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I have a question...

Discussion in 'Questions by Non-Christians (Archived)' started by herzlieb, Jul 9, 2002.

  1. herzlieb

    herzlieb New Member

    First and foremost I would like to say that I am a christian. I believe that Jesus died for all of our sins. But, I came across something that needs some clearing up, for me. Simply because, if I am questioned about it I want the correct answer.

    I came across a book called Unsolved Mysteries of History. One of the mysteries was Did Jesus die on the Cross. Of course my interest was peaked. I read it and then cross referenced the information with the Bible. At the end of the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke they all give accounts of Jesus burial and resurrection but, with obvious discrepancies. Of course the book used this information to try to disprove Jesus being sent to be our Savior.

    Thanks for any input. :scratch:
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. fakemind

    fakemind in love with God

    ah, well, to make a quick post (im at work) a lot of the times people claim descrepancies in the first four books of the New Testament by saying they give different accounts of what happened, therefore they contradict - however, when you read it more carefully they simply give different information, but never contradicting information.

    (ex: mark says "bob went to town", matthew says "sally took bob to town in a volkswagon beetle", luke says "and they traveled to town". they dont contradict but give more/less descriptions than each other.)

    if you wouldnt mind posting some verses they say contradicts, im sure me or somebody else would be more than happy to help you understand how they fit together without contradiction. :)

    lotsa Christian love!
  3. SimpleChristian

    SimpleChristian Member

    herzlieb......I would echo the previous post in stating that the new testament account, especially the four 'gospels' do not ever contradict each other. Yes, the compliment each other, but never contradict. One thing that detractors haven't clued into yet is that omission is not contradiction. If the police question two witnesses to a crime and one witness talks about what the perpetrator was wearing and the other focuses on how tall the 'perp' was and the eye/hair color, the police do not discount one description over the other just because it is different information.

    Did Jesus die on the cross. Well, let's look at some things:

    Beginning after the last supper Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane and prayed all night long. During that process he was anticipating the coming events of the next day. Since he knew the amount of suffering he was going to have to endure, he was quite naturally experiencing a great deal of psychological stress. Skeptics have a field day here since the Bible says he began to sweat blood at this point. Isn’t that impossible? No. This is a known medical condition called hematidrosis. It’s not very common, but it is associated with a high degree of psychological stress. What happens is that severe anxiety causes the release of chemicals that break down the capillaries in the sweat glands. As a result, there’s a small amount of bleeding into these glands, and the sweat comes out tinged with blood. The next day came the flogging.

    Roman floggings were known to be terribly brutal. They usually consisted of thirty-nine lashes but frequently were a lot more than that, depending on the mood of the soldier applying the blows. The soldier would use a whip of braided leather thongs with metal balls woven into them. When the whip would strike the flesh, those balls would cause deep bruises or contusions, which would break open with further blows. And the whip had pieces of sharp bone as well, which would cut the flesh severely. The back would be so shredded that part of the spine was sometimes exposed by the deep, deep cuts. The whipping would have gone all the way from the shoulders down to the back, the buttocks, and the back of the legs. As the flogging continued, the lacerations would tear into the underlying skeletal muscles and produce quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh. A 3rd century historian by the name of Eusebius described a flogging by saying “The sufferer’s veins were laid bare, and the very muscles, sinews, and bowels of the victim were open to exposure.” Many people would die from this kind of beating even before they could be crucified. At the least, the victim would experience tremendous pain and go into hypovolemic shock, which means the person is suffering the effects of losing a large amount of blood. This does four things. First, the heart races to try to pump blood that isn’t there; second, the blood pressure drops, causing fainting or collapse; third, the kidneys stop producing urine to maintain what volume is left; and fourth, the person becomes very thirsty as the body craves fluids to replace the lost blood volume.

    At the crucifixion Jesus would have been laid down, and his hands would have been nailed in the outstretched position to the horizontal beam. This crossbar was called the patibulum and at this stage it was separate from the vertical beam, which was permanently set in the ground. The Romans used spikes that were five to seven inches long and tapered to a sharp point, driven through the wrists. The nail would go through the place where the median nerve runs. This is the largest nerve going out to the hand and it would be crushed by the nail that was being pounded in. What kind of pain would that be? Let me put it this way. Do you know the kind of pain you feel when you hit your funny bone? Well, picture taking a pair of pliers and squeezing and crushing that nerve. That effect would be similar to what Jesus experienced. The pain was absolutely unbearable. In fact, it was literally beyond words to describe it; they had to invent a new word: ‘excruciating’ which literally means ‘out of the cross.’ At this point Jesus was hoisted as the crossbar was attached to the vertical stake, and then the nails were driven through Jesus’ feet. Again, the nerves in his feet would have been crushed, and there would have been a similar type of pain. The stresses to the body were extraordinary. First of all, his arms would have immediately been stretched, probably about six inches in length, and both shoulders would have become dislocated—you can determine this with simple mathematical equations.

    Once a person is hanging in the vertical position, crucifixion is essentially an agonizingly slow death by asphyxiation. The reason is that the stresses on the muscles and diaphragm put the chest into the inhaled position; basically, in order to exhale, the individual must push up on his feet so the tension on the muscles would be eased for a moment. In going so, the nail would tear through the foot, eventually locking up against the tarsal bones. After managing to exhale, the person would then be able to relax down and take another breath in. Again he’d have to push himself up to exhale, scraping his bloodies back against the coarse wood of the cross. This would go on and on until complete exhaustion would take over, and the person wouldn’t be able to push up and breath anymore. As the person slows down his breathing, he goes into what is called respiratory acidosis—the carbon dioxide in the blood is dissolved as carbonic acid, causing the acidity of the blood to increase, eventually leading to an irregular heartbeat. In fact, with his heart beating erratically, Jesus would have known that he was at the moment of death, which is when he was able to say ‘Lord, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ And then he died of cardiac arrest. Even before he died—and this is important too—the hypovolemic shock would have caused a sustained rapid heart rate that would have contributed to heart failure, resulting in the collection of fluid in the membrane around the heart, called a pericardial effusion, as well as around the lungs, which is called a pleural effusion. This is significant because of what happened when the Roman soldier came around and, being fairly certain that Jesus was dead, confirmed it by thrusting a spear into his right side. It was probably his right side; that’s not certain, but from the description it was probably the right side, between the ribs. The spear apparently went through the right lung and into the heart, so when the spear was pulled out, some fluid—the pericardial effusion and the pleural effusion—came out. This would have the appearance of a clear fluid, like water, followed by a large volume of blood, as the eyewitness John testified in his gospel.(John 19:34)

    Some have tried to say that there is little to no evidence of how people were crucified. Once more, they are proven wrong by archeology and time. For instance, in 1968 archaelolgists in Jerusalem found the remains of about three dozen Jews who had died during the uprising against Rome around AD70. One victim, whose name was apparently Yahanan, had been crucified. And sure enough, they found a seven inch nail still driven into his feet, with small pieces of olive wood from the cross still attached. This was excellent archaeological confirmation of a key detail in the gospel’s description of the Crucifixion.

    Is there any way Jesus could have survived? Absolutely not. He was already in hypovolemic shock from the massive blood loss even before the crucifixion started. He couldn’t have faked his death because you can’t fake the inability to breathe for long. Besides, the spear thrust into his heart would have settled the issue once and for all. And, even with the hypothetical argument that he got down on the cross, think about the shape he would have been in. A person in that kind of pathetic condition would never have inspired his disciples to go out and proclaim that he’s the Lord of life who had triumphed over the grave.
  4. herzlieb

    herzlieb New Member

    Thanks fakemind and simple christian for taking time to answer my question. As for the verses that fakemind ask for here they are. Matt 28:1-6, Mark 16:4-7, and Luke 24:1-6. And didn't read this one until just now, John 20:1-2.
  5. Freodin

    Freodin Devout believer in a theologically different God

    In fact, cruxified victims took between one to three DAYS to die.

    Jesus was on the cross for only a few hours - he could have survived it, for a time.
  6. Othniel

    Othniel Cup Overflowing

    the idea that Christ came down from the cross alive is a "Jesus Seminar" dream which completely invalidates Christ as our Savior. Lee Strobel takes an excellent look at this in "The Case for Christ." You don't get stabbed through the chest with a spear after being crucifed, have blood and water (really a clear fluid) come out separately, and remain alive. It's not scientifically possible.

    AS to Christs short time on the cross...not everyone who was crucified received the 39 lashes, nor a crown of thorns, ect. Christ was practically dead when they nailed Him up in the first place. For goodness sake, He started bleeding in the garden.

    Anycase, the best argument that Christ really died and rose again is the fact tha the disciples believed that He did. His body had been changed. He had the wounds, but not the repercussions of them. He could moved around, eat and drink and talk as if He were completely healed (because He was). If He'd come down off that cross alive it would have taken months to nurse Him back to health on a bed. There's not a chance He could just up and meet the disciples in Galilee in a week.

    Anyway, for the non-biased mind, Strobel does a fabulous job of arguing what I have just poorly tried to state. He also addresses the "discrepency issue" as well as many other atheistic "favorite criticisms" of the Gospels.

    Hope that helps a bit,
    Peace to all who seek it,
  7. Blessed-one

    Blessed-one a long journey ahead

    but Jesus gave up His spirit to God, that explains the shortened period of dying.
  8. debs

    debs Member

    Yes, He did. He knew how to submit and surrender to God. Struggling on a cross would have prolonged eventual asphixiation. I too am learning daily to submit to God and stop struggling...Jesus taught me that.
  9. fakemind

    fakemind in love with God

    hey, here are the verses you gave. my reply follows the verses...

    Matt 28:1-6 (nkjv) 1. Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 5. But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

    Mark 16:4-7 (nkjv) 4. But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away - for it was very large. 5. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6. But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7. But go, tell His disciples - and Peter - that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."

    Luke 24:1-6 (nkjv) 1. Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6. He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7. saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'"

    John 20:1-2 (nkjv) 1. Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."

    if you read all four together, they simply all give different parts of the story, but they definately do not contradict each other.

    All four agree that the day was "the first day of the week". now, John's account starts earlier than the rest, by mentioning the first visit to the empty tomb that the women made, then they ran and told Peter and John about it. Peter and John went, saw the empty tomb, and went back to their homes (John 20:2-10, where verse 10 says&nbsp;Peter and John&nbsp;went back home). No angel is yet in the picture, so neither Peter, John, or the women have seen an angel or Jesus yet.

    If you read further in John (verses 11-18), it goes on to tell the story where the other three gospels first start.

    it might seem to contradict because some say one angel, and some say two, however, there were two angels, only some of the gospels only mention one of them. in mentioning one they are not incorrect, but simply not as detailed as the others. another possible contradiction is where matthew says the angel sat on the stone, while other gospels say he was inside the tomb. so whats the answer? well its simple, matthew is doing a "flash back" so to say, telling of the actual incident where&nbsp;an angel came down and rolled away the stone, the guards were frightened, and the angel did indeed sit on the stone. verses 2, 3, and 4 in matthew are the flashback, and beginning in verse 5 picks up the story of the women in the tomb.

    so heres the basic outline where the gospels simply tell different parts of the story:

    1) angel comes down, rolls away stone, guards get scared, angel sits on stone, but is gone before #2...

    2) women visit tomb, its empty, they go and tell Peter and John

    3) Peter and John go, see empty tomb, no angels, no Jesus, they go home.

    4) Women went back into tomb, see two angels, conversation takes place, women leave

    5)&nbsp;Mary Magdalene&nbsp;sees Jesus outside, conversation takes place, then they go tell the disciples and blah blah blah...

    hope that helps clear up any confusion between the four accounts, if not, or&nbsp;if you would like more elaboration, simply let me know!

    much Christian love,
  10. Religious Crisis

    Religious Crisis God is a Consuming Fire!!!

    Yeah, that helps a lot, I was getting confused.
  11. cb

    cb Member



    Jesus was brutally flogged with whips that must have torn him to shreds. He was forced to carry his own cross. He had to wear a crown of thorns. I am sure that he was starving and deyhdrated. He was beaten to a pulp. He was then crucified. He was then stabbed in the side with a sword.

    I seriously doubt any human being would survive that.
    Also, do you really think that Jesus Christ was able to wake up from unconciousness after the third day, move an enormous rock that no man could move on his own...tackle 2 highly trained Roman Guards, and wait around for someone to find him so that He could proclaim himself to be God and risen?
  12. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Veteran

    I have the book "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel, and I recommend anyone and everyone pick it up. I know that at my local Christian bookstore, they were selling it in the evangelism pack, so you would get two books for only $2 more than the single. It would be great for anyone to read and give one to a friend. He really does go deep into depth about the crucifixion too, if anyone wanted to read on it. :)