(JAW) Jesus of Nazareth was alive and walking around unassisted on the first Easter Sunday.
If we suppose (2) to be correct, does that in fact favor or support a skeptical view of the resurrection of Jesus?
On this supposition, there are three logical possibilities:
A. Jesus was not alive on the first Easter Sunday.
B. Jesus was alive on the first Easter Sunday but did not walk at all that day.
C. Jesus was alive on the first Easter Sunday but was walking only with assistance from others.
Now lets consider supposition (A). The most obvious way that (A) would be true, would be for Jesus to have been dead on the first Easter Sunday. Since (JAW) implies that Jesus was alive for at least a portion of the first Easter Sunday, Jesus being dead for only a portion of Sunday would not contradict (JAW).
This claim is either true or it is not. In posts 7 through 10 of this series, I have been examining the implications of the supposition that (JAW) is not true. This supposition appears to represent five different logical possibilities, as illustrated in the following diagram.
There are many ways to divide up the logical pie, but I propose to analyze(JAW) into eleven different logical possibilities…
Another key claim made by Christian apologists concerns the alleged crucifixion of Jesus:
JWC = Jesus was crucified on Friday of Passover week, just before the first Easter Sunday.
The Fourth Gospel plays an important role in determining the probability of the claim that Jesus died on the cross.
Two of the key injuries allegedly inflicted upon Jesus are documented only in the Fourth Gospel:
1. Jesus’ hands and feet were nailed to the cross.
2. Jesus was stabbed in the chest with a spear while on the cross.
But it is not just the liberal scholars of the Jesus Seminar that doubt the historical reliability of the Fourth gospel and the traditional view that John the apostle wrote the Fourth gospel. Several Evangelical NT scholars and conservative Jesus scholars and moderate Jesus scholars doubt or reject the view that the apostle John wrote the Fourth gospel, and doubts about the historical reliability of the Fourth gospel are also common among NT and Jesus scholars who are moderate or conservative scholars.
One key factor determining the probability that Jesus actually died on the cross is the probability (or improbability) of the following claim:
(NTC) Jesus’ hands (or arms) and feet were nailed to the cross.
HAF = On Friday of Passover week, just before the first Easter Sunday, Jesus’ hands and feet were nailed to a cross.
The probability of both of these claims rests in large measure on the historicity and reliability of the Doubting Thomas story in the Fourth Gospel.
But we don’t have certain knowledge on any of these claims about the major wounds/injuries allegedly suffered by Jesus, so a rational approach is to examine the evidence and it’s quality and make a probability assessment for each claim about an alleged major wound or injury. Once we have assigned an estimated probability to each claim about an alleged major wound or injury, then we can attempt to draw some general conclusions about the probability that Jesus died on the cross on the same day that he was crucified.
(Michael Licona, from “Can We Be Certain that Jesus Died on a Cross?” in Evidence for God, p.166) There are at least two problems with Licona’s claim:
1. Quintillian was not a Roman historian,
2. Quintillian probably did not write the passage that Licona references.
non iussit, secundum consuetudinem Romanorum de his qui crucifiguntur, percuti sub alas corporis Iesus (GCS, His Origenes Werke, v. 11, p. 290)
Since I don’t read Latin, I have to rely on Google Translate, at least for an initial take on this passage:
In my last post on this topic (Part 23), I identified the passage that I believe Humber was referencing, in an early Latin translation of Origen’s Commentary on Matthew. Here is an image of the relevant passage (GCS, His Origenes Werke, v. 11, p. 290):