Archive for the ‘1f. Proofs of Jesus’ Death’ Category.

The Third Day – The Death Of Jesus

The Third Day – The Death Of Jesus

In this presentation, Robin Schumacher provides a good overview of Jesus’ crucifixion: its prophesy, events, and confirmation….

Here are the main points that Robin Schumacher makes:

  • Predictions:
  • Chronological events leading to crucifixion
  • Scourging
  • Predictions
  • Explanation
  • References by ancient writers (Eusebius, Cicero, Tacitus)
  • Robe
  • Crown of thorns
  • Location
  • Timing
  • Skeptics
    • Quran (Sura 4:157)
    • “Gospel” of Barnabus (Chapter 217)
    • Bart Ehrman
  • History of crucifixion
  • Old testament crucifixion references
  • Archaeological evidence
    • Seven inch nail driven through foot of human remains
  • Ancient writers confirmation of Jesus’ crucifixion
    • Josephus (Antiquities 18.3.3)
    • Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a)
    • Tacitus (Annals Book 15)
    • Lucian of Samosata (Works)
  • Crucifixion sign
  • Gambling for Jesus’ clothes
  • Mocking
  • Jesus becomes curse for us
  • Two Thieves
  • Women at the cross
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Was Jesus Really Crucified

Was Jesus Really Crucified?

Michael Licona provides three key points during a debate.

Here are the main points that Michael Licona makes:

Almost all scholars (both Christian and non-Christian) agree that three facts support Jesus’ death by crucifixion:

  1. Multiple non-Christian sources attest that crucifixion and scourging was used during the time period.
    • Josephus reports about a scourging that killed a man.
    • Another ancient document, the Martyrdom of Polycarp mentions how Roman scourging would expose veins and arteries.
    • Jewish law prohibited scourging by more than 39 lashes. But the Romans had no such law.
    • Seneca and Josephus both referred to crucifixion in their writing.
  2. Crucifixion and the scourging that preceded it would definitely kill the victim.
    • The word “excruciating” means “out of the cross”
  3. Modern medical professionals have concluded that the scourging and crucifixion reported in the Bible would have killed Jesus
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Who’s Right Muslims or Christians About Jesus’ Death

Who’s Right: Muslims or Christians About Jesus’ Death?

Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on the cross. Why? Who’s right, the Quran or Bible? Dr John Ankerberg interviews Lee Strobel in this short video.

Here are the main points that Lee Strobel makes:

Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on the cross. In the Quran (Surah 4:157-158), it states:

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. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise

Either Allah made it appear that Jesus died or substituted somebody else who was killed. Which version is correct: The Quran or the Bible?

Today, almost all Christian and non-Christian scholars agree with the following five points:

  1. Jesus was executed.
  2. The disciples believed they had encounter the resurrected Jesus.
  3. Saul of Tarsus was converted into a Christian and became Paul the Apostle
  4. James the skeptic and half-brother of Jesus was converted into a Christian
  5. The tomb of Jesus was empty.

In addition, the Bible is supported by writings that go back to the First Century (mere years after the event, not centuries after the fact). On the other hand the Quran was written 600 years after the Crucifixion based on an supposed encounter that Mohammed had with an angel in a cave.

Weigh the Biblical account with the Quran account. Which has more evidence?

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Three Proofs of Jesus Death

Three Proofs of Jesus’ Death

This week’s lesson discusses the proofs that Jesus died on the cross (not merely fainted). To start out, go to the Three Reasons section, where I provide three short videos on the following topics:

  1. Medical confirmation.
  2. Non-Christian source confirmation.
  3. Existing authorities’ confirmation.
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Ancient Writers Confirm Jesus’ Crucifixion

Ancient Writers Confirm Jesus’ Crucifixion

Christians take the crucifixion claims about Jesus seriously.  The question is: Did anybody else in the ancient world?  The answer is yes.

 Ancient writers who confirm crucifixion

The following ancient writers confirmed the crucifixion of Jesus:

  1. Josephus
  2. Tacitus.
  3. Mara bar Serapion


Josephus was a Jewish priest and Pharisee who surrendered to the Romans, rather than committing suicide like his comrades, during the A.D. 66 – 74 war.  He wrote a history called The Antiquities around A.D. 93. In it the following passage is found, “About the time there lived Jesus, a wise man… For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks….  When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing among us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him….”(1)


Tacitus was a Roman historian who wrote Roman Annals around A.D. 115 – 117.  In it appears the following phrase, “They get their name [Christians] from Christ, who was executed by sentence of procurator or Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius.”(2)

Mara bar Serapion

Mara bar Serapion was a man in prison sometime after A.D. 73 who wrote to his son Serapion, citing the deaths of Socrates, Pythagoras and Christ:

“What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death?  Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras?  In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King?  It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato.  Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise King die for good; he lived on in the teaching which he had given.”(3)

There are multiple attestations in the Bible and other ancient manuscripts that Jesus Christ was crucified and died. Here it would have ended as a mere aside in history. However it did not end there. The world was changed–and even our method of recording time changed–because Jesus Christ did not stay dead.

For Further Reading

Stroble, L. The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998.

Bruce, F.F. Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament. Grand Rapids: William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974.


  1. Quoted in Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus, 79.
  2. Quoted in F.F. Bruce, IJesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament, 22.
  3. Ibid, 31.



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Medical Doctor Confirms Jesus Death on the Cross

Medical Doctor Confirms Jesus’ Death on the Cross

This week is Easter and we should fully understand how Jesus died.  It was necessary for Jesus to die before He could be resurrected. This is vitally important because our hope as Christians rests on Jesus’s resurrection from the dead.

DeAth By CRucifixion

In the Lee Strobel’s 1998 book The Case For Christ(1), he interviews Doctor Alexander Metherell, who possesses both medical and engineering degrees and was a former research scientist. Metherell explains the medical causes of Jesus’s death, although we must remember that Jesus voluntarily surrendered his spirit as is reported in Matthew 27:50. Dr. Metherell discusses the following:

  1. The Scourging
  2. The Crucifixion
  3. The Proof of Death

The Scourging

Metherell explains, “Roman floggings were known to be terribly brutal. They usually consisted of 39 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 flash, 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. It was terrible.”(2)

Metherell continues, “We know that 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.”(3)

This occurs when a person has lost a large amount of blood. The blood pressure drops causing fainting, and the person becomes very thirsty as the body craves fluids to replace the blood. Metherell continues, “Because of the terrible effects of this beating, there is no question that Jesus was already in serious to critical condition even before the nails were driven through his hands and feet.”(4)

The Crucifixion

Jesus would have been crucified at 9 AM on Friday and a would have died by 3 PM. The Romans used spikes that were 5 to 7 inches long and were driven through the wrists.  Metherell explains that the nails would have crushed the median nerve, creating extreme pain.  The word “excruciating” means “out of the cross.”   Most people died by asphyxiation when crucified. With the arms stretched out, the chest is locked into the inhale position.  To exhale, you have to push up with your feet.  However this is extremely difficult if your feet are nailed to the cross.  According to Metherell a patient such as Jesus would die from cardiac arrest. Hypovolemic shock would have caused a rapid heart rate that would have contributed to heart failure, resulting in the collection of fluid in the membrane around the heart, called pericardial effusion, as well as around the lungs, pleural effusion.

The Proof of Death

In John 19:34 it records that a Roman soldier confirmed that Jesus was dead by thrusting a spear into his side.  When the spear was pulled out, a clear fluid like water poured out, along with a large volume of blood.  This would have been the pericardial and plural effusion that the Roman soldier saw, confirming that Jesus had died.

The accounts of the Bible don’t require blind faith to believe.  Many details are provided for corroboration.  This is the case with Jesus’ death, in which details, such as the pericardial and pleural effusion are reported, so that we may believe that Jesus actually died.


For Further Reading

Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus(Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1998)



  1. Lee Strobel, The Case For Christ (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1998)
  2. Ibid, 195.
  3. Ibid, 196.
  4. Ibid.


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