Peter Kreeft Gets Crucified


#1

I’m starting a new thread to respond to comments that Peter Kreeft has demonstrated that the crucifixion and resurrection story proves that Jesus must have been God.


#2

My apologies to BlaineTog, he very considerately posted point by point, but the quote tool is a rather blunt instrument.

Also, I have to apologize that I will not be able to respond to this post until tomorrow.


#3

I guess if you don’t buy Kreeft, you’d not buy anything? Besides saying this is absurd, that is absurd, what would you propose to assert?


#4

No that isn’t what he said. He said, "*Jesus could not have survived crucifixion. Roman procedures were very careful to

eliminate that possibility… It was never done.

"

I can appreciate that you don’t want to share in the same fabrication that he takes place in, but please just admit that he is wrong rather than trying to change what he said.

You admit that Jesus could have survived if the,“crucifixion had been cancelled early enough”. Would 3-6 hours have been enough? I’ve heard that crucifixion takes days to kill someone. 3-6 hours certainly seems like a shortened amount of time. And according to the Bible, Pilate had been surprised by the brevity as well.

The same can be said of anyone’s opinion, but the point is, an eyewitness who we don’t really have any reason to doubt thought he was dead.

Actually, what we have is a bunch of people writing 30-50 years after the event making comments about what eyewitnesses did.

Could he have been bribed? Possible, but unlikely. After all, does it seem at all wise to wrap yourself up with someone so contentious for money? And he couldn’t have been the only person there to vouch for Jesus’ death.

Are we to assume they were all bribed? Perhaps the soldiers who were gaurding his tomb were bribed as well? Maybe Pontius Pilate was bribed to make Jesus’ Crucifixion look fake. Perhaps everyone was bribed so as to convince the Jews.

It is true that Jesus would have been a bad person to side with at the crucifixion. So it would have been really silly to say, “Truly this man was the son of God” at the crucifixion in front of witnesses. But let’s say someone did do that. Let’s say that person is a centurion who would, no doubt, have been the highest ranking person there. Is it really so hard to imagine that one person would have taken Jesus down when he wasn’t dead? Who was there that was going to question the highest ranking officer?

Your stance that it is unlikely someone could have been bribed is really illogical when you consider that you and Peter Kreeft believe that Roman soldiers would take money to say they fell asleep at their post. But more on that later.

They probably drew on Jesus’ savings from carpentering.

Ah, you are one of those people who thinks Jesus is poor. Got it, you prefer Luke’s account to Mathew’s. No problem. Either way, you don’t think poor people can have rich backers?

Why would a single person have been able to move it? It’s a tomb. Presumeably, you’d only need to close it once, or at the very most not more than once every few years.

First clue, because the Bible tells us that one person moved the stone to put it in place. Second clue, because the tomb was most definitely going to be re-opened if his body had not been properly prepared. Third clue, go have a look at pictures of some first century tombs. The stones (which are usually round) don’t go higher than a person’s waist. These aren’t massive boulders.

And building it such that a single person could open or close it sounds like a minor feat of engineering to me.

Yes, it is an extremely minor feat of engineering. It is even more minor than carving a stone so more than one person is needed to move it.

Sensationalisticaly put, but not necessarily wrong. His point isn’t that they wouldn’t be affected, but that they wouldn’t have been affected like they were.

So, it Peter Kreeft a psychologist? Has he studied the mindset of people in that position? I’m thinking not.

People are biased when making decisions. One of those biases is that they tend to pay attention to things they want to have happen, and ignore the ones they don’t.

The disciples went from huddled and afraid to confident, courageous, and joyful. Had Jesus stumbled in barely alive and reeling, their reaction would have been something like, “You survived! Quick, we need to hide you!” rather than, “You are back from the dead! We need to tell the world!” It at least strains credibility to claim they had the latter reaction to a man who was scourged and crucified, and then left to lie in a tomb for three days, presumably without food or water.

You seem to be ignoring an awful lot. Why do you think that Jesus was in the tomb for three days? Why wasn’t he brought out the first night? It would have been much easier to take him out when the guards hadn’t arrived yet, rather than after they had arrived. He had had at least 2 days to recover.

It was not

a door. It was a big stone that could be pushed to cover the entrance of the tomb.

The stones aren’t actually that big. I put door by mistake.

The point is they wouldn’t have been easy to bribe, since generally one wishes to stay alive long enough to spend one’s bribery money.

Perhaps I wasn’t clear. This seems to be an important point that you and Kreeft are missing. You seem to think it is plausible that a group are guards who would be killed for falling asleep are going to take a bribe to say they fell asleep.

They are signing their own death warrant by doing that.

People who are heads of dissident groups and remain in the same geographical area in which they were previously active after making a seemingly-miraculous return from the dead tend to get noticed and found. I mean, one would think.

You’re right! By the way, when exactly did they capture Bin Laden? Isn’t he the head of a dissident group who has remained in the same geographical area in which he was previously active?

True, he hasn’t been resurrected, but how would that make him any easier to find?*


#5

Who is Peter Kreeft? He sounds familiar…:confused: :confused: :confused:


#6

Oops, I forgot to include the link that I was originally responding to.

Thanks for pointing out that it was confusing.

This is Peter Kreeft’s website.

peterkreeft.com/topics-more/resurrection-evidence.htm


#7

**I see it like this. If you aren’t going to believe Jesus died and rose from the dead, then why believe in him at all?

So, you should really be trying to refute the entire Bible and not one part of it. Because the Bible as a whole makes* a lot ***more sense with Jesus rising from the dead. The whole world does.


#8

If you aren’t going to believe that Julius Caesar was the son of a god, then why would you bother believing in him at all?

You believe Julius Caesar exists, because there is no reason to doubt that he exists. Indeed it is the simplest explanation of that period of history. You don’t believe that he is the son of god, because you don’t believe in the same gods the Roman’s believed in.

You find it quite easy, I assume, to separate out the myth of Julius Caesar from the histories of his time as Roman dictator.

You don’t do this with Jesus because you do believe in the god of the Christians. You don’t see that as a myth because you believe it. I don’t.

So, you should really be trying to refute the entire Bible and not one part of it.

I was responding to an article that suggested that the rest of the Bible could be proved by the resurrection. Why should I try and do so much more than the author that I am disputing has done.

Because the Bible as a whole makes* a lot *more sense with Jesus rising from the dead. The whole world does.

You haven’t read it all have you? Be honest. It’s okay not to have read the whole Bible. It’s a big book, and it’s dreadfully dull in parts.

If you have been Catholic for long enough, you will have heard the whole thing read out to you, but you probably didn’t pay that close attention to every detail and nuance.

My suggestion is that you should read it in detail before you accept what other people say about it. If you read every single chapter and think, “This wouldn’t make any sense if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, but since he did I understand it makes a lot more sense”. Then go ahead and tell everyone that.


#9

This is a fabrication. The historian Josephus writes of finding three of his friends who had been crucified. He applied to have them taken down. One of the three lived, so saying,“It was never done,” is just not true. In fact, in Mark 15: 44, we read that Pilate wondered if Jesus was already dead. Why would it surprise him if it was what was to be expected?

Unless you doubt the severity of the punishment, even survival would require intensive medical care. Assuming we’re dealing in reality, no one who survived a crucifixion would be walking around, holding court with loved ones, two or three days after the fact. If you can prove that whipping, asphyxiation, massive blood loss, mutiliation, starvation, and torture generally require just a couple of days to recover from, we can talk.

A Roman soldier thought he was dead, or he was paid not to break the legs. So what? The opinion of a random, unnamed person is hardly proof of anything, especially one who could have been bribed.

Gee, anything’s possible I guess. Islam tells us the person who was on the cross wasn’t even Jesus, but an imposter. Heck, it might have been Graham Chapman on the cross whistling a tune, as well. The soldier thought he was dead? I can only take his word for it. Do you have proof that this soldier was a liar, corruptible by a pittance bribe? What would be the motivation for a Roman soldier to accept a bribe, with numerous other soldiers in attendance, witnessing the same execution, who could easily contradict him? That would lead to his own death.

John has a very artistic and symbolic style throughout the gospel. The blood and water are not only an allusion the the passover meal, but symbolize that Jesus was the sourse of life and purity. It would be a stretch to take them as a medical diagnosis.

Since you have no actual proof contrary to the author, (merely a speculative opinion that he’s being symbolic), the greater stretch is that it’s not a medical diagnosis, since, in reality, it’s a natural outcome of piercing a major artery near the heart, or the heart itself.

Jesus couldn’t escape from a linen sheet? Seriously, he wasn’t bound with his hands behind his back. Lazarus undid his own funerary garb. The tomb was such that it could be entered and exited. A single person was able to role away the stone. Joseph of Arimathea wasn’t trying to trap him.

Of course He could escape from a linen sheet. How could one person roll away the stone from the tomb? What kind of alien mineral composite big enough to seal a tomb would one person be able to just roll away? If it was important enough to station Roman soldiers to guard the tomb, why would it be outfitted with a meager stone that one person could compromise? And why would it require more than one soldier to guard a tomb that would only require one person to compromise? One soldier could certainly handle one thief. But a stone big enough to require many hands would require many people to guard it, in anticipation of preventing many people from overtaking one guard in doing so.
And it certainly couldn’t have been Jesus, Himself, rolling away the stone, since the tomb is sealed from the outside.

“Psychologically impossible”? Glad to see he isn’t being sensationalistic. If you think that someone is dead, and they appear before you, that is going to have a profound impact no matter what condition they are in. At least, it would have a profound impact on me. If it would affect me, then it is not “psychologically impossible”, is it?

If you think someone is dead, and they’ve told you they will die and rise from the dead, but it appears He didn’t die, but merely survived the crucifixion, the reaction would have been profound disillusion, and the end of the movement, not joy and jubilation. It all hinged on His self-prophesied death and resurrection. If He failed to fulfill His own prophecy, He couldn’t be God, and there would be no reason to continue in opposition to the Pharisees. They would have gone back to their boats. There’s your psychological impact of a merely “surviving” Jesus.

Who said they were unarmed? The gospel specifically said they were armed in Mt 26:51. Mathew is the only gospel that mentions the guards (Mt 27:62 ).

What do you mean “they”? I thought the stone was small enough for one person to move. If they were going to steal/free Jesus from the tomb, they wouldn’t come in numbers if one is enough to sneak past the guards and do the deed.

The guards arrive on the dayafter Jesus was put in the tomb. Plenty of time for Jesus/the body to disappear.

If this is all a deception, why would the author leave a “hole” in the timeline to justify an alternative explanation? He could have merely written that the guards were stationed as Jesus was laid in the tomb and make the timeline airtight. If it’s not a deception, you’re just reckelssly hypothesizing.

Actually, what is recorded is that they were paid a large sum of money

to report that the apostles stole the body when they slept. Mt 28:11. That doesn’t seem like a death sentence to me.

Later in the passage, it says that the Pharisees would “secure” them (the guards) before Pilate. Why would they need to be “secured” if there were no danger? The issue wasn’t that the body was gone; the issue was the appearance that they conspired to let the Apostles take the body. The Pharisees would vouch that it happened, unbeknownst to them, while they were sleeping. On the other hand, if, as you say, there was no “death sentence” over the soldiers, why would they have to be bribed in the first place, if it was a fact that the body was stolen? You don’t bribe someone to tell the truth when there’s no risk. You DO bribe someone to tell a lie, however, that puts you at risk. So, either

  1. there was no risk to the soldiers and they had to be bribed to tell the truth,

  2. The soldiers were at risk, thought the body was stolen, and made the independent, outlandish claim (from a Roman) that He must have been resurrected.

  3. He really was resurrected, they didn’t have an explanation for what happened, and were at risk, when the Pharisees bribed them (for their own purposes) to say the body was merely “stolen”, risking their (the guards’) own hides for confessing as such, but with the promise that the Pharisees would see to it they were “secured” (not punished) before Pilate.

Take your pick.

People manage to disappear even today when we have video, fingerprints and I.D. Explain why this is a problem.

Again, the overriding issue is that if Jesus simply survived, He would be exposed to the Apostles as a charlatan, and the whole movement would have dissolved. As to the specific point made here, you’ve mistaken ancient Jerusalem for New York City. Some guy wandering around with holes in his hand and feet, and a bloody head, would not go unnoticed. Since Josephus, himself, decided to document the execution of this supposed “rabble rouser”, Jesus’ fame in no way would allow Him to simply disappear into the night. But, getting back to the original part of this response, there would be no Christian church if He was simply spirited away by the Apostles and put in hiding.

Indeed why would a wanted criminal want to escape?

Why would a group of hunted men protect a charlatan? The Pharisees paid Judas handsomely to betray Jesus before His crucifixion. They would have paid a greater sum to the first Apostle who would give up His hiding place, and, with the knowledge He was a fraud (if He merely survived the crucifixion), there would be a race to turn Him in for a handsome payday.

Or… he chose not to. Does Peter Kreeft really think it is impossible to disappear in the ancient world? The lost tribes of Isreal managed to disappear, how hard could it be for a single man to do the same?

Again, a man walking around with holes in his hands and feet, doesn’t get very far without attracting attention, especially when He’s recognizable to people in every region He traveled. He didn’t just hang around Jerusalem. Furthermore, if He simply wandered off into the night, why didn’t the Pharisees offer a handsome reward for His capture? Why didn’t the Romans offer a reward? He was condemned to death. If He was an escaped criminal, the embarrassment would have certainly called for a manhunt.


#10

This is really an easy one. An earlier post basically got it right. If, as a philosophical matter, you reject the possibility that Jesus was divine but you believe he was actually subjected to crucifixion and lived, you have to give unreasonably high probability to a view of the evidence that allows him to have remained alive. Think about it carefully. Yes, people were and are “hung,” “electrocuted,” “gased,” and “shot,” but don’t die. They had to hang 'em or juice 'em or shoot 'em one more time. That, in fact, is usually what is done, they don’t escape. But, these cases are extraordinarily rare. I mean REALLY rare. Most executioners wanted their subjects dead and were good at their jobs. They didn’t want mistakes and took steps to avoid them. Again, only if you are committed *a priori * to the impossibility of resurrection from the dead AND you believe Jesus was subjected to crucifixion and lived can you give credence to the claim that in this case this man escaped death, was not later caught by the Romans, was never heard from again, and a major world religion was erected on his death and resurrection. WOW!!! The point: the issue really isn’t the evidence, but the theological and philosophical possibility of being “raised from the dead.” If being raised from the dead is possible, then it has some probability in any given situation. However, only if we admit philosophical possibility do we get to statistical and evidential probability. I think if you admit possibility, actual resurrection becomes the most likely explanation.


#11

You believe Julius Caesar exists, because there is no reason to doubt that he exists. Indeed it is the simplest explanation of that period of history. You don’t believe that he is the son of god, because you don’t believe in the same gods the Roman’s believed in.

I don’t believe that Caesar was a god because no one ever prophesied his place and nature of birth, operative mission on earth, his works, or his death. The coming of Christ, His life, His mission, and His death were widely prophesied, and those prophecies were fulfilled.

If a prophecy existed that God would take the form of a homosexual man, rule over a great military regime and be assassinated for his power-lust, I might believe that Caesar was God.

You find it quite easy, I assume, to separate out the myth of Julius Caesar from the histories of his time as Roman dictator.

What do you personally believe is Jesus’ “separated” history?

You don’t do this with Jesus because you do believe in the god of the Christians. You don’t see that as a myth because you believe it. I don’t

Jesus’ life IS the normative of history. You can’t divide His life into a “secular history” and a separate “Divine mission”. His life was His mission.

My suggestion is that you should read it in detail before you accept what other people say about it. If you read every single chapter and think, “This wouldn’t make any sense if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, but since he did I understand it makes a lot more sense”. Then go ahead and tell everyone that.

It sounds more like you’re jealous that others have been enlightened, and you are not. Does it brings comfort to you to unbiddenly attempt to belittle someone else’s faith because you cannot grasp it yourself?


#12

While there is some confusion who the guards at the Tomb were, there is no doubt who performed the execution–Roman soldiers.

In the Roman legion, the penalty for botching an execution was considered the same as letting a prisoner escape–the execution squad was executed. So, there a a BIG motivation to making sure the condemned was really, truly dead.

Roman soldiers recieved extensive training in how to kill people–people who were armed and actively fighting back. The legionaire knew where to stab his sword (gladius) to put an opponent down–forever. To execute a man imobilzed by being nailed to a cross was child’s work to these professional killers.

Jesus looked dead, but the Romans didnt think twice about making sure. The spear used would have been the heavy “pilum” (from which the name Pilate is derived), which had a acute 4-sided point that could pierce a layered wooden shield with a hard throw–and an unarmored human side like nothing at all.

While the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Asssociation) article on the forensics of Jesus’s death was lacking in some areas, the examination of the spear thrust is a grusome example of lethal efficiency. From the description of John, it would have entered Jesus’s side at an upward angle beneath the lower ribcage, traveling up into the lung and heart cavity, destroying the lower lobe of one lung before essentially splitting the heart.


#13

You admit that Jesus could have survived if the,“crucifixion had been cancelled early enough”. Would 3-6 hours have been enough? I’ve heard that crucifixion takes days to kill someone. 3-6 hours certainly seems like a shortened amount of time. And according to the Bible, Pilate had been surprised by the brevity as well.

Not with the kind of torture that Jesus endured. The flogging was an attempt to appease the Jews into NOT crucifying Him. Since it was not custom in Judea to relentlessly torture the prisoner before crucifying Him, Pilate wouldn’t have a reason to assume a quick death. Not being a doctor, he likely didn’t know that the fever and shock that Jesus endured would come close to killing Him before He even made it to Calvary. If Pilate realized this, he would have had someone else carry the cross for Jesus from the start, just to make sure the prescribed exeuction took place.

Actually, what we have is a bunch of people writing 30-50 years after the event making comments about what eyewitnesses did.

Since Mary and John were both eyewitnesses to the trial, the torture, the procession of the cross, and the Crucifixion, that’s a good start. And where do you come up with a “bunch” of people writing this? Since many real people who actually witnessed the crucifiixion were likely still alive 30-50 years after the fact, who are you to say they weren’t accurate? How many people knew where they were when Kennedy died, or when the Towers were hit on 9/11. I can tell you exactly what I was eating for breakfast, and the shirt I was wearing at work when it happened, eight years after the fact. Since Jesus’ execution was a moment of great scandal to all involved - His friend, enemies, and the people who only one week earlier wanted Him to be their King - I find it hard to believe His crucifixion wasn’t etched into their memories well enough to provide accurate testimony to what they saw that day.

Your stance that it is unlikely someone could have been bribed is really illogical when you consider that you and Peter Kreeft believe that Roman soldiers would take money to say they fell asleep at their post. But more on that later.

It’s illogical that the Roman Soldiers would allow themselves to be compromised with other eyewitnesses present who could contradict them. The Pharisees were in attendance, too, so explain how they would have let the Romans or anyone else allow Jesus to survive, since it was their idea of justice that He be executed. The people were in riot formation at the trial of Jesus because Pilate wouldn’t crucify Him as they wished. The ensuing riot if they allowed Him to be spared death by a broad-daylight, bribe-taking Roman foot-soldier/Centurian/ whoever would have been a certainty. You’re not thinking through all the facts, just cherry-picking items you think you can contradict.

Ah, you are one of those people who thinks Jesus is poor. Got it, you prefer Luke’s account to Mathew’s. No problem. Either way, you don’t think poor people can have rich backers?

If Jesus’ “backers” were that rich and influential with the Romans, how did Jesus end up on the cross in the first place? Gee, with all that dough, you’d think they would have been nice enough to pay off Pilate before they drove the nails into his hands and feet.

Again and again, you fail to think through ALL the facts. You’re merely posing hypotheticals without any substance.

First clue, because the Bible tells us that one person moved the stone to put it in place.

It also tells us in several places that Pilate crucified Jesus, when he merely pronounced sentence on Him. Was Pilate on Calvary driving the nails in? In the case of Joseph of Arimathea, it says he rolled a “great” stone in front of the tomb. Did you ignore the adjective “great” in this instance? Because, either Joseph was Hercules and rolled a “great” stone on his own, or he had help from other anonymous people who the author chose not to name for the sake of economy, and the sake that the tomb belonged to Joseph himself. Which do you think is more likely? Why would the author refer to a stone as “great” if one person could move it? That would be a “meager” stone, not a “great” one.

The stones (which are usually round) don’t go higher than a person’s waist. These aren’t massive boulders.

Even that would take more than one person, so the argument doesn’t fly.

People are biased when making decisions. One of those biases is that they tend to pay attention to things they want to have happen, and ignore the ones they don’t.

Or they pay attention to some of the facts and hypothesize around the ones that contradict their theories.

The stones aren’t actually that big. I put door by mistake.

If you say so.

Perhaps I wasn’t clear. This seems to be an important point that you and Kreeft are missing. You seem to think it is plausible that a group are guards who would be killed for falling asleep are going to take a bribe to say they fell asleep.

They are signing their own death warrant by doing that.

Not when the Pharisees are promising to secure it with Pilate, first. Since the body was gone, PIlate had two choices, himself:

  1. Admit that Jesus was risen from the dead and compromise the divine claim of his boss, Ceasar, while giving tacit support to another Judean religious group he doesn’t want to deal with… or

  2. Accept the claim that the guards simply fell asleep, and a dead body was merely absconded with.

Again, you’re not considering all the facts, just some. You say, why would the soldiers take the risk of admitting they fell asleep. I say, why would Pilate take the risk of explaining that a dead man who claimed, like Caesar, to be the son of God, rose from the dead? In which case, it would not be hard for the Pharisees to convince the Romans that it was better for all parties involved to fabricate the story of the theft.

You’re right! By the way, when exactly did they capture Bin Laden? Isn’t he the head of a dissident group who has remained in the same geographical area in which he was previously active?

Because the Apostles would have no motive to protect Jesus and every motive to turn Him in if He wasn’t who He said He was. And if He didn’t rise from the dead, the Apostles would have done just that to protect their own hides. People will die for the Truth, they will never willingly die for a lie.


closed #14

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