the dust settles, here are the facts:

1. Jesus was offered a drugged wine, that he refused to drink.

2. Jesus was offered a non-drugged wine that he did drink immediately before he died.

3. The Romans were familiar with offering drugs to victims and would have known of their effects when determining that a prisoner had died.

 

 

 

 

So just for the sake of argument, let's say that someone managed to slip a drug to Jesus in the Soldier’s wine. Is there some modern drug that will allow a man to survive without breathing? Having a spear shoved into their lung and heart? Bleeding out in a tomb for three days with no food, water or medical care?

 

Since there is no modern magic drug that can do this, the idea that there is an ancient magic drug that can do this is an implausibility.

 

The evidence indicates that Jesus was offered drugged wine and refused to drink it.

The 'Jesus was drugged' theory has no merit.

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Finally Round: Summations\Closing Remarks

 

 

@Hakeem Alyazeedi you have 72 hours.

 

No one is allow to post comments until the debate is finished.

Edited by Origen

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Jesus gave us a test by which we know that Jesus did not die at all. This test is found in Jesus own words in Luke 13:33 where Jesus says “I must walk today, tomorrow, the day following for a prophet CANNOT DIE OUTSIDE Jerusalem” thus Jesus DID NOT DIE since his cross was OUTSIDE Jerusalem according to John 19:20.

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Person #1: "How many legs does a cow have?"

 

Person #2: "Four."

 

Person #1: "If we say that a cow's tail is a leg, then how many legs does a cow have?"

 

Person #2: "Five?"

 

Person #1: "Wrong. The answer is still four. Just because we say that a cow's tail a leg, that doesn't make it so."

 

 

I would like to thank my debate partner for his third excellent point, because it touches on something that I wanted to discuss before this debate was over. Since this is the final round, it seems like a "now or never" moment.

 

I have heard that the Qur'an teaches that Jesus was not Crucified and, in point of fact, could not have died. I wanted to examine the oft quoted verse in its larger context and see for myself what the Qur'an actually says about Jesus and his death. Like the joke at the beginning, does this Qur'an argument have a leg to stand on, or are people just saying that a tail is a leg.

 

 

A. God will remove Jesus to heaven

Q3:55—God said, ‘Jesus, I will take you back and raise you up to Me: I will purify you of the disbelievers. To the Day of Resurrection I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieved. Then you will all return to Me and I will judge between you regarding your differences. [The Qur’an (Translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005)]

 

 

 

This verse clearly states that God will remove Jesus from the Earth and take him to heaven. I have read that scholars are divided over the correct exact interpretation of this verse and the uncertainty is centered on the exact meaning of the word (tawaffa). This verb COULD mean "cause to die" which is its most common meaning in other parts of the Qur'an, or it COULD mean God raising Jesus body and soul to heaven while bypassing death, or it COULD mean some sort of soul-sleep that was not death, or it COULD be talking about an end to Jesus' time on Earth without any reference to physical death one way or the other.

It is beyond my ability to even attempt the level of scholarship in Arabic needed to split that hair. However, I can look to the translation available to me and search for clues in other verses. I may be biased, but Q3:55 does refer to a Resurrection which pre-supposes a death. So the idea that Jesus died must at least be viewed as POSSIBLE according to this verse in the Qur'an.

 

 

B. Other prophets have died

Q3:144—Muhammad is only a messenger before whom many messengers have been and gone. [Haleem]

 

 

 

This verse indicates that, contrary to some popular teaching, it is not only POSSIBLE for a prophet of God to die, but that many prophets of God in fact HAVE ALREADY died. There are translations that make it more clear that this verse is speaking of prophets having died than the translation by Haleem. For example “many were the messenger that passed away before him” (Yusuf Ali).

 

 

C. Jesus speaks of his mortality

Q5:117—[Jesus said,] I was a witness over them during my time among them. Ever since You took my soul, You alone have been the watcher over them: You are witness to all things. [Haleem]

 

 

 

In Q5:117, Jesus speaks of a time when he will be "among them" (alive on the Earth) and a time when God "took [his] soul". Clearly this verse points to Jesus being aware of the possibility of his mortality. He seems aware that his time on Earth will cease. The Shakir translation of this verse is more blunt, stating “but when Thou didst cause me to die…”. Muhammad concludes: “Since this verse [5:117], in its affirmation of the end of Jesus among his people, comes without any conditioner, there is no justification for saying that Jesus is alive and did not die” (“Overlooked Fatwa,” 381).

 

 

D. Jesus will die and be raised to life

Q19:33—[Jesus said,] Peace was on me the day I was born, and will be on me the day I die and the day I am raised to life again.’ [Haleem]

 

 

 

In this verse, the infant Jesus is miraculously speaking a prophecy concerning his coming future. Jesus clearly expected a literal, physical death.

 

So looking at all four of these verses together, one must conclude that the Qur'an, taken as a whole, does not explicitly deny the possibility of Jesus' death as a matter of some universal principle. Quite the contrary, it strongly implies that any messenger, including Jesus, can die a normal biological death just like any other man.

 

 

E. Was Jesus crucified?

 

So even if we have shown that Jesus could, in theory, die without violating the teaching of the Qur'an, that still does not answer the central question: Was crucifixion the cause of Jesus' death? There is ONLY ONE verse in the Qur'an that deals with Jesus' actual crucifixion. So let's look at Q4:157:

Q4:157— [Jews] said, ‘We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God.’ (They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him.) [Haleem]

 

Q4:157— And for their saying, ‘Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.’ And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but another was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. [sahih International]

 

Q4:157— That they said (in boast), ‘We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah’; – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. [Yusuf Ali]

 

 

 

Even Muslim scholars admit that this is a difficult verse to properly understand and reconcile with other verses in the Qur'an. The heart of the issue is that the passive verbal phrase “caused to appear” (shubbiha lahum) occurs only once in the Qur'an, so there is no other use to compare it with. This has generated many interpretations.

 

One thing is clear in all translations, the phrase that has been traditionally interpreted as a denial of the crucifixion is not the main point of the verse, but is a statement that modifies the first portion speaking of the Jew's claim of killing Jesus.

 

Most common historic interpretations fall into two broad groups. The “substitution theory”, which is the most common, applies the verb to Jesus and argues that it was not Jesus who was crucified, but someone who only "appeared" to look like Jesus. Thus the Jews killed the wrong man. This can be seen in the Sahih International translation. A less common, but just as valid, theory applies the verb phrase to the act of crucifixion itself and not to Jesus. Thus no one actually died on the cross, but it only appeared as if Jesus died. The Haleem and Yusuf Ali translations show this view.

 

Both of these views allow room for the possibility that Jesus could die a physical death, yet they agree that the Messiah DID NOT die through crucifixion at the hands of the Jews.

 

 

F. Surah 4:157 - Reading the verse in context

 

Islamic scholarship has been dominated from its earliest days by an approach that favors studying quranic verses in isolation without taking into consideration either the surrounding verses or the historic context in which it was written. Generations of interpreters have built Islamic doctrines using this method to serve competing Shi’a and Sunni traditions and doctrinal agendas.

 

Some Islamic scholars have begun to acknowledge the potential limitations and pitfalls of this approach. [Reynolds, “Muslim Jesus,” 252] So the Muslim doctrine denying the crucifixion of Jesus is based solely on a single part of a debated verse without examining the larger context in which it appears. However, if we apply a more nuanced approach and examine Q4:157 in its broader context within the rest of Surah 4, we discover that what appears at first glance to reject the crucifixion may not do so at all, but affirms the greatness of God over the schemes of men.

 

The portion of Surah 4 in which Q4:157 occurs is not an extended argument against the historic facts about Jesus or a denial of Christianity, but rather, it is an extended accusation against the Jews. Here are some key accusations from surrounding verses:

Q4:153 Worshipping the golden calf—“Even after clear revelations had come down to them, they took the calf as an object of worship”

Q4:155a Breaking the covenant—“for breaking their pledge”

Q4:155b Rejecting revelation—“for rejecting God’s revelations … for saying ‘Our minds are closed’”

Q4:155c Murdering prophets—“for unjustly killing their prophets”

Q4:156 Slandering Mary—“they disbelieved and uttered a terrible slander against Mary”

Q4:160 Various wrongdoings—“for the wrongdoings done by the Jews, We forbade them certain good things”

Q4:161 Financial abuse—“for taking usury when they had been forbidden to do so … for wrongfully devouring other people’s property”

 

 

 

The entire collection of sharp attacks against the faithlessness of the Jews reaches its conclusion …

Q4:161b—“those of them that reject the truth [Allah] has prepared an agonizing torment”

 

 

 

Is it important that the verse on the crucifixion forms a key part of a larger attack on multiple sinful acts by a faithless people that culminates in their rejection of Jesus? I think so. In fact, the rejection of Jesus is specifically forbidden in the Qur’an:

Q4:159 — “there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death”

 

 

 

From this broader context, we gain the understanding that Q4:157 is a conviction of the Jews for attempting to crucify Jesus in order to gain victory over Jesus and reject him as their Messenger from Allah.

  • “[The Qur’an] presents a Jesus who has an ethically/geographically restricted ministry, since Islam holds that only Muhammad was chosen to be the Messenger to the whole world. [imams teach that] ‘Allah sent Jesus especially to the children of Israel’” (McRoy, “Christ of Shia,” 345).

 

 

 

Now that we understand the broader context, we can re-examine the key verb “caused to appear” (shubbiha lahum) in Q4:157. Verse 4:142 offers the key in “The hypocrites try to deceive God, but it is He who causes them to be deceived.” A more direct reading of the meaning of Q4:157 would be …

Q4:157— “The Jews have claimed to controvert Allah by crucifying Jesus, but Allah has deceived them into thinking they have won, when in fact they stand condemned.”

  • “Since [the reference to the Crucifixion] exists only in the context of responding to the Jewish claim, the discourse structure suggests it was denying the capability of the Jews to have done this depending on their own power” (Reynolds, “Muslim Jesus,” 253)

 

 

So the verse that denies the crucifixion isn’t really about Jesus death at all … one way or another. The crucifixion is just another example of the Jews rebelling against God [according to the Qur’an].

 

 

G. Luke 13:33 Read in context

 

I really enjoyed seeing this challenge because it focuses on the same sort of issue as the Qur’an Surah 4:157. What happens when you read one verse and ignore what is going on around it. This is the stuff that I live to dig into. So let’s start with a little context:

Luke 13:22-35 NASB

22 And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; 27 and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. 29 And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.”

31 Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, “Go away, leave here, for Herod wants to kill You.” 32 And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.’
33 Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.
34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! 35 Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’”

 

 

 

So back to middle school English class … the 5 W’s.

WHO
: Jesus and some Pharisees and King Herod. Jesus is the Messiah, Anointed Messenger of God. The Pharisees are the Jewish experts in the Law (Old Testament Books and Rabbinical commentaries). King Herod is the Roman installed secular King over the territory who feared Jesus as a rival to his throne.

 

WHEN
: Some time prior to, but shortly before Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. So possibly about one week (give or take a few days) before his crucifixion.

 

WHERE
: Jesus was passing through small villages on his way towards Jerusalem. This was apparently in a small village or town the territory of King Herod.

 

WHAT
: Jesus was approached by some Pharisees who delivered a message/warning that Jesus should “Go away.” Jesus rejects their advice.

 

WHY
: The Pharisees appear to be presenting a warning to Jesus and claim that “
Herod wants to kill You.
” Jesus reaction calls their true motive into question, since he gives them a message to deliver to Herod. Jesus will not change his course or his plans and claims that he will go to Jerusalem.

 

 

 

So now let’s look close at Luke 13:33 given what we know about the context in which Jesus spoke those words.

Luke 13:33 NASB
“Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.”

 

 

 

Jesus was heading towards Jerusalem. They wanted Jesus to go somewhere other than Jerusalem BECAUSE King Herod wanted to kill him. Jesus boldly claims that he will continue to do God’s work, his plans unchanged by the threats and sends word to the King that if he wants to kill Jesus, that Jesus will be in Jerusalem in three days (v. 32). Then comes the famous line “for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.

 

You claimed that this meant that Jesus could not die because he was outside the walls of Jerusalem, but reading the whole story around that verse, Jesus is actually rejecting what the misinterpretation of the Qur’an claims. Jesus is saying that he will not go away because there is no place other than Jerusalem that he will die at … just like all of the prophets that God had sent to Jerusalem before him and the Jews had killed. See the very next verse “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her!

If you read about the Jewish Law and the death of others, you will discover that most executions, like stoning to death, are typically done just outside the city wall. Jesus was crucified on the same plot of ground that was cursed because Jerusalem had historically used it for human sacrifice.

 

The great irony, that breaks my heart, is the very verses used by men to ‘prove’ Jesus did not die on the cross were written to prove that Jesus did die on the cross. It was no accident, It was God’s plan and Jesus willing destiny.

  • Q4:157 “The Jews have claimed to controvert Allah by crucifying Jesus, but Allah has deceived them into thinking they have won, when in fact they stand condemned.”

  • Luke 13:33 NASB “Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.”

 

 

 

Both claim EXACTLY the same thing. No man can turn aside or defeat the plan of God.

 

So the great question is really …

 

Why did Jesus CHOOSE to go to Jerusalem and be crucified and resurrected?

 

[That it happened is an irrefutable historical fact.]

Thank you for this debate.

 

Arthur Pollard

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@Hakeem Alyazeedi your arguments and evidence are completely lacking on every level. I see three problem with your posts.

 

(1) You really do not provide any evidence for your claim. For example the fact that it often took hours for someone to die by crucifixion really cannot show that Jesus did not die upon the cross in that amount of time. At best it is speculative. Moreover the fact that the Gospels are the sources for this information concerning Jesus' time upon the cross argues against your claim. All the authors of the Gospels would have to do is leave that information out or change the times. If the Gospels were trying to cover up the fact that Jesus did not die upon the cross, they did a very poor job.

 

(2) You simply pick out the information you like while ignoring that which you do not and did not even try to address it. The N.T. is concrete in it claims that Jesus died upon the cross. You offer no explanation for this.

 

(3) However the biggest problem in your posts was the lack of interaction with @atpollard (i.e. his arguments and evidence). Hakeem you ignored his evidence and then ignored his counter evidence to your claims.

 

Judging this debate solely on content, ability, evidence, and arguments Atpollard wins hands down. Atpollard formed his arguments well and provide evidence for them. He also addressed Hakeem's arguments and evidence. The only thing I would say is I wish that Atpollard would have tighten his posts up just a bit. In other words I think his posts were a bit too long. Yet I understand this is often difficult to do when one is trying to be thorough so this is only suggestion.

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The only thing I would say is I wish that Atpollard would have tighten his posts up just a bit. In other words I think his posts were a bit too long. Yet I understand this is often difficult to do when one is trying to be thorough so this is only suggestion.

Thank you. I have often been accused of being verbose when making a point. I will attempt to work on that and appreciate the criticism.

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atpollard wins this debate in my opinion. Jesus died and was resurrected.

Edited by CDF47
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atpollard did an excellent job. Truth prevailed. The teaching that the Lord Jesus did not die on the cross has been debunked.

 

 

In his opening remarks (post #2) the first two people Hakeem Alyazeedi quoted concerning Mark 15:44 were Albert Barnes and John Gill. It's too bad that he left out the remainder of what each of them said concerning Mark 15:44. The underlined below is mine so he won't be able to miss it this time.

 

Albert Barnes on Mark 15:44

And Pilate marveled if - Wondered if he was dead, or wondered that he was so soon dead. It was not common for persons crucified to expire under two or three days, sometimes not until the sixth or seventh. Joseph had asked for the "body," implying that he was dead. That he was, had been ascertained by the soldiers. See John 19:33.

https://www.studylight.org/commentar...b/mark-15.html

 

John Gill on Mark 15:44

For death, by crucifixion, was a slow lingering death; persons that were in their full strength hung a great while before they expired; and the two thieves, which were crucified with Christ, were not dead when he was

https://www.studylight.org/commentar...b/mark-15.html

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@Eric T.

Thank You.

 

Yes I did get out and back safely and God is better than good.

When Hurricane Irma was originally tracking as a Cat 4 off the East Coast of Florida, the risk for me along the West Coast of Florida was a Tropical Storm. We have lots of those in Florida and it means some branches fall and some local flooding. My home is not in a flood zone (by a safe margin) and designed for 90-110 mile per hour winds. Beyond that, there is danger of windows being blown out and shingles stripped off the roof.

 

As the track shifted to down the center of Florida, we were looking at 60-100 mph winds along the West Coast of Florida. If I knew for certain that it would follow that track, I would have rode out the storm at home with minimal risk. What concerned me was the fact that each new update placed the track further west. Among the earliest models, there were a whole bunch of models that predicted a path up the east coast, and two lone predictions that said it would come up the west coast with the center over the Gulf of Mexico. If Irma followed that track, it would likely pass through my community as a strong Cat 4 or weak Cat 5 storm. My house is rated for Cat 2. The newest homes are Cat 3 rated. At Cat 5, no building is safe. A Cat 5 rated building is called a 'bunker'. The final path would not be known until about 12 hours before the storm was centered on my home. That would be too late to evacuate. So I left with my family to take them to safety long before the Government had the data to make the evacuation decision because I knew that their lives were potentially at stake.

 

Within the 12 hours following my decision to evacuate, the county issued a mandatory evacuation for people living in flood prone areas and mobile homes. Then they added a voluntary evacuation for everyone living within about 10 miles of the coast. Then they made it a mandatory evacuation for everyone living within 10 miles of the coast. The worst possible case had become the most likely case.

 

The problem I ran into was three previous days of evacuation for the East Coast of Florida had filled hotels as far north as Atlanta. Now I was part of a second wave of evacuees. I had planned to try my luck heading west towards Pensecola in the Florida Panhandle, but learned while driving that people were having to go as far as Alabama to get a room.

 

I worked 8 hours that day, then drove 24 hours (sleeping 2 hours in an interstate rest area) before reaching shelter in the home of a relative in the mountains at the Georgia-North Carolina state line. We encountered 6 mph interstates, 1 hour waits in line to get gas, police at the stations for crowd control, and gas rationing. God provided everything we needed.

 

We watched the weather reports continuously for days. There was a very real possibility that I had escaped with my family safe, but would never be returning home except to handle the insurance claim. If my house and place of employment were both wiped out, there was no reason to bring my family to an empty lot.

 

There really is no explanation for what happened with Irma except ... "But God"! For a hurricane to make landfall Cat 4 and crash so quickly to Cat 1 is unheard of. However that is exactly what happened.

 

Irma cut a swath of trashed power grid throughout the state. People in shelters slept on concrete floors and in folding chairs they brought. There were food shortages and water shortages and no electricity for days. We visited family and enjoyed beautiful mountain views. I had to wait until the storm cleared Georgia to return home. We took back roads all the way and avoided the crush of traffic on the interstate as well as had no trouble finding Gas until we arrived in Florida and found all the stations empty. Fortunately we had just filled the tank and had more than enough for the last 4 hour drive to put us home at 1 AM. It took 24 hours from FL to GA and 12 hours to get back from Ga to FL.

 

We arrived home about 4 hours after the power had finally been restored. It had been out for three days. There were some branches in my back yard, fallen from neighbor's trees, but absolutely no damage at all to my house. I had a refrigerator and freezer full of spoiled food to replace and a mountain of limbs to cut and stack by the road for pick-up. That is all.

 

So God allowed me to protect my family. [My wife with rods and screws in her back could not have slept on the floor of a school for three days.] I was prepared to accept whatever God decided about my house, and God protected it without any help from me.

 

So I have nothing but praise to sing, and to God belongs ALL the Glory.

Edited by atpollard
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Thanks @atpollard. Wow, that was quite an adventure, I am glad to hear that God granted you safe travel and minimal impact to your home.

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